Production hiring site Staff Me Up is one of the best tools in the industry for anyone looking to find work, and for producers looking for crew. Staff Me Up can be used to find jobs in cinematography, casting, producing, editing, PA work, you name it. You can search by city, state, department, or specific position. From entry-level jobs to highly experienced, Staff Me Up has become a reliable production job website that can help you at any stage of your career. So, how can you get the most out of it? Here are some tips that producers on the site typically look for. If you aren’t interested in Staff Me Up, these can also be applied to your production resume. Let’s take a look.
Which Version to Choose?
Staff Me Up paid and free versions
Staff Me Up has a free version and a paid version. If you’re serious about finding work and finding work regularly, I would definitely recommend spending some extra dollars.
If you really can’t swing it just yet (because well, you don’t have a job!), it’s not a problem. The free version lets you create a profile with your experience and connects you with people who have worked on the same productions as you, which is helpful for credibility.
The downside is that you’re only allowed to apply to five jobs per month, have a limited number of characters to describe yourself, and you can’t upload a cover letter. And while you can still track the progress of your five applications, you are unable to see how you rank amongst other candidates.
Cue the paid version.
Staff Me Up used to have two different paid versions. The first one was 9.99 per month and the second was 13.99. Now there is one paid version that gives you all of what the 13.99 gave you but it’s now only 12.50 per month!
Well, let’s clarify. It’s $12.50 per month only if you pay yearly, otherwise it’s 19.99 per month. But even still, it’s a great deal. So if you can swing 149.99 for the entire year, it’s worth it.
It includes what you get in the free version plus the ability to add a cover letter, upload a resume, track your now unlimited job applications per month, work alerts, the ability to boost your ranking, promote your application, and even highlights your relevant credits to particular employers.
Here's a review comparing Staff Me Up with another industry standard site, Mandy.com.
So once you’ve decided to take the leap, these next few tips will help you navigate the Staff Me Up waters to get the most out of the site.
If you decide to stick to the free version, that’s okay too. These tips are helpful for production resumes and cover letters too.
FIRST THINGS FIRST...
Clear photo, clear credits
Like anything else, first impressions matter, especially online and in the world of scamming. You do not need to look like a celebrity, but you do need to show you’re a real person. They shouldn’t have to guess which one is you in the picture, it should be a clear headshot or full body shot that shows you at your best. This is the first thing they’ll see, make it count.
Telling a story with your resume or Staff Me Up profile means you take the employer through a part of your story, not your entire story. Stay focused on what you want. Here's Jared Tobman, CEO of Staff Me Up, on the value of a well-crafted resume that tells your story.
Credits (and how to list them)
The annoying saying ‘you need money to make money,’ echoes here... you need credits to get credits. But that being said, if you haven’t yet worked on anything in the industry, or maybe you just moved out to LA or NYC, if you have any projects whatsoever, even from school, or filmmaking contests you’ve participated in, add those in!
So how do you list your credits? Staff Me Up makes this easy, but if you’re adding them to a resume, ensure they’re clear and concise.
Keep your most notable projects at the top, any well-known, or even slightly well-known directions or producers (even in the commercial world), put at the top of the list. If you don’t have that, no worries, if you have any upper level experience like producer, direction, or production manager, you can add that next. And for you, that might be that one time you acted as a coordinator instead of a production assistant — put that!
On a resume, be sure to put the tile of the production first, followed by the type of production in parentheses (documentary, etc.), followed by the date and job title. Staff Me Up should do this for you as you type in your job roles on your profile, but if they’ve changed something, or if you want to upload a pre-formatted resume, this might be helpful.
Include Similar Projects Too
If you’re in the process of applying for a job on Staff Me Up, the posting will likely detail the specifics of the medium. So say it is listed as a documentary, if you’ve also worked on documentaries, make sure your profile or resume mentions that. As mentioned above, always include the production type in your credits. This could be as vague as reality television, or even specific genres within that medium.
In fact, in some instances, it’s even better if you can get more specific and tailor your profile as you apply for a particular job. For example, if you’re applying for a music video for a country singer, and you’ve worked on two music videos for folk or country, add that.
Use your discretion. You don’t want to be constantly changing your resume and wasting time, but understanding what you're applying for and how what you’ve done is relevant, and how you can better present that to producers, will help set you apart from the competition.
Staff Me Up Cover Letters
Cover letter tips from the pros
If you’ve purchased the paid version of Staff Me up, you’ll have this feature. If you didn’t, you can still apply these tips to the cover letters you send out!
No spelling mistakes! Similar to the photo, it’s your first impression. Make a good one. This isn’t some late night application for a deadline. They’re coming in with a perspective that you care what they think, show them by double checking what you send them….twice.
Use language from the posting
This is pretty obvious but commonly missed by most job seekers. There is nothing that annoys an employer or producer more than not having the basic qualifications they’ve already outlined in the job posting. For instance, if you don’t have a car, and it says “must have a car,” don’t apply. But in your cover letter, if it says “must have a car,” let them know you have reliable transportation! Additionally, mirror their language. If they say they want a conscientious self-starter, tell them why you’re a conscientious self started.
Write for the job you’re applying for, not the one you want
Do not tell them that you have big dreams to be a producer if you’re applying for a production assistant job. Let them know why you would be good at the production assistant job!
Keep it short but never use shorthand
Conversational is fine, especially in the production world, but I’ve personally seen cover letters that for some reason, decide not to use complete sentences. Please don’t do that.
Additionally, no one wants to read length cover letters. Short and to the point.
Put your personality into it
Loosen up a little! This could go hand in hand with your conversational style, but remember this isn’t some corporate job. You’ll likely have to be on set with these people for hours, so let them see a little bit of you. Finding the balance between this and professional is key.
Staff Me Up Staff Spills the Beans
Staff Me Up secrets to success
The team at Staff Me Up knows what works and what doesn’t. Here are some of their tips and tricks.
Set up work alerts for entire departments
Why focus on only one position? Staff Me Up allows you to set alerts for not just particular positions, but entire departments. Maybe you’ve been a production assistant for awhile, but you dabbled once as a wardrobe assistant and really liked it. Put some feelers out in the costume department, maybe an assistant position will open up and you’ll discover an entirely new passion.
Employers prefer cover letters
This is a given, in the production world and in the corporate world. 92% of job posters would rather receive an app with a cover letter. You really can’t get around this. This is why we really recommend the paid version that enables you to upload a cover letter. It’s affordable and well worth it.
Track your applications and boost yourself to the top of the list
This is a prime feature from Staff Me Up’s paid version. You not only can track your applications status but you can also see if they reviewed it. Even better still, you can see if they’ve decided to interview you---the only job site that tells you where you fare in the application process, not just candidates as whole.
The best thing about this is, you can try to do something about it if you’re not happy with what you see on the other end. You can use their BOOST feature to move your application to the top of their list. You can do this initially or later if you’ve notice that you have fallen lower than where you thought you’d be.
Connect your profile to your social media
This is a good idea because it gives you more credibility as a real person. It also gives them a chance to get to see your personality a bit. Staff Me Up also says it can increase your “rank” when someone in your social network might be reviewing applications.
Maintain your profile and using power boosts
Always keep your availability and credits up to date. Staff Me Up has been implementing a few metrics and found some interesting insights that will improve their rankings for given jobs.
The first thing is to make sure you have at a minimum of one credit that matches exactly. So, as I was saying before, try to tailor your credits to either more specific or more general so you’re in line with the job. Even with their Power Boosts, if you have no experience at all, you likely won’t be considered.
Secondly, you can get the most out of your Staff Me Up account, if you use your Power Boosts at the right time. When you apply for a job and it’s been revealed your standing is somewhere in the middle of the road...there are some candidates ahead and some behind, a Power Boost might make a difference.
Think about all of the movies you love. When a character loses sight of their goal and the plot loses direction, the audience loses interest. Your resume is the telling of your story as it relates to this particular goal — getting this job. Show the employer what you’ve done and what you have to offer for this specific job.
Emphasize your skills and experience for this job. They don’t need to know every little detail or job if it doesn’t push your story forward, or rather, doesn’t help you achieve your goal of getting hired.
Other things to consider
As you embark on your quest for the next gig, here are some last-minute tips before you start using Staff Me Up.
Don’t forget to use your location on Staff Me Up. You can apply for jobs anywhere and if you’re in another locale for the duration of a production, apply! That’s the beauty of Staff Me Up. You can discover and apply to jobs anywhere you are.
Resume as a PDF
If you choose to upload a resume, or for your production resume in general, always sure it’s a PDF. This seems like an obvious and silly addition but you’d be surprised.
Never send a word document. It could make you look unprofessional, and is also just a little annoying when it’s opened on the other end.
Beware of Google Searches
Know what the Internet has on you! If for some reason when you search your name, a picture of you doing something really stupid pops up because well, it’s one of your profile pictures for another site, remove it.
Likely, this won’t apply to most people. But if you do appear, just ensure the info about you is up to date and accurate, and nothing goes against what’s on your resume or Staff Me Up profile.
How to Step Up Your Career
Maybe you’re getting tired of having to find a new job everyday. Maybe all of the Staff Me Up gigs you are getting are great but you want something more stable, or maybe you just need more gigs. If any of this sounds like you, let’s figure out how to step up our entertainment career and bring it to an entirely new level so you’re less exhausted and more motivated.