Category Archives: Do’s & Don’ts

Can LinkedIn + You = A Career?

All of you who met with me should have heard my story of how my friend who is the head of HR at Warner Brothers stressed the importance of having a strong LinkedIn presence and the story shared here from today’s WSJ makes this point better than I ever could.
Read, implement, try and succeed!

Ignoring LinkedIn Is Hurting Your Career

With its refreshed app and some tricks, it’s time to make the uncoolest professional network part of your social-media routine

At Social Media High, Facebook is the all-star quarterback, Twitter is the school paper’s editor in chief and Snapchat is the mysterious, Harley-riding transfer student. That makes LinkedIn the nerd who skips prom for the mathlympics.

Yet, like in every great John Hughes movie, the underdog actually belongs in the in-crowd.

Admit it. Your most frequent interaction with the world’s uncoolest network is deleting those “Join my network” emails. You’re not alone: 61% of LinkedIn users visit the site no more than every few weeks, according to Pew Research Center.

I was the same, avoiding LinkedIn’s baffling design and incessant nagging. But a few weeks ago, when I decided to give it a real varsity tryout, I realized LinkedIn deserves a place on my phone’s home screen. I now check it a couple of times a week to find out what’s happening in my industry. Use it right and you’ll get ideas on how to improve your business, find new leads—and maybe land a job you didn’t even know you wanted.

What’s changed? LinkedIn has drastically improved its iOS and Android apps over the past few months, with even more iPhone app changes arriving just this week. With some tricks and assistance from LinkedIn pros, I’ve been able to zero in on the most important features within the overwhelming service. Don’t get me wrong: Parts of it are still inexcusably terrible. But what other social network allows you to connect with people in a professional way?  Continue reading Can LinkedIn + You = A Career?

So, you can be the new Coen Brothers…

The other day I had the pleasure of meeting Andric L. Queen-Booker, Class of 2012 – a wonderfully talented and smart young man – and he mentioned that he enjoyed the HBO series, Togetherness, and was a big fan of the Duplass brothers.  As am I.  And my wife.  This is a win-win as it means she enjoys watching a show I enjoying watching, and when you’re in your 4th decade together, and TV wasteland time is limited, that’s a HUGE deal.

When I asked Andric why he liked the brothers, and Togetherness, he said: “It’s real. Truthful.”

So it is.  HBO worth paying for.

Imagine my surprise when the LA Weekly (a paper like the New Times for all my AZ friends) published today – did a wonderful story on the Duplass brothers that is perfectly timed to share with you.

Read this.

I did, twice.  And their story has ME pumped to do more, my way, now.

Go out there and be the STORYTELLER (actor, producer, director, writer, executive, agent, human being) that you want to be!

How the Duplass Brothers Changed Hollywood by Refusing to Change at All

MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2016 AT 6:30 A.M.

by Gwynedd Stuart

It’s an irresistibly warm weekday in late January, and Jay and Mark Duplass are in their office at Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood preparing to write the third season of their HBO series, Togetherness. I note the timing because it happens to be Sundance week, and they’re here rather than there (I note the weather because, goddamn, we’re lucky) — and it’s the rare year they don’t have a pony to show. Last year, Sean S. Baker’s iPhone-filmed, Hollywood-set dramedy Tangerine, which the Duplasses executive produced, was one of the festival’s most talked-about films. They also executive produced Melissa Rauch’s The Bronze, another 2015 Sundance selection.

And all of 11 years ago, their first full-length feature, the low-budget relationship drama–slash–road-trip comedy The Puffy Chair, was among the festival’s breakout hits, winning the Audience Choice Award and making their mutual inclusion in conversations about young filmmakers-to-watch almost instantaneous. They were among a handful of auteurs whose work was being lumped together to constitute what was called the “mumblecore” movement. Major record labels were fixating on all things indie rock, and major film studios were fixating on quiet, quirky dramas being made for $15,000 rather than $15 million.

After the 2005 fest, Mark and his now-wife, director-actress Katie Aselton, packed up and moved from New York to L.A.; Jay headed West that December. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s safe to say these were good decisions. Continue reading So, you can be the new Coen Brothers…

Don’t Hit Send On Your Script Unless…

…you have ALL your i’s dotted and t’s crossed.  What’s that?  Of course you will!  No one in their right mind would submit work that wasn’t ready to be shown to a buyer, agent, producer, actor, executive, or a highly competitive screenplay contest – right?
You’d be surprised how often this happens AND it has happened to me when I have been in a hurry to meet a deadline after I procrastinated one day too many and it was deliver or die day for my screenplay.
So, in the hope you avoid my mistakes, I give you:

7 Things to Do Before You Submit Your Screenplay to Anyone

By Ken Miyamoto

October 27, 2015

Whether it’s submitting it to competitions, production companies, agents, managers, studios, or talent, screenwriters need to go through a checklist to prepare their scripts for submission.

This is the first time the powers that be will be seeing your script. This is the first and only impression that you can make with them. If the script is not up to their standards and doesn’t adhere to the various submission directives that there may be on their end, you’ve lost them before you ever had them.

So here’s a To Do list for all screenwriters (otherwise known as a “Make Sure” List), offering habits to get into before submitting scripts. And we’ll toss in some tricks of the trade as well.

  1. Make sure you have permission to submit your script.

This is primarily for submitting to agents, managers, production companies, studios, and talent. You cannot send unsolicited material to these powers that be. Hollywood is so afraid of being sued these days. Because of that, they simply won’t and can’t accept screenplays, television scripts, and treatments. Most of the big agencies won’t even accept query letters or emails that showcase loglines or a short synopsis. So make sure you have permission to send a script in the first place. All too often, you’ll be asked to fill out a release form, releasing them from any litigation regarding concepts that may be similar to yours that they eventually produce. Continue reading Don’t Hit Send On Your Script Unless…

Who & What You “Do…”

Imagine if a RESUME with this JOB LISTING came across your desk:

Clerk, Circle K: stocked shelves, ran the cash register, cleaned the restrooms.                        

You very well might, if you needed a clerk for your new business, consider this candidate for a job.   However, what if this JOB LISTING was presented instead:

Customer Service Representative, Circle K: As the first point of contact with our customers, I represented our mission – be the best and most convenient place to shop – to everyone who walked through the door. Each shift I worked, I helped ensure our store environment was clean and safe, and our inventory was orderly and up-to-date. I made sure purchases for my customers were completed in a fast and friendly manner. During my employment tenure, I received the company’s in-store customer service award 4 times.

Wow-wow-wow!   What a difference!  

With an applicant’s “job experience” presented like this – equally truthful and direct but with a very positive and complete presentation and description of the services performed, or “spin” if you will – a word I want you to learn to love and embrace – you might see this “clerk” you need to hire as an –

  • assistant manager
  • sales rep
  • receptionist at a talent agency
  • indy or major studio or network entry level employee

Now, I wish I could take credit for this simply brilliant illustration, but this pearl of resume wisdom came from Susan Dodd, a fellow ASU Alum from my Class of ’76.  In preparation for our first round of coffee sessions, I reached out to my dear friend and asked the overly modest Susan to tell you a little about herself, and she kindly shared:

After 27 years , Susan retired from Intel Corporation as the IT Director of Sourcing & Services Solutions. Her career was devoted to working with her customers to simplify work processes and automate work flows where it made sound business sense. In addition, she was the Senior Sponsor for the “Women at Intel” Diversity Organization.

Susan graduated from ASU with a Masters in Business Administration, and undergraduate degrees in Theatre and Broadcasting/Communications.

What Susan doesn’t say, is how whip smart she is and always was, how kind and generous and loyal a friend it has been my honor to know, and how without her insanely strong management skills and detailed note taking (when we were barely 18), I would have never made the A grades I did at ASU.

I turned to Susan on the subject of resumes as I knew she had a rich business background and had hired and interviewed and mentored many job seekers in her long and successful career, and as I suspected, Susan did not disappoint.  

From Susan’s mind to yours, I give you, The Resume:

Resumes are merely a tool to direct potential employees to information about you that will help you stand out and be selected for a job over all other applicants. While it includes work history, the intent is not to communicate just work history (remember: most job applications require job history data – dates & duties – so if your resume is merely relaying this same information you are wasting an opportunity). A resume should compliment a job application.

Look on line for formats and find one that you think will best enable you to highlight who you are. It is not a one size fits all.
Continue reading Who & What You “Do…”

First Job Advice from Millennials

I’m old. Apparently, re the following article from Fortune, possibly too old to offer twenty-plus-year-olds advice that is applicable to the world you live in today.

Though this piece is clearly not directed at recent film, TV and media grads, there are ideas herein worth considering (which is why I am sharing old as I am).

What this article does well is to point out many simple and (to me) fairly obvious ways of using the new tools available in todays social and digital employment marketplace to get noticed, stay noticed, and make an impression that could lead to a job.

A job the millennials offering advice to you got from, wait for it, someone older than them. Maybe even as old as me.

REAL TALK: HERE’S WHAT 22-YEAR-OLDS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THEIR FIRST JOB

Fortune interviewed millennials who graduated from college after the advent of Facebook and Twitter to get truthful advice on how recent graduates can navigate today’s job market.

Maybe it’s because we’re taught to find an older mentor. Or maybe it’s because people who are gray around the temples simply look wiser. Whatever the reason, when you’re fresh out of college, it’s tempting to seek career advice from the most accomplished people in the field you’re hoping to break into. But in reality, those execs chalked up most of their accomplishments in an entirely different economic, technological and professional landscape.

So Fortune talked to more recent college graduates — millennials who entered the workforce in the years after the economic crash and the invention of Twitter — about what they wish they’d known about getting a toehold in their career when they were 22. Continue reading First Job Advice from Millennials

Making a Good First Impression

Dear Lord, you are thinking this Howard guy sounds just like my parents. Yeah, yeah, yeah, if you want to get a job, don’t show up for an interview dressed like you’re going to a party, a pool, the Verde River, or any spot where cutoffs and a t-shirt are just fine as long as they don’t look like you slept in them for a week.

Oh, yeah, and have some idea what the job requires and who you are meeting.

I know you know all this, but what I have found surprising it that I can still actually meet someone looking for work and know from the get-go that they haven’t made the slightest effort to make a good first impression, to make me want to remember meeting them, knowing full well other candidates want that job.

I simply want to encourage you to avoid this mistake.

Now, there are MANY sites on the topic of “Making a Good First Impression” – far more than I ever imagined – and I advise you to read others than the one I have selected here as an example if you have the time and inclination.

But at least consider the following…

9 WAYS TO MAKE A GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION

By Peter Economy / The Leadership Guy @bizzwriter

  1. Be mindful of how you appear to others

From head to toe, you want to be sure that you are portraying the image that presents you in the best possible light. Prepare yourself well ahead of time and put your best self forward–clothing, hair, accessories. This will make you feel your best and ultimately leave a great first impression. Continue reading Making a Good First Impression