The media and entertainment industry creates more than 2 million employment opportunities every year in the U.S. If you are one of the many talented and hardworking candidates looking for an entertainment job, know there are plenty of options. But do you have the correct resume to apply for a job and get it? Chances are you don’t! That’s why we recommend checking out our comprehensive guide to the entertainment industry below.
Choosing the type of resume that suits you best is very important to getting that job. That’s why we start our guide by studying the three standard resume formats.
More entertainment job titles
Current trends impacting entertainment jobs
The over-the-top (OTT) market, otherwise known as direct-to-consumer through streaming, is the most critical growing trend in the entertainment industry today. According to Business Wire, this market is projected to have an annual compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.22% in revenue and 2.25% in subscribers between 2020-2025. The improved availability of fixed broadband has exploded data consumption via smartphones, which will grow even further with the coming adoption of 5G networks. Revenue from subscription video on demand (SVOD) will double that of the U.S. box office in 2024, according to analysts at PriceWaterhouseCoopers(PwC). And Netflix and Amazon, unsurprisingly, are the top two U.S.-based OTT vendors, with Disney+, Roku, HBO Max right behind them.
OTT streaming content will be broadly available through streaming services, leading the above networks to invest in more original content, creating more employment opportunities in different roles like actors, directors, producers, video, and film editors. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment growth between 2019-2029 will be 10% for producers and directors and 22% for film editors and camera operators.
See What People are Saying About Us
Average salaries and employment outlook
A career in the entertainment industry is usually separated into two types: technical-based entertainment production jobs, such as VFX artists in movies, and presentation jobs, such as acting and directing. A varied range of careers, such as costume designers, hairstylists, casting directors, stunt persons, makeup artists, location managers, and archivists, don’t always fit exactly into those categories but usually are connected to the technical side of things.
Technical-based entertainment production
The entertainment industry has many job opportunities in technical production, including computer simulation, interactive environments, and purely IT work. Combining the theater arts with technical certifications such as computer technology and electrical engineering enhances your opportunities in the industry. Working on a side project while doing a specialized technical course allows you to showcase your talent and explore new techniques.
Job Outlook 2020–2029
The employment of cinematographers will grow 14% from 2019 through 2029 — 33,800 jobs through 2029.
Video Producer and Editor
This category is about to see an increase of 22% in employment — much faster than average — by 2029, with 12,400 new jobs projected.
Presentation or characterization jobs
The presentation or characterization-type jobs in the entertainment industry are challenging and require a lot of commitment. Most actors and directors, singers and DJs face much rejection early in their careers. If you have a passion for this type of job, you should be willing to work very hard.
Job Outlook 2020–2029
The employment of actors is presumed to grow by 3% by 2029, creating a total of 72,200 jobs in the U.S.
This category is presumed to face a 5% crash in employment by 2029, with 2,100 fewer jobs through 2029.
6 of the top skills needed for entertainment jobs
Employers from every industry expect candidates to have a range of soft skills like problem-solving abilities, resilience, and leadership. A blend of communication skills, personal attributes, character traits, social and emotional intelligence are soft skills that help a person work well in difficult environments, perform independently and in teams, and achieve all of their objectives.
Below are some of the top skills you need in the entertainment industry:
A confident demeanorThe entertainment industry is tough to break into and is pretty unsettled job-wise. It asks for a great degree of confidence and motivation to accept rejection and return with a passion and a smile on your face. One must be confident and emotionally centered on pushing themselves to take the initiative to continue to work hard.
Ability to interact effectivelyCommunication skills are critical (verbal and non-verbal) and are needed to communicate through digital platforms or in person. They always play a crucial role in negotiating, pitching, selling, developing work, and managing strong working dynamics. Good communication skills also help you present your ideas effectively using appropriate language. People who fail to communicate well may lose out on opportunities they otherwise might be perfect for.
Expertise in maintaining tight schedulesPlanning, managing teams, and working according to strict schedules is crucial in the entertainment industry. Technical and creative people often work long hours in variable environments and deal with demanding clients. For instance, directors and producers should be adept with the latest tech, such as Studio Binder Movie Software, which helps connect screenplays, script breakdowns, and shooting schedules. Adobe Creative Cloud and Google Workspace are other tools that can help entertainment workers manage the scheduling aspect of creative projects.
Proficiency in conflict managementGetting ahead in the entertainment industry means being persistent enough to face everyday challenges and solve problems that come along the way. Whether in conflict with work or dealing with difficult people, a problem-solving mindset enables you to think critically in finding a solution or keep your cool to get along positively.
Adept at prioritizing workPrioritizing work under pressure is a vital skill that helps you manage your tasks well. The entertainment industry is often unpredictable; unavoidable situations or technical errors may occur.
Working knowledge of latest softwareThe entertainment industry values both technical and creative people. If you work on the technical side, you must attain hands-on knowledge of the most important new tech. For example, the latest technology and software related to recording, designing, and editing is a must for a video producer to produce high-quality videos efficiently within the deadlines. Animation and motion graphics also play an instrumental role in communicating concepts, establishing branding for products and services, and entertaining audiences.
Educational requirements for entertainment job
Many jobs in the entertainment industry require you to have a bachelor’s degree in writing, journalism, editing, mass communication, film, radio and television arts, graphic design, fine arts, or theater.
Producers and directors usually have a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, communications, or journalism and often have many years of experience as actors or cinematographers. Actors do not necessarily need a degree, but many have a bachelor’s in acting or related performance degrees. Electrical, sound, lighting workers, makeup, hair and wardrobe workers, sound editors, and designers should have at least an associate degree or vocational certificates in their respective fields. Editors typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in film, broadcasting, or related fields. A degree in music theory, composition, or conducting is an essential educational requirement for composers or other music careers.
Some prime institutions that offer the courses mentioned above are the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, Tennessee, and American University. The National Association of Schools of Theatre has accredited 189 institutions across the U.S. to conduct programs in theatre arts and related disciplines.
To demonstrate your capabilities, you can also aim for relevant certifications offered by online education companies, member associations and technology companies.
There are many online educators with proper certifications for entertainment jobs. They include the usual suspects like Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, HubSpot Academy, Udemy, and Udacity. Still, in recent years, many entertainment-focused companies like MasterClass have also gotten into the business, offering good acting, directing, and production classes.
You should still try to get any certifications from member associations, as well. The Certificate of Completion in Film Production by the American Film Institute is a two-year program that provides you with deep insights into different stages of production. Training programs are also a great way to amplify your career growth. The Academy of Arts and Sciences (the organization that gives out the Oscars every year) is also expected to provide certification courses in the next few years.
As for tech companies, the IP Foundation for Broadcast Engineers program by CISCO will teach you about Internet Protocol (IP) networking and the IP Fabric for Media Solution (IPFM). You will learn to identify different computer network components, applications, and protocols. There are also programs for verticals like cloud orchestration, data center, and collaboration. And most any other technology you use in entertainment, from editing software to camera lighting, offers certifications of their own.
Resume examples by experience level
Resume samples always come in handy while tailoring your own. First, choose a proper format that best displays your work experience. To do so, consider your experience in the job you are seeking and your work history. And if you’re a novice in the industry, you need to focus entirely on your skills and education sections.
Entertainment Resume Examples
3 tips to stand out and get the job you want
Do your research.If you want to work in TV or film, browse job listings on the web to see what the requirements are for the jobs. Learning skills based on job descriptions helps you know what is hot and not in the industry.
Keep your resume simple and eloquent.
Clarity: If you write clearly and directly, you will enhance the resume’s readability — remember that employers spend an average of seven seconds scanning each resume! So select a perfect layout with a clean font, quantify your accomplishments, and keep the writing simple.
Parse with keywords: Use keywords found in job descriptions in your resume, especially in the summary and your skills section.
Attach a cover letter and portfolio: A cover letter outlines your experience in the industry and states how you are qualified for the job. It highlights your expertise in a most compelling way, which then imparts an excellent impression to the employer. Write an easy-to-read cover letter with specific details of your skills, experience, and achievements that complement the job you are applying for. Also, don’t forget to add your demo reel or portfolio to display your best work to the employers.
Climb the career ladder.
Make connections: Look up alumni, friends, and family who may be connected with entertainment insiders. Talk to them personally, let them know your passion for the job, and ask them politely to refer you in case of any openings. They can also help you attend professional workshops, conferences and may allow you to participate in other networking events.
Work without compensation or low pay: New entrants in the entertainment industry often work without salary or little income. It helps you to develop your craft and build a network by meeting people from the industry. People usually work as unpaid interns on movie sets for a short while to gain knowledge.
Be persistent and patient: Getting entry into the entertainment industry is tough. It may take years to get an opportunity or to create a network of connections. Patience and persistence is the key to accepting rejection and motivating yourself. Look at the positive side of the situation, assess your skills constantly, and improve in every possible way.
4 easy steps to build an interview-winning entertainment resume
Choose from more than a dozen eye-catching professional design templates that will help you create a unique resume employers will notice.
Find the right words
Writing your resume is a snap — just use our pre-written text bullet points to showcase your skills and accomplishments.
Get step-by-step advice
We’re there for you, every step of the way. Our professional resume tips and guidance will save you time and help your resume stand out from the competition!
Format your finished resume
Our simple editing tools make it easy to get exactly the resume you want. Download in your choice of formats, then print and send as many copies as you need.
What are some popular entertainment careers?
The U.S. entertainment industry is a vast market and provides a pool of opportunities for writers, actors, producers, directors, technical experts, and various film crew jobs. In addition to the above positions, there are entry-level jobs assisting directors, light and sound jobs, makeup and hair teams, and cinematography. Post-production jobs include editors, sound editors and designers, visual effect artists, and composers.
What are some relevant degrees for the entertainment industry?
Bachelor’s degrees in writing, acting, journalism, communications, broadcasting, music, and other film-related fields are good for starting your journey. In the production phase, people often require associate or vocational certifications.
How do I create an entertainment industry resume?
A resume for the entertainment industry is different from other sectors, except in the work details. You will need data about how successful your TV show or a movie was and how you were involved in it, for example.
How do I get into the entertainment industry?
The entertainment industry is a highly demanding and rewarding environment to work in and is equally tough to get into. It suits people with thick skin. You have to attend many training workshops conducted by industry professionals to enhance your technical skills and nurture your talent. You also have to create a portfolio that best showcases your work.