Want some pointers on how to nab yourself an entry-level career in the terrifyingly popular realm of film and video editing? We had the chance to speak to a chap who has literally ALL the beans – and he’s willing to spill them.
When we found out that Arjun Chatterji, CEO of interactive online film training, development and networking platform Imaginox, hired his editor through Enternships, we couldn’t resist prodding him for insider tips on what makes a candidate stand out.
1). It’s notoriously difficult to get into the creative industry. Is there anything candidates can do to improve their chances – especially those who don’t have a creative background?
A candidate stands a far better chance of getting hired within the creative industries if they demonstrate 1) simple professionalism and 2) a genuine passion for the industry or the specific discipline for which they are applying.
On the professionalism front: a well-worded CV and covering letter is the first impression that a candidate will make. That’s why it’s important to make sure you check it through several times for any spelling or grammatical mistakes.
However, do feel free to veer away from a prosaic and ubiquitous formula – employers feel a real sense of disappointment if a candidate has obviously cut-and-pasted the text from the hundreds of other applications that they are sending out. Make the employer feel like you understand their business, their corporate culture and their vision – if that shared common purpose and synergy comes across in an opening letter, the candidate stands a very good chance of at least making it through to the interview stage.
As far as relevant qualifications are concerned? To be honest… if you’re open-minded, curious, industrious and intelligent, you will pick up most of the skills required very quickly within the workplace itself. And, if not, any employer worth their salt will train up their staff internally.
Having the right attitude and a genuine enthusiasm and understanding of both the industry and the role that you are applying for will certainly stand anyone (even if not from a creative background) in good stead.
2) For any aspiring editors out there, what advice would you give to help them really stand out when they apply for jobs?
From experience, we received dozens of CVs when we were searching for an editor for Imaginox through Enternships. The candidate we eventually picked stood out for several reasons: firstly, he showed professionalism, in that his CV was clear and concise as well as backed up with impressive testimonials and references.
Secondly, he demonstrated a genuine passion for what we were trying to achieve and proactively added his thoughts on how we might further develop the company – which was refreshingly honest, and at the same time showed us that he had some edge and could challenge the status quo, rather than just accepting what was put in front of him.
Lastly: he sent an email after the interview to reaffirm how much he wanted the job.
Given that we were a startup and wanted someone who was prepared to work equally as hard as any other member of the team, all of those qualities gave us the confidence to hire him.
3) Tell us about the process you went through when hiring your editor through Enternships. Did you take him on as an intern initially?
After sifting through 15 or so CVs for the position, we shortlisted 5 candidates. We wrote to all the other applicants – giving some limited feedback on why they had not progressed to the next stage of the hiring process.
We then drew up a list of 10 – 15 interview questions and a panel of three Imaginox staff kept a variety of scores on each candidate as the interview progressed. Finally, after the interviews, we had a group discussion and quickly came to an agreeable consensus on who we would hire.
Our editor worked with us as an intern for three months, after which he transitioned to a short-term and paid freelancer contract, which lasted for roughly another nine months. He worked with us very successfully for over a year before moving onto new pastures; he was a genuine asset to the company and we wish him every success in the future.
All pumped up and ready to go? Our platter of jobs and internships awaits your perusal.