Here are ten short tips for people to look professional so that you will more likely get hired.
1. Use proper grammar. If you are looking for a job (and this means any job, whether it's trying to get an internship or trying to get the role as an actor) and you send emails with bad grammar, that's a huge turn off. Sound professional and look like you have a brain.
2. Format your resume correctly, and make sure it is professional. I hate it when I see resumes that look like either the person thought they were better than they are or if they look like they are really lazy. By these two statements, I mean this: sometimes, someone doesn't seem to give a crap about their resume because they misspell words or they don't use consistent formatting and text. This just looks really unprofessional and will make an employer just toss your resume out. On the other hand, employers don't want to hear stupid things that you did since you were really young, like if you've owned your own business or something. If you don't have impressive things to say about it, don't mention it. Saying, "I've owned many businesses since I've been five years old" makes no sense. What does that even mean? Give details about impressive things. Sure I can say I designed a ferris wheel. But the detail I left out was that it was made of K'Nex and only 2 feet tall. I'm sure the company you're applying to will want to know what the ferris wheel was for, who else you worked with, and where it is located. So, don't put in things that sound impressive if they really are not, or if they only are to you and your parents. You'll look like a fool.
3. Always respond to emails and messages promptly. Don't delay! Return phone calls and respond to emails within one day. The only excuse for not returning a message is if you are going somewhere and don't have access to Internet. But messages not responded to within one day are often viewed by potential employers as not important to you, so why would they hire someone who doesn't think their company is important?
4. Arrive on time or early. No, it is not stylish to arrive to an appointment fashionably late, it's just rude. If you arrive even a few minutes after your scheduled arrival time, you aren't a true professional.
5. Don't be afraid to make phone calls. If you're not willing to call people you don't know well because you're nervous and think texting and emailing is easier, you should crawl back home to your parents. I know so many people who always feel awkward making calls, and opt to use written messages instead. You have to be willing to make follow up calls after submitting a resume. And if you're scared to return missed calls, you will get nowhere. Everyone in the professional industry almost always needs to speak over the phone if it's something urgent, and they don't like to deal with people who just email you back instead of returning a call.
But: the same actually goes the other way around too: if someone emails you and doesn't ask you to call them back, don't. Don't just call someone because you see they emailed you. Chances are they emailed you because they are too busy to call you, and if you insist on calling them all the time you are going to annoy them.
6. Have business cards (I highly recommend VistaPrint, as they are low priced and offer great quality cards. Not that this will make a difference between you getting and not getting a job, but it definitely won't hurt you in your quest to look professional. It looks much more impressive to people when they ask for your number and you pull out a card.
7. Have a website. This is another one of those things that makes you appear more professional. Having an actual website besides Facebook will really make you stand out, and let potential employers know that you take your work seriously. Obviously being in the entertainment business as an actor almost requires you to have a website, but it is also great to have one for other fields. You can put works from your portfolio on it, as well as your resume, headshot, and contact information. Always keep it updated with a biography about yourself and things that can help show to people who you are and what you do.
8. Have a professional email address. This means not having something that says email@example.com. That is terribly unprofessional. Remember, you are likely going to be judged by your email address, and you really don't want something like firstname.lastname@example.org unless you're applying for a job as a porn star. Keep it simple, with your name, and make sure you check your emails regularly.
9. Have a good voicemail greeting. Don't have something that's like, "Hey guys, I'm not here right now, so leave me a message now, bitch!" because it will definitely result in nobody except your friends ever calling you again. Same with something like: "Leave a message." A message like this makes it seem like you think you are better than the person calling you and they are not worth your time. Unprofessional.
10. Be confident. This is probably one of the most important things to keep in mind if you want to succeed. No matter how many times people tell us not to judge a book by it's cover, we always will. If you appear confident in whatever you are doing in life, or appear to know what you are talking about all the time even if you don't (or for that fact say with confidence that you don't know enough about this topic to continue discussing it), people will like you much more and feel that you have what it takes to be hired. You will be viewed as a true professional. Whether or not you actually are confident doesn't matter, because if people believe you are and you project an air of confidence, you will become confident.
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