Own It: We Work Hard, We Should Say So

As I’m working on my website revisions (which have kept me busy for the last two days), and as a result, my electronic résumé, I’ve come to the conclusion that my old résumé was pretty shitty.  Yes, it showed that I had done a lot.  But I didn’t own it.  I presented what I did, but not what I had accomplished.

I think it’s a mistake that we all make.  When we’re under the gun and we need to update that résumé, the first things that come to mind are the tasks.  “Produced rough and final edits of all episodes,”  “Worked on set and in studio to provide rough edits and dailies.”  It’s accurate, but it’s not very inspiring.  You know you worked your ass off on that project.  Anyone reading your résumé should to.  You need to put some more thought into how to write it, but once you put that thought into it and switch from presenting tasks to accomplishments, the résumé reads much more impressively.

Rather than, “Produced rough and final edits of all episodes,”, I can say “Provided full video editing services to an independent production in need of promotional videos, trailers, and episodes.”  That more fully encompasses my role in Issues, and reads more impressively.

The next one is even better.  I kept an account of how much time I worked on each episode of the show.  That didn’t count capturing footage (which I did on set in an automated process while I worked on other things), or soundtrack scoring, which wasn’t handled by me.  The time it took me to get one episode of Issues from camera raw to fully finished was about 24 hours per episode.  That counted rendering time, since my editing system was dedicated wholly to that episode during rendering time.

So “Worked on set and in studio to provide rough edits and dailies,” became “24 hour (non-consecutive) turnaround time for editing an episode from camera raw to finished episode (not including scoring).”  Reads much more forcefully, and gives a better idea of exactly how I edited.  Typically, editing an episode of Issues took place in 3 8-hour sessions.  Much of that was spent on audio, which required major adjustments in each episode due to only having one microphone to record with.  Which led to a third point.  I was learning Soundtrack Pro as I was editing Issues.  I didn’t want to make the show a guinea pig, since I was under tight deadlines.  So, point 3 is “Diligently adjusted all vocal levels by hand until software was acquired that semi-automated the process.”

(I’m happy to report that since then, I’ve become much more comfortable with Soundtrack Pro, and will be using it in all future projects when appropriate.)

Three hard hitting bullets.  They may still be tweaked, but it’s a start.  I’ve worked extremely hard on that show, and I want to portray that to anyone else thinking of hiring me.

So that’s my challenge for all you editors out there.  Don’t tell people what you did.  Tell them what you accomplished instead.  We all work hard at our jobs.  It takes hard work to put together a good finished product.  Let everyone know about it.

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