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Resumes: Do they work for animators ?

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Resumes: Do they work for animators ?

RESUMES :confused:

How many animators out there nailed more projects and jobs with resumes than without resumes?

How many studio execs. place more importance on resumes than demos?

Do you lend equal weight to both?

How many animators nailed projects/jobs without resumes, only on the strength of their demos and portfolio samples?

How many nailed projects/jobs by demonstrating their skills through test scene auditions?

Thought it might be interesting to gather a cross section analysis of the results of these varied ways of demonstrating qualifications used by different applicants.

When I have nailed the job (it's been a long time) it's been on portfolio. I find though if I am being interviewed by a non-artist (Administrator of a school or game place) it's like they haven't read the resume or are thrown by the portfolio. They'll act they've read the resume and mention the first thing that catches their eye: "Oh.....I see you've......uh....illustrated children's stories.....". Then I surmise thinks to themself, we're not looking for an illustrator,missing the pertinent info. ANd I know for a fact there's ageism out there by something said at an interview. I wanted to include high school info going back 25 years to show I was cartooning before it was cool but my wife told me to take that out. I believe she's right.

what I've been told...

I don't know yet myself, having just graduated, but I will post again when I find out - as my resumes/reels just happen to be leaving in the morning!! (Wish me openings...luck is good too...)

However, what I wanted to add to this post is what was told to me by the President of a Toronto animation studio I was talking to. He/they:

a) look at the demo first
b) if they don't like the demo, they don't look at the resume
c) if they like the demo, then they look at the resume, but that for the most part their mind is already made up to hire you or not; the interview is the place where you basically could shoot yourself in the foot.
d) I personally would add in here that if your resume is completely inept and full of spelling mistakes, etc. that it wouldn't add to your credibility....

That all sounds kind of negative, but the clincher was that he hoped to see something creative and interesting that would catch his eye around the demo box to make him put it in the VCR in the first place. For example, if a person made their demo box their resume or had some full colour modelling shot, or other things that are different. He also said that would show him creativity and a different way of thinking.

In my case, I have little screen shots of work I've done both on the box and the resume - the colour and something other than text 'catches' the eye and draws attention. And although I already have my own company doing web and graphic work, I created a new company image for myself as an animator and carried the theme throughout all my materials from the resume down to the labels on the reel.

In any case, will let you know what I think personally once I start hearing from some of the studios. Great question though...

Erin ;)
The only thing that is truly yours - that no one can take from you - is your attitude. So if you can take care of that, everything else in life becomes easier. ~unknown

I wouldn't do anything "cute" with my resume. I've even read from companies not to. And some companies, like Disney in their hey-day, used optical character recognition to scan the resumes for key words. Save the pretty resume fo rthe interview.

C is for cookie....

I agree, cute is for puppies. Professional, however, is another story. As for OCR, it's not big anymore and in an industry where hundreds of reels can come in in a day, you need something today that does stand out from the rest - besides your talent.

Luckily for me, I am a graphic designer, and I would suggest that if others are going to go the same route, that they do talk to a professional, not just try to figure out something catchy....

Erin ;)
The only thing that is truly yours - that no one can take from you - is your attitude. So if you can take care of that, everything else in life becomes easier. ~unknown

Jeez... Sorry... I just found this thread... A bit late, I am aware, but I am replying to it nonetheless.

It all depends in what stage the person applying for the job is at in his/her career. If the person has got a LOT of experience, then I believe that it is the resume that gets him/her the job. In the resume, the employer can see the plethora of experience that the applicant has, and that is what will spark his/her interest.

Now a newbie to the animation field obviously has no experience listed on his/her resume (or very little), so the demo reel is what the employer is going to have to go on. However, while the demo reel will mean something, expect a test to PROVE, beyond a reasonable doubt that you can do the job in the necessary style.

To be honest, with experience, most jobs come from niether a resume or a portfolio. They come from word of mouth mainly. I Have not mailed a resume in the last 10 years, and have not had to, and I know most of my friends who have been around for any length of time are in the same boat. People will have heard of you, or will hear of you when they are looking for someone with your talents.

Anyways... Better late than never for this post I guess.


"Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard" - Paul Simon

Its 50/50 with me.

I've sent out more resumes this year than in all the other years of my career alone , and in several cases, recieved job offers or interest based on the experience listed in that document.

As was said before, if you have extensive experience it weighs more in favour of the resume' gaining notice and the portfolio cementing the decsion to hire.

I've used both, in fact a big chunk of my career has been without using either.
Its changed now because of the numbers of talent in the biz vying for jobs, and the propensity of recruiters, not always being artists themselves, who screen the stuff.


"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)