A production assistant job is an exciting first step into the world of film and television production. This entry-level position allows you to get on set and see if the world of cinema is where you want to be. Production assistants get a front row seat to the inner workings of today’s industry and the chance to advance by making connections and learning the ropes.
In order to land one of these coveted positions, you’ll need a resume that glitters and shines. Production assistant positions can be competitive and often work based on previous connections, thus having the right material on your resume is key to getting a call back.
Luckily, Resume.io is here to help. This production assistant resume example along with our adaptable production assistant resume sample, tips and tools will give you all the resources you need to create a resume that lands you your dream PA gig.
Here’s what we’ll cover in the rest of this production assistant resume example:
- What does a production assistant actually do?
- The secrets of writing a great production assistant resume sample
- Your options when it comes to choosing a resume format
- How to create the best first impression with your resume layout
What does a production assistant do?
It’s not a coincidence that “production assistant” is a relatively vague term. A PA does pretty much anything and everything needed to aid in the production of a movie or TV show including tasks like:
- Printing and delivering scripts
- Getting coffee or snacks
- Answering phones and taking notes
- Communicating between teams
- Helping with actors or talent needs
- Running equipment from one place to another
- Driving cast and crew between locations
- Compiling research
According to the Nashville Film Institute, the average annual salary for production assistants is $34,300 depending on experience and location. Many PAs work as freelancers and are paid day rates between 150 and 200 dollars.
How to write a production assistant resume
As with many entry-level positions, the trick of writing a production assistant resume example is showing why you’re more qualified than another candidate with a near-identical profile. Your passion for TV and movies is a good start, but you’ll also need to prove you’ve got the right skills to succeed in a sometimes demanding job.
For starters, your production assistant CV will need several basic categories found on most typical resumes including:
- The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The resume skills section
- The education section
Make sure to do your homework before submitting your production assistant resume sample. What type of production is this? How big is the budget? Roughly how many people can you expect to find on set? Make sure to focus on the unique needs of the particular job. For example, a television travel show filming in multiple locations will care much more about your driving abilities than a studio movie shot mostly in front of a green screen.
Choosing the best resume format for production assistants
Many job seekers have only heard of one resume format called the reverse chronological format. With this model, you begin your work history section with your most recent position and work backwards until you’ve listed all relevant experience. This resume format works great in a variety of traditional industries and can even be a good choice for production assistants.
However, it’s not your only option.
For production assistants who don’t have a laundry list of recent credits to show or who have specialized in one area of production, the combination resume format might be the best choice. This resume format starts with an overview of your skills or experience areas before moving on to a more traditional chronological work history section. It’s a great way to highlight your strengths, even if you don’t have a ton of work experience.
Optimize for the ATS
While many PA jobs are filled via word of mouth or other industry connections, some television jobs require applicants to submit resumes via online application portals. These types of submissions often pass through resume scanners known as ATS before landing on the hiring manager’s desk. The ATS searches your production assistant resume sample for keywords and ranks it against the other applicants. Only the top percentage of candidates make it through. It may seem daunting, but there are some concrete steps you can take to increase your chances of passing this test:
- Read the job description and take note which skills or duties the employer emphasises
- Incorporate these items into your resume using the exact wording from the job description
- Create a resume design with clearly defined sections so the ATS algorithm can easily find the keywords you’ve included
Production assistant CV summary example
Your CV’s summary example, sometimes called a profile or personal statement, is your one chance to speak directly to the hiring manager or production coordinator and even offer a glimpse of your professional personality. This CV section is made up of 3-5 sentences that describe you, your skills, experiences and relevant education without offering too many details. Make sure to check the job description once more and include any highly relevant information right in the beginning of your summary to impress both the ATS and the production coordinator.
You can see these tips in action in our adaptable production assistant resume sample.
Action verbs can help you convey authority and effectiveness on your production assistant resume example even if you don’t have a ton of film experience. Here are some words to get you started:
Dynamic and trained Production Assistant with an impressive background of providing optimal support to production departments. Skilled in handling various tasks associated with production processes, including the management of complex calendars and the coordination of logistics. Adept in providing support for multiple productions at once, and committed to prioritizing and achieving goals.
Employment history example
While production assistant may be an entry-level position, every relevant experience you can list in the employment history section of your resume puts you one step closer to landing this next position. That’s because employers want to know that you understand what qualities are needed to succeed on set, making their job much easier.
Create a list of your most recent productions or relevant experiences, working backwards from your current one. Make sure to include the title of the production, the company behind it, the dates and location. Underneath, create bullet points that highlight the most important skills you learned from that job. Offer details, facts and statistics whenever possible to show how your involvement made everyone’s job easier.
Check out the employment history example from our adaptable production assistant resume sample for more details:
November 2016 - September 2019
Production Assistant, Print Power Productions, Los Angeles
- Handled diverse responsibilities by bringing forth an exceptional ability to multitask and focus.
- Read and organized production emails, and created calendars and schedules accordingly.
- Scheduled team meetings and served as a source of communication for production teams.
- Created expense reports and handled various support tasks for managers, directors, and coordinators.
August 2014 - October 2016
Freelance Production Assistant
- Effectively managed multiple projects, delivering optimal results for video productions.
- Collaborated with editing teams to ensure all requests were fulfilled.
- Assisted with the editing of daily compilation pieces.
- Curated meaningful content across multiple media platforms.
- Suggested creative and practical changes to scripts when inspired.
Skills example section
While many of a PA’s skills can be learned on the job, having some specialized knowledge can only serve to put you ahead of the competition. Your skills section is the best place to highlight qualities that can be described in a word or two. The bullet point format works especially well for any technical abilities (often called hard skills) like video editing software, script writing programs or even your driver's license.
- Production Management
- Sound Production and Design
- Pre and Post Production
- Excellent Support Skills
- Technical Lighting Skills
Production assistant resume education example
Production assistants don’t necessarily need formal education, but that doesn’t mean your education section is wasted space. Coursework in film or television, a degree in progress or even a degree in a related field can help show that you’re passionate about the industry and plan to be in it for the long haul. If you’ve completed any higher education, it’s best to leave your high school off your resume.
Check out our production assistant resume example for the best way to format your education section.
Bachelor of Production, The Los Angeles Film School
September 2013 - May 2016
High School Diploma, Venice High School
September 2007 - June 2011
Resume layout and design
Film is an entire industry based on appearances so it’s no surprise that a good-looking resume is one of the most important things you can do to increase your chances of standing out to the production coordinator. A pop of color or attractive header can help to create a polished presentation and show you’re serious about the job.
If you don’t have time to waste fussing with word processors or graphic design software, a resume template might be able to help. These professional designs make it easy for you to plug in your information and download a finished resume in a few clicks. For production assistant resume samples, we recommend our collection of creative and modern templates.
- Take special care to make sure your resume stands out visually in its design, structure and organization.
- Use tools and software specifically designed to create high-quality resumes and/or use professional and tested resume templates and resume examples.
- Leave the visual presentation of your resume on the sidelines or make it an afterthought. Looks and impressions matter.
- Waste time trying to fiddle with poor designs or create one from scratch (unless you’re a professional designer of course!).
Key takeaways for a production assistant resume
- A production assistant position is a great gateway into the world of film and television production, but you’ll need a great resume to land this competitive entry-level position.
- If you’re looking for a way to differentiate yourself, a combination resume format can allow you to highlight specialized knowledge or relevant skills even without a ton of work experience.
- Your summary is the best place to speak to your strengths and make an impact. Offer only the most important details to encourage a hiring manager to keep reading.
- You can highlight your passion for the industry through your education section and any relevant coursework or degrees.
- Visual presentation is one of the most important elements of a winning production assistant resume sample. Make sure to create a strong header or use a resume template to give you a head start.