Most performers spend hours upon hours, not to mention a lot of money, preparing their headshots, resumes, and demo reels to send out to producers. After all this work, why torpedo yourself by not sending it out properly? Professional correspondence is of the utmost importance when you are trying to get a job. We wanted to provide you with a little advice about some common correspondence mistakes to avoid. Following a few of these basic “DOs & DON’Ts’” can set your audition package apart from the others in a very positive way.
First and foremost among the list of things to do is use professional Language in your email or letter. If you want producers to take you seriously, you must present yourself as a serious candidate. Yes, you’re an artist and a free spirit so feel free to be a little unique, however, you must still be professional. Avoid using slang terms like “lol”. Refrain from the smiley face. You aren’t writing a quick note to your girlfriend, this is a letter to a potential future employer. You should write in complete sentences and use proper grammar. We cannot stress enough the importance of PROOFREADING your email or letter. When a producer receives your email cluttered with errors it tells them you are lazy, not a person who pays attention to detail, and that you are not that interested in the job. If you want producers to take their time to look at your materials you must prove to them that you have taken the time to write them a well thought out and grammatically correct email.
Even when you follow the above advice to a “T”, there are still some less obvious dangers to avoid when emailing. For example, you need to ensure you are using a professional email address. “Bigbootydancer@hotmail.com” does not inspire the producer or casting director with a lot of confidence in your professionalism. You may also want to look into creating a professional signature for yourself that includes your phone number and email address. Do not mark your email as “urgent!”. You may think you are more likely to get your material viewed by doing this, however, it is more likely that you will just irritate the person you are trying to impress. A common mistake that really makes a big difference is leaving many casting director’s email addresses in copy on your email. You should be writing personalized emails to each casting director (in fact, it is best if you put something specific to that company or show in the email). If you do choose to send out one generic email, however, at the very least you should ensure that each email address is in blind copy. It looks extremely unprofessional to casting directors when they see you haven’t taken any time at all to write them a personalized email.
There are a few other important reminders to observe when sending any correspondence to a producer or casting director. First, be sure to send a proper email/cover letter. Often talent will just send a resume and a link to their show reel. It looks very bad to a producer when you don’t even take the time to introduce yourself. In fact, more often than not, this will get your email sent directly to the trash without even being viewed. Be sure that within your package you include all pertinent information (i.e. headshot, resume, demo reel, full body shot). Its best to provide them with all of the information you have and let them choose what they want/need to look at. One final thing to keep in mind is that you should keep your file sizes small. You do not want to take up their entire inbox with huge files for your headshot or video.
Professional correspondence is absolutely vital if you wish to make a good impression on a casting director. The way you present yourself tells them a lot about the kind of employee they would be hiring. Something as small as not proofreading well could be the difference between you getting the gig or not getting the gig. Hopefully armed with these tips you are ready to go out and make a great first impression.