How to Catch the Eye of a Festival
Festivals are dynamic, pressure-filled, inspiring and full of folk we like to call “festival animals” - people who can’t get enough of them.
There is always a vast number of opportunities and contract lengths available in every area of a festival. For the most part, there is truly something for everyone.
How to nab that much sought after role however, is another story completely.
We thought we’d help you out as to what kind of things our Festival looks for in particular.
Our Head of People and Culture, Jess, gave us the scoop.
What are a few key things that catch your eye on a cover letter and resume?
Jess: Perth Festival attracts hundreds of brilliant applicants for every role we post, so formatting your cover letter and CV in a way that makes it easy for the recruiter to navigate your experience makes a big difference. Clear bullet points outlining key experience, bold emphasis on points that relate to the selection criteria and always sending documents through as a PDF will help candidates to get noticed.
Follow up q - How does this make someone stand out from the crowd?
J: It demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to read the position description / selection criteria and that you understand the role you’re applying for.
What is the most common mistake someone makes in a cover letter and resume?
J: In the cover letter – listing the wrong company! Attention to detail is so important. In the resume, listing lots of experience that isn’t relevant to the role makes it tricky for a recruiter to understand what skills are transferrable. List your most relevant experience first, even if it is not your most recent experience.
What should an applicant always include, particularly if they want to work at a Festival?
J: A cover letter that clearly articulates why you want to work for Perth Festival and proactively addresses any experience gaps, eg. “Whilst I have not used Datafest in the past, I have used other scheduling systems with similar functionality and pick up new programs quickly”.
Why should someone apply to work in a festival setting?
J: There are very few work environments where every single team member is totally passionate about the product. We are all working toward the same goal of enriching life through art in Western Australia and that’s pretty special. No two days look the same and everyone’s contribution is truly valued.
Favourite moment in an interview?
J: I’m certainly not recommending this, but I had a candidate take a phone call mid-interview once and have a chat to one of their mates like we weren’t even there!
My favourite moment of every interview is when I see the candidate relax in to the conversation and really sell their experience. You wouldn’t have secured an interview if you didn’t have great experience, so feel confident to promote yourself.
Any cheeky hints you can send our way for a good application/interview?
J: Top tips for a good application:
- Be specific about the experience that relates to the role you’re applying for
- Bullet point the key experience from each of your past roles
- Keep it brief – 1 page for the cover letter and 2 – 3 pages for the CV
Top tips for a good interview:
- Relax – you’re in the room because you submitted a great application and we want to find out more about you
- Sell yourself – don’t be afraid to humble-brag about your accomplishments using specific examples
- Take your time – if you need to think about your response, don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat the question and take a moment to reflect on the best example
- Come prepared with some questions to ask the panel at the end of the interview – we need to be the right fit for you too!
Want to see what Perth Festival might have in store for you? Check out our current job opportunities here.