Q. Should I be limiting myself to development internships? I haven't applied to any jobs as an assistant only because I don't meet their qualifications e.g. no prior experience as an assistant or in an office either. Would I be wasting my time if I applied for those much sought-after jobs without any referrals and experience? I think people hire more on personality and character because most people can be trained to do their jobs and usually are.
When I was hiring assistants for other people, I looked for someone who seemed intelligent and organized and could learn
how to assist.
Obviously typing's a plus. Spelling is crucial. Typo on resume = immediate rejection.
But personally I looked for education and evidence of brains. And panache. I want to work with someone I'm going to enjoy the company of, who can do the job.
Obviously you should pull every favor and leverage every acquaintance you can. And you should be politely perserverent. E.g. the guy who calls once every month or two, at convenient times, will create a good impression.
Enthusiasm is really the most important thing after competence. Willingness to go the extra few miles. That's why internships are so crucial: they allow you to show just how enthusiastic you are.
I don't know anyone who's ever got a job by shotgunning resumes. You hear about people who decided where they wanted to work and found a way to make themselves inevitable. Job boards work. Classifieds are iffy unless you have a way to stand out. The other people who are applying for those assistant positions went to Ivy League schools and have secondary degrees.
I think rather than trying to get a development assistant job, you should try to get a job as an assistant to a literary agent (one who handles screenwriters). You'll learn more about what kind of script gets set up. You'll see more material. You'll talk to more development people. And agents are always cycling through assistants.
In showbiz these days, the agents know everything. The development people know very little. The pay is, I think, slightly better as a development assistant, but it's harder to climb out of the assistant job than it is at an agency. And at an agency, you're more likely to hear about a development exec job you're qualified for than you are working at one company.
Showbiz is all about information. Start at an agency. Get the information. Or as the button says, "Knowledge is power. Power corrupts. Study hard. Be evil."