How to present your CV

Enough annoyed twitter rants, I will be more productive and helpful.

This is for young and budding job hunters looking to stake their place in a creative field, whether it’s writing, design, advertising, broadcast media, or publishing.

As someone who is sometimes tasked with filtering and screening applications, I have seen graduates of top schools make really bad mistakes with their application. Here are some tips to get you through the mess.

1) Do the one-page CV

Unless otherwise noted. Employers are not looking for your life story, they’re looking at how capable you will be in the job. They are also ridiculously busy, so make it as easy as possible to go through. Note your work experience in the field you’re applying for, filter out irrelevant work experience (you can put that under ‘skills’ if you must). Highlight your awards and achievements. And don’t forget your contact details.

2) Get your portfolio together

Not too long ago, we had to kill entire forests with prints and reprints of our portfolio and CV. In this day and age, you have no excuse not to have a portfolio. Go online, open up a tumblr, wix, wordpress, or blogspot account. Learn to work it. You don’t have to be a celebrity blogger, but you should learn to archive and collate your best work.

Remember: for as long as you write and/or design, you will always be working on your portfolio. Set up your account, then make a commitment to update and fill it up with as much work as possible. If you do not have a portfolio, you will not be taken seriously.

For writers starting out: If you haven’t been published, put in your most readable work. It can be samples of concept ad copy, short poetry and fiction, blog entries, amateur reviews, script treatments.

For starting artists and designers: scan your drawings, put in whatever it is you expertly photoshopped, concept ads, photography.

I think this article best sums up how to put together your portfolio (even for writers), so make it your bible: 9 steps to a better portfolio.

Rule of thumb with portfolios: always show your best, and a range of what you can do for the position you’re applying for.

3) Even if you personally know who you’re directing your CV and portfolio to, have a short cover letter.

This applies to print and e-mail. Chances are, your friend or whoever will not be the one to screen you. Even your CEO uncle, aunt, or friend, will have to forward it to HR or an assistant. For a cover letter, Put in a short and sweet paragraph that states what position you’re applying for, your skillset and experience (if any), and contact details (contact number and e-mail will suffice).

And for the love of christ, please proofread anything you write. Forget what your parents say: first impressions do matter. So refresh the basic rules of English subject-verb agreement.

Know of any other ways that helped you nab a creative job? Share it in the comments.


Viva Filipinas Futbol

Why football? Because, as the script says, the sport says so much about the Filipino spirit.

Sometimes, it’s that one goal that makes all the difference.

Co-written with Nikki del Carmen.

If you like what you read and see, “like” it for the ASEF Short Film Competition!

“Football had come a long way from its home in England. 

The sport had won the hearts of those outside of Europe, even in parts of Asia. 

Japan and Korea are recognized leaders in the game, and most of Southeast Asia followed and loved the beautiful game.

But in the Philippines, it began with one team.

A team that sought to make a name for themselves, even when few else followed their sport.

While most of the country found their heroes and medals in basketball, boxing, or billiards, they kept on playing football. 

They trained, they played to win, even when they were ignored.  

Even when they hit their lowest, they never gave up. 

Then came 2010, the AFF Suzuki Cup.

They swept through the group stages, undefeated.

Then came the game when they conquered defending champion, Vietnam.

For the first time ever, in the history of the team, they reached the semi-finals.

The news hit home, word spread, the country finally took notice. 

They cheered! 

No longer ignored, more people tuned in to follow the team as they prepared for their semi-finals. Bars and restaurants filled with fans, new and old, wanting to catch a glimpse of the game.

To everyone’s dismay, they were defeated. But, it was only the beginning. 

They may have lost the tournament, but won an even bigger battle: the hearts of their countrymen.

They left the country as underdogs, but came home accepted by many as Filipino champions. 

A team which started out as nobodies came home heroes.

And at THAT moment, it felt that Football was here to stay.

And sure, what does the Philippines know about Football? 

Not a lot, definitely.

But just like that one team, we WILL persevere, and we WILL overcome.

Because THAT is who we are, THAT is our story.”


Film by Nikki del Carmen

Written by Nikki del Carmen and Mia Marci

VO by Ebong Joson, the Blue Haired Fanatic

Like it? VOTE for it at the ASEF Short Film competition! Like it on the site!

An Open Letter to Globe Telecom

Dear Globe,

This is a profile of your average prepaid user. It would benefit you to read it.

I’ve had my prepaid number for about 10 years now. I do not have disposable income. I cannot apply for a postpaid line because I cannot promise to abide by its lock-in period, and my usage fluctuates according to use. Also, I cannot risk paying more than I sign up for.

So, for the purpose of additional work: just a little job for a little extra contacts and some money to keep me and my sister afloat, I needed to make calls. I wanted to sign up for Globe Duo. I was dangerously in my last 3 digits of my expense account, but those calls needed to be made. I forked over an equivalent to P400 worth of credits for the sole purpose of using your services.

I am told, though I’ve followed each keyword and number to a tee, that I have inputted the wrong keyword. I call up the call center service and a perky recording advises me that the service may not be availed because of the hundreds of thousands of people trying to avail it at the same time.

It has been 4 hours, and innumerable attempts to availing of this service to save me money. I still get an error message.

I am forced to make my calls at normal rates, which will use up even more money. More money I don’t have.

Thanks to you, I am down to a ridiculous sum in the bank that I have to magically stretch till payday. I invested in you as a service and you didn’t deliver.

Educated and fairly brought up as I am, I think in light of this foul, foul service, I have earned the right to say: you little shits.

What the Facts Say: A Sampling of Online Advocacy Behavior

What one ‘likes’ or ‘heart’ on tumblr reveals a lot about a person.

Some loose observations based on ‘Face the Facts‘ likes and trends:

-It is true: it helps to have a major blogger or figure vouch for your blog. The surge in popularity of Face the Facts would not be possible without the help of Carlos Celdran, who very kindly retweeted the url.

-A good chunk of its initial followers are Filipino teens, about as young as 15 or 16 years old. They tend to like or reblog the sex myths. Before parents freak out at how young they are, I think it’s a telling sign on what parents and even schools should be telling their kids. Be glad that the kids found the blog, imagine if they ended up in an unmoderated chatroom instead.

-A sad fact I was forced to face: the greater disasters will not be reblogged. A post on a local maternity hospital where it’s 3 patients to a bed went largely ignored, while a post on the poor talking about the RH bill ends up on tumblr radar. The post on RH Bill not being passed this year got as few as 3 hearts and only 1 reblog. This is a more interesting finding: generalizations have some kind of impact. It’s fine if you’re talking about the poor, but it’s another entirely if you have details on how it directly affects them. One is easier to digest than the other. Consider this article which touches on the point: What motivates people to give to charity by the authors of ‘Freakonomics’.

As for the dead reaction on the RH Bill dying – I wonder if it’s largely due to that newsbit overshadowed by the fuss on Gloria Arroyo’s medical treatment. Or have we simply given up?

What do you think?

Art as Conversation

My approach to art is to see if it works as a whole. I wasn’t wowed by Mideo Cruz’s “Poleteismo”, but I get it. If the only thing we see is a condom and a dildo over pictures of Jesus and Mary, then the criticism fails.

I overheard a colleague criticize Mideo Cruz’s work as being too controversial, because, “If this were a Middle Eastern country he’d be dead.” Yes, but then the rest of the world goes on to call them barbaric.

“Poleteismo” was shocking, but I wouldn’t say controversial because it is a slice of the real world. I thought what made it more disturbing for other people was the placement of pop culture posters right next to religious imagery. For those who thought it tasteless, I say they haven’t been inside a typical poorhouse where it’s not weird to see FHM posters are put up next to the Last Supper. It’s not about being sacrilegious to them. It’s just decor, it’s their aesthetic. Agree or disagree with it, it’s their concept of “maganda”.

As the debate on reproductive health rages on in the country: Do we also continue to deny that religion, Catholicism in particular, continues to meddle with what should be state issue of reproductive health? Review your facts. The symbolism of “Poleteismo” isn’t even that much of a stretch.

In the time I’ve spent with the arts, I have not seen any government or church body support or uphold a standard for art and aesthetic. I have seen a lot more toned down, even outright banned.

This is what agitates me most about the Mideo Cruz fiasco: why are we so concerned about what shouldn’t be seen, when we haven’t set the foundations for good, local art?

Recommended viewing: “Hamlet 2” by Andrew Fleming.

“It was stupid!” “Yes it was stupid, but it was also theater.”

Of catfood and songs

The Catfood Fiasco

[Read on the Rafa Santos catfood fiasco here]

Thing is: that isn’t the first time I heard the catfood analogy to theater pay. I’ve heard it before, from someone else in rehearsal room banter. That’s really what makes the difference: there are jokes you tell your friends, then there are the ones you don’t print or show.

Remember, remember, Joan Rivers and the eat your dog joke. It’s equivalent to the N word: fine and fun among friends, but it’s a media grenade onscreen.

While I’ve accepted his apology, and I do hope all the best for Rafa Santos, I also hope the community considers the repercussions of the statement. It takes guts to wade through the theater and freelance creative industry, especially one in a developing country. So far, I’m amazed that we continue to churn out talent and shows. We’re only as good as the gigs we get, and we’re very thinly protected by the labor laws.

For the most part, it’s a wild, wild, world out there. What I wish is that it gets us thinking of a standard for all engagements and companies to follow. We have the passion, we just need the regulations to allow us keep working at it.

Off into the world we go

Speaking of regulations, from what I know from working the trenches of the stage, I can take a guess as to why they imported a cast for the Songs of Andrew Lloyd concert. Abby wrote about the concert here, which also sums up my sentiments.

So, why the import? Let’s just say that just say that some companies didn’t abide by the fine print way back when, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

It’s a pity though, I remember before Miss Saigon got staged in Manila they’d frequently stage even grander revues with Philippine talent.

I enjoyed the show, but I firmly believe Pinoys could have done it better. I’m also slightly miffed that they got bigger showbuyers for it when they could have gotten a full show of equivalent, if not better caliber, for a competitive price.

Call me naive, but for all our accomplishments in the theater scene, I daresay we can market ourselves. It just needs the right push, and I haven’t seen that push in a long while.

Why Face the Facts?

Simple: cause almost everyone missed the point.

I’m glad that the church is challenged, I’m glad that there are people standing firm and saying that we are not the Friar state we used to be. But it really isn’t about that.

It is about the women and children who die at birth, who didn’t know the what and how to take care of themselves.

It is for an entire generation of women that were haunted by the trauma of their prom night, because they simply didn’t know any better.

It is about each scared high school girl who seriously believed that she could have an abortion by taking aspirin with coca-cola.

It’s about each teenage boy who couldn’t really understand what was happening to them, or comprehend the consequences of following what they felt.

For the parents who don’t know how to talk to their kids. For the kids who dared to ask, only to be punished.

For those who learned elsewhere but got lost in the fiction: in the magazines, the internet, urban legends, their adventurous friends.

The ones who learned in regret, in retrospect.

For lack of facts, we work with fiction and heresay.

These are the fictions that they believed in. Read it and weep.

With sexuality, ignorance is not bliss.

Add food for thought: we could get the right information out at zero cost.

Three little words: Face the facts. We need RH Bill 5043. We need to know.

Or face this fact: people will die from not knowing.