The Importance of a Great Reference


Our Career Development team is a great resource, know them and know them well.

We’ve all been there. You’re on the cusp of graduation and have begun the job application process. You scan down to the line item on an application asking for references. You squirm. Stress sweat sets in and you ruminate about all of the possible people willing to provide a recommendation on your behalf. Maybe your older brother’s best friend from middle school would vouch for you. Maybe not.

All things considered, it’s important to hold onto those connections from previous work and life experiences. Studies have shown that staying connected through networking increases your chance to getting hired by 85 percent. It’s crucial that you stay in touch with your instructors and advisors long after you leave campus. Because when it comes down to being a top candidate, a stellar reference can make or break your chances of landing the job.

Here’s how a recent film graduate landed his dream job with the NFL because of a great reference.

Lumiere Awards

Gideon at the 2019 Advanced Imaging Society Awards

As told by Career Advisor, Steve Longo:

Earlier this year, one of our senior film students from the military program shot exclusive camera footage of Tom Cruise that aired on National TV.

Gideon Watson along with the LAFS production team got the opportunity to be the primary camera/production crew for the AIS Lumiere Awards back in January. Gideon was an integral part of the team as the DP. He captured the money shot of surprise guest Tom Cruise as he walked across the stage to present director Christopher McQuarrie with the Harold Lloyd Lumiere Award. After the successful shoot, Career Development helped Gideon upgrade his resume with video links to the behind-the-scenes footage of Tom Cruise.

Everything came together for Gideon as he was in the running for his dream job working with the NFL. Gideon’s resume made it to the final rounds of the Los Angeles Chargers’ Documentary Team. He was so close to fulfilling his lifelong dream, but the HR recruiter was unsure of Gideon as a candidate. It just so happened that other student candidates had more sports video experience on their reel, which Gideon did not. So Gideon put me (Steve Longo) down as a reference to solidify his credentials. When the recruiter called me, I told him the story of how Gideon met the moment and delivered under pressure with one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. The next day Gideon called me in tears saying he got the job. This was a SuperBowl moment for Career Development and our ALL-STAR GRADS!

Gideon Watson

Career advisor Steve Longo with Gideon on graduation day

“I was able to meet his family at graduation and feel truly a part of his career journey. This is my favorite moment of my first year on the job,” said Steve Longo, Career Development advisor.

Check out our Career Development page for more info about our amazing Career Development team at The Los Angeles Film School.