January 14, 2009

7 ways to improve your chances of getting a Music job

1) Update your Music Jobs profile! I can’t stress this enough. I see lots of profiles for people who sign up, no picture, no CV, and then sit back and wait. The industry doesn’t work like that, you have to show what you can do. That includes on your profile page; scores of companies view hundreds of pages every month (stats) – make yours one of them

2) Become ACTIVE in the social communities. They really are shaping the future on so many levels, from the way people share feedback on internet radio to Obama’s US election campaign. If you are potentially going to become one of my employees, I want to know that you are serious about the industry. One way I can see this is if you comment on the big music news; it shows that you are on the ball and that you are able to form an opinion. This is a whole new dimension to networking in person, and that has always been a key to the industry. Now, I’d honestly say that BOTH are of equal importance.

3) Start a blog. A blog should be seen as an extension of your resume. It can offer proof of your knowledge and insight, as well as a way to exercise your brain and keep you on top of your game, even if you only get 10 hits a day. This article should fully convince you, and also offers start-up tips, in the form of due diligence (not as scary as it sounds), finding your true voice and beginning in ‘stealth’ mode.

4) Keep your CV up to date. There are endless websites offering helpful tips, including how to make your CV a good, readable length, a smart and original layout and even helping to explain recent layoffs and career changes. Suck at spelling and grammar? Get a friend to check it over with you.

5) Internships. Yeah, I know, working for free sucks, and maybe it shouldn’t be allowed. But to be brutally honest, supply exceeds demand in the music industry, like many of the arts. Internships should not be seen as a step down, as they can open up so many new avenues and a whole new career opportunity. Even if they don’t lead directly to a new position, your CV will look so much stronger if you have got off your butt and worked one day a week at a radio station for a few months, then you spent 6 weeks helping out at a magazine. If you’ve not had anything music related since your education (or at all), you should really think again about internships.

6) Create your own work. There has never been a better time to go Indie, and you can apply that way of thinking to any aspect of the industry. Start that record label you and your buddies have always talked about. Invest in some equipment so you can hire yourself out as a Mobile DJ. Even write your own e-book. You will be surprised where it may take you, onto remix work for other labels? A regular gig at a guy’s bar (who’s brother’s wedding you performed at)? A publishing deal or magazine column? It may take a while, but you stand a far better chance if you are out there hustling away doing your own thing. Again, it’s proof that you are dedicated.

7) Go to events. Prepared. I’ll be honest (again!), this is something that I’m slacking at. I know it is important to get out there and meet new faces, check out new technologies, swap details and then follow up, but I have been a bit rubbish over the last couple of years. Being prepared simply means spending a reasonable amount of time and money on some good business cards/ CDs/ DVDs/ Press kits. I know it will greatly improve my media and marketing base if I get out to parties, conferences and exhibitions, and that is what I’m going to start doing. Join me.

So, there you have it. Of course I’m not saying this is definitive, and results may fluctuate with the weather, but I promise that these are fundamentals on your path to success.

Lee Jarvis.

Cross-posted at UK Music Jobs

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