The music industry is a hard business to break into. This article is from Ariel Hyatt of Cyber PR. It raises a lot of good points about getting a job in the music industry. Here’s a short excerpt, but you can see the full article over on the Cyber PR Blog.
Step 1: Identify Your Ares of Interest
Search your mind. Ask yourself what part of the music business do you want to be in? Is it working at a label, a radio station, a publicity firm, an online marketing company, in touring, or digital distribution? You may not know the answer to this question yet and that’s alright. You are not supposed to know until you get some experience in a particular area. BUT if you don’t specify what you are looking to try, the people in charge of hiring you will have NO CLUE where you will fit or how they can fit you into their business. So having a list of general areas of interest is a necessity.
Here are two suggestions to help you get a working knowledge of what different parts of the music industry are available:
1. Read music business related websites like Hypebot & Music Think Tank and start reading articles and news. There are countless articles available advising musicians and marketers on how do tackle their own careers. If the articles resonate with you and seem interesting than you have found a good match.
2. Create a list of areas that you are interested in working in.
- Major Label(i.e. Sony, Warner) – Specify a department: Promotions, Publicity, Radio, Marketing, Licensing…
- Indie Label – You probably won’t need to specify departments they are small it will be all hands on deck.
- Indie Artist – Remember many artists are DIY and would love the help of a capable person so working for the artist is an option as well.
- Marketing Firm – There are many genres within: Regional, Online/ Digital, Tour, Specialty / Niche/Lifestyle
- Radio Station – Specify a department: On Air, Producer, Sales, Promotions, etc.
More: Publicity Firm, Management Company, Booking Agency, Indie Radio Promotions, Music Venue, Concert Promoter, Production / Recording Studio, Publishing Company, Film & TV Licensing, Special Events Company.
Research as much as you can in your chosen field. Again, think like a musician. There are a million resources available for musicians that list companies that help support them, and they all have websites that clearly show what they do and who their clients are.
Step 2: Make Your Dream List of Companies & Artists
If you love a specific band or artist, look up who they work with and put those companies on your list because nothing is more thrilling and satisfying than working for your favorite artists and bands (I still get a thrill out of that and I’ve been working in the music industry for 19 years).
Step 3:Rock Your Resume
Next, create the best resume you can put together. There are many websites, books, and even your career counseling office at school that can instruct you on how to do this so I’m not going to get into much detail here. But please heed this advice:
Be Concise – One page only
Be Detailed – What exactly did you do at the previous jobs that you list? These should express your talents.
Be Interesting – Include personal touches and hobbies or special interests.
Be Social - On your resume don’t forget to mention how many followers you have on Twitter, Facebook, and which music promotion social media sites you know how to use Last FM, ReverbNation, etc.
TIP: The music business tends to be informal, so you have some room to play with your resume and make your personality shine through more than you would on a “corporate” resume.