The Musician's Résumé – Part 1: Getting Started
March 29, 2013 at 8:23 PM
Photo by Nguyen Hung Vu
In a previous post on our Kennedy Violins blog, "How to Find Gigs: Musical Networking," I talked about ways to make connections within a music community when searching for performance opportunities. Diving further into the networking process, I want to zone in today on a specific and powerful networking tool: the musician's résumé.
DO I NEED A RÉSUMÉ?
Anyone and everyone looking for work needs a résumé, including musicians and performers. When you're a student, you rely heavily on your transcript as a reflection of your accomplishments, but once you've graduated from high school or college, your work experience becomes the substance of your marketability.
A SENSE OF DIRECTION
Where do you start when drafting your résumé? The first step is not to focus on where to begin, but where you want to end up. Think about your direction, motives, and professional goals. What kind of work are you looking for?
If you're primarily a performer looking for gigs, your résumé will highlight your performing experience. Or perhaps you are primarily a music educator looking for private students or a position as a professor, conductor, or school orchestra teacher. You may be interested in an administrative position with a music-related organization. There are so many different opportunities, so your résumé will target the type of employment you're looking for.
WHERE TO BEGIN
If you've come down with a case of writers block before you've even started, here are a few ideas:
FIND EXTRA HELP
Gleaning knowledge from other people can be extremely helpful as they offer you some extra perspective.
GET READY TO BRAG
Creating a résumé is a chance to highlight your best. This is the magical opportunity to put your best foot forward, make a memorable first impression (without even being present!), and highlight your greatest achievements. Don't be humble! Any relevant experience counts--even that one time you subbed with a specific orchestra or played in that masterclass you completely forgot about. Adding up all these details--even one-time experiences--will create a full and impressive résumé.
For information about specific items to include in your musician's résumé, stay tuned for "The Musician's Résumé – Part 2: Writing & Distributing."
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Liz Lambson is from Kennedy Violins in Vancouver, Washington. Biography
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