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band experience on a resume?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by armywalaby, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. being that music is a part time to full time job for me depending on the week, I wanted to seek part time employment at another place. a couple of jobs have opened up in my area that I would like to apply to, but the only work I've had in the last couple of years is my music, which is awesome! but I want to include this on my resume so they don't think I've just been sitting around. my question is, how would you word your experience in a business style vernacular? if I played bass, sang, and ran sound for a band, how would I convey that to someone that doesn't know?
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Would you put your experience as a Walmart greeter and Wall Street arbitrageur in an ad offering your services as a bassist?
    Unless it has direct bearing on the job you're applying for, there's no advantage to listing this on your resume because, to all intents and purposes, playing in a band and sitting around are going to be kind of the same thing to whoever is considering your resume. IF you get to the point of an in person interview and they ask what you've been doing for the last couple of years, THEN you get to talk about what you've doing and how those skills will translate into What They're Looking For. If you managed the band (arranged schedules for rehearsals, interviewed and hired members etc.), you can talk about management and personnel skills. If you were point for getting gigs, then you can talk about sales and negotiating or about cash handling and accounting or whatever. But this will go over MUCH better in person than on paper.
  3. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Put is on your resume; you need to account for all of your time to an employer. I would characterize it as self-employed, but don't say full or part time depending on the week. If you weren't working elsewhere it was your full time job.

    As a manager I've been involved in hiring people for the last 20 years. With the flood of resumes, most people are looking for ways to reduce the number they actually look at. Unaccounted time frames, mis-spellings, poor grammar and unprofessional appearance (of the resume) is usually enough to get it thrown in the garbage. Keep it short and sweet.
  4. Frank Tuesday

    Frank Tuesday

    Jul 11, 2008
    Austin, TX
    How can you frame the skills, responsibilities, and most importantly, achievements from your musical career in a way that it applies to the job(s) you are seeking?
  5. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    This. Think less about the specifics of what you did (playing bass, running sound, etc.) and instead think in terms of transferrerable skills that you learned or used while gigging.

    When I was in college, almost all of my jobs were in food service. I am no longer in food service, but I listed them on my resume, so that I could account for my time, and I could demonstrate skills that were important, such as:
    - Supervision
    - Production forecasting and tracking
    - Working with a team of diverse co-workers with a variety of backgrounds successfully
    - Customer service skills, for both Internal and External customers.

    Sure, I also have learned numerous techniques that I have brought into my home kitchen, but that doesn't help me in my current job as a Data Analyst/Bass Playing/Superhero, so apart from title, I don't mention that I learned to quickly make a high-quality meal for a 300-person fundraising dinner.

    Personally, as a musician, I would list the following:
    - Work well in small groups to accomplish a singular goal
    - Customer Service (hint: The "Crowd" and vneue owners are your customers)
    - Able to deal with adverse situations, while remaining calm (you can remain calm, right?)
    - Flexible in scheduling

    If you are scheduling and marketing your shows, make sure to indicate that you have some experience in sales and marketing. If you are in charge of your band's website/facebook, etc., you will want to be sure to show that you have some experience using Social Media to get your message out.

    Keep in mind, that you must never lie on a resume. Just because you manage a facebook page, it doesn't make you a Social Media Guru. Keep your resmue realistic, but positive.

    Also, a couple of other pointers:

    - CHECK YOUR GRAMMAR AND SPELLING!!! I work with a non-profit that was doing some hiring. We rejected about 50% of applications because the cover letter and/or resume was so poorly written, that we weren't sure if these were seasoned professionals or 12-year-olds. There were cover letters that were almost a full page in length, yet had no punctuation. If you are sending your resume via email, treat the email as your cover letter and write it the exact same way you would write a regular cover letter.

    - Be sure to alter the resume for each job you are applying to. If all of them are in the same industry, then it will be very similar, but not totally the same. Likewise, your cover letter should reflect the organization you are applying to.

    - Keep the language professional, even if the organization is "Hip". Avoid slang and jargon, unless it is specific to that industry or organization.

    Good Luck!
  6. droo46


    Jun 16, 2011
    Fact: You are not obligated to list every job you've had. I would say that unless your work experience is somehow relevant to leave it off.
  7. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    True but since he has to account for all his time and has gained valuable skills that can be generalized to various typesof employmet he needed to put his music job on his resume.
  8. Yeah, it is more about the gap in employment. I've definitely been busy, and I'd hate to be outside of consideration because of a skewed perception. thanks for all of that, bassman 314. I do keep a master resume where I have my adult job experience, then I move the paragraphs around in another draft for the job I'm applying. I'm now drafting a cover letter - didn't have one before, but I didn't really understand its purpose until the other day. thanks again.
  9. gigslut


    Dec 13, 2011
    St Louis, Mo
    It's a double edged sword. Gaps in employment are a red flag. So is "played in a band". I've had prospective employers be quite candid with me about their reluctance to hire musicians for fear they will quit as soon as the gigs start coming in. Be up front with them about your aspirations as a musician, be it "I'm done with the road, just want to work weekends" or "I work x nights a week locally, teach a few students but would like to put in 20 hrs a week somewhere". Assure them that this is how you plan to spend the next few years.
    As to your work experience, list it as "worked in entertainment industry as performer, arranger and sound technician". Stress any managerial, technical or interpersonal skills involved.
  10. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    Not a problem! I'm glad I could help.
  11. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I've been an employer and I've been the guy that made the hiring decision.

    You hand me paperwork that says you were / are a musician and you'd have a better chance if you told me you where in prison during that time.


    Unless it was an IT position. I'm not sure why but when I was in IT, it was full of totally @#$% together people that were great players.
  12. TNCreature

    TNCreature Jinkies! Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Philadelphia Burbs
    Exactly. Let them know that music is in the past or is just a hobby.
    I put BMI Published Songwriter on my resume and somehow that is impressive to them. Like it is more serious.
    The should see my mail order ordination! Ha!
    I also talk about the skills used in managing a band and marketing, web and packaging design, booking tours, etc.
  13. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    fact: unaccounted for time frames are a red flag for hiring managers. The thinkings is, "What is wrong with this candidate that they didn't have employment."

    Every professional job I've ever applied for required me to account for all of my time, and had me sign a statement attesting to the accuracy of the application.

    True, you don't have to list your experience on a resume, and the prospective employer is free to toss it in the trash.

    I've never applied to McDonalds or the Video Barn, so the rules may be different there.
  14. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    The function of the resume is to get the interview, nothing else. So, use a functional resume rather than a chronological one. Document your skills- project management, coordinator, scheduling negotiations, etc.

  15. I got my current job because I was a bassist, but that's only because I worked with the guitar player from a former band. Back OT, I feel that you should at least show the potential employer what you have been doing with your life for the past couple of years.

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