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Musician. Resume killer?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Bryan_G, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. Bryan_G


    Apr 28, 2000
    Austin, Texas
    I am currently a college student, looking for an internship next summer. I don't have any professional work experience.

    I see on the resume guides that as a college student you should list just about anything you have done. I am currently in three bands and making part time money playing music. I am afraid that since I am entering a professional field, computer science, that listing musician on my resume will actually hurt me. I know there are a lot of cs/eng part time bassists on this board. What do you guys think?

    I know from experience that being a musician is not all fun and games, but I don't think job holders will think that. Am I wrong?

  2. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat
    I dont think so. Mention things you do in the band. Arrange bookings(scheduling), oversee rehearsals(time management), hire/fire guitar players(HR), repairing equipment(breakfix).

    Hope this helps,
  3. I was a CS major and worked in the IT field the last 10 years in a few sysadmin and IT manager jobs. I always looked for mention of involvement in any of the arts on the resumes of potential hires, it was a good sign of a well-rounded lifestyle. Just don't try to hype it as professional experience, it could be seen as obvious padding.

  4. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong

    And where you can, use it to support your story about why the interviewing company needs your experience. Talk about the challenges of the music business, and how you overcame them. Play up your people skills.
  5. If your resume as a college student looked as good as mine after 40+ years, either you are lying or I am a bum. You're not supposed to have a great resume. It is supposed to look like you are just beginning a work career. Put the things you can do and have done on it that represent useful skills and abilities. As Daft Cat wrote: "Arrange bookings(scheduling), oversee rehearsals(time management), hire/fire guitar players(HR), repairing equipment". You do this, not because you want a job as a musician, but because these are skills are transferable to most other jobs.
  6. I'm confident that one of the reasons I got my internship here in DC is because of my experience running a band and being a musician. These people look for well rounded students and people that are confident and resourceful.
  7. buzzbass

    buzzbass Shoo Shoo Retarded Flu !

    Apr 23, 2003
    What is it that you do, that your boss made that connection ?
  8. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    Same with many of the PE's I've worked with. It was always regarded that a musician (and not simply a musical instrument plinker) who was able to show success with their instrument was able to demonstrate:

    * working together as a team member in difficult and varying circumstances

    * able to think about their role in the bigger picture

    * an ability to apply mathematics in a non-textbook scenario

    * the potential to invest long hours developing a skill before making the jump an attempting to utilize it ... i.e. the difference between jumping out with a little head knowledge and executing something once they had a grounded understanding of a system/concept

    * ability to think relationally vs step-by-step as defined in a user manual

    Just a few of the highlights basing their decision. Of course if the interviewee came in and, like dude, was really, ya know, like out there and not in touch with reality their time spent answering questions was quite limited - rock on. The musicianship was used as a plus when deciding between two well qualified candidates who also had the personality and character the PE was looking for.

    For myself, when I interview prospects and learn that they're either a vocalist, lead guitarist, or keyboardist ... well, the interview is over right then and there! :D

    All the best,



    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    I am a Network Engineer (DCSE, A+, Network+, and studying for CCNA) and I've never had any problems with listing "bassist" on my resume...matter of fact, several of my co-workers are regulars at my gigs. Go ahead and list it...it just shows you have more dimension than the typical nerd we always get classified as.
  10. Bryan_G


    Apr 28, 2000
    Austin, Texas
    Thats some good stuff, I'm going to have to use some of that.

    Thanks to all the replies. You guys have gave me some confidence.

    Should I just leave it at musician or state bassist? I know I have a prejudice against vocalist/lead guitarists :D


    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    I list "bassist"... it's more specific and allows the reader a better visual image in his/her mind.
  12. I'd list it. People skills, working in a group, coping with stress, organisation, dealing with problems as they come along,..

    And in my case (student applied computer science), website design and maintenance, photograph's, business cards for the band, logo design... Anything done with/simplified by using computers is my thing. It all adds to your portfolio.
  13. My opinion is going to differ a little from the majority here. I say leave out any reference to being a musician.
    My reasoning is:
    The person doing the hiring usually wants someone that will stay with the company for a long time. Hiring and training someone takes time and costs money. If they know you have interests in a completely different field, they may worry that you may leave to do something you are more passionate about. (Especially with a young person).
    If you sell yourself as just a computer guy, they'll figure you will only leave if you get a better computer job. If that happens, at least they can make a counter offer, if they want you to stay.
    Take into account the corporate culture of the company you applying with as well. Alot of places don't like the artsy types, even though creativity may help, or even be required to do the job well.
    Don't be afraid to customize you resume for every place you apply!
  14. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    I'm impressed (and intrigued) by the number of computer professionals contributing to this thread (I'm an information systems professor myself) ... is there some connection with being a bassist?
  15. Bryan_G


    Apr 28, 2000
    Austin, Texas

    I assumed the connection was with the online forum not the bass :D But maybe I'm wrong. There is a suprising number.
  16. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I give preference to musicians.
  17. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    There are a ton of different resume templates/styles that will allow you to show your musicianship without putting a great deal of emphasis on it. Microsoft.com has a bunch of different templates, or google it and see what formats you might want to use.
  18. telekaster


    Feb 14, 2005
    San Diego
    When I got out of college I had no experiece in my field (biotech/pharmaceuticals), but I did have semi-pro musician experience. I had to put something on my resume so I included my band experience.

    I think it can be a resume killer depending on who the potential employer may be. I interviewed at one guy's lab and he was specifically concerned about me being out late at night and not being able to be fully focused on the job. He also pop-quizzed me with some physiology questions, which I could've done better with. Needless to say I didn't get called back - but I'm glad.

    I eventually did get hired at a large company (for more money) and my music experience was not an issue. My boss thinks it's cool and even came to a few of my shows! I get to leave early for rehearsals and out of town gigs if I need to. I'm still here too! ...going on 4 years. It really depends.

    But honestly, now that I have real experience in my field, the music stuff probably won't make it to my revised resume.
  19. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    I maybe be biased but somebody who lists musician as part of his resume while applying for a technical job is telling me he is creative.

    I see out of the box thinking in approaching technical problems. :bassist:

    Edit: But I don't want him to look like a hippy.
  20. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I am a career advisor at a university, as well as currently playing in three bands. As an professional in the field of education, I have always included my musical experience in some ways on my resume. I agree with the idea of using the experience for the transferable skills: the ability to interact with a wide variety of people, creativity, etc.

    One thing I have learned from dealing with hundreds of employers is that you can't please everyone. Some employers will be impressed by the creativity necessary to be a musician, and others will be turned off. The important thing is that you feel comfortable in the way you are marketing yourself.