Preparing a resume is the first step in the job hunting process for music school graduates.
Writing Your Resume
Resume samples are widely available online and in career development guidebooks. There are many different formats that can be used to structure this document, but most provide the same basic information.
A resume should include:
- Your full name and address, including your email and cell phone
- Your employment objective
- Your music school education
- Related work experience, including part-time jobs and internships
- Awards and honors you’ve received
- Any special skills that might be relevant, such as fluency in a foreign language
As a musician, you’ll likely need to provide performance samples for many of your job applications. It is a good idea to prepare a recording to be distributed with your resume or to provide a link to a website where employers can go to listen to your work.
Remember that your resume should never include personal information, such as your ethnic background, religion, marital status, or any health problems that you might have. It is illegal for this information to be considered as part of an employment offer.
Except in very special circumstances, a resume should only be one page in length. Your resume is intended to provide a summary of your skills and qualifications. It is not your complete autobiography. If you have information that won’t fit on your resume that you feel is relevant, it can be included as part of your cover letter.
Preparing Different Resume Formats
Traditionally, a resume was printed on high-quality paper and mailed directly to the employer. While this process is still followed by some businesses, an increasing number of companies are requesting that resumes be submitted by email.
A resume prepared in Microsoft Word can easily be saved as a plain text document for sending via email. When you save the document, simply change the file type to plain text. Every email program is different, so you must be very cautious with formatting in a plain text resume. You can’t use bold text, italics, or lines to emphasize key points, but you can use capital letters for emphasis and asterisks for bullet points. In addition, many email programs limit the line length in incoming messages. To make sure your resume remains readable, you’ll want to keep each line at 65 characters or less.
If you are planning on posting your resume on your personal website, keep the formatting of your page as simple as possible. Avoid brightly colored backgrounds and flashy graphics. Choose a traditional font and headings that make it easy to quickly scan the page. Check the layout to make sure your resume can easily be printed from the page if desired.