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Why I Put My Experience Of Being In A Metal Band On My Resume

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The process of looking for a job can be very arduous, time consuming, and sometimes downright discouraging. The task can be ESPECIALLY daunting if you’ve previously been a full-time musician starting/growing/managing a band and are looking to go corporate. I’ve heard plenty of ex-touring musicians express anxiety, feeling like they didn’t have any solid work experience to make them a competitive job candidate.

However, I’ve got great news for you: you may have more leverage than you previously considered. Possibly even a leg up.

Professional Merits of Bandhood

Think about it: running a band can be very similar to starting a business. You need to work collaboratively with a group of individuals in order to achieve an end result where you get paid. Depending on your responsibilities in the band, you can spin your experience in a way that caters to the job you are applying for.

Transferrable Skills

Let’s look at some specific examples of how band responsibilities can equate to employable job skills in your resume.

Are you in charge of creating t-shirt designs and social media collateral for your band? That’s graphic design experience.

Are you in charge of planning out how all of the band members arrive/leave from the show with all of the necessary gear? That’s operational experience.

Have you managed the band social media accounts? That’s social media and marketing experience.

Have you been the “go-to” person in the band who delegates responsibility to the other members? That’s managerial experience.

Have you set up an online store or been the merch person for your live shows? That’s sales experience.

Have you reached out to blogs (like MetalSucks) about doing a review about your band or premiering your music videos/singles? That’s PR experience.

Get creative! There are many more ways that your band experience can transfer!

The most important thing is that you frame your experience correctly. There’s a huge difference between writing:

“Lead guitarist of death grind band Vomit Fuck where I melted faces with my siqq licks. \m/”

And

“Developed /executed a three-month long PR campaign for an album release. Campaign included:

  • Third party album reviews and premieres on highly regarded blogs
  • Social media promotion across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
  • Managing digital distribution on multiple platforms including Spotify, Google play, and iTunes.
  • Sending multiple press releases to our email list

It Can Be a Powerful Social Tool

In addition to adding to your qualifications for the job, listing your history as a musician can increase your likability and relatability, increasing your chances of getting hired.

Hiring managers want to hire people who they don’t mind spending lots of time with. If the recruiter is a musician hobbyist who plays the same instrument as you or has an affinity and respect for other musicians, they’ll find you more relatable and are more likely to offer you a job.

Although I personally haven’t had this happen to me, I know plenty of people who have listed that they play guitar on their resume and gotten interviews because the employer was also a guitar player. They ended up spending the majority of the interview talking about famous guitarists.

So What’s the Takeaway?

If you happen to be a musician looking for a job, keep your head up, leverage your experience and take these tips to assist you in your job hunt! If you are someone who is taking music as a serious career opportunity, really seek to take more responsibilities and excel in areas that you might currently be uncomfortable with. It will help your band out and, who knows, maybe your resume, too.

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