How to Get Hired in the Music Industry



You say music is your life? Maybe you fantasize about working in the industry but aren’t sure how to get a toehold, let alone snag your dream job. In that case, you’re going to love these tips geared toward transforming your fantasy into reality!

Got skills? Like life, the music industry isn’t one size fits all. Saying you want to work in the biz isn’t nearly good enough. Ask yourself what, exactly and ideally, you’d like to do. Pinpoint your specific dream job and take stock. Do you have the skills and know-how to fulfill the vision? If not, maybe you should think about getting them.

Look at the big picture. When you think “music industry,” don’t just think Beyoncé concerts and Broadway musicals. Music is everywhere—on stage, television, commercials, radio (traditional and Internet) and websites. Industry jobs run from sound checks to marketing to reviewing and reporting and beyond. The more doorways you’re willing to step through, the more likely you are to find a way in.

Get geeky with it. You’d be surprised what online job websites have to offer music-minded folk such as yourself. Be creative with your search terms, though—you don’t want to miss a choice television gig because the glittering search term music industry was your Plan A and Plan B didn’t rate a passing thought.

Think headhunter. Believe it or not, there are employment agencies that specialize in finding multiple kinds of talent (one of which could be you) for the music industry—Handle Recruitment in the U.K. and Arts and Media would be two examples. Identify the players, connect via their websites, and follow them on social media like a bloodhound. You never know when or how you might stumble onto that golden brick road.

Desk jockey or disk jockey, you need a good resume. Not talking good resume as in experience—or not only that—but as in crisp, clean and professionally done. Boring, right? You won’t think so if the perfect job slips through your fingers because your resume looks like it was formatted by a hyperactive three-year-old.

Schmooze it up. Let’s face it, nothing beats getting up close and personal. Outfits like the National Association of Record Industry Professionals and The Association of Independent Music get together for all kinds of conferences and panels and workshops and such. For some events you don’t even have to be a member. Check their calendars, drop by and make a few connections.

Stuff envelopes if you have to. Any foot in the door is a good foot. That being the case, think about volunteering—for any kind of duty—at a record company, sound studio, TV station or newspaper. And, hey! What about those music industry internships? Like, you know, with the Grammys! Are those worth checking out, or what?

Finally, follow through with the follow up. Listen, people, you’ve got to stay on top of this stuff. Follow up on the resume, keep in touch with contacts made during that internship, chat up headhunters on social media, and be giving with your demo disks. Be the hungriest early bird out there, and you’ll worm your way in before you know it!