Here’s a question from one of my Twitter followers, Grant Hale @grantthale
It's difficult when you're first starting out and looking for work in the music industry. A lot of places will ask you for a resume to see what artists you've worked with or what production/music school you've studied at and so on. If you don't have any records under your belt or any formal audio/music education, you may think you're out of luck, however that's not necessarily the case.
Resumes for a Studio?
I get it, it’s the music industry... You may think resumes are reserved for your mates that actually got degrees in boring things like; accounting, computer science or aerospace engineering... pft!... Who would ever want to be a rocket scientist, right!?... Anyone?... Anyone?... Ok, fine! Rocket scientist would be cool... And it would probably land you a job at a studio just cause it’s that cool... But! Why a resume?
Well, running a studio is still a business and having a business means that there will be paper work. Resumes are important! One of the main reasons is that in most cases, when you try to apply for a job at a studio, you’ll most likely be rejected the first time around.
Submitting this piece of paper allows you to leave a paper trail of yourself... before they give you the boot out the door and get back to their awesome job, producing epic music... Well, hopefully epic... This paper trail might come in handy, in your future interactions with these studios. Yes, there will likely be multiple attempts.
First off, the cover letter should be no more than a few paragraphs about who you are and why you want to work at that studio in particular. Try mentioning things like, what you can offer in terms of skills, discipline or even short personal narratives about how dedicated you are.
Explain your desire to work at that studio, despite your lack of musical background (if you lack it). Be humble, yet express confidence in your ability to learn and succeed... But, in a humble way... The line between confidence and cockiness is a fine one. Don't make the cover letter more than a page... Actually, if your near a full page, it's already too wordy. The shorter, the better. Understand that these people are busy. If they are so busy that they need interns, they may not have the time to read through your entire cover letter.
For the resume, I can recommend you put down whatever your work experience is, including any volunteer work you've done... Even if it's not music related.
Some Politics and Formalities
Start off by sending them an email, introducing yourself, including your resume and your cover letter. In the body of the email, you will want to express your interest in being an intern at their studio.
The next day, you should follow up with a call. See who is in charge of hiring interns or at least talk to the person that deals with the general incoming emails, to confirm that they've received your email.
If you do get a chance to speak to the person that is responsible for hiring the interns, introduce yourself to them, and express your interest in interning at the studio. Let them know that you are fairly inexperienced but willing to work hard and learn on the fly. Before ending your first interaction with this individual, ask them for their personal email address. If they are ok with that, follow up immediately after the conversation with an email directed to them, thanking them for their time.
Bring this up when the moment feels right. This would be great to give them a visual representation of who you are. Face time is important, as it will give you an edge over the competition whom remain faceless to the people that run these studios. Meeting people in person and networking is so important! There's nothing wrong with being personable. Ideally, people want to work with others that they can get along with. Being honest and true to yourself, are great qualities. If it’s genuine, people will recognize this.
Go Ahead! Be Social!
Start with these simple things. You should try these steps with any and all of the studios in your area. Don't be too concerned if the smaller studios get back to you and the bigger ones do not.
Interns may be so far down the food chain at these large format studios that you'll probably never get past collecting coffee orders and dry cleaning. Getting an internship at a smaller studio may not get you working with Mick Jagger, but it might mean that you'll move up quicker and get to work more closely with the engineers... And, maybe even take over some of their sessions, if other engineers aren't available. You'll have the opportunity grow your portfolio faster, people will start to hear about you through other artists and even through the music you've worked on. They may even request to work with you!
I hope this article was helpful for all of you! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask them in the “comments” section below, or even discuss your thoughts on the content. If you have any tips you’d like to add to this, feel free to do so below. Also, don’t hesitate to like this post and even share it with your friends!
Keep an eye out for my next post!... Pst... It may be a video tutorial ;)
See you all next time!