I am asked all the time why I gave up a lucrative career in entertainment to become a recruiter. The answer is simple: I love working with those who can benefit from my years of expertise as an artist development executive.
Working on gold and multiplatinum projects at record labels such as Jive, Arista, and Columbia/Sony Music in the ’90s was the thrill of a lifetime. Nothing can compete with the memories of breaking new music for Aretha Franklin, Will Smith, Usher, Billy Ocean, A Tribe Called Quest, R. Kelly, and Wu Tang Clan. I viewed working on team projects for Whitney Houston, Notorious B.I.G, Destiny’s Child, and Mariah Carey as a lifestyle rather than a job.
Yes, 20 years of working with artists and brands was exciting. However, utilizing the same artist development and marketing strategies to assist candidates in securing new career opportunities is just as thrilling for me now. Here are a few music-industry insights I often recommend to my candidates:
- Write a song: A resume tells your story. Similar to a hit single that includes an intro, verses, choruses, a bridge, and an outro, a resume should be easy to follow. Work experience more than 10 years old should not be on your resume unless it reflects the position you are applying for and shows a natural progression.
- Tastemakers list/peer-to-peer feedback: Giving promotional copies of a song to music industry insiders has always aided in creating buzz and exposure. Having a mentor or peer in your circle review your resume is a solid way to gain feedback and may even result in a referral.
- The IT factor: Ever hear someone sing and just know they’ve got “it”? A resume should do the same for a candidate. Research desired positions and their requirements before updating your resume. Commonly used terms may have changed since your last search. To get past filters, you’ll need to use the updated terminologies.
- Packaging: A great package catches one’s eye. Candidates should be mindful that it is important to make an impact when contacting hiring managers directly. Include a link to an online version of your resume, articles, and work samples, as well as information showcasing hobbies and habits, to really capture an employer’s attention.
- Press release/cover letter: Be prepared to tell the who, what, where, when, and why of your professional career in a concise and engaging manner. I encourage candidates to be bold enough to address directly how their talents and skills will benefit an employer.
- Marketing the brand: Information on your online professional profiles should reflect what is on your resume. An recent photo should be uploaded as well.
- Rehearsal sessions: Know what is on your resume. There is nothing worse than speaking with a candidate who cannot remember what was written on their resume. Stumbling when questioned regarding your resume during an interview is a red flag, and the interview will be concerned that your resume has been falsified.
- Press junket: Create multiple versions of your resume to highlighting specific talents, skills, and experiences that are relevant to different roles instead of using one general version for every job.
I’m hoping the above has been food for thought and provided you with a few hints as to how to spruce up your resume. All the best in your search!