Getting a Studio Internship — Resume (Part 2)
We’re talking about landing an internship, and this is part 2. We are going to be talking about resumes. Why do we write a resume?
Well, a resume is like a business card that fully explains your experience and what you can do. Resumes are very useful in terms of determining whether or not somebody is equipped for a job.
Now, with an internship, you don’t really need to have the most detailed resume in the world. It’s not like you need tons of experience to get an internship. That’s what an internship is for, but you do need to write one and you do need to write it professionally, because the resume is going to communicate things to the person hiring you.
So we’re going to take a look at this resume that was sent to me a couple of years back, and there’s some good stuff and some bad stuff about it, and I think that it’s going to be really useful to you guys, if you’re writing resumes.
So he starts the resume with his name, his address, his phone, his e-mail.
This should be obvious, but format your resume correctly. If you do not format your resume correctly, I might simply be unable to find your resume in two weeks if it appealed to me at all.
Also if it’s not formatted correctly, even if it’s a great resume, I might think, “Well, why is it not formatted professionally? It seems like this isn’t serious if it’s not professionally formatted.”
Okay, so then we go into the background. Studied violin passionately for 13 years with a variety of teachers. Studied music production auto autodidactically for 1 year with mentorship from Peter Morrow in Ableton Live 9, and Logic Pro X. Host of radio show “Name of Radio Show” on xxxxxradio.com. Has both breadth and depth of ensemble experience.
Okay, so let’s talk about this. You don’t need to prove that you are better than who you are. Just be who you are. Flowery language is not going to trick anyone into thinking your experience is anything other than what your experience is.
So, “Studied violin passionately for 13 years with a variety of teachers.”
No. You studied violin for 13 years.
That’s how you write that.
“Studied music production autodidactically for one year with mentorship from Peter Morrow, in Ableton Live 9 and Logic Pro X.”
You shouldn’t have a run-on sentence inside of a resume bullet. On top of that, maybe 5% of the country knows what the word “autodidactically” means, and for that 5%, this sentence is really confusing, because autodidactically directly contrasts the idea of studying with a mentor. It literally means the opposite thing.
So this is very confusing on multiple levels.
Here’s how we do this. Let’s take out the word studied and change it with proficient. Because we know how to use this stuff. Let’s take out all of that.
“Proficient in Ableton Live 9 and Logic Pro X.”
That’s all you need to say.
Host of radio show, “This is the radio show.”
I don’t know if that’s relevant to the job of an intern at a recording studio.
“Has both breadth and depth of ensemble experience.”
Okay, well I assume that’s orchestral experience, but let’s just say — let’s find a different way to say it without saying both breadth and depth of ensemble experience. We’re not writing a poem here, we’re writing a resume.
So just to say, “Has ensemble experience.” That might be enough. [laughs]
And then we get into the experience. So it’s not like we need to be explicitly detailed in that very first blurb. Here is a very long list of ensemble experience.
Now, here’s what I have to say about this. You’re applying for an internship position with an engineer in a recording studio. While all of this experience is great, and it’s worth mentioning, do we need to really detail this much of your orchestral and ensemble experience?
Probably not. You can cut down about half of it. Just because you have the experience doesn’t mean that everybody needs to know about it. All of this stuff from here can just get cut. Right?
Everything before 2012, 2008, whatever. I don’t need to know about that really. You’ve got plenty of experience that’s current. I assume you have experience that lead to getting that experience.
The chamber music thing, that’s fine, the Summer Festivals, you can probably leave that out entirely. Again, I’m not looking to hire you for an ensemble, I’m looking to hire you for a recording studio. So get rid of the summer festivals.
Vocal experience, okay, I can dig that. It’s good to understand how the voice works.
Now let’s get into the stuff that I really, really like about this resume. The work experience.
Bar Back/Busboy. This is fantastic. Two reasons. One, a large majority of people who are working at the top of the music industry at one point in their life worked in some way, as a waiter, or as a bus boy, or as a bar back, or as a bartender.
So that makes you instantly relatable on a certain level. The other thing is that for all of us who have worked those jobs, we understand that bussing tables sucks. It is a rough job, it is very difficult, it is under-appreciated, and it’s gross.
But, you do it. And that’s a really important trait. Being willing to do the things that you need to do in order to get where you want to go, and make your ends meet. That is something that is admirable.
So while this doesn’t seem like an amazing piece of experience next to all of this flowery orchestral experience, for applying for an internship or an assistantship position, this is actually very valuable, and so is the rest of this experience that’s listed.
When I’m hiring an intern, volunteer work is a great thing to put on a resume. Volunteer work communicates that you understand that not getting paid, or not getting paid a lot is not the only way that you can be rewarded in doing work.
So if you volunteered at Connected Living, where you taught senior citizens how to use computers and the internet, that’s awesome. That means that you did the job for personal fulfillment, and that means that you are going to be willing to actually do the job of an intern.
Lastly, filer/data enterer. This is another one of those things. It doesn’t sound like it directly pertains to what you’re trying to do in a recording studio. You would think, “Oh, I recorded these bands, and oh, I can read and write music” and all of this kind of stuff.
And that’s all great, but file/data enterer is great, because if I say, “Hey, I need you to go through that stack of invoices and organize them,” I know that you know how to do it, and these are the jobs that interns really need to be able to do in order to then shift into the world of becoming prolific in music.
So this is the heart of the resume that I think is actually more important as someone who has hired people, and will continue to hire people.
Education: It’s good to see that you’re educated. There’s nothing wrong with this. I think it’s important to put your education down. I think this is slightly overly detailed for a recording studio.
Again, which is a common theme on this, but I think that this is fine right here.
Anyway. So I hope that by going through this example, it shows you if nothing else, the perspective of the person who will probably be hiring you, and what we’re actually looking for when we are looking toward a resume.
We don’t necessarily want somebody who is going to be masterful at scoring things. Trust me, that doesn’t hurt. Being able to read and write music is awesome, but the first thing that we’re looking for is somebody who’s going to be willing to mop the floor, who can learn how to wrap a cable, and can be useful in terms of the clerical stuff.
Those things are much more appealing, because we’re going to teach you how to read and write music. We’re going to teach you how to record bands. You’ll learn that stuff.
What we can’t teach you is how to go through the file cabinet.
Alright guys, I hope you learned something. Until next time.