In the world of employment, first impressions can be based on many things – one of them is how you represent yourself on paper. Knowing how to describe yourself appropriately, and in a good light, can be crucial to getting in the door.
Résumés vs. CV
Résumés and curriculum vitae (CV) serve to summarize your experiences and skills. The purpose of these documents is to highlight aspects of your background that are relevant to the position you are seeking. An impactful résumé or CV will market you to potential employers and should increase their desire to meet you through the next step, an interview. Résumés are usually 1-2 concise pages and most commonly used, whereas CVs are 3-8 pages primarily reserved for faculty and administrative leadership positions.
Types for Musicians
In the music field, there are many types of jobs, positions, and activities for which you could apply. We will highlight three main categories of opportunities – music performance, music teaching, and arts administration & leadership. Before you begin writing, decide which category is the most applicable in order to develop the appropriate document.
Remember, just because you complete a résumé doesn’t mean you are done. In addition to updating your experiences, it’s recommended that you tweak your materials for each application, making it specific for that particular job.
Preparing & Writing Résumés and CVs
The nice thing about these materials is you can personalize them from font and color to word choice and ordering. However, there are some suggestions on how to make your materials as efficient and effective as possible. For instance, the layout should be easy to follow and consistent.
To learn more about word choice, organization, and stylization, check out our Musician’s Résumé Handbook.
Writing a solid résumé or CV will take time, but it is a crucial part of the application process. Plan ahead to ensure the best product is produced and remember these tips when preparing your own document:
✓ Review other résumés and CV’s for reference and ideas
✓ Incorporate words and concepts from the application
✓ Present yourself as confident, capable and positive
✓ Use professional language from your field
✓ Avoid repeating yourself
✓ Keep your points short and concise
✓ Constantly save résumés you are working so nothing is lost!
Always get your document reviewed by another reader who can spot mistakes or details that are unclear to an outsider.