Music Job Search Series: Packaging and Selling Yourself

This week I will be finishing up my Music Job Search Series with two posts. The first one will cover how to package and sell yourself and the second one will talk about what to do while you wait.

So, let's get right to it and talk about packaging and selling yourself. You have that awesome resume and cover letter with business cards to match if only you knew who to give them to... This is where networking can improve your search dramatically.

Start by building your network with friends, family and colleagues you know in the field of music. Let them know you are searching for a job in your chosen field. You might be surprised at how many people in your life might not even know you are a qualified musician looking for a job. Compile an e-mail list of anyone you think might be of help and send them your networking letter and resume. Follow-up periodically with an update on your search and any new music projects you are involved in as a way to keep your networking contacts informed about your search.

Join professional organizations that would help you meet new people in your community. Attend a meeting of your local Interfaith religious organization. It is a great way to meet pastors from many local churches and stay connected to what is happening in the religious community. Music associations are another great place to look for networking connections.

In my community, I have benefited from both my connections with the Raytown Community Interfaith Alliance and with the Raytown Arts Council. I have made some new music friends and have taken part in some neat music opportunities that I wouldn't have had if I had not reached out to connect.

Interview Questions & Answers
What would you consider to be your strengths? Weaknesses? What accomplishments in your last position were you the most proud of? What would you like to have done differently?

These are just a few of the many questions you can anticipate in any interview situation. Do you know what you are going to say? Now's the time to give your answers some serious thought.

Here are a couple websites that can help you prepare:

Interview Question and Answers :: Job Search at About.com

How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions :: Wise Bread

Find the Perfect Interview Outfit
Plan to wear some thing you feel comfortable in and that is appropriate for the job you are applying for. It's always good to be a bit over dressed rather than under dressed for an interview. Keep it simple, too. My go-to job interview outfit is a black and white wrap dress with flats and some simple silver jewelry. It's flattering and can be dressed up or down depending on how formal the interview is just by adding a jacket or cardigan and dressier shoes.

I would suggest a classic look of trousers and a button down shirt for a gentleman preparing for future interviews. You can add a jacket and/or a tie to make your appearance more formal. If it is a more casual setting I would consider a polo or knit shirt and khakis.

I would strongly suggest you try to attend worship at the church before your interview. It will give you a better idea on how casual the congregation is and give you insight into how to dress. Note what the leadership is wearing. Did the choir wear robes? How is the pastor dressed? Does the praise band have a uniform or are they just wearing their favorite t-shirts? It really helps to do your homework. It gives you more confidence before you even sit down with your potential employer and it helps you look your best.

Join me next time as we continue our journey into job searching in the music world.  Through out this series I will cover Job Searching, Resumes, Cover Letters, Special Requests for Worship Musicians, Selling Yourself to Prospective Employers, and what to do while you wait.   


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