Sunday, July 26, 2009

Got resume?

Hi All-
I just received an email from a student asking about creating a resume for an orchestral audition. If you have not yet created a resume for yourself, right now is a great time to create a draft of this ever-changing document. Once you have a resume draft,  it's really quite easy to update it and send it on to prospective employers. 

Your first performing resume might be created for applying to open positions in community/regional orchestras  local performing organizations, etc. Send your resume to the orchestra manager and ask for further information on how to audition for the orchestra. However, don't wait for a position vacancy to send in your resume.  It is a good idea to send a resume to orchestra managers if you would like to be part of the substitute list.  
It's likely that your first resume will not have much in it.  That's OK!  Your educational and performing experience will grow in time,  but you need to start somewhere,  so let's begin now.

First things first: Make sure to clearly label your name and contact information.  Triple check that your phone and email info is correct.  You certainly don't want to have a wrong or discontinued number  and/or email account!  

Second, list your educational experience.  What degrees do you have? What major/minor? When was the degree conferred? If you haven't yet finished undergraduate work, list the degree you are seeking and expected graduation year. 
If you have completed graduate work,  list the most recent degree first. 

Next, give a brief account of your professional experience.  If you are currently a school music teacher,  list the school and briefly the job responsibilities (6th grade band and orchestra,  etc). It may be advantageous for the orchestral manager to see that you work in the field of music.  If your current income comes from outside the music world,  you can include that too. Briefly state your position and skills.
Next, list your performing experience.  If you only have experience performing in school ensembles,  that's OK!.  List the years you've performed with a given group.  If you've performed as the principal performer,  list that.  (And please DON'T use PRINCIPLE instead of the correct PRINCIPAL!). If you've performed as a substitute performer with an group,  list that as well.  You don't want the person reading your resume to think you were a full-time member of a group when in fact you only performed with them as a substitute.  List your experience,  but don't over-inflate your activities. Be honest and you'll be more likely to succeed,  because the resume reader will be able to suss out bloated performance claims. However, don't forget to add chamber ensembles that you have performed with and solo recitals that you've performed (degree recital and summer recitals are good to add,  just list the performance and the date).

Once you have drafted a resume,  check extremely carefully for errors.  Typos, haphazard formatting, etc can reflect poor organization or sloppiness on your part.  Have teachers, friends, and parents read through your resume and check for errors too.  The more eyes, the better! They may also help you remember important things that you forgot to add. 

Here's a sample resume below.  Feel free to follow the general format. Read,  then create your own resume.  I look forward to reading and helping you edit your first resume!



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