Do you want to find a job you’ll look forward to doing each week? You should consider a few job search tips for musicians.
Finding a job can be difficult, but don’t let that get you down. Instead, go into the process with a plan to help find the right job or gigs for you.
1. Know What You Want
One of the most important job search tips is to know what kind of job you want. You can get a traditional full-time job, which is great if you’re graduating. But you might want to work part-time.
Or maybe you want to start freelancing, so you look for clients rather than employers. You should also consider what type of work you want to do, such as performance, education, or arts admin.
Think about if you want to live somewhere specific. You might then when to decide if you want a remote job or to work in person. All of those things can help you search for suitable jobs.
2. Consider Freelancing
If you don’t want to work in a traditional job, freelancing is great. You’ll have more control over your schedule and the type of work you do. That makes it a good option for students or even as a side hustle.
You can freelance in a lot of ways as a musician. Of course, you can take on individual performance gigs. But you can teach, compose, or write articles for music publications.
Some musicians (like myself) take on freelance gigs outside of music. That way, you can diversify your income streams and have a bit more income security. If you can’t perform for a while, you can still work and earn money.
3. Use Your Network
A great way to find potential jobs is through people you know. You can mention to friends or family that you’re looking for a specific role. Even if they can’t help you get the gig, they may know someone who can.
Then, they can give you that person’s contact information. I got a couple of freelance writing clients through people I’d worked with already. And I found out about some performance gigs through my flute teachers.
So don’t be afraid to talk about what you want to do for a job. Don’t annoy people, of course, but you never know what might happen. You could end up with a job that you’ll enjoy.
4. Ask for References
As you talk to your network about your job prospects, ask people if they’d be willing to be a reference. A lot of job applications require at least a couple of professional references.
But if you wait until you apply, you may need to wait for people to respond. You shouldn’t put someone down as a reference without their permission. They won’t know to expect a call, so they might not give the best impression of you.
Instead, ask people well ahead of time, and let them know what jobs you’re applying for. Then, they won’t get a call out of the blue, and they may help you get a good job.
5. Update Your Resume
If you haven’t applied to jobs in a while, you need to update your resume. Having a recent version of your resume is one of the best job search tips you can follow for a few reasons.
First, it shows you’re professional enough to update your documents. Plus, you can get rid of any old, irrelevant work experience. You may also choose to update job descriptions if your role has changed a bit at your current job.
If you want to get different types of gigs, such as teaching and writing, you can create a resume for each. That way, you can tailor the resume to the specific position to increase your chances as an applicant.
6. Look Online
If you don’t get any leads from your network, search for jobs online. You can look at job boards on Indeed or LinkedIn to start. Then, you may be able to find a lot of potential jobs you can apply to.
You can also do a general search on Google. Enter “[job title] + ‘jobs’ + [remote/your location]” to find some options. Some companies don’t use every job board, or they may rely more on their own website.
Either way, the internet is a great place to look for jobs. You’ll have access to more options than if you just went to places in person. And you won’t have to rely on knowing people who know about available jobs.
7. Write a Unique Cover Letter
If a job application requires a cover letter, write one specifically for that position. The letter doesn’t have to be long or super detailed. But avoid copying and pasting the same letter over and over.
That can look bad because it shows you didn’t take the time to learn about that company. It can look even worse if you forget to change out company names between applications.
Once you get the hang of it, you can write a cover letter in less than half an hour. That will help set you apart from the candidates who use template-based cover letters.
8. Apply as Much as You Can
One of the best job search tips I can give is to apply a lot. The more you apply, the better odds you’ll have of landing a job you want. It can take time, and some say finding a job is a job in itself.
However, that time can be well worth it if you get a job you want to land. You won’t have to settle for something. And you won’t have to apply to a day job just because you need the money.
If you want to avoid working in a different field, apply to as many music gigs as you can. Then, you may be able to find a job that interests you and compensates you well for your time.
Which Job Search Tips Will You Use?
The best job search tips can make a world of difference for you. Whether you’re in school and need a part-time gig or want to start your career, you have to try a few things.
And if you’d prefer to freelance, check out The Freelance Solution to help get over the humps of working for yourself.