How to Write a Musician Resume (With Tips and a Template)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated November 30, 2022
Published May 19, 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
There are numerous career possibilities available to talented musicians. They might play in an orchestra, compose music, teach music theory classes, or select music for a venue. Learning how to write a resume as a musician can help you highlight your musical abilities and allow you to apply for music industry positions.
In this article, we explain what a musician resume is, describe why resumes are important for musicians, explore steps for writing one, and share a template and an example that may help you create one of your own.
What is a musician resume?
A musician resume is a record of accomplishments, education, and goals that a musician might submit to an employer when applying for a job. It helps you share information about your experience and credentials so potential employers can evaluate your suitability for a position. This resume can take many forms depending on the type of music you play, the job you're applying for, and your previous experience. An effective resume can help you share your strengths, demonstrate your suitability, and potentially secure an interview.
Why are resumes important for musicians?
Resumes are crucial for musicians because they help show an applicant's musical accomplishments to an employer. You can use it to share information about your musical experience, who you learned from, the concerts you play, your recordings, and your career goals. Resumes also allow you to share links to pieces of music you wrote or performed. If you submit a quality music resume, you can capture an employer's interest, demonstrate that you're a good fit for a position, and show your accomplishments.
How to write a musician resume
If you want to write a resume so you can apply for musician positions, think about your career goals and experience, and follow these steps:
1. Consider your objectives
Before you write your resume, think about your goals and the nature of the position you plan to apply for. Different musician jobs might require a different resume style. For example, if you apply for a position in a symphony orchestra, presenting a more formal resume with a list of accomplishments might be appropriate. If you apply to work as a DJ at a nightclub, you might emphasize that you appreciate the environment and understand current trends. Think about your career goals and write a resume that can help you pursue them.
2. Read the job description
Read the job description so you can include any requested information. Some employers may ask for resumes in a specific format. In addition, they may consist of requirements in the job description that you can use to tailor your resume. For example, some employers might request a summary of accomplishments, while others might ask you to fill out an online form detailing your experience.
3. Create a header
The header is the first section of any resume. It gives basic information like your name, email address, and phone number. This helps an employer contact you if they want to follow up or schedule an interview. Some musicians include a link to their recordings in their header so employers can listen to their music.
4. Write a professional profile
The second section of a resume for musicians is often a professional profile consisting of a few short sentences summarizing an applicant's accomplishments. This section can attract the employer's attention and immediately indicate that you're a good choice. You can use this section to share your goals and accomplishments if you're entering the field. If you have plenty of experience, share your most significant work and provide more details further in the resume.
5. Include an education section
The education section of a resume can show how you gained musical knowledge. You can highlight the names of your teachers and the educational institutions you attended. You might also take this opportunity to share any achievements during your studies or any awards you won. If you're mainly self-taught, you might leave this section for later in the resume or leave it out entirely. If you attended any prestigious music schools, you might highlight the curriculum you followed and what you learned.
6. Detail performance experience
In this section, you can share information about your musical performances. You may want to include details such as the name of the event, the location, and your role in a concert or the group involved. You can list more notable performances first or order them chronologically. Use this section to demonstrate any practical experience and show that you're comfortable performing. If you have any other experience, such as internships or other employment, you can also list it in this section.
7. List relevant skills
Include some information about the general skills you possess. These can be skills you acquired by playing your instrument or other skills to help you succeed in a specific position. For example, suppose you apply to join an orchestra. In that case, you might list communication skills on your resume and explain that you're comfortable taking direction from the conductor and building relationships with the other musicians in your section. Music jobs can involve much more than simply playing an instrument, so use this section to show that you're a qualified candidate.
8. List awards
You can finish your resume with a list of awards or accomplishments. For example, you can share information about how many records you sold or if you won a prize for musicianship. These can be small awards for individual performances or significant music prizes. If you don't have any accomplishments like this to share, use the other sections of your resume to highlight your strengths.
Template for a musician resume
You can use the following template as a guide for writing your own musician resume by filling in your personal information and experience:
[First and last name]
[One to three sentences about your accomplishments]
[Name of educational institution]
[Years of study]
[Relevant details, such as academic awards, specific area of study, or special projects]
[Type of performance]
[Organization or band name]
[Location and dates]
[Relevant details such as crowd size, reviews, solos, or position in the orchestra]
[List relevant skills]
[Explain how you acquired them, how you use them, and provide examples]
[Name of award]
[Awarding body or any other details]
Example resume for a musician
The following is an example of a resume for a musician that you can use as a guide when writing your own:
Experienced concert violinist with a passion for performing and a reputation for excellence. Former first chair of the Calgary Symphonic Orchestra. Two-time winner of the Gold Award for significant violin solo performance.
Bachelor of Music
Graduated with an average of over 90 percent. Played in the university orchestra for four years. Won the Dean's Medal for student accomplishment in 2005.
Master of Music
Achieved a master's degree specializing in violin solo performance. Won the annual Humbert musical recital competition in 2010. Studied under renowned concert violinist Andrei Viovski.
Calgary Symphonic Orchestra
Acted as first chair for the violin section. Led the violin section in performances and performed solos. Presented notable symphonies by Bach and Beethoven to the public. Performed regularly in the Calgary Opera House and travelled across the country on multiple occasions. Awarded the title of "Canada's finest symphony orchestra" by the Canadian Musical Society in 2019.
Edmonton String Quartet
Played orchestral music as part of a violin quartet. Specialized in the works of Vivaldi. Played at the Edmonton Auditorium and across the country, including the Montreal Orchestral Festival.
Performed as a soloist at venues such as the Toronto Hall of Music and the Saskatchewan Centre for Classical Music. Played at classical music festivals across the country and performed on the radio on multiple occasions.
Passion: I am passionate about violin performance and dedicate my life to the art form. I practice obsessively and seek perfection. If I encounter a complex piece of music, I consider it a worthy challenge to learn every aspect of the piece.
Creativity: I am interested in pioneering violin techniques and interpreting old pieces in new ways. Experimentation can lead to fascinating results and help us further push the boundaries of musicianship.
Won the Gold Award for significant violin solo performance in 2013 for my rendition of "The Blue Calf" at the Halifax Theatre and a performance of "Magical Journey" at the Oshawa Art Festival in 2014.
Humbert Musical Recital Competition
Won the Humbert Musical Recital Competition as part of a field of 100 distinguished students with a performance of "The Cannonball."
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