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How to write a music resume?

We live in a world that is crippled with competition.

No matter how many gigs you land or shows you play at, your ideal musician job is just not within reach.....and you don't seem to know why.

There is no dearth of musicians in this world, and the need to make your mark is at an all-time high.

Your resume can make all the difference.

But the need of the hour is to write an ATS-targeted music resume. An average resume won't do. For all we know, a poorly constructed music resume is why you're not getting shortlisted!

By the end of this guide, you will become self-sufficient in composing music resumes from scratch and you will learn:

Music Resume Job Description

What do musicians do?

Not one particular thing.

A musician’s area of expertise may differ depending from musician to musician.

While some specialize in the bass, some specialize in playing the light guitar, or the violin, or the cello, or the harmonica - and the list goes on and on.

A musician’s life is vivacious and alive. It has the promise of showmanship embedded in their DNA.

A musician may begin their career performing at gigs, and if they become famous enough, they may go on to live the dream life of selling their solo albums worldwide!

The life of a musician is one that is smeared with the thrill and love for music.

Like most unconventional professions, the life of a musician is a gamble. So if you are keen on starting a music career, you should be ready to pursue your passion and see it all the way through – even if it means sacrificing your youth to live this dream!

If the prospect of breathing and living in music excites you, then read on!

We are determined to get you your dream musician job!!

Before we begin, get your resume professionally reviewed by our AI-powered Resume Review Service to get a detailed report on your existing resume within seconds!

Music Salary: How much money will you make as a musician?


According to the salary figures quoted on various websites, the average salary according to:

  • Payscale: A musician or singer makes approximately $14 - 116 per hour
  • Ziprecruiter: A professional musician makes $19k - 88k per year
  • Glassdoor: A musician makes $30k - 71.9k per year

What should I put on My Music Resume?


When it comes to curating the perfect musician resume, you need to compose the sections that we have mentioned below:

  • Header
  • Personal Information
  • Profile Title
  • Summary/Objective
  • Key Skills
  • Key Instruments
  • Professional Experience
  • Key Performance
  • Education
  • Certifications (if any)
  • Additional Information (if any)

Also Read: Which sections are necessary for a music resume?

Music Resume: Professional Experience


The professional experience section of your musician resume is the heart and soul of your music resume.

This section is to your music resume what your music performance is to your music career.

If you can manipulate this section, you will have a better shot at getting shortlisted for the music job of your dreams!

Here's what you can do to perfect this section:

  • Use the STAR Format
  • Use one-liner points to talk about your roles & responsibilities
  • Use grouping & highlighting

It is a more detailed and comprehensive guide on composing the professional experience section.

Also Read: The importance of a good professional experience section

Music resume format:STAR Format

Use the STAR format to structure each one-liner point in your musician resume. This helps you effectively curate your resume and makes it attractive to the recruiter.

Before we discuss this, here's what the STAR in the STAR format stands for:

  • S stands for Situation. It discusses the situation that you are assigned a certain task in
  • T stands for Task. Here-in, you describe the task/activity that you were assigned in a certain situation to attain a specific goal
  • A stands for Action. This is the part where you describe the action that you undertook to meet the task that you were assigned
  • R stands for Result. Here, you describe the result of your actions by talking about your accomplishments in the form of performance figures

Framing points in your Music Resume

When it comes to composing your music resume, there are two things that you should know:

  • Do not use paragraphs
  • Use one-liner points

Given below are two examples demonstrating why you should do this:

Example 1:

"As part of my roles & responsibilities as a music teacher in Western Classical Academy, I was responsible for a range of tasks that were not limited to teaching music to students. The highlight of my career was when I prepared students for 3+ talent shows and one secured the 2nd position in a cello competition: a landmark achievement as the academy did not have a single star performer in the field of a cello before I joined the academy as a music instructor. Other responsibilities include curriculum design for over 100 students and collaborating with other teachers to put together 3 musicals in a year. The main areas of my expertise included teaching oboe, cello, violin, guitar, harmonica, and percussion to a total of 10 batches of students with 50 students in each batch".

Example 2:

  • Administered the design of a study curriculum with a focus on metronome for 100+ students
  • Taught oboe, cello, violin, guitar, harmonica, and percussion to 5+ batches
  • Collaborated with 5+ art teachers and senior students to direct 3+ musicals annually
  • Prepared students for 3+ talent shows leading to a student securing the 2nd position in a cello competition

Framing Points: Analysis

The key takeaways from the above 2 examples are listed below:

  • Example 1 and 2 are saying the same thing. While example 1 does so in approximately 10 lines, example 2 can communicate the same message in 4 crisp one-liner points
  • Example 1 is hard to read as it is bulky and does not have any line breaks. This is the biggest disadvantage of composing this section in paragraphs - it distracts the recruiter from reading your resume in its entirety
  • On the contrary, example 2 has an advantage over example 1 as it is reader-friendly. This encourages the recruiter to quickly skim through your music resume
  • Example 2 makes your musician resume easy to read, and easier to comprehend. This ensures that at least your resume is doing the bare minimum of getting the recruiter to go through your resume completely. This might not happen if you use paragraphs
  • Hence, you should use points instead of paragraphs to compose the professional experience section of your music resume

Grouping & Highlighting in your Music Resume

Grouping & Highlighting is to points, what ying is to yang. Both complement each other and should be used in sync with each other.

Grouping means putting similar points together under one unique subheading, whereas highlighting is self explanatory, it is done to accentuate few words.

When you frame points, all it does is enhance the readability of your musician resume. When you use grouping & highlighting alongside points, it makes your resume look more professional and effective.

Here are two examples to demonstrate this:

Example 1:

  • Administered the design of a study curriculum with a focus on metronome for 100+ students
  • Taught oboe, cello, violin, guitar, harmonica, and percussion to 5+ batches
  • Collaborated with 5+ art teachers and senior students to direct 3+ musicals annually
  • Prepared students for 3+ talent shows leading to a student securing the 2nd position in a cello competition

Example 2

Student Engagement & Curriculum Design

  • Administered the design of a study curriculum with focus on metronome for **100+ students **
  • Taught oboe, cello, violin, guitar, harmonica, and percussion to 5+ batches

Event Management & Music Competitions

  • Collaborated with 5+ art teachers and senior students to direct 3+ musicals annually
    Prepared students for 3+ talent shows leading to a student securing the 2nd position in a cello competition

Here's a music resume sample showcasing what an ideal professional experience section of your musician resume should ideally look like:

Professional Experience section in a Music resume

Music Resume: Key Skills

Are you musically talented?

Can you play multiple musical instruments?

Do you write impactful soul-stirring songs?

If you can, then brag all about it in the key skills section of your musician resume.

The key skills section, being one of the most important components of your musician resume, has to be carefully curated.

You need to mention the most relevant skills of your music career as it might be a specific skill that the hiring manager is looking for.

To perfect this section, here's what you can do:

  • Scrutinize the professional experience section and identify your core skills. After identifying them, single them out in the key skills section of your music theater resume.
  • Optimize this section further and tailor it to target the job listing that you are interested in. You can do this by identifying the keywords and replicating them in the key skills section as long as you can justify that you have these skills.

For a more detailed account of how to perfect the key skills section of your music resume, read Hiration's 2022 Guide on what skills to put on a resume.

You can also check out the music resume template on our Online Resume Builder and customize it to suit your needs. Our music resume examples will give you an insight into what a perfect music resume should look like!

While you're at it, check out the musician resume example that we have mentioned below to know how you should effectively and ideally curate the key skills section of your resume:

Key Skills section in a Music resume

Music Resume Summary

Your music resume summary is one of the most crucial elements of your music theater resume. It needs to effectively communicate the highlights of your career and your professional caliber in a brief paragraph.

Given below are the top things that you should know to write an effectively curated musician resume:

  • Write a music resume summary only if you have professional experience that transcends 3 years. If you don't have any relevant work experience yet or have very minimal work experience, compose a music resume objective instead.
  • Your resume summary should ideally be 3-5 lines. Do not try to write over 5 lines of music resume summary.
  • Your resume summary is a brief compendium of your career highlights. Make sure that you give an account of the most relevant and impressive adventures of your music career in your music resume summary.

Learn more about perfectly crafted resume summaries and how to curate them on Hiration's 2022 Resume Summary Guide.

Now that you know the nitty-gritty of perfecting the summary section of your musician resume, take a look at our music resume sample below to learn what an ideal resume summary should look like:

Summary section in a Music resume

Music Resume Objective

You should only write a music resume objective if you fall into the below-mentioned categories:

  • You have no work experience.
  • You're a fresh college graduate.
  • You have very limited work experience of under 3 years.

Music Resume: Header

Your music resume header is the thing that goes on the top-most part of your resume.

It is here that you should write your real full name. Doing this sees to it that your musician resume has an individual identity and life of its very own.

Hiration Pro Tip: Never write "Resume" or "CV" as your resume header. You should strictly avoid this as it is implicit in your resume that it is a resume.

Moreover, writing your name as your resume header comes with the added advantage of not being lost or mixed up or misplaced in a pile of resumes that crowd the recruiter's system.

Here are some tips on how to curate this section:

  • Write your real full name as your resume header
  • Position it on the top-most part of your musician resume
  • Write your resume header in the font size of 16-20 font size
  • If you have a middle name, write your first name, followed by the first initial of your middle name in capital letters, followed by your last name
  • Eg: Michael Joseph Jackson should be written as "Michael J. Jackson"

Read more about resume headers on Hiration’s 2022 Guide To Writing The Perfect Resume Header to learn how to compose the perfect header for your musician resume.

If this seems like too much work, try Hiration's Online Resume Builder for ready-made design templates to curate your music resume without the hassle of having to manually arrange the size of each component of your resume.

Given below is a music resume sample showcasing the perfect resume header for your musician resume:

Header section in a Music resume

Music Resume: Personal Information

To write a perfect resume that is just as impeccable and soulful as the last musical note you composed, it is essential that you perfect each section.

This includes the personal information section. You need to perfect it too, and here's every reason why:

The personal information is an often-overlooked section. This shouldn't be the case as this section carries with it vital contact details using which a recruiter gets in touch with you.

Hiration Pro Tip: Compose this section with 100% accuracy as even the most minor mistake in composing this section might keep an interested recruiter from getting in touch with you.

The personal information section consists of 3 things:

  • Updated Mobile Number
  • Professional Email ID
  • Location

Feel free to read more about perfecting this section on Hiration's 2022 Guide to composing your contact information to get a better sense of how to perfect this section.

Updated Mobile Number

As a rule of thumb, you should mention only that contact number in your music resume on which you are available 24X7.

Mentioned below are the top things you should remember when composing this section:

  • Use your country’s ISD code as a prefix before your phone number
  • Put a plus sign (+) before the ISD code
  • Write your updated mobile number after the ISD code
  • Eg: +1 65432 31981

E-mail Address

Your email ID is one of the most important parts of your contact information. It is the official and most-preferred mode of professional communication.

Any employer who is interested in hiring you will necessarily prefer connecting with you over e-mails vis-a-vis mobile phone.

This is why you should correctly compose your email address in your music resume.

One spelling mistake can push you a whole lifetime away from getting the musician job of your dreams.

The trick here is to write your professional email ID as professionally and as accurately as you possibly can.

Hiration Pro Tip: Do not write jazzy names like michael.the.pop.king@xyz.com as your email ID. Instead, use michael.jackson@xyz.com as your professional email ID.

Correct format: your-full-name@xyz.com.

Location

Mentioned below are the top guidelines that you should follow when composing the location in your resume.

  • In resume-writing language, location means your current city of residence
  • You do not need to mention irrelevant details of your location like your house address, street name/number, or locality name in your musician resume
  • Mention your city and state name if you are looking for a job in the same country. if you are looking for opportunities abroad, a brief mention of your city and country name is enough

Here's our music resume sample showcasing what an ideally composed personal information section should ideally look like:

Personal Information section in a Music resume

Music Resume: Profile Title

What is a profile title but a statement of your latest professional standing?

It reflects your latest job title, which goes on to tell the recruiter what your level of seniority in your chosen industry is.

Here are a few rules & regulations that you should follow to compose the perfect profile title:

  • It is the second-largest text in your resume after the resume header
  • Compose your profile title in the size range of 14-16 font size
  • Do not exaggerate your job title in your musician resume

In the meanwhile, get your existing musician resume professionally reviewed by our resume experts at Hiration.

While you're at it, keep an eye out on the left bottom corner of this page for our AI-powered Resume Review Service.

Take a look at our music resume sample below to learn what an ideal profile title should look like:

Profile Title section in a Music resume

Music Resume: Education

While relevant work experience is almost always preferred over a candidate's educational background, sometimes holding a degree from a renowned institution can help boost your chances of a shortlist.

This is where the education section comes in.

The education section of your music resume should include the following details:

  • Name of the school/university you have attended
  • Name of the courses you have pursued
  • The location of your school/university
  • Date of enrollment and graduation from each course (in month and year format)

Learn more about composing this section with the perfection of a rockstar with Hiration's 2022 Guide on how to list education on your resume.

Here's our music resume sample showcasing what the ideal education section of your resume should look like once you have finalized your music resume template:

Education section in a Music resume

Music Resume: Certifications

The certifications section is that section in your musician resume where you are expected to document your certifications.

If you have done any relevant certification, list them down in this section of your musician resume.

This section should ideally consist of the following details:

  • Name of the certification course
  • Name of the certifying body
  • Location of the certifying body
  • Enrollment and completion date of the course (in month and year format)

Arrange these points in the format that we have mentioned below:

{Name of certification} | {Affiliating Institution} | {Location} | {Date} (in month and year format)

You can also read up more about it on Hiration's 2022 Guide on listing certifications on a resume.

In the meanwhile, do feel free to check out Hiration's Online Resume Builder!

The music resume template that comes with our resume builder will revolutionize your resume-writing experience!

Given below is a music resume example depicting the ideal certifications section for your music industry resume:

Certifications section in a Music resume

Music Resume: Internships

When it comes to advancing your career in your chosen field, a good internship experience(s) can help.

This is where the internship section can help.

If you have any relevant internship exposure, list them down in this section.

Here's a music resume example demonstrating what an ideally composed internships section should ideally look like:

Internship section in a Music resume

Music Resume: Awards & Recognition

To get the shortlist for the musician job that you want, you need to do more than just draft a killer music resume.

You need to brag wherever possible. After all, your resume is a sales pitch and you need to convert your clients (in this case, the hiring manager).

It is in this capacity that the Awards & Recognition section can help.

If you were a star performer, were recognized for your exceptional musical skills, were acknowledged as the highest-grossing musician, list them all down in the Awards & Recognition.

Making an impact is key, and talking about your career highlights in this section of your resume can boost your chances of a shortlist!

While you're at it, you can try using our Online Resume Builder. You can edit the music resume template on our resume builder to suit your needs and qualifications.

Music Resume: Additional Information

Do you speak multiple languages?

Do you have hobbies that may positively reflect on your skills as a professional?

If you do, put them down in the additional information section of your music industry resume.

Music Resume Sample

Here’s our sample music resume demonstrating what a perfectly composed musician resume should ideally look like:

5
Tips & Guides
Tim Beatrice
Musician (Primary Oboist)
SUMMARY
Award-winning oboist with 5+ years of experience in contributing to the overall management of an orchestra. Well-versed in formulating curriculum for students & aspiring musicians. Proficient in steering fundraising initiatives while performing at various stages and art festivals. Dexterous in improvising to renowned symphonies and directing the orchestra as a substitute maestro.
EDUCATION
MI College of Contemporary Music
Masters of Music in Performance
Start typing, then use the up and down arrows to select an option from the list
    • GPA: 4.5/5.0
    Manhattan School of Music
    Bachelors of Music
    Start typing, then use the up and down arrows to select an option from the list
      • GPA: 4.8/5.0
      INSTRUMENTS
      • Primary: Oboe
      • Secondary: Cello, Guitar, Violin, Harmonica
      KEY SKILLS
      • Artist Collaboration • Music Curriculum Design • Fundraising • Genre Adaptability • Music Production
      • Networking & Relationship Management • Student Engagement • Event Management
      • Soundtrack Composition • Team Leadership
      CERTIFICATION
      • Advanced Oboe Certification | NuDemy | '18
      KEY PERFORMANCES
      • Opened for the "The Last Shadow Puppets" at the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago in '20
      • Performed at the Sultans of the Notes Jazz Festival in '19
      • Represented the jazz band "Fly by the Pentatonic" at the Battle of the Bands and secured 3rd position in '19
      • Played at the "Venezia Music Festival" with Pantera Orchestra in '18
      PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
      Primary Oboist
      Four Seasons Orchestra
      Start typing, then use the up and down arrows to select an option from the list
        Recruitment & Fundraising
        • Led the musicians in the absence of the maestro to ensure that the practice schedule is followed
        • Recruited 10+ musicians in a span of 6 months to increase the strength of the team to 25%
        • Involved in fundraising activities as part of the "Western Music Revival" campaign to secure $5000 in funding
        • Assisted the maestro in finalizing symphonies to present during the opening weekend
        Key Achievements
        • Represented the orchestra at the Venice Music Festival and bagged the "Emerging Oboist of the Year" award
        • Promoted to primary oboist within a span of 3 months
        • Declared recipient of the 'Beethoven's Sonata Oboist' Award twice
        Music Teacher
        Western Classical Academy
        Start typing, then use the up and down arrows to select an option from the list
          Networking & Relationship Management
          • Created networks & relationships to secure 25+ gigs for the students
          Curriculum Design & Student Engagement
          • Designed curriculum & activities for 100+ students and incorporated metronome in the learning for 50+ students
          • Successfully taught oboe, cello, violin, guitar, harmonica, and percussion to 100+ students
          Music Competitions & Event Management
          • Collaborated with other art teachers and senior students to direct a Christmas musical
          • Prepared the students for 3 talent shows that led to a student securing 2nd position in a cello competition

          Resume Review & Free Music Resume Template

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          • Compliance with industry norms
          • Content Relevance
          • Recruiter Friendliness
          • Design Compatibility
          • Conversion Scope
          • ATS Compliance
          • Global Compatibility
          • Performance Assessment
          • Resume Formatting (font, margins, the order of sections, etc.)

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          Resume Builder for Music Resume

          Our Online Resume Builder comes with the following resources:

          • Option to save unlimited resumes
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          • Live resume editor

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          Key Takeaways

          • Write the dates in the month and year format across all sections in your music industry resume.
          • Use reverse chronological order across all sections in your musician resume.
          • Begin all the points of your work experience with a power verb.
          • Use power verbs in the past tense for past profiles and projects and use power verbs in the present continuous tense for present profiles and projects.
          • Use grouping & highlighting alongside points to enhance the readability of your musician resume and make it more effective.
          • Write a music resume objective if you have 0 to less than 3 years of work experience and a music resume summary if you have over 3 years of work experience.
          • Write the location in city/state format if you are applying for a job in the same country and use the city/country format if you are applying for a job in another country.

          With this, you have reached the end of this blog.

          Follow the instructions that we have laid out in this blog to write a stellar resume for musicians.

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