Wednesday, February 6, 2013

7 Seconds to Success Part II: Bios & Resumes

resume writing, artist bios, professionally-written artist bios, professionally-written resumes
Photo by Julian Lim, Creative Commons
Last week in "7 Seconds to Success, or Failure," we talked about making a good first impression with your personal appearance.  But sometimes our first introduction to others is in writing, whether it's via an introductory email to a potential contact, a resume to a hiring manager, or an artist bio to a label, the media, or potential new fans.  Again, just like we said last week, you only have about seven seconds to make a good first impression!

Here are a few tips on how to improve the first impressions you make on others in writing:
  1. For great advice on email etiquette, especially for musicians, check out this article entitled, "Music Industry Email Etiquette 101 - For/from people who give a damn" (by Seth Herman).  If you're not a musician, I still encourage you to read the article because much of the advice applies to anyone using email to connect with people they haven't yet met face-to-face.
  2. When writing a resume, know your audience.  The recording artists I work with must always know their audience and so should job seekers.  Understand that your reader will be viewing hundreds and even thousands of other resumes.  Give them the information they need early (higher up in your resume) and quickly (in concise statements) in an easy-to-read format (i.e. in bulleted lists as opposed to paragraphs).
  3. Only include on your resume experience that is relevant or transferable to the job for which you are applying.  This means if you have a variety of experience and are applying for a variety of types of jobs, you will have to have a different resume for each type of job.  In the paNASH Style Resume Makeover Package, I teach clients how to target their resume for each job type.  I encourage them and you to keep a "master resume" of everything you've done for your eyes only and use it to pull from in developing a more relevant and more marketable resume that will be sent to hiring managers.
  4. In your artist bio, start with an attention-grabbing intro in the first sentence that describes your uniqueness as an artist, and include info on your latest project or upcoming show in the first paragraph in a way that generates excitement about it. 
  5. You need two versions of your artist bio: a short, concise version to send to the media telling them about the latest on your career, and a more in-depth bio that weaves a compelling history about who you are as an artist.  This more in-depth version is not only of interest to fans, but also helps provide music writers and bloggers with info they can include in their stories about you.  If your bio is interesting enough, writers will pull wording from your bio into their reviews and blogs about you, making it easier for them and more likely for them to write about you.  Provide quality and quantity for them in your own bio and they will want to feature you more than once.  This is also helps you have a little control over the content that is written about you.
  6. Get help.  Writing your own resume or bio can be difficult.  It's hard to be objective about yourself and can seem uncomfortable having to toot your own horn.  Sometimes it's worth the investment to get someone like us to help you with your resume or write your bio for you from an objective perspective (click here to see examples of past bios we've written).  Contact us at 615-375-6742 to inquire about assistance with your written materials.
Follow these tips along with the ones from last week's blog and you'll no doubt make a good first impression!

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