So, I was scrolling through Twitter the other day and I came across this quality piece of content with the caption “How it feels applying for a job in the middle of a pandemic”.
With over 1 million favourites, it seems to be an issue clearly faced by a considerable amount of people. Although it may feel like this at times, there is definitely hope and always an opportunity waiting to be taken in the music industry if you know how and where to look.
Some of you may be reading this at the start of your BIMM journey, some halfway through, and others at the end. However, regardless of your current circumstance, I hope that it will provide some useful tips and insight as to how you can maximise your experiences at BIMM in order to gain an advantage within the jobs market and the music industry.
Ok, now this can be quite a daunting topic – and for most people the likelihood of actually knowing what you want to do for the rest of your life is rare. Realistically, this will likely change and evolve about a hundred times, so if you don’t know right now…you’re doing fine!
Hopefully though, haven chosen your course at BIMM already, you might have a slight gut indication as to the path you might want to take within the music industry. Whether right or wrong, that gut instinct is the first step that will get the ball rolling. The path might change and go off on new tangents over time. However, stick with it!
The greatest asset you have from studying at BIMM will be the interactions with music industry professionals internally, as well as alumni externals from various backgrounds and professions that will support you in navigating this process.
The luxury of free time
I would strongly recommend seeking out any potential companies or individuals within the field that you wish to pursue and offer your spare time to help out. If you’re entrepreneurially-minded, you might alternatively want to start something yourself. This is also great, but make sure to understand exactly what you’re looking to get out of it.
You might be thinking: “how am I supposed to juggle BIMM as well as a job to pay for my drinks at Patterns on Tuesday night on top of working for free?” Valid point. So, it’s important that you make this work around you. Specify exactly how much time you’re willing to allocate towards learning more about what you want to do and be disciplined. It will be the practical, hands-on experience that a potential employer will want to know about further down the line whilst they’re figuring out the value you can bring to their business.
Reduce the odds
Not only will gaining work experience develop your practical knowledge of the field, but it will also provide you with invaluable references to verify the character statements you make when putting forward a CV.
I was recently told that a comprehensive list of relevant references from individuals from various professional backgrounds will drastically increase your chances of success. Anything that makes an employer feel as though they are taking less of a risk will always work in your favour. Keep this in mind no matter where you’re ‘cutting your teeth’.
Add me on LinkedIn
If you haven’t built a profile on this yet, then you are seriously missing a trick. Here’s how you might want to get started:
- Mention all the relevant work experience you have to date, any key highlights from within these roles, as well as your educational background
- The education section is a great opportunity to specify the modules you are currently working on at BIMM in order to demonstrate the transferable skills you are gaining
- Connect with your peers at BIMM and anyone from your relevant work experiences to demonstrate your existing network of contacts
- Aim to continuously build contacts by adding people within the companies and job roles that you are interested in. What’s the worst that can happen?
- I would also try and use it a little bit like other social media platforms. If you are regularly keeping up to date with sites such as Music Week and CMU Daily for coursework, then you should also follow and share relevant and interesting articles on your page. This will indicate to potential recruiters that you are actively engaged with current trends
Ok, so you’ve done all this. What now?
Another great site for finding creative jobs is called The Dots. They’re basically Monster Recruitment for the creative industry.
Once you have developed your LinkedIn profile to a standard that looks presentable, utilise the search bar to find the recruiter of the job role you’ve recently seen advertised. I wouldn’t recommend a sales pitch. Instead, let the work you’ve done to build your impressive LinkedIn profile speak for itself. Try opening up a dialogue asking if they have some spare time to chat a little bit more about the role being advertised.
I would strongly recommend attending the BIMM WerkIt convention! The likelihood is that you will probably bump into the recruiter, which will make the LinkedIn approach so much easier when an opening becomes available.
Don’t take my word as gospel
Finishing BIMM in 2019, I by no means claim to be the guru of the recruitment world. However, this did seem to work for me, so if all else fails, it might just be worth a shot. Thanks for taking the time to read this and I wish you the best of luck!