BA Music (Leeds)
Made us of careers service whilst at Uni – checking my CV and covering letter, provided list of places that advertised jobs in arts and cultural sector, showed to my mum, friends. Mock interviews.
Use of IT skills, particularly in my work, extremely important, particularly in marketing – proficient using databases, customer relationship management systems, Excel, as well as web technologies. I knew little about html and web editing and Photoshopping – skills very useful. These will really make you stand out – they are not arty skills as such but practical useful skills that will stand you in really good stead and put you at a big advantage. Same goes for office and any commercial experience that you have.
Writing emails and letters to particular organisations asking for work experience
- show knowledge of org and that you’ve got an interest
- tailored each letter to each organisation rather than sending out a generic speculative letter.
- Keep persisting – most I didn’t hear from and had to chase
Same applied to job applications
- tailored each CV, covering letter and application form.
Interviews - learnt that you’ve got be relaxed, have a personality in interviews as well as being professional – I thought to be formal or reserved in your approach to prospective employers
Make the most of work experience/shadowing opportunities. Even if just for one day. Not just to ‘something to add to your CV’ but prove that you’ve acquired a skill or were able to develop a skill in something
Be prepared – some jobs can be quite menial – persist and show keenness and willingness. Sticking mailing labels on envelopes all day, stuffing envelopes with press releases. Say yes to everything!
Make lots of contacts and be sociable – keep in touch with people regularly
Show commitment and enthusiasm to working in the industry – whether it’s a holiday job in a box office or spending your weekends being one of those people who just stands around in art galleries.
Be prepared to work for free to get your foot in the door – low salaries come with the territory so it’s all about the love
Doing some reviewing for a local magazine (or website!) – it’ll put you in touch with people at venues
Start your own arts blog – great as evidence that you’re interested in the industry
Get on twitter and follow key people within the industry – there’s sometimes even jobs announced on twitter
Do your own promoting – see if you can get experience promoting a friends gig or theatre shows – it shows initiative
Finally – show a genuine and active interest in the arts, be enthusiastic, and willing.