Photo by Elissa Stolman

The closing festivities of CMJ 2011 commenced with the last day of panels on Friday, when Syndicate General Manager, former CMJ Editor-In-Chief and (most importantly) hot indie guy Reverend Moose moderated the Music Career Mapping In 2011 And 2012 panel. Moose navigated through the terrifying process of finding a job and establishing a career in the music business with Full Sail University’s Wheeler Newman, Good Cop PR President Perry Serpa, NYU music business professor Shirley Washington and Nielsen Music’s Trudy Lartz. Moose kicked off the discussion by asking each panel member to describe the trajectory of his or her rather impressive career. Although hearing about their career paths was a little intimidating, many of the panelists shared common driving forces, most notably a primal passion for music and lots and lots of work.
 
Beyond the basic kernels of advice for job seekers—act professional, follow up after an interview, have a perfect and businesslike resumé—the panelists provided insight and stories for attendees. Newman, who stressed the importance of tailoring your resumé for each potential job, warned audience members not to send emails from goofy dubious addresses like “smoking420@yahoo.com.” “You can email Wheeler there after this,” Moose joked. With astute questioning he guided the panelists through an insider’s look at making a career in the music business, touching on how to act at an internship and how to sell yourself in an interview or application. Here are some of their words of wisdom.

  • Start as early as possible—there are lots of ways to build your resumé even in high school, like writing for the school paper.
  • Find out what your personality traits are. Know what your strengths are, how you like to work and in what kinds of environments you work best.
  • Remember that interning costs a company money, whether you’re using the company’s Internet connection or taking up space in their office. Don’t waste their time and resources—work hard.
  • Make yourself known in the office, get to know people. Talk to the people at nearby desks.
  • Gain skills and experience in exactly the region of the music business you’re interested in getting into instead of trying to get a little experience in a lot of areas.