When chasing your dream job, especially in the music industry, you will soon be confronted with the fact that you’re not the only one chasing after it. Some creativity and out-of-the-box maneuvers will be in order to avoid the pile of maybe equally qualified, maybe equally passionate candidates. A run-of-the-mill motivational letter is not an option if you want to stand-out from the start.
How to Get A Job in the Music Industry
Maybe that’s why we’re seeing all these creative efforts to impress human resources. So after you’re done kicking your butt, thinking “Why didn’t I think of this?!”, when you see this applicant and his vinyl resume, get inspired by this guy who started an entire campaign…
What would you do when you spot your dream job and you know it would be a perfect fit? You could stick to the standard procedure and send the standard resume with a standard cover letter. You could hope your letter stands out in between all the other applications.
Or — you could go for a pretty unorthodox application that goes way beyond the full attention of the company that’s hiring.
Applying at AB
A couple of months ago, I decided I had to go the unorthodox way. I wanted to apply for the position of Assistant Promoter at Ancienne Belgique, a concert venue whose doorsteps I cross almost as much as my own, right here in the city where I live and (that I) love. For a music aficionado with a creative vision and a sense for social media, this job sure seemed like the perfect match. The problem? Hundreds of other applicants would feel the exact same way.
How to stand out?
Not only did I need an application that reflected my abilities and showed I fit the profile — I also needed to draw enough attention to leave all the other applicants behind me. I didn’t want to be reduced to just another application in the pile.
I needed something extra. I needed a standout idea. Something original and attention-grabbing. And sure enough, I found a way.
Levitate: The Campaign
Now, I shouldn’t take all the credit for this idea. Let me introduce you all to Vincent. His multi talent in graphic design helped me A LOT (check out his work here). We sat down together, brainstormed, talked the idea over, and came up with this:
Say hello to my application: Levitate. An imaginary festival with an awesome line-up that would take place in Ancienne Belgique, accompanied by an ‘official’ website. If you visited the website, you would see the line-up for about 3 seconds, and then you’d be redirected to my online application.
Obviously, it was of vital importance that AB noticed the application as well. This, of course, required some planning. A lot of preparation went into a matching guerrilla marketing campaign, both on- and offline. The first step was printing and putting up the posters in and around AB.
It didn’t take long before the posters were spotted. When I checked AB’s official Snapchat account, I even saw this.
I was quite surprised that AB was spreading the poster through an official channel, but apparently this snap was taken by their social media intern who actually thought it was real.
You could say I was off to a good start, but I didn’t want to stop there. There was a good chance AB had already seen the posters by then, but still — I wanted to keep on going and get as much exposure as possible. The next logical step was taking Levitate online. I asked some people with the right network to share a few mock-up images through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
I was very happy to see the posters were getting noticed. Friends of mine were even asking if I had already seen that insane festival line-up at AB, not knowing I was behind it all. At that time, some people had already visited the website, but most people still believed the festival was real.
After a while, I knew it was time to let the cat out of the bag. Levitate had had its attention — I even had some haters at that point. A good idea always polarizes, right? So I announced on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that I was the mastermind and culprit behind Levitate.
You’re probably wondering where all of this brought me in the end. Well, Levitate — and myself — definitely got the exposure I was looking for. I received tons of positive reactions on this application and the site got over a thousand views in just one week. I also got no less than three other job interviews. But you know I’m building up to that climax, right?
Unfortunately, this story has no fairytale ending (yet). I wasn’t invited for an interview at AB. Turns out I didn’t quite fit the profile they were looking for, but let there be no doubt — this has been incredibly inspiring for me. It had been a while since I felt so passionate about a project, and it has only given me more enthusiasm to throw myself into a new one. And remember, the next time you see a mind-blowing music line up… It could just be someone, applying for a job.