Jam Your Way to Jobs After College


Here’s an unconventional way to improve your prospects in the job market: start a band. Maybe your parents think it’s just a bunch of terrible noise, but forming Tofu Deluxe or Crooked Smile Dentist can be a great way for you to demonstrate your value to potential employers.

You don’t have to be the next Lady Gaga to make this work for you. The idea here is to make the most of the non-music aspects of forming and managing your own band. Putting together even a third-rate band takes a great deal of Effort, Organization, and Entrepreneurship. These are all “Winning Characteristics” employers will appreciate, even if they prefer Beck over Green Day.

Interviewers want to see real evidence of your abilities, not just good grades. What if you could describe how you found the musicians, put together a set list, made a demo tape, booked dates, marketed the band, cut an album, sold band logo merchandise, and managed the books? This dedication to the success of your band tells an interviewer a lot about what you can do on the job.

Here are a couple of pointers. Pick a name for your band that will not entirely offend an interviewer. Corporate Criminals may sound great on campus, but a recruiter from OBM may not be so impressed. Keep evidence of your progress. Make your marketing letters and other materials creative and professional; you may want to show them to an interviewer as demonstration of the kind of work you do. Keep a budget using spreadsheet software; again, make it professional.

A final comment: be realistic. Putting together a band is a lot of work, and a half-hearted effort will earn you nothing but frustration. One the other hand, if you’re truly up to the challenge, you can truly jam your way to jobs after college.

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