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3 Musician Resume Examples & Guide...

3 Musician Resume Examples & Guide for 2024

Your musician resume must prominently display your versatility and experience in different musical styles. It's crucial to highlight your proficiency with various instruments, if applicable. Ensure that your resume also reflects your ability to collaborate with other artists and ensembles. Show evidence of your previous performances and any recordings that have contributed to your professional growth.

As a musician, you might struggle with condensing numerous and diverse performances into a concise resume format that effectively showcases your range of skills. Our guide offers tailored strategies that will help you expertly synthesize your artistic experiences into a compelling narrative, ensuring your unique talents take center stage.

Master the art of writing your resume with our brief guide on:
  • Defining the highlights of your musician career through your resume summary, objective, and experience.
  • Real-world musician resume samples with best practices on how to stand out amongst the endless pile of candidate resumes.
  • Most in-demand musician resume skills and certifications across the industry.
  • Standardizing your resume layout, while maintaining your creativity and individuality.

If the musician resume isn't the right one for you, take a look at other related guides we have:

Best practices for the look and feel of your musician resume

Before you even start writing your musician resume, first you need to consider its layout and format.

What's important to keep in mind is:

  • The reverse-chronological resume is the most widely used format to present your experience, starting with your latest job.
  • Your musician resume header needs to include your correct, professional contact details. If you happen to have a professional portfolio or an updated LinkedIn profile, include a link to it.
  • Ensure your resume is no longer than two pages - you don't have to include irelevant experience on your resume just to make it look longer.
  • Unless specified otherwise, submit your resume in the most popular format, the PDF one, as this will ensure your musician resume isn't altered.

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Always remember that your musician certifications can be quantified across different resume sections, like your experience, summary, or objective. For example, you could include concise details within the expertise bullets of how the specific certificate has improved your on-the-job performance.

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Musician resume sections to answer recruiters' checklists:

  • Header to help recruiters quickly allocate your contact details and have a glimpse over your most recent portfolio of work
  • Summary or objective to provide an overview of your career highlights, dreams, and goals
  • Experience to align with job requirements and showcase your measurable impact and accomplishments
  • Skills section/-s to pinpoint your full breadth of expertise and talents as a candidate for the Musician role
  • Education and certifications sections to potentially fill in any gaps in your experience and show your commitment to the industry
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What recruiters want to see on your resume:

  • Performance Experience (lists of ensembles, bands, orchestras, or solo performances)
  • Instrument Proficiency (detailed information on primary and secondary instruments)
  • Music Education (degrees, certificates, masterclasses, private studies)
  • Repertoire List (comprehensive list of works performed or a specialized repertoire related to a genre or instrument)
  • Recording and Production Experience (any studio work, albums, or session jobs)

Experts' advice on writing your musician resume experience

While the excitement and motivation for writing your musician resume was present in the first hour (or so), you now find yourself staring at the blank page.

The resume experience section is the one that allows you to make a memorable impression by matching job requirement with your past jobs and accomplishments.

To help you write this resume section, here are four mistakes you need to avoid:

  • Listing every job you have had so far, including the irrelevant ones. Before that, consider each of your past roles based on relevancy to the role. It may be the case that the job you had 15 years ago may have taught you invaluable skills that are appropriate for the role;
  • Including irrelevant work experience items. Those are past jobs that aren't linked with the role you're applying for (or so they seem). Consider how your past jobs will serve your professional presentation: will they be filling in a gap in your work history, or just taking up space?
  • Focusing on responsibilities instead of accomplishments. Your musician resume shouldn't just be telling recruiters what you did in the past - as it's most often the case that candidates have had similar responsibilities. But, rather, the experience section should showcase the success you've attained in each past role, thanks to your unique skill set;
  • Consider listing just your professional experience. Any role you've had in the past - e.g. volunteering, internships, etc. - can make it into your musician resume experience section. Make sure to include it alongside numbers and results.

Two more things you need to remember about your resume experience section.

The first are keywords. Or those specific job requirements that are crucial for the role . Ensure you've integrated them across your experience section to get sorted closer to the ideal candidate profile by the Applicant Tracker System (ATS).

The second are action verbs. Each of your experience bullets should start with a strong action verb, followed by your specific skill and your on the job achievements. Follow this formula to hint to recruiters what your unique value as a professional is.

Still with us? In the next section, we will show you how industry-leading professionals have avoided the four most common mistakes, while integrating keywords and action verbs in their experience section.

Principal Violinist
Principal Violinist
Boston Symphony Orchestra
  • Performed as first-chair violinist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, leading string sections through complex classical repertoire while maintaining impeccable performance standards.
  • Collaborated with renowned conductors and soloists, contributing to internationally acclaimed performances, and received an average of 98% positive audience review scores.
  • Mentored junior string players, enhancing the overall skill level and performance quality of the orchestra's string section.
Lead Guitarist
Lead Guitarist
The Wavelengths Band
  • Toured with the indie rock band 'The Wavelengths' across North America, playing over 100 live shows and increasing the band's following by 25,000 on social media platforms.
  • Composed original guitar riffs for the band's hit album 'Echoes in the Alley,' which sold over 50,000 copies in the first six months of release.
  • Worked closely with audio engineers to develop and refine the unique sound of the band for studio recordings and live performances.
Music Director and Composer
Music Director and Composer
Off-Broadway Theatre Company
  • Directed the musical score and composed original pieces for the Off-Broadway production 'Lights of the City,' leading to a 10% increase in ticket sales over previous productions.
  • Managed a team of 12 musicians and technicians to develop a cohesive and impactful auditory experience for the theater-goers.
  • Coordinated with the production team to ensure music elevated the storytelling, enhancing the overall audience engagement and critical acclaim.
Jazz Ensemble Leader
Jazz Ensemble Leader
Midnight Blue Jazz Quintet
  • Performed at over 60 jazz club gigs and private events in New York City with the 'Midnight Blue Jazz Quintet', significantly building the band's brand and doubling the booking rate.
  • Arranged a set of 20 original compositions and classic jazz standards, resulting in the quintet securing a residency at the prestigious 'Blue Note Jazz Club'.
  • Recorded a live session album that was critically praised in 'Jazz Weekly' and spurred the sales for upcoming performances.
Studio Session Musician
Studio Session Musician
SoundMix Studios
  • Recorded guitar tracks for over 30 albums with various artists in the pop, rock, and country genres, enhancing the studio's reputation for high-quality music production.
  • Collaborated with producers to establish the desired sound profile, which contributed to the success of three albums reaching the top 10 in Billboard's charts.
  • Adapted quickly to different musical styles and studio environments, consistently earning praise for professionalism and versatility from industry professionals.
Orchestral Percussionist
Orchestral Percussionist
Philadelphia Orchestra
  • Performed in over 200 concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra, bringing percussive elements to life with precision and energy that elevated each performance.
  • Engaged with community outreach programs, conducting workshops for over 1,500 students which increased interest in orchestral music within the community.
  • Premiered new compositions, working alongside composers to realise their rhythmic intentions, leading to positive reviews and greater creative opportunities for the orchestra.
Freelance Music Producer
Freelance Music Producer
  • Produced and mixed tracks for over 40 independent artists, developing a reputation for helping emerging talent to create polished and marketable music.
  • Pioneered the use of innovative digital audio workstations and plug-ins, which enhanced the creative process and production quality for client projects.
  • Oversaw the successful launch of a debut album for an up-and-coming pop artist that reached over 100,000 streams on Spotify within the first month.
Touring Keyboardist
Touring Keyboardist
Sonic Layer Band
  • Toured internationally as the keyboardist for 'Sonic Layer,' playing to an audience of over 500,000 across 20 countries and expanding the band's international fan base.
  • Implemented stage technology advancements, including MIDI controllers and synthesizers that created a dynamic live sound, greatly enhancing the concert-goer experience.
  • Arranged and performed keyboard parts for the band’s third studio album which was nominated for a Grammy in the category of 'Best Electronic/Dance Album'.

Quantifying impact on your resume

  • List the number of performances you have participated in to demonstrate your experience and reliability.
  • Include the size of venues you have played, showing your comfort and adaptability in performing for various audiences.
  • Specify the amount of original pieces you have composed to highlight your creativity and contribution to your field.
  • Mention the number of albums you've recorded, underlining your studio experience and collaboration skills.
  • Count the awards and recognitions you have received to establish your credibility and excellence in music.
  • State the number of musical styles you are proficient in to showcase your versatility and breadth of skill.
  • Quantify the number of students you have taught, if applicable, to demonstrate your mentorship and impact on others' learning.
  • Document the number of successful crowdfunding campaigns or funds raised for musical projects to show your entrepreneurial side and community support.

Action verbs for your musician resume

Instead of simply mentioning your tasks, share what you have done in your previous positions by using action verbs. For example, instead of saying “Client communication”, go for “Communicated with X number of clients weekly”. Use these power words and make your application shine!
Read The Guide

Guide for musician professionals kicking off their career

Who says you can't get that musician job, even though you may not have that much or any experience? Hiring managers have a tendency to hire the out-of-the-blue candidate if they see role alignment. You can show them why you're the best candidate out there by:

  • Selecting the functional skill-based or hybrid formats to spotlight your unique value as a professional
  • Tailoring your musician resume to always include the most important requirements, found towards the top of the job ad
  • Substituting the lack of experience with other relevant sections like achievements, projects, and research
  • Pinpoint both achievements and how you see yourself within this specific role in the musician resume objective.
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If the certificate you've obtained is especially vital for the industry or company, include it as part of your name within the resume headline.

Featuring your hard skills and soft skills on your musician resume

The skills section of your musician resume needs to your various capabilities that align with the job requirements. List hard skills (or technical skills) to showcase to potential employers that you're perfectly apt at dealing with technological innovations and niche software. Meanwhile, your soft skills need to detail how you'd thrive within your new, potential environment with personal skills (e.g. resilience, negotiation, organization, etc.) Your musician resume skills section needs to include both types of skills to promote how you're both technical and cultural fit. Here's how to create your bespoke musician skills section to help you stand out:

  • Focus on skill requirements that are listed toward the top of the job advert.
  • Include niche skills that you've worked hard to obtain.
  • Select specific soft skills that match the company (or the department) culture.
  • Cover some of the basic job requirements by including important skills for the musician role - ones you haven't been able to list through the rest of your resume.

Get inspired with our musician sample skill list to list some of the most prominent hard and soft skills across the field.

Top skills for your musician resume:

Instrument proficiency

Music theory knowledge


Ear training



Audio recording

Music production

Music technology proficiency





Time management





Performance skills


Emotional expression

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Showcase any ongoing or recent educational efforts to stay updated in your field.

Maximizing your musician resume: education and certification sections

To effectively showcase your industry knowledge in your musician resume, it's important to properly list your education and certifications.

For the education section, ensure you include:

  • Higher education degrees pertinent to the industry or those at a postgraduate level;
  • The start and end dates of your education, along with the name of the institution you graduated from;
  • Your GPA and relevant coursework, but only if they are impressive and applicable to the role.

Additionally, create a separate certifications section to spotlight your most notable recognitions. Another excellent place to feature a leading industry certificate is in your resume header, right after your name.

Below is a list of key industry certifications that are often sought after by recruiters

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The top 5 certifications for your musician resume:

  1. Grade Examinations in Music Performance (Grades 1-8) - ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music)
  2. Professional Certificate in Music Theory and Composition - Berklee College of Music
  3. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) - Project Management Institute
  4. Music Production Certificate - MPC (Berklee Online)
  5. Trinity College London Music Certificates - TCL (Trinity College London)
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Bold the names of educational institutions and certifying bodies for emphasis.

The ideal musician candidate resume summary or objective

You may have heard that your resume top one-third plays an important part in your application.

It basically needs to show strong alignment with the job advert, your unique skill set, and your expertise.

Both the resume summary and resume objective could be used to ensure you've shown why you're the best candidate for the role.

Use the:

  • Resume objective to pinpoint your current successes, that are applicable to the field, and your vision for your career. Remember to state how you see yourself growing within this new career opportunity.
  • Resume summary as an instrument to pinpoint what is most applicable and noteworthy form your professional profile. Keep your summary to be no more than five sentences long.

At the end of the day, the resume summary or objective is your golden opportunity to shine a light on your personality as a professional and the unique value of what it's like to work with you.

Get inspired with these musician resume examples:

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Resume summaries for a musician job

  • Seasoned guitarist with over 10 years of experience captivating audiences with versatile performances in jazz, rock, and classical genres. Recognized for leading a successful quartet that toured internationally, featuring original compositions that won the 'Innovative Artist Award' at the Global Music Summit. In-depth knowledge of music theory and composition, coupled with a passion for creating memorable musical experiences.
  • Dynamic vocalist with a powerful stage presence, specialized in soul and R&B, with 15 years of experience performing in high-profile venues across North America. Renowned for a critically acclaimed album that topped independent charts and for collaborations with industry-leading artists. Proficient in vocal arrangements and capable of inspiring audiences through emotive performances.
  • A highly accomplished software developer with 8 years in tech, seeking to leverage comprehensive knowledge of programming and design into a new career as a sound engineer. Eager to apply problem-solving skills and a keen ear for detail to produce high-quality audio recordings, mixing, and mastering. Adept in the latest audio software and technology, motivated to transition and contribute to the world of music production.
  • Finance professional with a decade of experience in asset management, ready for a career pivot to pursue a lifelong passion for music production. Possessing a unique perspective on the business side of the music industry, I aim to merge my analytical prowess with creative flair. Looking forward to bringing my expertise in project management and statistical analysis to advance in the field of music licensing and distribution.
  • A recent music school graduate brimming with enthusiasm to launch a career as a concert pianist. Through rigorous training and recitals, I've honed technical skills that include a vast repertoire ranging from classical to contemporary works. Objective: To immerse myself within an organization that values musical artistry and dedication to the craft of piano performance.
  • Aspiring music educator with a fresh Bachelor of Music degree, specialized in wind instruments, eager to bring a new wave of inspiration and technique to students of all ages. Objective: To secure a teaching position that benefits from my solid background in music theory, pedagogy, and performance, forging a path for the next generation of musicians.

More relevant sections for your musician resume

Perhaps you feel that your current resume could make use of a few more details that could put your expertise and personality in the spotlight.

We recommend you add some of these sections for a memorable first impression on recruiters:

  • Projects - you could also feature noteworthy ones you've done in your free time;
  • Awards - showcasing the impact and recognition your work has across the industry;
  • Volunteering - the social causes you care the most about and the soft skills they've helped you sustain and grow;
  • Personality resume section - hobbies, interests, favorite quote/books, etc. could help recruiters gain an even better understanding of who you are.

Key takeaways

  • Invest in a concise musician professional presentation with key resume sections (e.g. header, experience, summary) and a simple layout;
  • Ensure that the details you decide to include in your resume are always relevant to the job, as you have limited space;
  • Back up your achievements with the hard and soft skills they've helped you build;
  • Your experience could help you either pinpoint your professional growth or focus on your niche expertise in the industry;
  • Curate the most sought-after certifications across the industry for credibility and to prove your involvement in the field.

Musician resume examples

Explore additional musician resume samples and guides and see what works for your level of experience or role.

By Role


Similar to how product management originates from software engineering, DJing as a profession has roots in the audio engineering field. Therefore, current trends in audio technology often impact the practice and popularity of DJing.

The following tips may aid your application for DJ positions:

  • Previous experience with different mixing techniques can enhance your resume. Beat matching, phrasing, EQing and filter mixing are essentials in a DJ's toolkit. Display your skills in these areas prominently in your resume.
  • Don't just list your abilities. Use examples to show the positive impact of your tuning skills on an event’s atmosphere. For instance, 'increased crowd engagement through...,' 'enhanced dance floor energy by...,' and so on.
  • Finally, highlight the breadth of your music knowledge and how it serves the audience. Providing examples of how you've handled various genres shows your adaptability and commitment to customer satisfaction.
View DJ Resume

Music Director

Similar to DJing, Music Director's abilities can heavily influence a performance's overall outcome. A Music Director’s role emerges in conjunction with knowledge in music theory, composition, and conducting. Therefore, updates and advances in these elements can impact the Music Director's responsibilities and requirements.

Consider the following when applying for Music Director roles:

Demonstrate your knowledge in music theory, orchestration, and conducting as these are key competencies. Showcase how your skills in these areas have led to superior concert performances.

Rather than just listing your skills in arranging and composing, show the impact of your work. For example, 'received standing ovation for the original composition of...' or 'increased ticket sales with unique arrangements...'

Highlight your leadership abilities and your experience working with and guiding musicians. Show how your management and direction have positively changed a group or ensemble's performances and overall growth.

View Music Director Resume
musician resume example

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