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Should I include my music industry experience on my resume?

by Lamar
(Austin, TX)

Hello and thank you for your help in advance! I am currently an inside sales representative with a marketing degree and have a good job history of inside sales.

There is a break in my work history of about a year and a half where I stopped working to pursue music full time. In many people's eyes, it was a successful run, signed to a major label, songs in major soundtracks, touring, endorsements from major music manufacturers.

Due to the economy, the music industry being so tough and parting ways with our record label, I had to go back into the work force. I have been doing inside software sales for almost a year now but I am looking for something better.

My music time actually looks pretty good because it was basically running your own business and I learned a lot about marketing and management. My question is, how much of this should I include in my resume looking for another sales job?

Should I downplay it or be proud of what I was able to accomplish during that time? I don't want to have a gap in my work history, but do not want the prospect to think I am just buying time until my next music gig. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Answer: Thanks for writing, Lamar, and you're quite welcome! I would absolutely include your music experience. It's definitely part of your work history, for one thing. And also, as you state, you achieved some new skills during that time period that would be known as "transferable". Transferable skills are those that are valuable across different types of careers, workplaces and positions. Things like communication skills, work ethic, problem solving, etc.

The skills you gained in marketing and management would definitely be valuable skills that might actually enable you to move up to the next level in your current career path.

So definitely include that experience and those skills on your resume. You may even want to call them out in your cover letter, if you think it will give you the edge.

Good luck with your job hunt in this tough market!

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