The 10 Step Method to Getting an Internship in the Music Business

Trying to break into the music business is no easy task. The amount of people trying to do the same thing can make it seem almost hopeless. Fear not there is a way! Now don’t get me wrong it will be hard work and the industry has changed over the years making the methods to get in a little tougher.

The hardest pill to swallow in the beginning is the fact that you probably won’t get paid much in an internship if at all. I know that’s not pleasant to hear but this is the part where your passion needs to drive. Remember why you are doing it and what keeps you going and the money part will fade away. Plus there are a lot of great benefits to being an intern! And you can always get a second or part time job to pick up the slack.

Step 1: Find Your Musical Area(s) of Interest

What area do you see yourself working in, in the music business? This may be a tough question to answer in the beginning and that’s normal. So don’t spend too much time on it. It will come! The reason to have an idea of this is so that they can know where to place you when you get hired. It is beneficial to have a list of at least 3. Below is a list of some general jobs you may find available.

Jobs: Publicity Firm, Management Company, Booking Agency, Radio Promotions Company, Streaming Promotions Company, Live Music Venue, Concert Promoter, Production Studio, Publishing Company, Film & TV Licensing, Music Website, Social Media, Digital Marketing, Music Blog, Specialty/Lifestyle Marketing, Small Record Label.

Departments: Promotions, Publicity, Marketing, Licensing Radio, Sales, Promotions, Marketing.

Step 2: Make a List of Companies/Artists You Like

Take your time and research what jobs you like and which company and artists apply to them. This is a great way to inspire yourself on your future potential too. Many artists and industry professionals started out right where you are now.

Step 3: Have a Professional Resume

Take your time and create a resume that showcases your skills and experience in pleasing manner. There are many tools and websites that can help with this. It is also always good to get a second opinion on it when you finish Keep it short and sweet, typically one page. Add any social media or links you have.

Step 4: Recommendations

Start compiling a list of professional and personal references and start networking. In order to stand out this can make or break you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to old teachers and employers for this. They can help prove and express your strengths.

Step 5: Applying

Yay! You made it to the fun part. Now this stage is a bit harder. Most companies don’t often advertise for these positions so you are going to have to do a bit of cold calling. The best thing to do is to take your list and call or visit them asking if they would consider accepting a resume for interning. Then find out where and who to give the resume to. Then you should scour the internet and magazines for posts. And finally your college or school can be a good resource for internships. The Recording Conservatory of Austin, a prominent recording school offers internships to their current students and has an internship program for example.

Step 6: The Internship Rules to Live By

Always use a professional cover letter and resume when applying. Make the cover letter personalized to whomever it is going to. Highlight any personal achievements or followers you may have out there on your social media, blogs or any other medium.

Step 7: Mail in a Resume

In addition to filling out any online application that allows your resume to be attached, also make it a habit to send in your hard copy of your resume via mail with it attentioned to the appropriate person.

Step 8: Follow Up

It’s always a great idea to follow up after applying or sending in your resume. These business handle a lot of traffic and it’s very possible and likely to get lost in the shuffle. Just remember to be polite and courteous when calling to follow up.

Step 9: The Interview

Congratulations you’ve made it to the big dance. Now it’s time to rock the interview. Practice your interviewing skills as much as possible. Schedule your interviews from least to most important. Be prompt and early and courteous. Let your personality shine. Chances are resumes are gonna look very similar so try to establish a conversation to set yourself apart. Bring your resume with you here and any other supporting documents. And prepare a few questions you would like to ask.

Step 10: Same as Step 8, Follow up!


Hopefully this helps you break into the competitive world of music with some practical techniques to help you succeed. Always remember to be yourself and don’t doubt yourself. Chances are many of the people your are contacting had to do what you are doing. Good luck to you!

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