Advice to Job Seekers

What Employers Are Looking For

David Tough produced some interesting research about what employers are looking for in new hires working in audio production. It turns out they rank interpersonal skills and work ethic above technical skills.

Klipsch is looking for people with a positive attitude, a character strength that helps deal with the inevitable disappointments along the road to the next great thing.

Piano Solutions in Indianapolis says that work ethic is the most important quality. The corporate trainers they've worked with say that a sense of entitlement (the idea that someone owes you something) is unfixable. Don't quit on projects, follow through to the end. It's your responsibility to see that things get done. Don't stop and wait to be told what to do. If you get stuck, work on the parts you know how to do until you can get help. They predict a need over the next 5-10 years for people who know pianos (and guitars) and electronics, since more instruments will involve technology and need to be serviced.

Trends

"If I were starting over, I would setup a modest 'in-the-box' studio in home and have a very fast Internet connection. I would get Source Connect to have the ability to hookup with clients, talent & studios around the world.  I would use Taxi (taxi.com)  for leads for projects, especially ones that involve music for film / TV and for Production Libraries.  Jobs like mine are very few and far between these days, but careers doing what I just outlined are plentiful for those with good creativity and business smarts. I’d also try to hook up with independent film producers, doing scores for Indy films for next to nothing until something popped." —Greg McGuirk, Bennett Innovations.

Attributes of a Great Assistant Engineer

Tips from Al Schmitt tips on what's expected of an assistant.

What To Do When You Have An Interview

Jeb Banner, Co-Founder of SmallBox (in Indianapolis) gives this advice on his blog about what to do when you have an interview:

"Show Up: seriously, just show up! When someone comes to us (SmallBox) wanting a job or an informational interview we almost never say no. We want to be accessible as much as possible. But the crazy thing is how many people don't show up or reschedule at the last minute. I know from talking to other folks in town that this isn't unusual. It reminds me of a quote from Peter Buck (guitarist in REM) that I heard years ago: "it's amazing how far you can get in this world by just showing up." Truth. 

Do Your Homework: most companies, including mine, have spent a lot of time building websites that will tell a visitor in detail a good deal about them and their business. So do your homework people, visit the website, Google the people you are meeting with, ask around. If you don't do your homework it will show and you will not get asked back for a follow up. 

Be Curious: I'm always amazed when I have an job/informational interview and the person I'm meeting with has no questions for me. Show some curiosity. People love to talk about themselves, give them a chance to do it and they will look back on the conversation fondly. It's just how we are wired. So always be curious and come prepared with questions in case you can't think of any on the fly."