Herd-7Nope, despite all apperances, the BabbleBlog hasn’t disappeared, been sent off to Gitmo, or gone on holiday. Though, I gotta say that after how busy the recording studio has been of late – some R&R might be in the offing this July.

Its a unique month because July, more than most months, screams of Independence – Americans celebrate with fireworks on the 4th, France cuts loose on the 14th, while Canada and The Bahamas claim their freedom from British rule on the 1st and the 10th, respectively.

Herd mentality; not exactly the way to approach your career

Hmm, you could basically burn through the first half of the month just hanging out, carousing and claiming to be free from somebody who was once your oppressor.

Cool. That’s a party. Pass the flag.

July is also the month when many recent graduates get serious about their careers and start sending out resumés in an effort to start their own life of freedom from Mom, Dad, or roommates strung out on peanut-butter and Grand Theft Auto. I receive many resumés from students who’ve just left the classrooms of The Institute of Production and Recording, McNally Smith College Of Music, and Full Sail who would love to get into the recording industry. Typically they come from people who are young, excited and filled with interesting ideas. I love that.

Equally typical is that they are, sad to say, poorly written, poorly executed, misguided or fail to have a cover letter. I don’t get that.

As a potential employer I would encourage you to approach any job search in the same way you might look to get a date. Skip the flowers and innuendo (though I’d be flattered) and politely explain to me in a cover letter why my studio is of interest to you and why you might be a good fit. A resumé sent with no cover letter which has as its most prominent feature “Pro Tools Certified” is a bit like saying “Anatomically Correct – Ready for Marriage”. Flowers and come-on lines might actually be better.

A well written cover letter shows that you want to speak to an employer and engage in a dialogue. This is smart. It also proves that you can write and communicate – especially if you avoid salutations like, “Dude” or “Dear, Dude”. An even better cover letter is one that would show that you’ve spent some time looking at the company’s website to learn what they do, how they do it, and with whom they work. That’s a resumé that gets noticed and not just filed away like so many others. You might even get a call.

This process, though time consuming, is a benefit to you in other ways. You may very well note while looking at a website, like ours for instance, that we don’t record bands. Never have. Probably never will. If you love to record bands and that’s what makes you tick, we’re probably not going to be the best fit for you and your long term goals. And your long term goals are as important to me as they are to you. I would encourage you to find that which brings you the most joy in this field. When you’re doing what you love to do, money and time don’t ever seem to be an issue. When you’re just “working a job” its all you can focus on. If working at my place were to be “just a job” for you, we’d be wasting each others time.

Something else to realize is that while the recording studio business is loaded down with technology, cool knobs, and bouncing lights it is, first and foremost, a people business. Being adaptable, flexible, creative and open to ideas and situations is of more value to an employer than simply being “Pro Tools Certified” or “MIDI conversant”. Our clients come to work with us because of the atmosphere we provide and our ability to help them with what they wish to create; sound-design for an award winning radio spot, mixes for a TV campaign, editing of a podcast, or simply doing an ISDN voice-over recording session.

And, yes, while all that does require a certain amount of technical savvy, mostly it requires the ability to do something that anyone in this business is supposed to do well.

Listen carefully…and not just to the monitors.

So, if you really want to work at a recording studio, focus on those aspects of recording that really connect with you deeply, and then think and act independently from those who are, quite literally, just e-mailing it in. Dude.

Trust me, it will set you apart from the herd.