The thing with resumes is that you can have amazingly capable people that have horrible resumes and horribly capable people with amazing resumes. How do you select the right candidate?
You can’t. It’s a guessing game. It only works because most people are not amazing and are not horrible. Most people are average at what they do and have an average resume to show for it.
The same dilemma exists in music. Most artists are painfully average: it’s only a few that rise up. So how do you rise up and break out of mediocrity?
Turns out you do the exact same thing you do when looking for a job in the year 2014, you chuck that resume! And focus on building your reputation and network.
You build your reputation by dropping incredible songs, and incredible videos. By “incredible” I mean songs that are on par or better than the artists you are competing with in every aspect: lyrics, recording, production, arrangement, mix, mastering, etc. Keep in mind this is only the song, there’s also all the elements of the videos, photos, and cover art that you also have to address.
This may sound like problems that money can solve. And to a degree yes. However, money can’t buy creativity. Creativity, however, can make money. So you have to not only have to be creative in making an incredible song but also creative in getting that song made and released to the public.
Another thing you have to do is network. I personally don’t like the word “network”. It reminds me of something sleazy salesmen in cheap suits do. I prefer to call it “friend making”. I’m not the best at making new friends, so I’m not exactly sure how you befriend someone with influence. I do know that certain people are drawn to you, depending on the type of person you are and if you keep putting yourself out there it’s only a matter of time before you meet someone that can help you on your journey.
I would say don’t just be friends with someone for what they can do for you because they’ll likely smell you coming a mile away and not engage with you further. It’s better if you approach with the purpose of helping others and by “helping” I mean actually paying your video director, photographer, producer, engineer, etc. Remember your reputation and network are not exclusive of each other in neat silos, your network expands based on your reputation and you can ruin it by not working well with others.