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Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?

Kampervan 28 Apr 09 - 09:09 AM
melodeonboy 28 Apr 09 - 09:17 AM
Dead Horse 28 Apr 09 - 09:22 AM
Richard Bridge 28 Apr 09 - 09:40 AM
VirginiaTam 28 Apr 09 - 09:41 AM
Jack Blandiver 28 Apr 09 - 09:50 AM
Waddon Pete 28 Apr 09 - 10:07 AM
GUEST,AW 28 Apr 09 - 10:14 AM
MartinRyan 28 Apr 09 - 10:23 AM
M.Ted 28 Apr 09 - 10:28 AM
theleveller 28 Apr 09 - 10:33 AM
M.Ted 28 Apr 09 - 10:44 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 28 Apr 09 - 11:27 AM
My guru always said 28 Apr 09 - 11:38 AM
Nicholas Waller 28 Apr 09 - 12:21 PM
The Villan 28 Apr 09 - 12:29 PM
M.Ted 28 Apr 09 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,cookieless folkiedave 28 Apr 09 - 02:23 PM
nutty 28 Apr 09 - 03:54 PM
Marje 28 Apr 09 - 04:40 PM
Richard Bridge 28 Apr 09 - 05:53 PM
Leadfingers 28 Apr 09 - 07:48 PM
Peace 29 Apr 09 - 01:14 AM
Ernest 29 Apr 09 - 01:43 AM
M.Ted 29 Apr 09 - 01:54 AM
Kampervan 29 Apr 09 - 02:17 AM
Dave Sutherland 29 Apr 09 - 03:06 AM
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Subject: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: Kampervan
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 09:09 AM

A dilemma

I am a (very) amateur singer of folk songs. In pubs, singarounds club members nights etc. So I consider it to be one of my hobbies.

Whilst completing a job application form recently, I got to the bit where it asks for hobbies/interests. Now I like cooking, gardening, DIY, and they all went onto the list, then my wife said don't forget folk singing....and I paused, not quite sure how a prospective employer might visualise me,(before an interview)and what pre-judgements it might conjure up.

Do you think that I should have included it or not?

K/van


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: melodeonboy
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 09:17 AM

YES!


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: Dead Horse
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 09:22 AM

If you are ashamed of it, don't do it.
Most employers only include the "interests" bit so their forms look as though they care about their employees social lives, while some others genuinly want people to have a life outside work.
Stick as much down as you can.
If, like me, you have a passing interest in old stuff, write down Industrial Archeology. That can start a conversation going and relieve the stress of job interviews.
But beware you dont go overboard and tell 'em you only want to join their bus company 'cos they've got such a lot of ancient vehicles and museum pieces - I didnt get the job :-)


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 09:40 AM

I'd put amateur musician. You might get someone like me on the interview panel who knowns and cares about the difference between a folksong singer (which you are or might be) and a folk singer (which you aren't).


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 09:41 AM

You don't have to be so specific on the CV/application.   

Collector and recycler of retro melodic expressions.


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 09:50 AM

You might get someone like me on the interview panel who knowns and cares about the difference between a folksong singer (which you are or might be) and a folk singer (which you aren't).

Now that's as irksome a piece of petty pedantry I've read in long while, Richard! I'm sure most of us who sing folk songs (traditional, contemporary, feral, wyrd, Gothic, or otherwise) think of ourselves as folk singers - which we are, regardless of what you think you know or supposedly care about.


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 10:07 AM

"Collector and recycler of retro melodic expressions"

VT....I love it!

Kampervan, you've probably sent the form off by now, but my advice would be to put whatever you would feel comfortable answering questions about! If you haven't got an interesting answer which displays a positive characteristic......don't bother!

Hope you get the job!

Best wishes,


Peter


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: GUEST,AW
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 10:14 AM

As an employer, I always look at the hobbies and interests section. The more individual or unusual items often cause me to look more favourably on an applicant - it shows they take an interest in the world, can apply themselves without constant supervision, can think independantly, intereact with other people in some capacity and like being occupied. All of that means they are likely to be an asset to my business. I don't need to know anything about their particular interests - only that they have some. Put your singing down and if asked about it at an interview be proud of it (without going overboard!) to show your interest is genuine, not just something you put down to fill the space on the form. Good Luck!


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 10:23 AM

You could always attach a definition of "folk singing".... Maybe not!

Regards

p.s. More seriously, GUEST.AW, of course, has nailed it nicely.


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: M.Ted
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 10:28 AM

A number of years ago, a prospective employer asked me what the last book I read was--I made the mistake of telling him I'd read a book about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict--I had been the leading candidate for the job, and suddenly was eliminated. Later, a friend who worked with the man told me that the interviewer had strong views on the subject.

After that, I always made sure that I had a non-controversial book, movie, and several innocuous small-talk subjects that I could fall back on when interviews moved into the "personal interests" area.

I never mention my musical tastes in non-music interviews--I let them find out when it's too late to do anything about it--


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: theleveller
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 10:33 AM

It's a good question. I don't think it's a matter of whether you're ashamed of it, it's about prospective employers' preconceptions and possible prejudices. I'm not ashamed of my age, but I never put it or my date of birth on my CV or job applications unless I think it would be a positive advantage.

As a writer by profession, I do put "writing songs and performing as part of a folk duo" down.

Once during an interview someone said that I had a good presentation voice and asked if I had had any acting training. I said no but I was an amateur folk singer and they seemed to think that was a good answer.

A good piece of advice that a career consultant once gave me was to research each prospective employer and make sure that your CV fitted as exactly as possible the employer's business and the requirements stated in the job description. Obvious, really, but it's amazing how many people don't do it.

Maybe 'folk singer' should go in the section 'do you have any disabilities?' Or perhaps the answer to that should be, 'yes, I can't play like Martin Simpson'.


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: M.Ted
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 10:44 AM

With respect to AW, who seems to have it right, most prospective employers have way too many resumes to sort through, and use any anomalies as criteria to cull the stack down to a manageable size.

Maybe your boss to-be wants to know that you are worldly and well rounded, but the person that opens the mail in personnel usually holds the job description next to your resume and looks for a match.


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 11:27 AM

Perhaps you could rephrase your hobby and interest, in such terms as might convey the type of skills and efforts that singing folk song entails. Rephrase in order to sell those whilst hopefully trying not to get over wordy about it.

Even the most amatuer level of folk singing requires research, some cultivation of historical knowledge around the songs, and indeed the confidence to peform *and* communicate your interest to an audience.

Perhaps "Researching and performing traditional music and song"? or some similar sounding guff, might express your hobby in more interesting terms to a prospective employer?
Just a thought..


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: My guru always said
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 11:38 AM

Definitely!!

I had traction engine rallies on mine which helped tremendously *grin*


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: Nicholas Waller
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 12:21 PM

@ m Ted "most prospective employers have way too many resumes to sort through"

David Brent in the office had a way round that - weed out unlucky people by binning half the CVs without looking at them.


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: The Villan
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 12:29 PM

The daftest thing I ever did when asked by the personel department to fill their form in, was to write the answer to the question "Sex" as "Yes please".

They saw the funny side and I got the job :-)


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: M.Ted
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 02:23 PM

Nicholas Walker: Don't even get me started on the things that prospective employers do that disrespect job hunters.


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: GUEST,cookieless folkiedave
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 02:23 PM

or "interested"........

I used to put traditional music and folklore.


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: nutty
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 03:54 PM

I always felt that, as a teacher, by putting 'extras' down on the CV you were yourself open to being roped into parts of the curriculum not involved in the actual job you were applying for.


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: Marje
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 04:40 PM

The best use you can make of that section of the CV is to use it to point out any transferable skills that your musical interests have helped you develop. Don't assume that folk music isn't relevant to other things - you may have taught yourself to play an instrument or read music (which shows you can study and learn new things), or got used to performing (which could entail certain public-speaking or presentation skills); you might have organised a folk gig or session or event (which could show that you have leadership or admin/organisational skills). You might have had a hand in the PR side of things, sending a press release to local radio, or contributing to a local folk newletter or website, any of which demonstrate skills that could be applicable in a paid job. Getting paid gigs shows you are capable of selling yourself and taking responsibility for your schedule.

It's very easy for job applicants to list "music" as a vague interest, which might just mean they listen to the radio a bit, but if you can spell out the ways in which your hobby has helped you develop specific and useful skills, that could strengthen your application.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 05:53 PM

Dear Jockstrap

When I have in the past interviewed people for jobs I have always marked them down for inaccuracy and worse for inaccurate pretension. If someone can be that slipshod about something that by definition they care about, how slipshod are they going to be in the work I might engage them for?


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 07:48 PM

Its a LONG time since I sent in a CV for a job , but I always did include the music - AND that I had run Clubs ! It all shows that you are a 'rounded' personality , if nothing else .


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: Peace
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 01:14 AM

If you don't meet the 1954 definition, just say "Music." It'll open the door for conversation when the employer/interviewers says he/she loves rap.

(Good one, VT.)


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: Ernest
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 01:43 AM

Marje`s posting has important aspects too:

how about: "making music with friends"?

Good luck
Ernest


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: M.Ted
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 01:54 AM

Undoubtably, many job seekers marked you down as well, Richard. But I'm sure you got extra points for your sunny disposition and natural charm--


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: Kampervan
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 02:17 AM

Some interesting reponses, thank you.
I do like Marje's idea of highlighting the 'transferable skill' side of any hobby/interest rather than just putting down a list of one-liners.

I'm probably the only person in the world who doesn't do that already!

Cheers
K/van


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Subject: RE: Being a folksinger - asset or drawback?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 03:06 AM

Since I am also very interested in Jazz and Blues I would put Specialist Music on that part of a CV. If they were interested they could always ask although I don't remember any prospective employers pursuing that particular section. (Haven't had a job interview in over ten years)


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