How to get hired

As performers we apply for jobs all the time, and most of the time we don't even get a reply from it. Of course it's got to be hard for an employer to realize how great and special we are while sorting through the thousand emails they got for that one job. And who knows what tips the balance in our favor or against us during an interview?

Here is the one thing you can put to your advantage: Loss Aversion Bias. It is described as referring to "people's tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains."

How does that help you get a job? Well, when an employer tries to hire someone, he is looking to acquire a gain: a new employee. Our tendency us to want to show him how great you are and how you're gonna help him acquire more stuff (more audience members, more students, more money, etc.). But if you take in consideration the loss aversion bias, you realize that you might be better off showing the employer all that he could loose by not hiring you.

How do you show an employer that he would avoid losses by hiring you? Here are three ways.
  • You're applying for a teaching job: if you already have some private students who would be willing to follow you, it's easy to show an employer that if they were not to hire you they would loose a few extra students. If you have a higher degree than anyone else on the employer's roster of teachers, you can indicate that the school could loose some higher level students who would only want to study with someone who holds a higher degree.
  • You're applying for a musician's gig: if you're auditioning as an accompanist and you already know most of the rep for a specific instrument (trumpet) or group of instruments (brass), you can tell the employer that he would loose money and rehearsal time if he was hiring someone who didn't know the rep instead of you. If you are auditioning for a small ensemble group or a band and you have specific knowledge in social medias and marketing, you can show the employer how they would loose audience coverage by not hiring you. 
  • You're applying for an acting/singing job: if you're applying for a play that needs a specific accent and you happened to have spent time in that country or you are a specialist of that accent, you can show how the company would loose money hiring both an actor and a diction coach while you can do both. If you're applying to do the first play in your hometown in years, you can tell the employer that he would loose media interest by not casting someone from that region. 
Of course, once you show the employer what he could loose by not hiring you and he gives you the job, make sure you follow through on your promises!

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