Create an Undeniable First Impression

“When evaluating materials, is there anything that makes you rejoice or that grinds your gears?”


Check the Boxes

“When a submission follows all of the instructions and acknowledges all of the prompts.”


Audio/Video Clarity

“Hearing audio from the front of the ensemble, while I’m able to clearly see the conductor from the ensemble’s perspective allows me to properly evaluate the submission.”

Check Permissions

“If you send a file without providing the appropriate permissions to view the contents, I will not often ask again.”

Send PDFs

“If you don’t care enough about how your materials look to chance it to default fonts and formatting, then I don’t need to hire you.”

Universal Rules

Everything you submit should be able to stand solely on its own while also collectively contributing to the total package.

Prioritize Seamlessness

No one should have to think twice

Your materials should be the world’s easiest scavenger hunt. CV’s, Resumes, Videos, Audio Recordings, Personal Statements, Cover Letters, Headshots:

Everything should be where it should be, no one should question an item before they open it, and anyone should be able to retrace their steps to find what they need.

Words Matter

Typos are the lowest hanging fruit.

Communicate with precise and concise language.

Use clear file names.

Unify subject lines.

Include your name.

Answer the question.

Do your Research

Assume you know nothing

Identify who will see your materials and address them accordingly.

Departments are small: know who is on the team, what their role is, and how they should be addressed.

Ask questions, but be proactive in finding available answers.


Digital Documents

Words matter.

Design matters.

Clarity matters.

Accessibility matters.

Document 101

Inspire your evaluator to ask the right questions out of curiousity and not confusion.

Don’t let the presentation get in the way of what you really have to say.

Send PDFs

Editable documents like Word or Google Docs do not retain fonts and formatting. Export as PDF to guarantee your reader will see it as intended.

Answer the Question

Whatever you submit should address all components that have been asked, in an accessible format. If an evaluator has to read between the lines to understand your CV, they miss the total picture.

Where Can I Find...?

Streamline the pathway from item to item. If you reference something, include a clickable link or create a Digital Table of Contents.

How Do I Reach You?

Simplify your signature. Format Email Addresses and Phone Numbers so they’re easy to read.

Dr. Tiffany J. Galus
tiffany.galus@gmail.com | (219) 873-3780

Hyperlink Etiquette

Directly embed links into your documents and emails (Cmd+K). If you need to include the full link, use an URL Shortener like tinyurl.

What's This?

Every file should be clearly labeled.

Last Name.First Name – Label

Galus.Tiffany – CV2021.pdf

What's your Name?

All written documents should contain the same header, to unify the experience from document to document.

Proof Everything

Get a minimum of two additional sets of eyes on your materials: one musician and one non-musician.

Digital Media Submissions

Showcase what you want people to see and hear.

Make it foolproof to navigate.

Cut the fluff.

Video Submission 101

The ‘heart’ of any application

Don’t let the presentation get in the way of all of your (and your ensemble’s!) hard work.

Front Audio

No offense to your trombones and crash cymbals, but people want to hear the full ensemble.

Trim the Fat

Get to the heart of the action. Edit the video so we don’t see you starting/stopping the camera.

Use YouTube

Upload the footage as an ‘Unlisted’ video on YouTube. Format the title and description so it clearly describes the content. Use Chapter Markers so the viewer can efficently scan through.

Follow Instructions

If it asks for rehearsal footage, send rehearsal footage where you can witness the ensemble respond to your instruction and gesture.

If it asks for performance footage, there should be continuous sound.

Record Often

If the only time you record is to submit for something, you and the ensemble will never be ‘in your element.’ You also run the risk of not having what you need when the time comes.

Conductor Facing

If submitting for graduate school or a workshop, the evaluators need to see your gestures. Frame yourself in the center of the shot.


Create title cards with the full repertoire title, composer name, movement, and your name.

No Cloud Sharing

The viewer experience is very poor when viewing Google Drive or Dropbox Submissions. You also risk permission issues.

Use YouTube.


Use tinyurl or another link shortening service, if the link will be visible. Follow naming convention rules.

Proof Everything

Watch and listen to make sure nothing snuck into the video. This is even better if you can have someone you trust give it another set of eyes and ears.