Within the first 10 seconds that a director looks at your resume, he should know exactly what sets you apart from the other performers vying for the singing gig, role in the play or seat in the orchestra. In just one page, you should be able to sum up your distinguishing skills and traits, along with your specialized training and background.
Entertainment directors often seek a specific look or other characteristics when casting for acting, musical theater and other performance roles. In some cases, these aspects outweigh other qualifications. If you’re an actor, list your height, weight, eye color and hair color. Singers should list their vocal range; for example baritone, soprano or alto. Musicians should list the type of instrument they play. Don’t include your age, but do list your age range, which refers to the spectrum of ages you can convincingly portray. If you’re 25, for example, your age range might extend from 19 to 30. Also note professional affiliations and list contact information for your agent. Staple your resume to the back of your head shot, ensuring both are 8 x 10 so they fit together neatly.
When listing film, television or theater credits, arrange the information in three columns: production, role, and name and location of venue or production company and director’s name. Position yourself as the type of performer the director is seeking, so that by glancing at your resume he sees you as the ideal match for the job. When auditioning for a supporting role, for example, emphasize your other supporting roles instead of experience as a lead. If you’re seeking a film role, list your film experience before your theater credits.
List all relevant performance training, whether you completed an undergraduate degree, participated in workshops and seminars or worked one-on-one with a private coach. Your education carries as much weight as your experience, especially if you studied at a prestigious university, conservatory or arts center or with an esteemed director or teacher. List specific degrees, along with the name of the school and your graduation date. For non-degree training, include the name of the course and school, name of your instructor and date.
Sometimes a director wants a performer with a specific talent such as fluency in a second language. Or he might need someone with expertise in dance, horseback riding or another ability crucial to the production. Only list areas in which you have solid knowledge and experience. For example, don’t say you can sing in German if you only know a few phrases. If you’re auditioning for a cabaret performance, for example, your role might require a few songs in this language and the director will quickly realize you fibbed, potentially costing you the role.
- Brigham Young University Career Services: Guidelines for an Actor’s Resume
- The Actor’s Resource: Your Actor Resume, How to Write It, Even with No Experience
- New England Conservatory: Tips for Writing Classical Vocal Performance Resumes
- The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts: How to Make an Acting Portfolio
- Talent Pages: Acting Resume
- IT Stock Free/Polka Dot/Getty Images