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BWW Blog: A Beginner's Guide to Resumes - The Dos and Don'ts

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Over the years, I’ve learned many tips and tricks about how to create a theatrical resume.

BWW Blog: A Beginner's Guide to Resumes - The Dos and Don'ts

In the world of the performing arts, your resume is your calling card. It can tell a casting
team a lot about you in just a few moments. Once you've left the audition room, it serves as a reminder of who you are, so it is important that your resume is an accurate reflection of yourself.

Over the years, I've learned many tips and tricks about how to create a theatrical
resume from teachers, mentors, and professors and I'm here to share some of those tips with you today!

Start at the top with your name. You can choose a fun font that shows some of your
personality as long as it is easily legible. Any union affiliation (AEA, SAG-AFTRA) should go right below your name. A small photo on your resume is not necessary as your headshot will be attached to the back, but feel free to add one if you'd like! This resume should be attached to your headshot (stapling them together in the four corners works great!). Headshots are normally printed on 8x10 paper, while printer paper is 8.5x11, so you have to trim the edges of your resume to make sure it is not bigger than your headshot!

Add your contact information so that they can get in touch with you. Your phone
number, email, website; this is also where your representation's information would go. Don't put your date of birth, you can be as young (or old) as the casting team sees you- don't date yourself!

Other helpful information to include in the heading could be your height (no need to put your weight), vocal range (notes you can actually sing!), hair or eye color. Which of this type of information you choose to add is really up to you!

Next come the credits. The casting team will prioritize your resume how you prioritize
your resume. If you are primarily a theater artist, put your theater credits first, if film is your main focus, that goes first, etc. For each of these sections, you should include a heading and then the credits: the title of the piece, the name of your character, and where you did it. It can also be good to include a director's name on an important project because casting can reach out to them as a reference. An easy way to format your resume is to create a three-column chart on whatever word processor you use and hide the borders. This allows you to easily add or delete credits and move things around!

Your credits don't need to be listed chronologically and you don't need to include dates
(don't date yourself!). Order with importance. You can play with font, bolding, all caps, and italics to clearly define each column. Maybe the title of the piece is all caps, the role is italicized, and the place is regular type. These aid in making your resume clear, clean and easily skimmed (no one should have to hunt for information on your resume!).

Don't embellish your credits, people will find out if you're lying! If you don't have a lot
of experience, that is totally fine! Your education section can show what experience you've had, if you don't have many credits yet.

You can list different schools and programs you've studied with as well as what kind of
experience you have with dance (what styles and how many years!), singing, and acting.

Then at the end of your resume, list your special skills! These are a chance to tell the
team more about you. It can include practical things such as passport, driver's license and certifications but it should also include things that you enjoy doing and are good at- impressions, sports, tricks, hobbies, etc. If there is something interesting or unique on your special skills, that can be a great conversation starter and you never know what will be required of a role!

There are so many intricacies of what go into a resume but hopefully this helps to break
down some of the basics to get you started! Ultimately, your resume is just a piece of paper. You define your work ethic and what type of artist you are, but your resume is certainly a very helpful tool!

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From This Author Student Blogger: Matthew Green