How to Write a Performance Resume

When you're aiming for the stars, your resume needs to sparkle.

When you're aiming for the stars, your resume needs to sparkle.

When you're pursuing a performance career, you should have a resume tailored for the world of arts and entertainment. Whether your specialty is voice, an instrument, acting or some other type of performance, the skills you need for the job for which you're applying should be first and foremost on the resume. Beyond that, you can add a variety of information that can demonstrate your experience and skills, and make you stand out from the pack.

Select a font that will represent your personal style. If you are an operatic singer, you'll probably select a more formal font than someone who does comedic performances. Type your name and personal information several times at the top of the resume, using a different font for each one to compare the various looks. Then select one to represent your style.

Type your name, address, email and phone number at the top left of the resume. Paste your head shot at the top right. Your head shot, like the rest of your job application materials, should represent your style, and should be taken by a professional.

Include work experience relevant to the job for which you are applying, and place it first in the "Experience" category directly below your contact information. For example, if you are applying for a musical theater job, list your musical theater experience first. Type a heading such as "Musical Theater Experience" in bold letters. Under that, list your most recent role, then the performance title, the venue, and then the year, using the "tab" button on your keyboard to separate each listing. Under the most recent role, type your previous role. Line up the various roles so they're in columns; in this example, each role under "Musical Theater" should be lined up, then each title lined up, and so on.

Group other potentially relevant work categories next, using a bold heading for each. For example, if you're applying for that musical theater gig and have listed all of those roles, the next most relevant category might be "Opera Experience." Again, list the role, performance title, venue and year. Include as many categories as are relevant to the job for which you're applying.

Include an "Education" section under your work experience. Depending on your education, you might want to separate this into a section for "Schools" and then "Teachers" if you've studied with well-respected teachers that you want your future employers to know about. You may also have had special study opportunities, camps or other relevant education; type it in a manner that is easy to read and in reverse chronological order.

Have a friend, professor or another performer look over your resume for errors and suggestions. Better yet, have several people look it over so you'll get plenty of feedback.

Tip

  • Along with your performance resume, put together a strong demo reel that will show your skills in action, and include it with your application materials when requested by the potential employer.

Warning

  • Typically, employers look at resumes for just a few seconds before they move on to the next. Keep your resume to one page, or two pages if you have extensive experience relevant to the job.
 

About the Author

Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.

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