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How to Build an Entertainment and Performing Arts Resume

Brandi Glass
August 12, 20205 min read

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, performing artists have a bright outlook when it comes to employment opportunities. The love that people have for movies, music, television shows, continues to be on the rise. This translates into a continuously growing stream of jobs in the performing arts industry.

The performing arts or entertainment industry has its own rules. If you have plans to break into the industry, your standard resume may not lead to success. Consider your resume as a professional calling card or elevator pitch. Make sure it soars above the rest and leads to your dream job.

Performing Arts – A Mosaic Career

The landscape of performing arts is dynamic; the canvas is large with many different fields. Someone has rightly referred to performing arts as a “mosaic career.” For making a name in the world of performing arts and entertainment, you must develop new skills and turn the skills you have in new directions.

Not surprisingly, this dynamic landscape makes writing a professional performing arts resume a challenge for many, if not all artists. The inconsistent employment structure makes it difficult to create an impressive resume. However, with a resume builder site, you can create an attractive performing arts resume.

Performing Arts Resume is Unique

The arts and entertainment industry functions differently than the corporate job market. Depending on the specific field of arts for which you are applying, the structure of your resume will change. The golden rule is to lead with a section most relevant to your job requirements.

Even within the performing arts industry, different fields have different requirements and you have to arrange the sections in your resume accordingly. When applying as a director, you should list your higher education degrees, relevant certifications, and training at the top.

For instance, the arrangement of sections in a performing arts resume is different than the one in a director’s resume. An actor’s resume should reflect more about their experience, social skills, credentials and training rather than degrees. The resume must present an actor as a “people person.”

General Considerations

While there are certain differences between a performing arts resume (discussed under each section) and a standard resume, here are some general tips.

  • Choose a clean format for your resume. You may find fancy fonts attractive, but your potential employer does not have time to “decipher” what your resume says.
  • Even though it’s an art resume, it does not have to have pops of colors. Remember, it’s a resume and not a scrapbook.
  • Be concise, do not write long paragraphs.
  • Bullet points are a useful tool for a resume. The breakdown makes content easy-to-read.
  • One-page is a standard length for a performing arts resume.
  • Add the most relevant information under each section.

Tips for Writing an Entertainment and Performing Arts Resume

Choose a Template

Thanks to resume builder sites, creating an outstanding resume is easy. You can find many attractive resume templates related to arts and entertainment on Rocket Resume. Choose one that best fits your job requirements. For instance, you can find customized resume templates for dancers, actors, choreographers, composers, etc. Once you have chosen the right template, all you have to do is to make changes under each section.

Contact Details

You should only mention active phone number(s), if at all. Some hiring managers in the performing arts industry will want to see your social media presence and may even reach out this way. It’s perfectly acceptable to list your Facebook id or page, your twitter handle, or your LinkedIn profile. Some sites, like Rocket Resume can even help easily turn your resume into a LinkedIn profile.

Professional Summary

Since an art resume is limited to one page, make the best use of space. A professional summary is one of the first sections that attracts an employer. Make sure your summary is strong enough to hook the reader.

Ideally, a professional summary section should include your career highlights. It should reflect upon your strengths and achievements that make you the “most eligible” candidate for the role.

Skills

Keep the skills section above education when creating a resume for the performing arts industry. Employers in the entertainment industry are more interested in what you are capable of rather than what you have studied. However, for certain jobs, such as a sound engineer, you may want to highlight your degree.

Your skills should match the job posting. Use the keywords mentioned in the job description. In case you don’t know how to do it, leave it to Rocket Resume. Have a look at this example.

If you are a dancer, an employer expects you to have stamina, strength, and flexibility. List the skills, training, or certifications that show your strength as a dancer. Also, a dancer must have active listening, understanding of rhythm, and possibly instructing skills.

Education

Most artists have inborn talent; however, education polishes their skills. You may not need to add your GPA when applying for a job in entertainment industry. However, certain fields require special training, courses, and professional degrees. Instead of filling up the section, break the academic record and relevant degrees in bullet points. In case you have just stepped into the practical field and don’t have much experience, it is better to put the education section at the top. Make sure it highlights your suitability for the job and helps in impressing the employer.

Interests

Not many people recommend adding a separate section to mention your interests. Make sure to keep it precise. If you are writing a resume for an acting job, don’t mention that “watching dramas” is your interest. Rather, add two or three general things that show your interest in art, culture, and the entertainment industry.

Work History

Be careful when adding details in the work history section. You may have worked in several short films or theater plays in high school, but you don’t have to list all of them. Mentioning about one or two performances is enough to show your on-set experience.

However, if you have done any creative projects with prominent actors, playwrights, or directors, you should list them down. It will also help to show that you are a team player with an understanding of the field. If you are a dancer, you may mention the choreography courses you have taken or solo performances done at a grand stage.

Review Your Resume

Once you have added the information under each section, proofread your resume at least five times. Make sure there are no misspellings, grammatical errors, or repetitions.