Writing a theatre resume can be a bit difficult. It’s very different from your average resume, and there is a difference between one an actor would write and a technician would write. Here are some tips for theatre technicians who are looking to write a killer resume that will get job offers streaming in:
Theatre resumes should only be one page long, with nothing on the back. Begin crafting your resume by putting your header at the top. It should look like this:
Below this should be your experience in this specific area:
Once you’ve added all your experience in that area, add in your other experiences, such as carpentry, welding or costuming. Whatever your experience is, add it in using the same format.
Next, add in your education level:
Then, add in awards and honors in the same format and your other skills in their own column:
At the very bottom of your resume should be the names and contact information for your three references.
2. Cover Letter
Most theatres ask you to send a cover letter with your resume when you apply for a job. A cover letter is just an overview of your skills and a little bit about why the theatre should hire you specifically. The first thing to remember is that you need to modify the letter for each position, because different theatres are asking for different things. This may sound like a crazy, impossible task, but there’s a secret to it. Write the base for the letter, then fill in the specifics for each job as you go along. It will save you a ton of time.
The first thing you need to remember when it comes to building your portfolio is that you need to take pictures of what you’re working on. Take pictures of props as you build them, take process shots of the set you’re working on or take pictures of the lighting effects on the set. You get the idea. However, if you’re a stage manager, you will need to have different excerpts of your call scripts, blocking scripts and research.
An easy way to make a portfolio is to just make a PowerPoint with all your pictures. Just make sure to put titles on each page so that the person reading it will know what’s being shown. You need to add in the show name and what the piece is in each picture.
It’s also a good idea generally to separate out the shows. Have one piece per page and group pieces from specific shows together. This shows you’re organized and that you have a well-thought-out portfolio.
4. Get an Outside Opinion
It’s always good to get someone else to look at your resume, cover letter and portfolio before you submit them to anyone. Good choices include professors or someone who has written up resumes like this before. If nothing else, have a friend look it over. After writing so much, you may miss some small mistakes that could easily be spotted by someone who hasn’t been staring at it for a long time.