Hi, I'm a sophomore in college applying for stage management internships for this summer, but I'm not really sure how to format a theatrical resume. Do you have any general tips?
Happy application time!
- Make sure your name is printed clearly at the top. It’s simple, but you’d be surprised.
- Make sure your contact information is correct and clear.
- If you have a personal/artistic statement, keep it concise and sincere. I only kept mine on until I graduated from college. Some people for sure keep it forever, but at the same time I feel like that’s what your cover letter is for. Up to you.
- I have 4 sections on my resume: experience, education, special skills, and references. They are formatted like this (ish. You can only do so much on tumblr):
- Theatre/Company; Location, Dates
- Production Title; Position — Dates
- Repeat as necessary
- University/School, Dates
- Special Skills
- A list. Just a list. Paragraph form, no bullet points. Takes up too much space.
- Name; Position
- Contact information
- I put them in text boxes and do them side by side across the bottom of the page
- KEEP IT TO ONE PAGE. No one — I repeat — NO ONE wants to read your 3 page resume. As a sophomore in high school, you have not done enough to fill 3 pages worth of resume.
- This is a personal preference, but I’ve always heard that technicians with headshots on their resumes tend to be written off a bit as performers who are trying to be technicians? Not that there’s an issue with it, but I was taught in a class once that that is the case with some people so it’s stuck with me.
- Since you’re still not that long out of high school, it’s okay for you to have some of your experience from high school (keep it to senior year) on your resume. But once you start getting professional work and doing more things at the college level, take. your high school stuff. off.
- Keep your resume current. Keep only your most recent shows on it. Unless it was a really really cool production or something particularly noteworthy that you’re proud of, get rid of that production from 5 years ago.
- Proofread the hell out of it. Have other people look at it. Have teachers look at it. Have friends look at it. Take their feedback with a grain of salt, but they’re great for catching errors or looking at something and saying “this doesn’t make sense”.
- It sounds silly, but I have been in the room with the intern coordinator when she gets applications for people applying to the SM internship with poorly formatted resumes. Part of your job as an SM is going to be dealing with word processing documents and making neat, easy-to-read paperwork. Your resume should show that you are able to do that. Just keep it in mind.
- If you’re sending a digital copy, for the love of all that is holy SEND IT AS A PDF. I’m an administrative assistant at an entertainment company and occasionally have to sift through applications/resumes/headshots; I cannot tell you how many people send in word docs. Make it easy for your potential employer to learn about you.
Your resume is the first tool you have to represent you-the-candidate. It should showcase your skills, it should look like you are able to maneuver a word-processing document, it should make it easy for your potential employer to see what credentials/potential you have that would make you an asset to their team.
There are plenty of people in the SMblr network who would proofread your resume, so if you’re comfortable with that feel free to reach out to us! I speak for most of us when I say: we love to help!