Performers and entertainers need to create CVs that are quite different from other groups. There are a number of elements that you should include and some that you can omit. In several respects the normal rules of CV writing don’t apply.
When creating your cv ideally aim for one A4 page. While other types of job can afford to go to two pages or even longer, a performer or entertainer’s CV will mostly be a case of listing information, without the accompanying descriptions that are appropriate for other professions. Bear in mind that when faced with a director you often have even less than the six seconds review time that other jobs usually have, so you must use the CV space wisely!
Candidates for other types of roles should steer completely clear of including photographs or images. However because of the nature of their role, different rules apply to performers and entertainers and they must automatically include at least one. This should ideally be professionally shot, recent (i.e. In the previous six months) and your hairstyle in the photograph should be the same as at present. As to whether you should use black and white or colour, actors often use black and white photographs while musicians, presenters and other entertainers tend to prefer colour.
These should include your name, mobile number, email address, professional website and a social network profile page that is work appropriate. You can include your agent’s contact details and also your Spotlight and Equity numbers.
Unlike other job categories physical appearances are very relevant for performers. This means that while accountants, PAs or IT analysts could be considered certifiable if they included eye colour, accent or size, for performers and entertainers it is important to do so. Actors may also wish to include their age range, while singers should list their vocal range and style of singing.
A basic requirement for CVs of almost every other type of job, academic qualifications are largely irrelevant for performers and entertainment. The exception to this of course, is for any professional qualifications or training. Remember to also include any skills you have that might be useful in performing, such as juggling, playing an instrument or speaking other languages. You never know when these will be a production must!
Where other CVs list career history, a performance or entertainment CV will list credits. The standard way to categorise productions into Theatre and TV/Film, with the most recent first and then listing the following information:
- Medium (play, musical, film etc.)
If you have won any external recognition you can include it here. You should provide the name of the award, what it was for and also the organisation or body that awarded it.
It can be effective to include a final section detailing reviews of performances that you have received. Doing this in bullet format will offer clarity for the reader.