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Does my child need a resume for acting or dance?

Short answer: Yes, they do. Here’s how to make one.

A young actor gestures expressively in front of a curtain.

If you're a parent of a gifted student, you might have come across the advice that your child should have a resume to enhance their chances of securing roles in dance or theatre. You might be delving into online searches such as "kids resume for dance" or "kids resume for theatre," trying to find out the purpose of a resume and exactly how to format one. Look no further—here’s a quick and complete guide to what a student resume does and how to make one.

What a resume does for your student

A resume showcases your student’s skills and achievements to help a casting director or dance director determine whether or not your student is a good fit for the role or opportunity in question. A resume may be required by talent agencies as part of the submission process, and it’s also a great piece to have on hand if you’re planning to attend any industry networking events or workshops. Having a resume is a mark of professionalism—it shows that you and your student are familiar with industry standards and expectations.

A dance or theatre resume is the perfect opportunity to let your student’s experiences and talents shine. This is not the time to be humble or play down your student’s abilities. But it’s also important to be honest and accurate with what the resume contains. Keep reading to see what you should include in your student’s resume.

How to make a resume for your student

Format: Lay out your student’s resume on a single sheet of 8.5 x 11 paper. There’s no need to buy any kind of fancy paper for this—clean printer paper will work just fine.

Header: Add your student’s full name and contact information (phone number and email). You may also include your child's age and height (listing their weight is not recommended).

Below that, split the page into three sections: “Skills”, “Training”, and then “Theatre Experience” or “Dance Experience.” You can also add an “Awards” section if your student has earned any special recognition for their skills.

Skills: Is your student a gifted singer? Do they know how to juggle, play a musical instrument, or speak a second language? List that here. If you feel your student is lacking in skills, you can also expand this into a “Skills/Hobbies” section and include several activities your student enjoys: chess, cooking, crafts. Favorite outdoor activities are also great to include.

Training: This is where you’ll want to list any relevant training your student has had, such as acting lessons, voice lessons, or dance classes. If they’ve attended an in-person or online arts class, summer arts camp, or even an arts boarding school, list that here, including the program years. Feel free to expand on program details, including subjects covered and any prestigious instructors your student may have worked with.

Experience: In this section, list any relevant acting, theatre, or dance experiences in reverse chronological order (most recent first). Include the production/play title, role or character played, the name of the theatre or dance company, and the location. Make sure to mention the director and any other important details about the performance. This could include commercials, voiceover work, or modeling gigs. School plays and event talent shows are all relevant experiences.

Awards: Include any awards or special recognition the child has received for acting or dancing. Specify the name of the award, the date received, and the context (e.g., a competition or festival).

As your child continues to pursue acting or dance opportunities, a well-maintained resume can be a valuable tool for tracking progress and opening doors to future opportunities.