EduReviewerBlogAdding Special Skills for an Acting Resume is Helpful
Resume Writing

Adding Special Skills for an Acting Resume is Helpful

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Anyone who has ever had to write their first resume knows how nerve-wracking it can be to decide what to include and what to keep out. Even very good resume writers struggle with this, especially when it comes to careers like acting. Many actors are also likely to wonder why they even need a resume when they have their introduction videos and audition tapes to share with potential employers.

But the importance of an acting resume should not be ignored. There is a lot more that goes into working in the theatre or on a movie set and there are special skills for an acting resume that can get you hired for a job other than acting too. If you’re not confident about your writing then you can easily find good resume writers to do the job for you. We have an article on this topic as well if you’d like to know more.

In this guide, however, we will go over what kind of acting resume skills you should include in your CV to stand out among the sea of other applicants. Whether you want to work as an actor or join the team making the magic happen backstage, there are acting resume skills you must know about.

What Are These ‘Special Skills’?

When it comes to adding special skills on an acting resume, there are a lot of them that you can add. As long as something is relevant or makes you qualified to do something that other people can’t, you should include it in your CVs. Most commonly, special skills for a theatre resume include excelling in a certain type of dance, knowing a foreign language, playing an instrument, playing a sport, school achievements and being trained in combat, etc.

However, that’s not nearly all. If you have a very unusual ability that might somehow come in handy on a movie set, you may want to include that as well. Even if it doesn’t get used as part of your job, it might end up being a conversation starter with a potential employer.

Unique abilities like having worked as an acrobat or knowing how to work with fireworks, etc. can help you stand out.

acting Resume

Should You Put Special Skills On an Acting Resume?

Yes! According to a study done at Queen Mary University of London, only 2% of the actors out there end up making a living. The industry is not an easy one to get a break in and having certain expertise that go beyond acting can help struggling actors stand out.

You should definitely create a special skills acting resume because your knowledge of different things can often get you hired for a role other than acting. You may get a job as a writer, a decorator, a manager, or a makeup artist, etc. There is a lot that goes into making a play or a movie and having additional expertise will let your employer know that you can handle something that they need to hire someone for.

That way, not only do you get to work on a play or a movie but you also get to connect with the right people who might then hire you later as an actual actor too. So, whenever thinking about creating an acting resume special skills should always be a consideration. In the words of Paul Barry, who is an acting teacher, “Imagine Geoffrey Rush in ‘Shine’ had he not been able to play the piano, Olivia Munn on ‘The Newsroom’ if she wasn’t fluent in Japanese, or Channing Tatum if he couldn’t dance.” That is why it is crucial to include these abilities on your CVs to let directors know if you’re the right fit for a role or not.

Another thing that can happen is that the person going through your CV can get genuinely interested in knowing more about something that you’ve listed. If you have knowledge of something that is very unusual, something that most people wouldn’t even know about, then having that mentioned on your CV is likely to make the reader curious about your personality. That little additional interest that is sparked is often the difference between hiring someone or not.

List of All Special Skills to Put on an Acting Resume

What special skills to put on acting resume? There are many skills for an acting resume that you can include. However, these are some of the main ones you can consider:

Language-Related Abilities

Whether you speak multiple languages or have the mastery of various accents of your primary language, including those is a great idea. When you can speak a different language or speak English, for example, with a foreign accent, you can fit many different roles on a movie set.

Fighting Abilities

If you are trained in some sort of combat, those are some great special skills to put on an acting resume. To an employer, this will mean that they won’t have to train you much for a role that requires you to fight on stage or handle a gun, for example. These are the kind of abilities that can really come in handy when applying for an acting role.

Fighting Abilities

Being trained in handling firearms is a great expertise to boast on your CV.

Musical Expertise

Playing musical instruments is also a very good thing to talk about on your CV. If the role requires you to be a musician, you’ll fit right in. Moreover, you might get a job in the music department of a movie or a play too. The same goes for singing.

Dancing Abilities

Similar to the previous point, if you know how to dance in particular genres, your CVs can look much more impressive to a director who is looking for an actor who can fit the role of a dancer. You may even get a job as a choreographer or a background dancer.

Dancing Abilities

A Lot More

While these may be the commonly used things on a special skills acting resume, there is a lot more you can add. Again, the important thing to understand is that you never know what a director might be looking for. Here are some more things you can consider adding to your CV:

  • Knowledge of medical terminologies, or any science for that matter.
  • Proficiency in a particular sport.
  • Operating an unusual vehicle like a snowmobile, a canoe, or a plane, etc.
  • Cheerleading, mime, or acrobatics.
  • Riding horses or working with animals.
  • Having a teacher certification.

riding bike

Riding a bike may also be considered a standout ability if you’re looking for an action role.

As you can see, the list can keep going on and on. If you have none of these but have even some lab skills to put on a resume, do it. Maybe you’ll get a role as a lab technician in a film. We have a separate article on this topic as well if you’d like to know more.

What Are NOT Good Special Skills For an acting resume?

It is very easy to get side-tracked when adding things to your CV. While there is a lot that you can and should include, always be careful not to add things that are irrelevant or can be considered everyday hobbies. These can include things like reading, being a dog lover, cooking, etc. If you’re formally trained in something like cooking or LinkedIn formatting then that’s another story but try to steer clear of adding things just for the sake of it.

Whenever you’re asking yourself what special skills to put on an acting resume, ask yourself whether the things you’re adding can help you get the job in any way or get someone interested in knowing more about you. If they don’t do either of those things, then it’s best not to add them. As said by a director and acting teacher, Paul Russell, the “special skills section of an actor’s resume is not a landfill for useless information.

How to Put Special Skills on an Acting Resume?

If you’re now wondering how to list research skills on a resume, or something else from our list above, there are some easy steps you can follow. We actually also have an article about how to list research skills so you might want to check that out if you’re looking for very specific information.

Here are easy steps to list some expertise:

  • Create a separate section towards the end of your CVs and clearly label it as ‘Special Skills’.
  • If you have multiple ones to list, it is a good idea to create subsections like ‘Language’, ‘Combat’, and ‘Music’, etc.
  • Under each category, list each skill separately. Include your level of expertise for each one and also mention in a short line something that might be noteworthy.
  • If the skills don’t fall under certain categories, you may also list them as bullet points under the main heading.

Creating a special skills theatre resume isn’t all that different from a regular one. All you have to do is make sure that everything is listed clearly and is understandable. Don’t go into too much detail and don’t add abilities that have nothing to do with your job. As long as you keep everything clean and easy to read, you can list whatever you feel will give you an edge over other applicants.

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What are some good special skills to put on an acting resume?

Things that you excel in with regards to dancing, music, improv, combat, acrobatics, and languages are some of the good special skills for an acting resume.

What are good skills for acting?

Some acting skills for a resume that can make your profile stronger include speaking different languages, being talented in multiple entertainment genres, and being able to portray a wide range of emotions, etc.


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