As a performer you can present your skills and achievements a little differently to standard jobs. You should abide by usual guidelines in terms of utilising a clear and neat structure so that the reader can identify your strengths easily. However the focus of your CV should be about the productions in which you have been involved.
An effective format for performance or entertainment industry CVs is:
Including name, contact numbers, an email address and links to your social media profiles.
If you are in a performing field it is essential to include one or more photographs in your CV. Black and white can work well, especially because CVs are often printed using black and white printers. You should include headshots, full body shots and even action photos. It can also be useful to include some from productions to illustrate your range. In an ideal world these would be professionally shot, although this is not essential. But you must ensure photographs are current (taken within the previous few months), with your current hairstyle and weight.
There is some flexibility about where to place photographs. If you are using just one picture the top right hand corner is the best, or the top right and left corners for two images. It can also be effective to include quotations for favourable reviews, listing the quote and the source.
Place your performance activity below your contact details followed by a statement summary. For example:
Award-winning Shakespearean performer with a substantial body of work including critically acclaimed roles as Hamlet, Shylock and King Lear.
This is your achievements section where you can detail the most significant events of your professional career. This should begin with your most recent and include your role, production title, name of the production or theatre company, venue and the dates. If the production toured then this should be indicated in place of the venue. If possible also include links to websites for the productions, but keep checking these to ensure they remain active.
The description of productions should include any notably positive details, such as audience numbers for successful shows and any extended runs. If you are a singer, dancer or performance artist you should also include any notable physical activities e.g. solos, complex choreography or athletic feats. And if your performances were favourably reviewed quotations can be included, together with links to the corresponding newspaper or magazine articles.
This section can be used to incorporate the full range of your performance talents, such as your linguistic or musical abilities or any physical or sporting ability. When describing these talents in your CV try to provide supporting information. For example: “Fluent Spanish speaker as a result of a performing with a Seville-based production company.”
In this section you can list the productions of which you have been part, using the same details as mentioned in Productions. Bullet formats work best – avoid tables as these often translate badly when viewed on different systems.
Break a leg!