How Write a Resume

Is it really snowing already?

Yes, we got a dusting this past week, which makes it easier to believe that we’re now in Winter and in Nutcracker season. For the many of you that we have seen in the last weeks for your audition images.. here’s a gentle reminder to stay with your ‘homework’, or to do list we talked in getting ready for the next couple of months.  If you still need to get in here and get that done, don’t wait, our spots are filling up fast. 

So, you guys are coming in to see us with a common pain-point: the struggle to write an appropriate CV. After many conversations, we’ve noticed that a lot of dancers don’t know where to start when it comes to writing a resume. I’ve been promising to write a post on that so you have something to reference when you are working it up: there are so many different styles of CV’s out there! Here are some tips regarding the important features to keep in mind, as well as a sample dancer resume to look at.

Here’s a few tips:

                                                                                             Dancer: Isabella Aldridge

1. Choose a Format

Dance is an artistic form of expression and sometimes dancers struggle to put their thoughts into words. We know, we’ve been there too! So, let’s focus on the easiest thing first… the format!

A resume needs to be brief and easy to read. Consider writing your resume like choreographing a dance; you want the person(s) reading it to simply have their eyes dance upon the page and be able to pick up the important things right away.

  • Bullet points and careful organization are a great way for the reader to scan quickly
  • Using the same style font, but different sizes, with bold and italics helps your important information stand out
  • Organize in sections and leave white space for the eye to breath as it reads
  • Try hard to keep your resume to one page.. no one is going to have the time or attention span to read a novel

                                                                                      Dancer: Isabella Aldridge

2. Consider Specifics You Want to Include

Most ‘How to Write a Resume’ postings will tell you to take a look at the job description you’re applying for first. Consider who you will be sending your resume to, and tailor it to them. How do you do this for dance companies? Make sure you are only including information that the person reading your resume is going to care about… a Ballet Master wants to know what performing experience you have, where you trained, how long you trained, and whether they can hire you, based on where you’re from and the legalities of visa’s/green-cards/permits.

The key information you need to include (in chronological order, from present to past) is the following:

 

  1. Personal Information: Should go at the top of the page and include your full name, contact info (telephone number and email), address, nationality, age, height and weight . Some dancers organize this to one side and include a headshot or full body dance image in one of the top corners.

       2. Dance Experience: List any professional company contracts you’ve had, performance experience, etc.

       3. Dance Training: List schools you attended and teachers you trained with.

       4. Awards/Galas/Repertoire: If you have had extensive competition experience, keep this geared toward the most important ones that your audience will recognize and appreciate.  Directors don’t care how you placed at a competition when you were 8 years old.

      5. Additional info: List any additional interesting information that adds value as a company member (e.g. High school diploma, or languages spoken).

 

3. Proof Read

Make sure you have a second and third pair of eyes look over your resume. When you do this, specifically consider:

  • Does the information look professionally presented? Work with the organization and structure until you are happy.
  • Tone, typos and typography – Proof – reading several times is for things you missed or clarity of the information is a must!
  • Did you include all the information a director might look for?  Is there anything you forgot in your past that should be included?
  • Edit a second time around for any last minute details and typos; we all miss things from time to time!

4. Prepare your supporting materials 

If you are following us, we know that you know your images and videos are just as, if not more important, in getting your foot in the door . When you send your resume, most companies require a submission of those materials as well even just to get accepted into an audition.  Make sure you are presenting your best foot forward with having not only killer images and footage, but having them in the right format and making it easy for them to look at.  Clean, simple backgrounds, where you are well lit and angled correctly are great, but not if you send in image files that are too big to open!  Low res is the way to go here, but not so low that they can’t see your shots.  We usually recommend images to be 1MB or slightly less when submitting your images. (A 40kb thumbnail is way too small.) If the company prefers you don’t upload a file, videos should always have an easily accessible link to a personal Youtube or Vimeo channel.

Need an example? Check out our second-shooter, Andy’s, resume below:

Andrew Silks

Date of Birth: March 2, 1990

Height: 5’10”  | Weight 150 lbs.

Citizenship: United States

(555) 555-5555

andyxxxxx@gmail.com

 

Professional Experience

 

Tulsa Ballet 2011- 2018, Corps de ballet

Classical Marcello Angelini’s The Nutcracker, Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow, Bottom in Christopher Wheeldon’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ben Stevenson’s Dracula and Cinderella, Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias, and Lord Montague Edward Liang’s world premiere Romeo and Juliet

Contemporary William Forsythe’s In the middle, somewhat elevated; Play with Fire in Christopher Bruce’s Rooster; Wayne McGregor’s PreSentient; George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments; Joseph, Joseph in Paul Taylor’s Company B; Edwaard Liang’s Age of Innocence; James Kudelka’s There, Below; Nicolo Fonte’s Bolero; Ma Cong’s Carmina Burana; Adam Hougland’s The Rite of Spring; Alejandro Cerrudo’s Extremely Close; and creations by Jodie Gates, Ma Cong, Nicolo Fonte, Luciano Cannito, Ashley Page, Matthew Neenan, Darrell Grand Moultrie, and Young Soon Hue. 

Tulsa Ballet II 2011-2012   

Basilio in Don Quixote excerpts; Raymonda excerpts; and featured roles in Ma Cong’s Folia. 

 

Training

Ellison Ballet Professional Training Program Edward Ellison, full scholarship

The Washington School of Ballet Kee Juan Han and Carlos Valcarcel

Pacific Coast Academy of Dance Victor and Tatiana Kasatsky

Dance Arts Los Alamos Christin Severini

 

Guest Performances 

YAGP Gala US Tour 

The Washington Ballet Septime Webre’s The Nutcracker and Fall[en] Angels; Bournonville’s La Sylphide. 

Ballet Theatre Company Snow Pas de Deux in The Nutcracker 

Exit 12 Dance Company Black Swan Pas de Deux from Swan Lake 

 

Awards

YAGP 2010 NYC Finals Top 12 Ensemble; Regional 3rd Place Pas de Deux

YAGP 2007 Regional Top 12 Contemporary

 

If you haven’t had time to get your materials together yet, we highly recommend you get going on it now! Audition season is right around the corner, and shooting time-slots are becoming scarce.

Wishing you the best towards the end of the year; contact us soon to book your shoot!

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