How to Write a Singer's Resume

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Whether you're interested in trying out for a musical theater production, singing cabaret songs in a club or auditioning for a new band, a professional resume gives prospective producers a snapshot of your singing experience and vocal training. Because the musical field is so competitive, it's important to frame your credits in a way that will read clearly, demonstrate that you're a great match for the job and stand out from other applicants.

Open a new document in Word and set your margins for 1 inch on all sides. The exception to this is if you're requested to submit an 8 by 10-inch headshot along with your resume. Since the resume is lightly glued to the back of the photo rather than stapled or paper-clipped, the margins would be 1.5 inches on the top and both sides and 2 inches at the bottom to accommodate trimming. Choose an easy-to-read 12-point font, such as Times New Roman, Courier or Bookman.

Center your name in caps at the top of the page. This can be in 14- or 16-point font to stand out. Place all of your contact information directly below this. If you have a website that supplements the content of your resume (e.g., photos, performance reviews, audio files), be sure to include this as well.

Set up the following subheadings in caps at the left margin: "Vocal Range," "Specialization," "Personal Data," "Professional Training," "Experience," "Education" and "References". The content you enter for each category should be in upper and lower case.

Identify your vocal range by either your lowest/highest notes or by the label that best describes you (e.g., soprano, tenor, baritone, etc.).

Describe your area of expertise (e.g., musical comedies, opera, rap, barbershop quartet). This can either take the form of a bullet list or a one- to two-sentence summary.

Provide your age, height, weight, hair and eye color. If the type of vocal work you're seeking is strictly going to be for recorded material, you can leave this entry out. For productions where you're going to be seen or where you'll be cast in a specific role, however, this data is almost always required of applicants.

Identify any professional musical training you have had or that you are currently taking. If you've studied with anyone notable or were/are enrolled in a prestigious program, be sure to bring this to the reader's attention.

List the jobs/roles you have had as a singer. Unlike a traditional resume that identifies elements in reverse chronological order, the purpose of a singer's resume is to spotlight experiences that demonstrate her breadth of talent and commitment to the craft. Identify each entry by the role, the name of the show and the name of the production company. If you were singing under your own name or were part of a group, the entry would list the name of the company that hired you to perform (e.g., Disney Cruises, The Wynn, Holly Street Lounge).

Identify your level of education, whether you have a degree and what institution you attended.

Include references of individuals you have worked with who can attest to your singing talents, reliability and ability to work well with others.

Tip

Even if you are auditioning for a singing role for movies or television, always list your theater credits first (especially if you've been in musicals). There's a mystique and glamour about live theater that always gets people's attention. If you're auditioning for a stage production, they're going to notice, too, that you put theater first (even if you've had bigger jobs elsewhere).

If you have a demo CD of songs you've done, consider creating a mini-resume on the front and back covers.

About the Author

Ghostwriter and film consultant Christina Hamlett has written professionally since 1970. Her credits include many books, plays, optioned features, articles and interviews. Publishers include HarperCollins, Michael Wiese Productions, "PLAYS," "Writer's Digest" and "The Writer." She holds a B.A. in communications (emphasis on audience analysis and message design) from California State University, Sacramento. She also travels extensively and is a gourmet chef.

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