A strong résumé is the key to opening doors in any industry. But what about for an aspiring child actor who doesn’t yet have a ton of experience, and whose special skills and talents include jumping rope and playing the recorder? (Both fantastic skills, by the way!) Even a child actor who has been on a TV show or two may have trouble filling up an entire page with impressive information. But never fret—here’s a detailed rundown of how to develop an acting résumé for kids.
Expand the “Special Skills” section
This is one of the primary ways child actor résumés differ from those of adults. You’ll want to expand your child’s “Special Skills” section by titling it “Special Skills and Hobbies.” For child actors who don’t have professional credits yet, casting directors and scouting talent agents pay special attention to this category because it gives them info on what the child’s personality is like and what talents they possess. You’ll want to include a range of information that expresses your child's personality.
Start with traditional performance skills like singing, dancing (specify styles), instruments, modeling, juggling, creating online content (e.g., a YouTube channel), or whatever skills your child possesses. Then add any sports your child plays, followed by non-sport physical activities such as Hula-Hooping, jumping rope, bicycling, and the like. After this, list any hobbies, such as cooking, camping, being a fashionista, fishing, reading, or caring for animals (“good with animals” is always a plus on a child résumé!).
Next, include any service or charity-oriented activities that reveal strong character, such as Boy Scout or Girl Scout, feeding the homeless, mentoring first graders, or attending Sunday school. Lastly, include personality traits and strengths, such as outgoing, team player, smart, takes direction well, fast memorizer, adventurous, good with children, or other special characteristics.
Emphasize moral character through specific activities and traits
The purpose of expanding the “Special Skills and Hobbies” section, per above, is to give the person reading your child’s résumé a sense that your child is well-rounded and of strong moral character—and will be delightful to work with. This is why the “service activities” and “personality traits” sections of the résumé are both so important.
If an entertainment industry professional sees that your child is altruistic and cares about helping others, that person will want to work with your child. If your child does not participate in any service-oriented activities, now is a great time to start. Being an actor and artist is all about being of service to the world by telling important stories, so what better way to learn lessons about service than to engage in a charitable activity? List awards and achievements under the “Education” section.
In addition to listing your child’s school(s), list any specific academic achievements (for example, honor roll, perfect attendance, art awards, math awards, clubs, or student government). Again, the goal is to emphasize strong character and great work ethic. Good academic students are usually diligent and responsible actors, so be sure to share all of your child’s terrific school achievements.
Expand the theater section
If your child is, say, 10 years old and just starting out, they may not have a ton of TV and film credits, so make sure to list every theater performance your child has ever done. (Basically, any time they've been on a stage in front of people.) This includes school shows and plays, community plays, church plays, school presentations, dance concerts and recitals, or singing performances.
Describe training in more detail
Another way to expand your child’s résumé is to describe performing arts training in more detail. You can list the specific types of classes your child has taken, as well as the elements of each course. For example, if your child has taken an on-camera acting class (if not, now is a great time!), you can describe specific elements of that course, such as audition prep, cold reading, or improvisation. Be sure to list singing lessons and dance lessons, detailing specific styles of dance.
Follow the same acting résumé formatting you would for an adult, while keeping in mind that the child actor résumé template allows for more freedom: There’s more room to expand upon training, skills, hobbies, achievements, and character traits. Use this as an opportunity to let your child’s personality shine! Make the process of building the résumé collaborative and fun. Listing everything your child is good at and enjoys should be a fun and engaging process for them.
Expand the résumé’s reach
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