5 Tips to Make Your Special Skills Pop

It’s that portion of the resume that freezes you in your tracks. You instantly flash back to every summer camp where you were ever asked to “Tell us your name and something interesting about you.” Suddenly nothing is interesting about you. You have no skills to speak of. There is nothing to set you apart from the flood of other actors submitting for the very same part who are probably all younger and prettier than you AND have advanced weapons training. What have you been doing with your wasted life, oh God?!

Fear not.

Today we tackle that terrifying inch and a half at the bottom of your resume where you list your “special skills.” And, comrades, we tackle it together.

1. What if I don’t have any special skills?

Yes you do, shut up. “special skills” can sound intimidating, but remember what this is for. Things that seem a mundane part of your life can be an asset on set. If nothing immediately occurs to you, you’re not thinking big enough.
2. What skills should I include?

Think about this in terms of what might be useful. Dialects (be specific and don’t list any you’re not ready to whip out on the spot), instruments played, and any combat or weapons experience not detailed in a training section of your resume are a good start. Remember that Groupon you used to get you a month of aerial silks classes? Use it. If you get stuck, visit casting breakdown services to give you ideas. Many of them have you check off skills as part of building a profile. You might be surprised to find things like riding a bike or hula hooping make the cut. Even having a valid driver’s license can be an asset.


3. What should I leave off?

Anything that might make a CD uncomfortable. If you have skills that are illegal, maybe let those lie. If you feel like now is a good time to make jokes about your sexual prowess, remember that whoever is reading your resume doesn’t know your sense of humor and it will probably just sound weird. And of course, the tired but true advice: don’t make claims you can’t back up. Don’t pad your resume with skills you can’t demonstrate. If you haven’t kept up with gymnastics since middle school, don’t say you can do backflips.
4. How do I format it?

If your skills are numerous you may want to break them up into categories, such as dialects, stage combat, etc. Keep it clean and simple. You want this section to draw the eye and be easy to read.
5. How do I make it pop?

You do want to show some personality. Make the last skill listed something fun, perhaps a joke, or something that will inspire questions.


Don’t overthink it. This section is a fun portrait of extra things you can bring to the table. Let your personality shine through and make it work for you!


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