For a comedian, a polished resume could mean the difference between booking quality gigs and continuing to job hunt. When opportunity knocks, you may not have time to create an error-free resume on short notice. Your professional reputation as a comedian is no laughing matter. Boost your chances of getting the gigs you deserve with a knockout effort.
Securing your comedic future may depend on how well you embrace the business side of comedy. Your jokes should make people laugh–not your resume. Establishments want to hire reliable comedians who will fulfill their obligations, without causing headaches. Your resume is an indicator of your professional demeanor. Although it may be tempting to use wacky fonts, bold colors and puns, doing so may scare away suitors. Blue Sky Resumes does recommend adding a personal logo to distinguish yourself from the pack.
Lay it Out
Divide your information into relevant, easily identifiable categories such as Stand Up Gigs, Writing Credits, Theater and Training. List sections from most to least impressive. For example, headlining experience in a Stand Up Gigs section trumps improv seminars in a Training section. Use columns as needed to keep longer sections from taking up too much space. Aim for a comprehensive, attractive one-page resume.
Performance experience matters greatly in the comedy world. Seasoned comedians know how to reel in crowds when things go sideways during routines. They are also more likely to have dedicated followings, which increases the chances of selling out shows. Lead with your most recent or most buzz worthy appearances, on or off-stage. This may include commercial spots, talk show segments or comedy writing roles. The How To Comedy Blog recommends adding quotes from positive reviews about your performances to bolster credibility.
Hype may just get you hired if you learn to leverage your comedy experiences. Blue Sky Resumes advocates namedropping, as third-party validations can give you an advantage over less connected or awarded comedians. Comedy is a risky business. Unfilled seats could mean closed doors. It is your job to let club owners and promoters know that your skills attract interest from big names. However, fudging associations could mean the kiss of death for your career progress. The How To Comedy Blog recommends asking permission for references following gigs.
Showing that you take comedy seriously may impress potential employers. Honing your skills between gigs keeps you creative and sharp. Including this career preparation on your resume can set you apart from less productive or serious comedians. Mention sketch or improv comedy troupes and creative writing teams to which you belong. List professional workshops and acting clinics you have attended. Including links to your online portfolio can give whoever reads your resume a more accurate snapshot of your accomplishments and intentions.