Mezzo-soprano Cindy Sadler is dedicated to helping singers take ownership of their talent and leadership of their careers. Cindy provides advice and mentoring on the business of singing through a monthlyClassical Singer column “Ask Erda,” her Business of Singing seminars and in private consultations.
What categories of information belong on a singer’s résumé? In what order should they appear?
This isn’t a simple question! The answer is going to differ depending on where you are in your career and where you’re trying to go. But some things are universal. The first thing to ask yourself when writing a résumé is, “What kind of work am I trying to get?” Your résumé should be tailored to that – list the experience which is most relevant to that work first. The second question is, “What experience do I have?” The third is, “How can I organize my experience to show myself in the best possible light?”
Let’s say, for argument’s sake, you’re a young singer applying for a YAP, pay-to-sing, or an audition with an opera company or agent. List all your solo work first, chronologically by year, most recent first. Your first category should be OPERA. This is a list of all the full roles you’ve done. You can include anything upcoming at the top of the list, in bold. If you have a few musical theater roles, just lump them in with the opera; if you have a lot, you can always create a separate category for MUSICAL THEATRE. Next, if (and only if) you have room on your résumé, you can list OPERA EXCERPTS. (I hate the term “partial role” – it seems self-aggrandizing. We all know that means you did a scene). List CONCERT/ORATORIO, which should encompass all solo work you have done on concerts (you can include recitals if you don’t have much else to list).
As a young artist, it’s fine to list chorus work on your résumé, especially if it was opera and you don’t have a lot else to list. But make sure you list CHORUS after all other solo work.
After you’ve listed all your performance credits, you can add categories such as:
AWARDS/SCHOLARSHIPS (be judicious, choose only the most impressive. There’s no need to list every honorable mention you ever got).
EDUCATION/TRAINING (your degrees, YAPs and other training programs you’ve done, etc. Please don’t list master classes. Singing once for someone for 20 minutes is not a credit. If you did a semester-long workshop, that’s a different story).
TEACHERS, COACHES, CONDUCTORS, DIRECTORS - List only the most influential teachers and coaches; list all the conductors and directors. Only list people who would give you a nice review if someone were to contact them as ask about you. Also, don’t list a conductor unless you worked with them as a soloist (unless your whole résumé is for choral work).
If you still have room on the résumé, you can list things like LANGUAGES and SPECIAL SKILLS, but these are pretty much “filler” categories that should exit your résumé as soon as you have more performance credits to fill up all the white space!
Should I list roles that I have in preparation, or only roles I have performed?
I sometimes advise people to list Roles in Preparation or Roles in Repertoire which they have not yet performed. It depends on the circumstances. No one is going to look at these and think of it as a credit, but it can show what you are working on and can be useful for reflecting a Fach change or a return to singing after time off. The rule of thumb is don’t list them if you don’t have to (you can always have a repertoire list on your website with ALL the roles you feel qualified to sing, whether you’ve had the pleasure or not). Also, if you’re going to list Roles in Preparation, list no more than three. I don’t believe you’re actively working in more than 3 roles at a time, learning all the recitatives and ensembles. Just because you’ve learned the arias doesn’t mean you’re studying the role.
Should I list the teachers I have studied with?
Yes, but you only need to list the most influential and then only if they would say nice things about you if someone were to call them and ask.
Should I list the dates of my performances?
I am squarely in the “list dates” camp. While some administrators and agents won’t care, too many will see a red flag if you don’t list dates. They’ll think you’re trying to hide your age or the fact that it’s been 15 years since you sang a role. It’s better to deal with any issues up front.
While we’re talking about dates – please DON’T list “May 2013” or “Fall 2011”. The year is plenty of information; the rest is just clutter.
What if I don’t have much performance experience yet?
Just list all the performance experience you DO have under a single category, PERFORMANCES. Don’t worry about a thin résumé – just make sure you apply for opportunities that are appropriate for your level of experience and you’ll be fine.
What if there is a gap in my performance history?
Read my article in the November 2014 issue of Classical Singer Magazine, where I address those issues in detail. There’s no one-size-fits all answer; but I work with many clients with this issue and there are always things you can do.
Беккер заглянул в справочник Управления общей бухгалтерской отчетности США, но не нашел в нем ничего похожего. Заинтригованный, он позвонил одному из своих партнеров по теннису, бывшему политологу, перешедшему на службу в Библиотеку конгресса.
Слова приятеля его очень удивили.