There are some skills that a talent may possess which aren’t worth the space on your resume. I know, it may sound pessimistic, but taking the time to consider the use of your skill can only maintain your integrity in the casting room.
As an agent, I have seen and heard stories from production about talent’s resume credits, hobbies, and special skills. Some of them are positive and some are negative; many of them are just a matter of time and place; but some of the less desirable situations could have been avoided with a little forethought. For example, I frequently see things under SPECIAL SKILLS like “Reading” or “Modeling”. Stop and think what you are trying to tell us by listing things like that. Will there ever be a set where you have to read? Yes, but do you really have to know how to read in order to act like you’re reading? Probably not. And since the vast majority of the talent pool can read – and those who can’t have found a way to work around this minor detail – it’s probably not worth mentioning.
“But I can read Mandarin!!!” you are saying to your computer screen. That’s great, but a more applicable skill to modeling or acting would be speaking it. Can you speak it, too? Let’s use that fact instead. If you can’t speak it, just let your agent know the detail and save the space on your resume for things that will get you booked more readily.
When in doubt, ask your agent. Perhaps reading Mandarin isn’t worthwhile in the markets where we work, but it might be somewhere else. Your agent’s direction is priceless when it comes to positioning and branding, so follow the direction you are given!