If being the “chosen” talent makes us special, then special skills must be part of why you were chosen in the first place! Don’t overlook the value in sharing unique qualities and abilities. Agents aren’t the only ones who see the advantage of special skills; casting directors do as well. Here’s what one has to say about the Special Skills section on your resume:
More and more we hear from agents and other casting directors how important the "Special Skills" section is on an actor's resumé. I've watched an agent's eyes move over a resumé. They start at the top with name and the basic info. listed there, then drop all the way down to "Special Skills" and move back up to credits and then to training. Interestingly enough, we see many an actor's resumés where the "Special Skills" section seems not as well thought out as the rest of their resumé. It's time to put more thought into this section that can be instrumental in getting you in the door of an agent's office or an audition or ultimately the job.
Keep in mind that for many of us growing up, our parents told us not to toot your own horn. Well, here you have to, but politely, even if you feel a little uncomfortable at first. And the place for this is "Special Skills."
This is the portion of your resumé that shows off what makes you uniquely you. Special skills are entered into an agency's computer files to allow quick cross-referencing during casting. (And sometimes they have the darndest requests. Only in our business do we get calls for a tap-dancing roper. And yes, we know who they are. Actually, who he is. If you happen to be one, let us know.) So take careful inventory. "Special" means moderately adept, not expert. Don't overlook sports and hobbies. You can certainly say that you play the piano if, for example, you can hold your own with sheet music - if they wanted a real professional they'd get Van Cliburn. Special skills are action-oriented skills. "Walks on the beach" is not a special skill (which we have seen more than once on a resumé - it's been taken!). The fact that you can speak Chinese is special, but be sure to note which dialect. If you are good with children and animals, put that down, since some performers are not or may be allergic to animals (or children, for that matter!). If you have a driver's license, again, put it down: some people don't drive. You never know what seemingly mundane skills, or even things you may not think as "skills," will land you a great job.