Don’t we all love “remember when” moments? As we grow older, we like to reminisce about moments in our lives when we did or could do particular things really well. When putting together a resume, talent are asked to dive into their past and pull credits, names, associations, and abilities together to put on paper. As we dig deeper, it’s human nature to sometimes get carried away. Be sure that whatever you put in writing is something that you can still do on the spot when asked.
If I were making my own resume, I might be encouraged to put “golf” under special skills. On paper, I look like quite the golfer! I played in college; played on the men’s team in high school; won several tournament titles; and even have newspaper articles to show for my efforts! But the truth is that I haven’t been out on a course seriously for almost a decade, which means I’m no longer the threat I might have been in the past. Putting “golf” under special skills would put me in a terrible position if a client booked me expecting to see an amazing female golfer on camera or perfect form. Now, I might work well to have it under “hobbies” so that I can do a golf equipment ad and look like I know how to hold a club.
A more entertaining example of this might be a woman in her 30s-50s putting “toe touch” on her special skills. That would be the right category if she were still able to do it. What I hear when I ask that same woman to show me her toe touch is, “Well, I mean, I can’t do it right now. I was a cheerleader in college and did all the stunts.” True, you did it at some point, but if you can’t perform it now – I mean, right now – it doesn’t belong on your resume.
An especially relevant and serious place mistakes are made is when listing accents. Do you have more than one accent listed on your resume? If so, you should be able to read one paragraph and change from accent to accent without much trouble. If you can get through every accent listed convincingly by the end of your paragraph, pat yourself on the back and go have a cookie. If you missed any of them, take them off. Talent regularly embarrass themselves by saying they can do an Australian accent and then find something between Scottish and English when asked to cold read an Australian script. (Uh, oh. It’s that guy again!)
Look at your resume and ask yourself to do each thing right now. Can you do it? Great! Anything you didn’t successfully do on the spot can be revamped and replaced with something you can do on cue.