How to List Special Skills for an Acting Resume: Best Skills and Examples

Special Skills for Acting Resume | Best Skills & Examples |

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As an actor, it’s important to have special acting skills apart from your general abilities to help you stand out to casting directors. In order to highlight your special acting skills prior to an audition, you should know how to effectively include your talents on your resume. Learn more about the best special acting skills to have, how to properly list them on your resume and how to improve them.

What are special acting skills?

Special acting skills refer to your personal performance skills outside of acting that can help you in your professional career as an actor. This can include any talents you have in accents, music, sports or hobbies that can be used in various roles. When you apply for a role, your resume should include your special skills that are relevant to the character you’re auditioning for.

Why employers want to see special acting skills on your resume

Employers want to see your particular acting skills to ensure that you’re the right person for the job. Having your special skills listed lets them know you have the qualifications necessary to perform the duties of the role. For example, if you’re hoping to land the role of a basketball player, a great special skill to have would be strong basketball knowledge, physical ability and expertise in the sport. This lets hiring managers know that you’re able to perform the character’s role with ease. Listing your special acting skills also lets hiring managers know how you measure up against candidates vying for the same role.

Popular special acting skills to add to a resume

Here are some good special acting skills to add to your resume:

Accents, languages and dialects

As an actor, it can be beneficial to be fluent in various languages. For example, if casting directors are looking for non-native speakers for a particular role, being fluent in the language the character speaks can help your chances of being cast. Having specific accents or dialects can also help.


Having a keen musical ability can also be useful as an actor. This refers to your ability to understand and interpret music, respond to it, communicate through it and more. Essentially, it’s your ability to play an instrument well or sing. Having musical ability is particularly useful for roles in musicals and theater or when the character you’re playing has a musical ability themselves. If your skills are specialized in a particular area of music such as opera, this should be specified on your resume.

Stage combat

Combat skills refer to your ability to engage in an on-screen fight effectively without anyone sustaining an injury. Having combat skills is great for actors that want to land roles in action movies. Because combat is physically demanding, if you’re cast in this genre, you’ll need to have stamina and be physically fit. A similar talent would be understanding the safe handling of firearms.


Improvisation refers to your ability to do something that was previously unplanned. This skill showcases your ability to think quickly at a moment’s notice. Casting directors often look for actors with improvisation skills for various genres of movies.


Your athletic ability, as well as your overall sports knowledge, is a great special skill to have as an actor. This skill is particularly useful for roles where you’d be playing a character that has the same skill. For example, some roles where sports skills would be beneficial include a basketball player, sports announcer, soccer player, tennis player and more.


If you are an experienced dancer or have dance training, it can open up more acting opportunities for you. Dance skills are particularly useful for theater roles or when you’re playing a character who is experienced in dance such as a ballerina or dance teacher.

How to list special acting skills on your resume

Here are the steps to take when listing your special acting skills on your resume:

1. First, consider the role requirements

For every role that you audition for, it’s important to consider who the character is, what they do and what their skills are. This will change with every role you audition for, so it’s important to tailor your resume to the role you’re auditioning for at the time. Consider what will be required of you as an actor. For example, some roles may require you to be a skilled hip-hop dancer, experienced baseball player or flautist.

2. Second, consider your relevant special acting skills

Once you’ve determined what you’ll be required to do in the role, you should consider the skills you already have. Do you know stage combat? Are you fluent in Spanish? Have you taken karate? Consider which of your skills align with the role’s responsibilities. This will allow you to determine whether or not you’d make a good fit for the role and whether or not you should audition in the first place.

3. Third, create a special acting skills section for your resume

After you’ve determined which of your special acting skills could be useful given the role’s requirements, create a special acting skills section for your resume. This section is typically placed at the bottom of your acting resume below training. Be sure to list only the most relevant skills for the role. It’s also important to be completely transparent when it comes to your capabilities.

How to improve your special acting skills

Here are a few ways to improve your special acting skills:

1. First, practice your special acting skills

In order to keep your skills sharp, it’s important to consistently practice them. Whether you engage in conversations to improve your language skills, take up a friendly game of basketball to improve your sportsmanship or spend time playing the guitar, repeated practice and devotion to your craft can help you sharpen your particular skill set. Being involved in activities, in general, can help you improve your skills.

2. Second, gain more knowledge

It can also be beneficial to read, watch and listen more in regards to your particular special acting skills. For example, consider reading a book from a well-known expert in the skill you’re trying to improve. Observing by any means can help you hone your own skills.

3. Third, enroll in classes or training

Another way to improve your skills is to enroll in relevant classes or workshops. Whether or not you earn a certification, taking part in a course can help you gain added knowledge about your particular skills. This allows you to learn from a professional who can teach you how to master your skill.

4. Fourth, take constructive criticism

When you’re criticized for your talents, it’s important to not take them too personally. Instead, use them objectively to help better your craft. When you take criticism constructively, it allows you to evaluate your skills and determine how best to improve upon them.

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