Author Topic: Skills  (Read 6763 times)

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Beatr79

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Skills
« on: Aug 14, 2006, 07:36 pm »
So I'm in the midst of re-vamping my resume, and am struggling with the skills section.  When I first graduated college and was looking for internships, I was encouraged to list all theatrical skills.  In order to compensate for professional experience, the skills section was my chance to show that I was a jack-of-all-trades (look I've run lights! and sound! I sew! props!...you get the picture)   

Anyway, I'e been equity for about a year now, and I don't want to include things that aren't really appropriate or informative to my prospective boss (ei. at a union house, my abilities to weild a screwgun will not be valued or employed) 

So two questions:

1. Do you have a skills section?  What do you include in it?

2. For those who hire: How valuable is the skills section to you in an accessment of a cold resume? 

I've browsed the resume section of the website, but I'd really love to hear your thoughts or rationale behind what you do/don't include.

Thanks

Lady

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Re: Skills
« Reply #1 on: Aug 14, 2006, 08:18 pm »
As I'm not Equity (yeet), I may not be as helpful as teh others, but here's a cut and paste of my skills section:

Microsoft Office Suite, set construction, dry walling, scenic painting, basic costume construction, character make-up, clerical skills, general knowledge of AEA regulations, proficient in Rosco’s Horizon lighting system

I was told by the PSM at my internship that the first one and the last 2 are the most important, everything thing else shows that I can do more that SM (and in case I have to go for a non-SM gig).
"One cannot truly become an artist unless he has questioned his own sanity and lived in a haunted house." -Jasmine Rivera

stagemonkey

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Re: Skills
« Reply #2 on: Aug 14, 2006, 10:51 pm »
Microsoft Office Suite, set construction, dry walling, scenic painting, basic costume construction, character make-up, clerical skills, general knowledge of AEA regulations, proficient in Rosco’s Horizon lighting system

I was told by the PSM at my internship that the first one and the last 2 are the most important, everything thing else shows that I can do more that SM (and in case I have to go for a non-SM gig).

I would definately agree saying you know Microsoft Office Suite is an important one (as it is a standard application these days to be used by a stage manager cause pretty much anyone has the software).  I also agree saying you have knowledge of AEA regulations is important as equity places want to know you know that and some non equity ones still like to follow the basic regulations anyway.  I however wouldnt necessarily agree that the proficient in Rosco's Horizon lighting system is that important for an SM job, granted I don't really know what that is so i could just need to be enlightened on that.  I'm sure its a good thing to know as some places may put it to use.

On some advice I recieved from someone on the forums here (i posted my resume and site and asked for input and such to get more ideas) I changed my skills section to look like this:

Skills and Achievements:
Computer skills: Microsoft Office Suite, Folio Box Office Software, ProVenue, Lightwright 3, AutoCAD, 3D Studio Max, and Photoshop; Comprehensive stagecraft skills: carpentry, stage electrician, sound knowledgeable, rigging knowledgeable, hand and computer aided drafting, ETC literate; First Aid Training: Certified in First Aid, Adult CPR, and Infant and Child CPR by the American Red Cross; Theatrical Administration skills: box office, front of house operations, and hospitality; Eagle Scout Award, Member of the online Stage Manager’s Network (since 2006)

I'd say the most important ones in my section for SMing are the Office Suite and the first aide training, the other stuff shows I have a general knowledge of everything else, which i feel is important for the SM and non-SM jobs alike. After October I'll be done with an internship where I can learn more about AEA regulations and I will add that in.

Just my thoughts take what you like and leave the rest. 

BeckyGG

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Re: Skills
« Reply #3 on: Aug 15, 2006, 12:06 am »
I am AEA and a skills section is a great place for random things/things that are interesting to know about you as well as useful information.  Good things to have are foreign languages, certifications, skills that pertain to stage management in general.  I actually find that some of the things listed in my skills section are great conversation starters in interviews, particularly cold interviews.  I can't say I have been on a cold interview in the past 3 years where someone has not asked me about either my welding experience or my ROTC.  While I don't use either of those while stage managing, still interesting tidbits that may help me stand out in a crowd.  Below is my special skills section from my resume:

SPECIAL SKILLS:
NYC Fireguard Certification – F-94 (March 2005); Knowledge of Off-Broadway, LORT, ANTC, LOA, CAT, U/RTA contracts and AEA Showcase Codes; basic dance knowledge;  reads music; basic culinary skills; basic carpentry; MIG welding; Oxyacetylene welding and brazing; MS Word, MS Excel, MS Works; valid drivers license; 1 Year of Army ROTC
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Mac Calder

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Re: Skills
« Reply #4 on: Aug 15, 2006, 01:27 am »
I don't include a "Skills" section per se. Instead I include a list of competencies (slightly more generic with indication of skill level) - so for example I would not put a list of software - instead, I have "High level computing skills (inc. CAD, desktop publishing, programming)" which covers everything from the use of office programs, to autocad, WYSIWYG, java, php, c, etc. I suppose it is because as someone who has also sat the other side of the table, I have seen what some peoples 'skill in ms word' can mean - They can type a basic letter, but god help them if the document has tab stops, tables, macros etc. (ie they have basic competency in ms office)

Rebbe

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Re: Skills
« Reply #5 on: Aug 15, 2006, 09:27 pm »
I’ve never used a skills section on a theater resume. When I first started applying to SM jobs, I broke my resume into sections (Stage Manager/Assistant Stage Manager/Crew/Events…plus Profile & Education) then listed the show, theater, director, and dates for SM or ASM stuff, and the show, theater, my position, and dates for the Crew or Events categories. In my case, I held a number of different positions, especially in college, and I felt that listing my work in lights, props, sound, etc, demonstrated my range of skills better than bullet points would. 

I can see doing a Special Skills section if your skills really are special.  CPR/First Aid or languages would make a lot of sense for an SM to include, but I think Word & Excel skills should go without saying.  I feel like employers can figure out the types of contracts you’ve worked under based on the theaters you’ve worked for, but I don’t think it would hurt to include that info too if you need to fill some space.  Also, I’d put skills near your Education info, and make it specific for each job you apply for, if possible; maybe a Festival setting would use your screw-gun-wielding abilities, while in a small Equity production lighting background might be more useful if you’ll have an inexperienced crew.
"...allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster."  (Philip Henslowe, Shakespeare In Love)

Lady

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Re: Skills
« Reply #6 on: Aug 16, 2006, 12:38 am »
I however wouldnt necessarily agree that the proficient in Rosco's Horizon lighting system is that important for an SM job, granted I don't really know what that is so i could just need to be enlightened on that.  I'm sure its a good thing to know as some places may put it to use.

Horizon is a lightboard operating system that can be loaded into an everyday computer.  Often used by companies that don't have the space/money for a full sized board.
"One cannot truly become an artist unless he has questioned his own sanity and lived in a haunted house." -Jasmine Rivera

stagemonkey

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Re: Skills
« Reply #7 on: Aug 16, 2006, 11:39 am »
I however wouldnt necessarily agree that the proficient in Rosco's Horizon lighting system is that important for an SM job, granted I don't really know what that is so i could just need to be enlightened on that.  I'm sure its a good thing to know as some places may put it to use.

Horizon is a lightboard operating system that can be loaded into an everyday computer.  Often used by companies that don't have the space/money for a full sized board.

I thought it was something like that.  Good thing to have ont the skills sheet but then again in looking for SM work i still wont agree its one of the most important skills you have listed.

Lady

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Re: Skills
« Reply #8 on: Aug 17, 2006, 12:27 am »
A LOT of the companies in MI are understaffed to the point that SMs run the lightboard as well.
"One cannot truly become an artist unless he has questioned his own sanity and lived in a haunted house." -Jasmine Rivera

loebtmc

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Re: Skills
« Reply #9 on: Aug 17, 2006, 02:35 am »
Boards vary widely - and wildly. When I am asked to run the board (and get my pay bump) I usually ask the LD for a review when I move into the  booth prior to tech, so I get to relearn the necessaries, including some adjustment things (like timing) so the LD doesn't have to come in for minor fixes. So I vote for not including that in your resume, but being willing to mention it if they have/know that system.

Since running the board is not supposed to be an official part of the job, let them ask you about how you feel and what boards/systems you know.

And for that matter, I have been on myriad ETCs, Strands, Leprechauns etc - but every single one has its own pecadilloes and the varying years of the boards have meant new and different shortcuts and, in some, placements on the board itself.


ljh007

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Re: Skills
« Reply #10 on: Aug 17, 2006, 02:41 pm »
My skills section looks like this:
"- Classical pianist – professional experience as an accompanist and soloist
- Bilingual (Spanish/English) with working knowledge of Italian and French
- Co-host and co-creator of Emmy Award-winning TV program Real Exchange. WCPO Channel 9, Cincinnati ABC affiliate, 1999. Peter Kaspryzscki, Producer
- Also experienced as a stage director, pit musician, seamstress, dresser, stagehand, property manager, light board operator, sound board operator, house manager, box office manager, and performer"

Since I work mostly in opera, musical proficiency and language skills are very important, so those are first. On my regular resume I list computer skills ("Excellent computer skills – proficient in Windows and MS Office. Also familiar with SPSS. WPM: 75").

My general advice:
- Stay away from the word "basic." Let's assume your skill level is basic unless you indicate "advanced" or "excellent" or something. "Basic" looks like you're underselling yourself.
- Don't list completely non-theatrical stuff (cooking, marathon running, D&D playing) - make sure it relates to stagecraft.
- As a hirer, I appreciate seeing a "Professional Affiliations" section (you can lump it all together in "Skills & Affiliations" if you don't have enough credits for a separate section) where you list your unions, local organizations, and of course "Stage Managers' Network - Online member since XXXX." Showing that you network with professionals in your field indicates that you take your work and career seriously.
- CPR certification is wonderful to include, as are CAD drafting skills. Hirers will be thrilled to see this on your resume. Other potential skills no one's mentioned yet: driving passenger vans and/or trucks, company management, hospitality/craft services, skills with children or special populations.
« Last Edit: Sep 03, 2006, 11:23 pm by ljh007 »

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