A music career could mean being in front of the mic as a performer, supporting it as a background singer or instrumentalist, or being behind the scenes of music creation as a writer or producer.
To get started, you need a resume that compiles your ‘greatest hits. And in this article, we’ll walk you through:
- How to write a singer’s resume from zero;
- How to highlight your artistic background;
- What skills you should definitely include;
- Where highlight your musical awards and certificates;
- What you need to know to personalize and optimize your resume.
Prefer not to read? Then, you could try our repertoire of ready-to-fill resume templates and have your document finished in 5 minutes or less.
Singer Resume Example
From formatting basics to highlighting your specialized skills, our singer resume samples will help you get noticed in this super-competitive job market. Check out a sample below:
Check out our singer resume templates or other options, or make your own through a resume builder.
How to Make a Singer Resume
What should singers put on their resumes? A great resume objective is to showcase your experience and strengths. Highlight your performance skills as well as creative chops to prove you’re a well-rounded musical talent.
Key sections in a resume include:
- Personal Statement
To give recruiters an easier time reading through your resume, stick to easy-to-read fonts such as Arial and Times New Roman. Keep a clean layout by using headers and explain further using bullet points right below, all in left-alignment and at 0.5-1” margins all around. As for the content, you can explore the three types of resume formats depending on which lays out your experience best.
A chronological resume format is good for applicants who want to display their progression in a production company as part of their selling point. For example, if your career started as a chorus line and you got bumped up to a leading role, this is a great way to show your bigger roles and responsibilities. In this format, detail your most recent role first, followed by the previous job, and so on.
A functional resume format is great for those who want to show off the diversity of roles one has in their career. If you have experience from songwriting to actual performance, this type of resume would show hiring managers your proven track record in this field.
For those looking for the best of both, combination resumes would be best. This uses work functions as headers, then details the accomplishments under each in chronological order.
How to Level Up the Title “Singer” on a Musician Resume
Your header should be straightforward and complete. While it’s the simplest part of the resume, it is also critical to get it right, as this is the only way for recruiters to get back to you for follow-up questions or interviews.
Here’s one of many resume examples of a header that lays everything out:
Important details for the header include your personal information, such as your full name, current title, contact number, and email address. You may also add your LinkedIn account or links to your professional portfolio for reference.
A great way to emphasize your level of investment in your craft is writing your vocal range beside your name. Putting the vocal range upfront helps a hiring manager assess if you have the potential for the role you’re auditioning for, and it gives the good impression that you are mindful about your singing career as well.
Meanwhile, here’s a resume example of a bad header. 🛑
Not only is this resume incomplete, but it also gives an unprofessional first impression. While cute email addresses were all the rage back in school, it’s time to shift to a professional one for the workplace to be taken seriously. Choose to create another professional email address for job hunt purposes.
Photos are optional. Should you place one, be sure that the photo is professionally shot in white or blue background (similar to passport photos), with you in professional attire.
Some may think that putting a photo may lead to discrimination. However, this may also help casting directors visualize you in the available roles which may lead to being hired.
Demonstrate Your Artistic Experience
The best way for a hiring manager to measure your excellence as a singer is through your professional repertoire. Since there’s no specifically stated degree course for a professional singer, employers rely on the repertoire because it shows where you specialize in.
Moreover, your work experience as a musician serves as a networking badge. Recruiters pay attention to not just your roles but also your previous employers. If your previous production companies are well-known in the industry, or if you’ve done singing gigs for well-known people or events, these would definitely boost your credibility as a singer in their eyes.
There is no such thing as a useless singing experience. However, some projects weigh more than others, depending on which profession you choose to venture into. Here are three singing professions and how we consider presenting the repertoire in relation to them:
Example for Opera and Classical Singers
You may opt to showcase your breadth of experience through a reverse-chronological layout of operas and musicals like so:
Example for Choir Singers
As a choir singer, show your experience in being part of a larger vocal ensemble as it performs across various venues. If you have solo segments in a specific song, it would be good to include this to showcase how well your voice can adjust from soloist to group singing.
Unfold Your Artistic Education
Recruiters will look at your education to assess your background and foundations for the singer role. Those with a music degree or in related arts courses would have an edge. If you had stellar grades during university, now’s the perfect time to show them off. If you were also trained by reputable principal teachers, indicate this as well.
For a singer, the expected education attainment is around university graduate level, but other musical groups such as Opera and Classical Singers must pursue further studies. Be sure to read the job description and match accordingly. However, there is no need to dwell on this section too much as this is usually the shortest part of the resume.
Some key features hiring managers look for in education attainment listings are:
- School name
- School location
- Degree obtained (Bachelor’s Degree or higher, if applicable)
- Year Graduated
- Academic or Extracurricular awards or recognition
- *GPA – only add this if it will help your resume.
Here is one of many resume examples on how to write down your educational credentials:
The Skills Section of a Singer Resume
An understanding of the key skills – both in technical skills and soft skills – for a singer is essential to put your best foot forward.
Musicality allows you to contribute to the song process – from songwriting, making a vocal arrangement, and harmonizing musical instruments into one cohesive piece. It also allows you to stretch your musical styles by getting best practices from other musicians.
Productions appreciate a singer who is not just a performer but adds value to the entire production and incorporates personal style, whether through musical instruments, added melodies, or other elements.
Self-Discipline and Commitment
It is imperative that a singer is willing to put in the hours to learn the melody and rhythm while developing his voice and personal style. That means going to professional coaches, getting tips from other musical groups on expanding your vocal range, and singing for hours until you get there.
What is most important for potential recruiters is knowing how you bounced back from these setbacks. Develop a thick skin and be resilient, and you’ll eventually hit the jackpot one way or another.
Write a Winning Personal Statement
The professional summary is a 1-2 liner at the top part of the resume that details your profession, work accomplishments, and career goals. This allows recruiters to assess if your goals are aligned with the hire they’re looking for and, if so, gives them the green light to continue reading.
It’s also important to be as specific as possible. Substantiate your achievements with results for credibility and impact. See how this looks on a professional resume example:
A singer with less experience can look just as credible with the right professional summary. Here’s a resume example for a new singer:
Additional Sections for Your Singer Resume Sample
Don’t be afraid to add more sections, especially if it showcases the skillset needed by excellent musicians. See some examples of extra sections for a singer’s resume below:
Especially for classical and operatic singers, it’s important to add a repertoire list as an appendix to your musician resume. This lists around 4-6 songs that you are most comfortable with and showcases your vocal range best. This could also be supplemented with a video demo to give recruiters an idea of how your voice sounds even before scheduling an interview.
For those new to the job market, you may also add in a volunteer experience, especially if these are in segments related to singing or entertainment. This may be written as a separate section. Having on-the-ground experience, paid or not, helps recruiters assess your capabilities in handling the role they are looking for.
There are various forms of continuing education – from postgraduate programs to one-on-one training with vocal coaches – that you can use to further your knowledge and technique in singing. If you’ve passed any of them with flying colors, feel free to add these on the bottommost part of the resume.
Your accolades also count as part of this list. If you’ve won singing competitions that are well-known in industry circles, feel free to add them here.
As a singer, you never know what kind of piece you’re going to get, especially for international production houses.
The ability to sing in multiple languages would be of value, giving more flexibility to composers or producers on the tracks to be developed while having to worry less about how the song would be communicated to an audience. Knowing more languages also helps you as a singer as it makes memorizing new songs in different languages easier and makes you more relatable to the crowd.
Tips to Level Up Your Singer Resume
Some quick tips to remember to make the perfect resume:
- Read up on the job posting. Know exactly what the role entails for the specific company, and make sure your resume directly addresses them.
- No formatting out of place or misspelled words. You only have seconds to impress the recruiter.
- When in doubt, check out our resume builder or resume examples
- Let your experience do the talking – just make sure it’s tailored to the job.
Key Takeaways: Writing the Best Singer Resume
Let’s wrap up with all the tips for a winning resume:
- Have a clear and concise header.
- Substantiate your work experience with measurable results.
- Include your education and skill sets that fit the Singer job role.
- Add only relevant credentials that would boost your credibility.
- Put the best details in a snappy professional summary.
Let Your Resume Stand Out with a Cover Letter
A cover letter is an excellent way to personalize your resume even further. This tells recruiters that you are genuinely interested in what the job has to offer.
Do your research and include 1-2 lines about the company you’re applying for and how this spoke to you, then end graciously with the hope that your application will be considered. Recruiters who read cover letters will likely feel appreciated and want to further read your application.
If you’d like to write one, check out our cover letter examples.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should my resume be?
It might be tempting to pad your resume to look more credible, but resist! Keep the resume to one page and adjust your content accordingly. You’ll be surprised to find out what doesn’t need to be there.
Should I include my previous jobs, which are unrelated to singing?
If the role was merely a gap filler for a few months, it’s best to omit as not to clutter the resume. But if you were able to gain significant experience from a previous job which can be helpful as a singer, such as in recording studios or theater productions, keep it on the resume and make sure the achievements are highlighted.
Remember that the recruiter will likely ask whatever is on the resume – if you put it there, be ready to talk about it.
Which singing jobs should I put on my musician resume?
This depends on your level of experience. A newbie singer can include volunteer work or contests joined, but a veteran musician would benefit more from indicating previous singing roles taken.
But be wary of putting everything on the page. Not all singing jobs are necessarily relevant to the job you’re applying for. For example, if you’re trying to audition for a musical theater role, you’d be better off showcasing your theater (with some singing) expertise rather than the nights you sang in a hotel bar. It’s all about putting in the appropriate credentials for the specific job.