When you just want to feel the rhythm and move to the music, finding time to put your choreographer experience on a resume can be a drag.
We're here to help. With 300+ resume examples and writing guides, Resume.io is an expert resource for job seekers in all fields and at all experience levels. A great choreographer resume can help you stand out from the competition and show a director that you've been trusted to work on similar projects before – with amazing results. Don't overlook this key element of a successful job search!
This guide, along with the corresponding choreographer resume example, will cover the following topics:
- What does a choreographer do?
- How to write a choreographer resume (tips and tricks)
- The best format for a choreographer resume
- Advice on each section of your resume (summary, work history, education, skills)
- Professional resume layout and design hints.
What does a choreographer do?
Choreographers are people who research, plan and practice choreographed dance routines and instruct other dancers on how to perform them. They are skilled dancers who typically specialize in one or more types of dance. Choreographers can work to choreograph routines for private clients, small groups or large scale performance groups. They can work in dance academies, performance theaters, schools or even from home. The main goal of a choreographer is to plan fresh and interesting dance routines that entertain others.
Choreographers work with many other types of professionals. If your experience overlaps, you may want to check out our other resume examples including our stage manager resume sample, actor resume example, screenwriter resume example, cinematographer resume sample, costume designer resume example and theater resume sample.
How to write a choreographer resume
Just as a dance should flow smoothly from one moment to the next, a choreographer resume needs to have a structure that allows it to be easily understood by the reader. Here are the essential elements of a great CV:
- The resume header
- The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The resume skills section
- The education section
A choreographer resume should clearly convey a candidate’s ability to plan, teach, and implement dance programs and dance routines for individual dancers and/or groups. Your resume should highlight your formal training and experience in specific types of dance and movement, as well as any instructing experience you have. Choreographers are usually trained dancers themselves, so be sure to highlight your own dancing history. Choreographers often work for stage or film productions, so highlighting strong collaboration and communication skills is also wise. The skills and reference sections of a choreographer resume are particularly important, as your degree of talent and skill is significant when it comes to the hiring process. Be as specific as possible, and use keywords pertaining to dance moves, techniques, and instruction. Your resume should also contain a link to an online portfolio or presentation.
Choosing the best resume format for choreographers
The format of choreographer resume may look a bit different from the resumes of your friends who work in other fields. While most job seekers are advised to stick with the reverse chronological format, the standard employment history section may be too rigid for choreographers with years of experience in various companies or shows. You will likely want to group similar experiences together. For example, if you are a specialist in jazz but also ballroom, you can create two subheadings and list each of the respective performances or shows with the dates worked under them.
If your career does follow more of a standard trajectory, then make sure to create an employment history section with the job titles in reverse chronological order – starting with the most recent and going back through ten years of experience. If you're just getting started in the field, you may want to consider some of the alternative resume formats we suggest.
Don't overlook the ATS.
How you format your resume may also depend whether or not there will be an Applicant Tracking System involved in the hiring process. These algorithms are built into online application portals and scan resumes for keywords usually taken from the job description. If you are emailing or handing in your resume directly, you probably don't have to worry too much about an ATS. However if you are submitting your application online, there are a few steps you should take:
- Scan the job description for duties and skills emphasized by the employer and place them on your resume in the appropriate sections.
- Use "traditional" section headings like "Summary" or "Experience" in order to point the ATS in the right direction.
- Use the exact wording from the job description to give yourself a better chance of scoring higher with the ATS.
Resume summary example
The summary is your resume's opening number. It should excite the hiring manager and encourage them to keep reading by giving them a taste of what's to come. This is the place to highlight your biggest accomplishments and attributes. Remember to use powerful action verbs and specific language relating to your knowledge of dance and your specialization as a choreographer. Make sure to mention your training, if impressive, and any other noteworthy performances you've worked on. Check out the summary from our resume sample below.
One more essential summary element for choreographers – a website link or QR code for your portfolio. If you really want to call attention to this, you can also create a separate section for it.
Passionate choreographer with extensive experience creating unique and powerful dance routines for youth and adult dance teams. Formally trained in Ballet, Jazz, Modern Dance and Hip-Hop. An experienced performer with a passion for helping others to foster their craft. Knowledgeable about several teaching methodologies and instruction techniques. Adept at working independently and collaboratively on routines and performances to achieve the highest level of innovation and beauty.
Employment history sample
Whether you choose to call this section "Employment History" or another name, this is the place to list former jobs starting with the most recent one first. If you're just starting out, be sure to focus on positions with transferable skills for a choreographer position. Remember to use powerful action verbs that convey your ability and talent. Quantify your achievements wherever possible by adding numbers, statistics and other success metrics. Check out the employment history sample from our resume example below.
- Served as a senior choreographer for one of the Northeast’s leading dance academies.
- Utilized advanced teaching methodologies to effectively work with students.
- Consulted with performance directors and creative professionals about show elements and goals.
- Planned unique and complex dance routines that inspired and entertained.
- Incorporated Jazz, Tap, Ballet, and Hip-Hop into performances.
- Planned and scheduled rehearsals, dress-rehearsals, and productions.
CV skills example
Your skills are at the heart of your work as a choreographer so make sure to list them in this section. While other areas of your CV may be better for highlighting more complex abilities, the bullet point nature of the skills section means it's the place to drive home any areas of expertise you don't want the employer to miss. It's also a great place to add in keywords that the ATS is looking for. Make sure to include a balance of technical skills and soft skills which together make you a great dancer and a skilled coach. Here's the skills section from our resume sample.
- Technical Dance Skills
- Instruction Techniques
- Performance Skills
- Organizational Skills
- Strong Work Ethic
Choreographer resume education example
Your dance training is essential to your qualifications as a choreographer so make sure to list all degrees and certifications in the education section. Any honors or distinctions should be noted here as well. If you hold a degree higher than a bachelor's degree, you may leave out your high school. You can list certifications here or create a separate section highlighting them. Check out the education section from our resume sample below.
- 2004-2008 SUNY Purchase, Bachelor of Dance Performance Purchase, NY
- 2000-2004 Malibu High School, High School Diploma Malibu, CA
Resume layout and design
Just like the costumes add a whole new dimension to the routine you've choreographed, the layout and design of your resume speak volumes about your expertise and personal style. It's worth taking a few minutes to create a layout that matches the feel of the company where you hope to work. Your header should highlight your name and contact information with an attractive flair – you work in the arts after all. Here are some other tips to create a great page design:
- Stick with one or two font styles throughout your resume.
- Make your name a bit bigger than the rest of the text to call attention to the header area,
- Consider using a professionally-designed resume template to make formatting choices quick and easy.
- Don't change the margin size to squeeze in more words – trim your experience to one page instead.
- Submit your resume without first proofreading for spelling and grammar mistakes.
- Go overboard with colors or other graphic elements – keep it tasteful.
Key takeaways for a choreographer resume
- A great resume is just what you need to showcase your experience and skill as a choreographer – don't forget a link to your portfolio!
- Choreographers may need to adapt the traditional resume structure in order to group their projects in a coherent way.
- Let your personality and style shine through in your summary in order to leave the reader wanting more.
- Check out our choreographer resume sample for more ideas on creating a great page layout.