Ah yes, the glitz and glamour of being a cosplay guest- sounds great right? It certainly can be, but there is a lot of work to do in order to land such a coveted spot! As the number of opportunities to be a cosplay guest at conventions rises, so does the competition from fellow cosplayers! Having talked to several cosplay guests and guesting coordinators, I've compiled a list of qualities they feel make a cosplayer really stand out in a resume or media kit.
If you've already read my blog on Applying to be a Guest, then you may be wondering what these so-called cosplay resumes and media kits are. Even it you are not asked for one by a convention, they can be a pivotal part of your pitch! Cons are not the only places that cosplay resumes and media kits are useful, but this article will be focused on tailoring them to convention guesting. If you don't already have guesting experience under your belt, worry not- there's plenty of other ways to beef up that resume, so let's get down to business!
*Insert Mulan show tune here*
1 - Make it Relevant!
List your con/cosplay experiences, or transferable experiences. If you've judged in a contest, helped run panels, volunteered on staff, worked press at an event, that's all great convention experience! If you don’t have anything like that, relevant experience like working at a fabric store, customer service at Disney, etc. can help fill in the resume where it may be lacking.
2 - This Is Different Than the Typical Resume
The cosplay/con resume will look WILDLY different than a business resume. Cons don’t need to know you have an agricultural economics degree, but if you happen to have relevant education, (like an apparel design, theater, or costuming degree) you may want to list it. But GPA, graduation year, or whatever else are not needed. In fact, you may want to look into making an entertainment resume instead of a professional resume, if that suits your brand better!
3 - Media Kits vs. Resumes
Media Kits differ a bit from the resumes in that the media kit will focus on that- media like social media, press, appearances, etc., while the resume will be a summary of your professional experiences. There may be some crossover between the two, but they will ultimately be different. Most cosplayers use a media kit more often than resumes. Some cosplayers even cite foregoing resumes entirely, but it is helpful to have both. Never know when you might need it! ;3
4 - Let Your Resume and Media Kit Represent You
Make them both stand out! Let them represent your brand! Unless your brand colors are literally black and white, throw some color in it! It’ll make you stand out and make you memorable. My resume actually matches my business cards, which match my website that my media kit is on. Make it all look like one pretty package that people can’t wait to open.
You’re allowed to infuse some personality into this- remember, you’re not applying to work at Kaiba Corp, you have freedom to be creative and playful here. Be it through fun colors, a unique design, use of your logo or headshots in the header, or even just writing in a cheerful tone, show them who YOU are. You can be professional while also being true to your personality!
5 - Flex Your Accomplishments
Numbers and name drops- use 'em. Have a high following on social media? List it. Have a big number of craftsmanship awards? Share it. Worked with a major name? Flaunt it!! You should never puff yourself up to be more than you are, but also… be proud of things that truly are big achievements. You don’t have to be modest if they’re things you’ve actually accomplished, so flex on it!
6 - Strength in Numbers
Numbers are a great way to quantify your achievements. “I’ve won a number of awards” doesn’t sound as strong as “I’ve placed in over 30 of the 40+ contests I have entered.” Also, write numbers as numerical characters instead of letters. So write 35,000, don’t write thirty-five-thousand. The eyes will be more drawn to those numerical digits, especially where zeroes are involved. So another tip would be to write 7,400+ followers, instead of 7,431. It looks cleaner, is more impactful/memorable, and the plus sign literally indicates a positive connotation. Besides, it's likely your numbers will fluctuate at least a little bit by the time they look at it.
7 - What You Did vs. What You Can Do
In addition to listing your accomplishments, don’t forget to list your services. Thing