As an actor, your resume is more than just a list of your professional experiences. It is your story – a tangible document showcasing your talent, skills, and on-stage journey. Here, you reveal the breadth of your craft, from stage productions and film roles to television appearances and even voice work.
In a fiercely competitive field like acting, your resume is one of the tools that can set you apart. Therefore, understanding how to optimize and present your actor resume becomes crucial for your acting career. Follow the guide below, and you’ll have a resume that shines under the casting director’s spotlight.
- Start with the Basics
Your resume should lead with your name, contact information, and your union affiliations such as SAG-AFTRA or Actors’ Equity Association. You can also include your personal website or IMDb profile if applicable. Be sure to use a professional email address and have a voicemail setup.
- Headshot Affiliation
Your headshot and resume go hand in hand. Attach your resume to the back of your headshot, ensuring they are the same size. This way, casting directors can quickly associate your face with your skills and experience.
- Physical Characteristics
In the acting industry, your physical attributes are an essential part of your brand. Therefore, list your height, weight, eye, and hair color. If you’re a singer or dancer, you might want to include your vocal range or dance styles.
- Experience Section
This section will be the heart of your resume. Divide your acting roles into sections: Film/TV, Theater, and Commercial (if applicable). List your experiences in reverse chronological order under each category, focusing on the name of the project, your role, and the director or production company.
Remember to keep your formatting consistent and your descriptions brief. While it might be tempting to list every small part you’ve played, focus on roles that showcase your skills, range, and growth as an actor.
As an actor, your education isn’t limited to traditional degrees. Acting workshops, drama courses, specialized skill training—all should find a place on your resume. List your acting education starting with the most recent, including the program name, institution, and any significant teachers or mentors.
- Special Skills
This is your chance to highlight skills that make you unique and could be useful for specific roles. Can you play a musical instrument, ride a horse, or perform stage combat? Are you bilingual or proficient in dialects? These abilities can tip the scale in your favor for particular roles, so don’t hold back!
While not always necessary, having references can boost your credibility. However, always make sure to seek permission from the individuals you’re listing. A note like “References available upon request” at the bottom of your resume can be a useful addition.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of what your actor resume should contain, let’s delve into some tips to optimize it.
- Keep It Concise: Your resume should ideally fit on one page. Remember, casting directors are busy. They appreciate brevity and clarity.
- Be Honest: Never exaggerate or lie about your experiences or skills. The industry is smaller than you think, and dishonesty can harm your reputation.
- Proofread: Ensure your resume is free from spelling or grammatical errors. Such mistakes can distract from your qualifications and appear unprofessional.
- Stay Current: Keep your resume up-to-date. Add new roles, skills, or training as you acquire them.
- Tailor When Needed: If you’re applying for a specific role, tailor your resume to highlight the most relevant skills and experiences.
Creating an impactful actor resume is a constant process. As you grow in your acting career, your resume should evolve with you. With this guide, you are well-equipped to create a compelling resume that effectively showcases your talents and skills. Remember, every role you play contributes to your unique journey as an actor, and your resume is the perfect stage to share this exciting story. Break a leg!