In a previous article we discussed the importance of a resume and/or a portfolio to show off your hard earned roles. Your resume is important because this is often the first thing the casting director may see. Take your time in creating your resume to highlight the best of your achievements, training and skills. Below we have created a few sample acting resumes to help guide you in creating the perfect resume.
Most importantly please note the samples we provide are only one side, the written portion. The front of the resume should include a full headshot while the back should contain the written portion of your resume. This is not where you want to take a picture with your phone and selfie stick :) Make the investment to get professional photos for your resume or portfolio. Look your best and work with the photographer to get those stellar photos.
When producing the written portion of your resume choose a font that is easy to read. If your resume is difficult to read it may quickly be tossed aside. Stay away from script or playful type fonts. Try to keep it to one or two different font types at most. You can be creative but remember to make it easy to find key components of your resume and make sure it's easily readable. You will also want to keep it to one page highlighting your best roles and skills.
The header portion of your acting resume should include your name (first and last). A phone number where you can be reached as well as an email address. If you have a portfolio website be sure to include a link to your website. The header is also a good spot to add some personal details such as eye and hair color, your height and weight. You can add a small photo in the header if you desire, although this should not be a substitute to the full headshot on the front. If you do use a smaller image in the header choose a different photo than you use on the front side.
The body is where you can showcase the roles you've had in films, commercials or theatrical performances. Separate the roles by their corresponding types. For example list all film work, then a separate section for commercial and so forth for theatre work. Your roles should also be listed in chronological order beginning with your most recent. Include the name of the production, the role you played, the production company as well as the director for each role you were in. Be prepared to modify this section of your resume for the different roles you will be trying out for. If the audition is for a theatrical play, start with your theatre experience first. If you're going for a commercial job then list commercials first. You can make several versions to fit your needs and then you will have them on hand when you need them.
After you've detailed out your acting experience you should include any college you have graduated from or are currently attending. Include your major/minor and any degree(s) you have earned. After any formal schooling you can also list any workshops or independent acting classes you have completed. Workshops and independent classes should be listed under your formal education and should be in chronological order with your most recent at the top.
Next you'll want to detail out any sports you play. List them in order of your strongest first. Be detailed with your activities to displays of the talents you can offer. Below the sports section you can also include a skills section. This is different than sports in that you can describe other talents you have. Maybe you are an experienced pilot or you can cook or sew. These are skills that might just fit the role the casting director is looking for. Just as you do with sports list this in order of your strength in the skill.
Finally, be honest on the resume and don't lie or over exaggerate your skills. It won't be good if you listed tennis as a sport but don't know how to play when the role requires it. Focus on showing off the talents and skills you do have. Your list of acting jobs and skill set will change over time be sure to keep your resume updated with your latest accomplishments.