Two of the most important things to consider when applying for an acting job is your acting resume and your headshot. Both of these are vastly important to securing that dream job of yours. It shows off any of your experience, education, or formal training in the area, and it proves that you are dedicated to your work.
Even for those who don’t have any prior experience in the field, a well-designed acting resume is still helpful. I mean, you have to start somewhere, right? Without any experience, you can still have an acting resume that wows your agent or casting director. Of course, there are several things to consider when creating your acting resume. You don’t want to overdo it with the facts or details, but you do want it to look professional and impressive at the same time.
I’ve done the necessary research to help you in writing the best acting resume you can, and I hope this blog helps you understand the basics of writing a great resume for your future acting jobs.
Start Writing Your Acting Resume with The Basics
Before you start writing your resume, there are a few formatting basics that you should know about. These basics can make or break your resume because it lets your casting director know that you pay attention to detail and instructions.
A basic resume is typed on one single sheet of paper. The average size paper is acceptable, but you will need to fit the completed resume to the back of your headshot, trimming the overhanging edges, so it looks nice and clean. You should also try to leave as much white space on the resume as possible. The white space creates a clean look that makes your information easy to read. Cramming everything onto the resume only makes the paper look crowded.
Crazy fonts and colors are frowned upon on an acting resume. You want to steer clear of weird fonts because they are often hard to read. Times New Roman or Arial are the best fonts for a resume because they are clean and easy to read. You can create your headings with a different color than black, but adding too many different colors can make your resume look tacky, which reflects badly on you. Don’t print your resume on the back of your headshot either. If you land an awesome job, it looks sloppy to write in work on your resume. You will want to type in the new work to your previous resume, print it off, and attach it to a new headshot.
There is one other important tip that you should be extremely cautious of. You should never lie on your resume. Though it may not seem like it, you will eventually get caught in the lie. Lying also hurts your reputation, and no one will hire you after being caught in a lie like this. You should only write down what you’ve done.
Personal Information is Matters For an Actor/Actress
Now that we’ve discussed the basics of writing an acting resume, we can start talking about the information you should include in your resume. Of course, the most important part of the resume is your personal information. This information is how casting directors will contact you should you get the job.
Other things to include in your personal information is small tidbits such as your height, hair color, eye color, and weight. These pieces of information plus your name and phone number should be the first thing the casting director sees on your resume. They should stand out in bold and larger letters than the rest of the resume. If you don’t know where to start, you could check our resume templates for some inspirations.
Ensure that your contact information and personal information is easy to read and understand is an important part of writing a great acting resume. The next few steps in the resume are equally as important to the casting director, but your personal information is your ticket to getting that callback.
Don’t Worry If You Haven’t Had Acting Experience
Your experience section of your resume is what sells your talent to your casting directors. Of course, don’t worry if you haven’t had any experience yet. We all have to start from the bottom. If you do have experience in acting, you should list your experience in a certain way.
To start, you will group your experience by headings such as theater, film, and television. If you are auditioning for a television role, you will list the television section first. I often create different resumes for each topic, listing that topic first in the experience section. Once you get your headings down, you can begin listing your most recent work first. Chronological order is what I typically prefer.
One thing to avoid is adding dates to any of your work. This listing could be bothersome to some casting directors. If they want to know when you worked on something, they will ask outright. You should also avoid adding every single thing you’ve done because your resume could become crowded.
I’ve decided to discuss different ways to format each subheading in your experience section. These can be arranged to meet your needs, of course, but this gives a great format to help you while writing your resume.
You can begin by having three or four columns for information. In the first column, you should list the name of the show you were a part of. In the second column, list the role you play. The third and fourth columns can be combined when typing the theater company you performed the role with and the location of the production. Some people like to combine them, but I prefer to separate them into two different columns. It’s not necessary to list the director unless the director is widely known.
For your film section, you can separate the information much like your theater section. Three columns are all you need to showcase your work on films. There is one important thing to remember, however. You should never list your work as an extra for either film or television. Never.
In the first of your three columns, you should list the film in which you worked. Next, the role you played in that film should be listed. Typically, you would write something like “supporting” in this place. In the final column, you would write the production company and the director of the film. This layout keeps your resume looking sharp and clean.
When setting up your television section, you should format it the same way as your film section. With three columns, you would fill them in just like your film section, but your role title would alter—to “co-star” or “guest star”—and the network would take the place of the production company from your film section. In both the film and television section, you should list the director, no matter who the director is.
Education or Training
Your education and training section is extremely important for those who don’t have much experience. This section will highlight your training and education in the acting field. The formatting is much the same as your experience section with three different columns for easy reading and understanding.
Your first column for training will list the teacher of a specific class you might have attended. I often put “current” in parenthesis to highlight whether or not I am currently attending that class.
For your education section, you should write your information in only two columns. The first column will be your degree type followed by a comma and your major. In the second column, you will type the place where you earned your degree or where you are currently attending. After the name of the college, you will type the city and state where the college is located. Some people, like me, prefer to put their graduation date in parenthesis behind the state, but this isn’t required.
If your education, training, or experience is lacking, you can try adding in a nice list of your special skills. You aren’t required to have a huge list of skills, but they add a personal touch to your resume. You should be careful to list only things that you know you can do immediately. Often, casting directors will ask you to perform some of these special skills, and you want to be able to do them on command. These skills could also be what lands you’re the role you are auditioning for.
Auditioning for an acting role is a stressful task by itself. Instead of being overly concerned about having to write your resume, you can use this blog post as a quick guide to help you get it out of the way. It doesn’t have to be as difficult a task as you might think. Your resume can be the perfect way to break the ice for an audition, and you might just get that dream role that you’ve been hoping to get. With a few simple steps and basic principles, you can write the most amazing resume to highlight your experience, education, and training.