How To Make An Acting Resume

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All jobs require some resume to apply, and acting jobs are no different. Until you reach the iconic heights of actors such as Leonardo DeCaprio and Emma Stone, you’ll need to sell yourself before a director takes a chance on you. However, an acting resume has a different set-up than a common resume. Below are the tips and tricks to turn a standard resume into a showstopping actor’s resume.

What Is An Acting Resume?

Much like a standard resume, an acting resume highlights your skills and shows why you’re the best choice for the role. Both types of resumes must include the following information:

  • A clear objective

  • Contact information

  • Work Experience

  • Education

  • Skills

  • Awards

  • References

For acting, work experience will take the form of notable performances you’ve had. Acting resumes will often list major film or TV appearances first and theatre appearances beneath, depending on the type of acting you’ve done. Use your most prominent roles (or closest school-based equivalents) to show what you can accomplish.

What makes an acting resume unique is that there will also be a section dedicated to your physical appearance. A good acting resume includes a professional headshot photo of yourself along with a short description of your looks and build. For jobs where a certain look is important to the role, this will help determine if you fit the look the director is going for.

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What Skills Are Important For An Acting Resume?

For an acting role, there are a few types of skills that are more valuable than others. These skills go beyond acting and are skills that anyone can master. Listing skills like the following will show not only your talents but your strengths with working on a set.

Teamwork

No matter the role, an actor is going to work with a large group of people. Whether they are fellow actors, directors, or other hired help, you will work closely with many different people. A director wants to hire an actor that can get along with their co-workers and not throw a fit on set. Working well with others is a must-have skill in acting.

Time Management

Creating entertainment often runs on a busy schedule. You’ll be expected to do things at certain times, and often out of order of the final project. Directors want to know that their actors will get things done in time and not create a bunch of blooper reels in the process. Explain in your resume how you handled time constraints and the hiring teams will take note.

Specialized Skills

There is no one way to act. Some actors need a range of emotions while others need comedy skills. Some need to sing or dance, and some need to perform strange feats of skill. If you have an acting skill that goes well with the role, be sure to write it down. Not every skill will fit with the demands of a single role, but it’s important to showcase your acting skills for a variety of roles.

How Do I Write An Acting Resume?

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Now that the basic components are together, how do you turn them into an enticing resume? Here are a few tips that can help you organize your resume:

  • Be specific about your roles: Don’t just include the name of the work and your role in it, but namedrop your superiors. Connections are important in the acting world, and creators will often speak to each other to learn more about their actors. Let your past roles give you a glowing review.

  • Don’t go overboard: Your resume should give a solid idea of who you are as an actor, but not every little detail matters. Give the important information in each section, but be sure to keep it brief enough for a reader to digest. There’s nothing wrong with leaving a little intrigue in your wording for them to find out when they meet you.

  • Keep it current: Even if you feel confident in the roles you’ve had, they don’t always speak for themselves. Always update your resume with your newest roles. Creating the best possible resume is an ongoing process that evolves with each new change in your career.

If you’re still unsure about the quality of your resume, it helps to get feedback. Study examples of successful actors’ resumes, and ask those in your field their opinions on your resume. Adding these tips will make your acting resume the best it can be, and you’ll surely stand out among the stars.

Alyssa Buffington