Just like any other job, an actor must have a professional and proper resume when applying/auditioning for quite literally everything. An actors resume, however, is quite different from the average “office-job” resume that most of us are familiar with. Don’t be scared, though. Writing your acting resume is not too drastically far off from the typical job application resume, there are just a few tweaks and additions that casting directors will be looking for.
First things first, it’s important to know where your resume belongs once it’s all typed up and printed out. This is important to know because it will be stapled to the back of your headshot. Remember that headshots must be printed out on 8×10 photo paper and printer paper primarily is sized 8.5×11. Bottom line is that you will need to trim your resume paper to fit on the back of your headshot. Because of the trimming that needs to happen, you need to make sure to leave ample space on the document you’re typing your resume on so that nothing gets cut off or looks messy.
You may see that some actors have their resume directly printed on the back of their headshot. This is okay, but highly inconvenient both for the actor and the casting director. Casting directors may need to separate your resume and headshot during the casting process and you will be needing to constantly update your resume which could get pricey if you’re wanting to print your resume directly on the back of your headshot. Just don’t do it.
Here is a photo of my current acting resume. I took the picture directly off of the word document in which I typed it out so that you can see what it looks like before it’s printed out and attached to the back of my headshot. As you can see, I don’t have an excessive amount of credits and because of this I wasn’t shy about spacing and font-size to really fill up the page.
Let’s analyze from top to bottom. You want your name to be noticeable and at the very top. You want them to remember your name! Directly below or next to your name, you will want to display your agency, if you have one, instead of your personal contact information. If you have yet to get signed to an agency, be sure to list your contact information (phone number, email, address) and your personal stats (eye color, hair color, height, weight, dress/pant size). In a future blog post, I will go over acting agency information
The next thing on your resume will be credits. Currently, I only have stage credits. Your most recent and your most prominent roles should be listed first. Some actors with an extensive line of credits in both on camera and stage acting will have two separate resumes, one for stage credits and the other for on camera credits. However, if you are just starting out, like me, you can simply add another category for on camera work on your resume beneath or above your stage credits.
After your credits, you will want to list your training. This section is important because casting directors are more likely to cast someone who is constantly trying to improve themselves in their craft. It also shows that you are an educated actor and you know the basics and logistics of being an actor. Professionalism!
The last thing you will want to include in your resume are any special skills you may have that can separate you from the “competition” and give you an advantage in the casting room. Think of some qualities and skills that you have that others may not.
For more information and tips regarding an actors resume, go ahead and check out this link which goes over everything in more detail. Remember that industry standards change every so often to make sure that you do your own research in the future to make sure your headshots and resume are up to date.