Aside from your actor headshot, having a professional actor resume is equally important to Casting Directors, Agents, Filmmakers and Producers. Having a professional actor resume in many cases will give you your ‘first look’ at an audition.
Having a great actor headshot accompanied with a great resume puts you in good standing with industry professionals.
What makes a great actor resume?
You have to consider things like format, structure, font and design. You want to keep things honest, easy to read and simple.
Professional Actor Resume
- Keep the resume format simple.
- Make the font easy to read.
- Keep resume to one page only.
- Double check for spelling errors – no typos!
- Film credits should go at the top, followed by TV, theatre, training and last should be special skills at the bottom.
- Be sure to keep your credits up to date, using the most current.
- If you haven’t booked many roles, make sure you lean on all the actor training you’ve done.
- Don’t place on your resume anything that doesn’t seem as professional as you want to be. Example of this would be high school play credits.
- Steer clear from lying on your resume. If you say you’ve acted in something and it’s been discovered that you haven’t, it can work against you and hurt your reputation.
- If you are a SAG-AFTRA member, do mention it on your resume but refrain from including the SAG-AFTRA logo.
Should I use special fonts and colors to stand out?
No. It is always wise to keep it simple so that your credits will be as legible as possible for the Casting Professional to read with ease. If you have various colors on your resume it will look amateur.
What are the roles that I should list on my resume?
List the acting work you have done so far if you are just starting out. Eventually, as you gain more ground and book more parts, you will update your resume.
What to do if I don’t have much acting experience?
Be sure to stress the amount of actor training you have. If you don’t have any, go get some. There are a ton of credible schools out there for you to begin taking acting classes in improv, scene study, monologues and more. This adds value to your resume if you don’t have many credits.
What kind of paper should I use?
No need to get fancy paper as it will be expensive and completely unnecessary. Normal stationary is fine and will do the job. Even if you were to get expensive paper, no one will care to take that into account.
How should I go about attaching my resume to my headshot?
You will want to staple your headshot and resume together by stapling each one of the four corners. Make sure the headshot and resume backs are facing eachother. One side is the front of your headshot and when you flip it over, the other side is the front of your resume. Keep it as neat as possible.
What is the proper size of the resume paper?
Standard headshots are “8 x 10” so your paper should be as well. Make sure you trim any excess paper that may be sticking out if need be. =)
The graph below comes from SAG-AFTRA, who spoke with industry experts Tim Weissman, Melissa McQueen, Dan Shaner and Paul Weber on ways to properly format and think about your professional actor resume.
- Free Resume Template is a visual sample for you to see how your actor resume can look.
Actor Resume Breakdown: Different Key Sections
- Name | Contact Information
Place your name, phone number and email address at the top center of the page. if you do have representation such as an agent, you may be asked to shift your name over to the left top side so that your agent can place their agency logo on your resume.
You may also want to consider including your weight, height, hair and eye color but that is your preference. Today’s headshots are in glorious color so the necessity to add your eye and hair color isn’t as essential as it used to be.
- Credit Placement
Credits should be broken down by Film, Theatre, Television, Web Series, Special Skills and Accents. Keep the design in three columns which is industry standard.
You will notice starting from the first column (going left to right) are your Platform Categories such as Film, Television, Theatre ect. as well as the Title of the project.
In the second column in the middle, is you Character placement. This is where you state the name of the character you portrayed in the project title you were in.
In the third column to the right is where you want to place the Director and Production Company names.
Once all your credits are added to your resume, you will want to add your training. If you have singing and dance training under your belt than it isn’t a bad idea to list this as well.
- Special Skills
Additional skills may be skateboarding, juggling, accents.
Usually, the bottom of an actor resume is special skills and you can add that you have accent capability in that section. It really is personal preference. If you want to add one more section under special skills specifically for accents, you may do so.
Same thing applies here. You can place this section inside the special skills area but you may choose to add awards as its own banner.
Your actor resume is one of the most important marketing tools you can have for yourself as an actor. It isn’t something you shouldn’t take into serious consideration for your career.