Your Acting Resume: A Beginner’s Guide
In this business, your acting resume is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have at your disposal. You get one page to tell them where you’ve been, and what you can do.
On this page, we have created a beginners acting resume template – all you need to do is download it and plug in your credits. Scroll down the page to access this template.
But what if you have no experience as an actor? How do you write a resume if you have nothing to put on it?
To answer that question, we first need to talk about WHY you need an acting resume at all
What is the purpose of an actor’s resume? For you as a beginner, it’s to show agents and casting directors that you are serious about this business. How do you do that?
Simple you start by going out and gaining experience. Rack up a few credits in your local area. Go out and do a few student films. Do some theatre. Take a few classes. In fact, ALWAYS be in some sort of class. Always.
All of that is experience that you can proudly put on your acting resume. Now agents and casting directors can see that you’ve been doing this acting thing for a while now – at least a year or two. That shows that you have discipline and commitment – that you’re a real go-getter!
In order to build your resume, you first have to have credits to put on it. Just two or three to start.
Actor Resume Education Example
While most actors enter the field without completing a formal degree, workshops, courses or degrees-in-progress can go a long way to prove your dedication to the field. This section can also be used to show a casting director who you may have trained with. Make sure to highlight any reputable schools or programs here as well as in your summary. Any honors or distinctions, guild or union memberships should be noted here as well. If you hold a degree higher than a bachelors degree, you may leave out your high school. Degrees in progress can also be mentioned along with their anticipated graduation dates and your GPA if higher than a 3.0. See the education section from our actor resume example below.
Include A Strong Summary Paragraph
Your professional summary is one of the most important aspects of your actors resume to get right.
It almost does not matter how much experience you have if the casting director can see that you have made no effort.
A poorly written summary, or lack of one altogether, conveys a lack of passion and commitment that will turn away any decent director.
Below are two actor resume summary examples. Notice how the first is flat and bland. The reworded version gives the casting director much more of a reason to pick the phone up.
A poorly written acting resume summary:
Experienced actor looking for a big-ticket role. Appeared in a few plays before and starred alongside other experienced actors on and off-screen.
A well-written acting resume summary:
A Drama Desk award-winning actor highly experienced in stage and television work who has a diverse yet focused repertoire of acting credits. Highlights include: working with Jordan Peele on Get Out, and perfecting skills in motion capture in Attack the Block
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Acting Resume For Beginners
Now that we’ve told about which section experienced actors should include in their actor resume, it’s time to tell you which section should beginners in this field include in their theatre resumes.
This section is of the internship. Yes. People who don’t have professional experience should include the internships which they did in their actor resumes in place of the professional experience section.
The internship section is the utmost important section in the acting resumes of the beginners. The two things to do in this section is to make a bucket of each section and write the points using the cause-effect format.
Cause-Effect Point 1Cause-Effect Point 2
Now, let us see with the help of an acting resume example how bucketing and cause-effect points add value to your theatre resume.
Internship section with no bucketing and cause-effect points.
- Assisted the Production Manager in production tasks
- Rendered assistance to the Production House
Internship section with bucketing and cause-effect points.
Production & Documentation
- Assisted the Production Manager in production tasks like camera setting, make-up, dialogue delivery and lighting
- Rendered assistance to the Production House to prepare the documentation for artists and vendors
As it is the first step in the actor resume making of the beginners, it is also Step 2 in the theatre resume making process of the experienced professionals. Internship section is what you’ll make second in the master resume stage.
What Should You Include If You Have Extensive Acting Experience
If youre on the other end of the spectrum and have years of experience in the acting world, you have two routes to take:
- Condense your resume to include only your most high-profile work.
- Edit your resume for each audition to include only the most relevant work for that potential gig.
While the latter option is certainly more time-intensive, it may work to your benefit in particular circumstances. For instance, lets say youre up for a role in a Shakespearean tragedy. You may want to take out your comedic roles and keep only those that lean more dramatic.
In contrast, if you decide to simply edit down your acting resume to your most notable projects regardless of genre, you will likely be showcasing what is an overall impressive list of roles for a Casting Director.
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Note Physical Details And Measurements
Acting resumes typically include physical details and measurements. This information helps recruiters decide if you’re suitable for the advertised position. You may add physical details such as your height, weight, eye colour, hair colour or complexion. For costuming purposes, some applications may require you to include more detailed information, such as hip, waist and chest measurements. They may also ask for your hat and shoe size.
It may also be necessary to include a headshot on your resume. This gives casting directors a more accurate physical image of each candidate. It also assists them in choosing suitable roles for each actor. Consider using a professional photographer, as the headshot is there to catch the attention of the casting director.
Acting Resume: Awards And Recognition Section
Step 7 is to write the awards and recognition section.
Recruiters tend to hire those people more who have been awards or recognized for their work. In this section, write all the valuable awards and recognition that you got at work, college or school.
Do not write awards and recognition like that of ‘Best Holiday Homework’ and ‘Best Handwriting’. Awards and recognition like these will not ad any value and at the same time will look kiddish.
Look at the actor resume sample below to get a better understanding of how to write this section.
In addition to this, you can opt for Hiration’s Resume Reviewing Service to get a review of your actor resume template to see if it’s relevant with the latest theatre resume template trends.
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Should You Include Non
Generally speaking, no, only include acting jobs on your actors resume as other irrelevant jobs will take up valuable space.
However, there are some acting roles where it could be beneficial to include specific other experiences.
If a part requires specific skills, such as sailing a boat or horse riding, or technical language, such as business/trading or medical jargon, definitely including any experience you already have in that area.
Imagine how appealing it will be to the casting director if you have already had a job as a riding instructor or are a chartered yachtsperson.
Actor Resume Key Skills Section
Step 9 includes completing the first draft stage of your theatre resume.
In this step, you will make your key skills section.
Writing the skills section at this stage give you more skills to write in the skills section. How?
Well, you will now be scanning the rest of your actor resume to look for skills that you acquire. Also, when writing your skills, do put a bullet before each skill. For example:
- Advertising & Promotions
To get a better idea on how to make the skills section, look at the below-given actor resume sample.
Additionally, you can opt for Hiration’s Online Resume Builder to make your acting resume.
Our Online Resume Builder offers 20+ resume designs together with the option of modifying your key skills section and personal information section with bar graphs, pie charts, social media icons, and many more such options.
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What To Add In An Acting Resume Template
Properly format your resume to make it more inviting and readable. Your resume should be 8×10 in inches. Make sure that the size of your headshot is 8×10 as well, since youll have to staple your headshot at the back page.
When writing your actors resume, be sure to make it relevant to the role you are auditioning for. Never lie on your resume. A damaged reputation would be the last thing youd want before your debut.
Download a copy of this acting resume example.
What Is An Actors Resume
Along with an actors headshot, an acting resume or actors resume is your ticket to closing a project and, eventually, to stardom. Aside from your experience and past works, it also shows off the education, training, and special skills you have under your belt.
But if you lack experience, what else can you flaunt? How do you make an actor resume? Before we can answer these questions, we first need to establish why you would need one.
For actors with a lesser experience like you, your resumes purpose is to show that youre serious about your craft and youre a capable actor. If you havent had your acting break yet, then you can focus more on your experience in student films, theater, workshops, and acting classes. Doing this will let agents and casting directors see that youve been acting for years now and youre not a complete rookie.
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What Skills To Put In Your File
There is no doubt that actors possess special skills that help them excel in theater or on-screen roles. Thus, highlight your special skills for acting resume using action verbs to emphasize that you are a result-oriented person. The fact is, recruiters like actors who prefer showing results instead of describing the work process, and such verbs help to convey such a message.
Heres an actor resume template to provide you with some inspiration:
- Does comprehensive character research
- Writes Powerful Song Lyrics
- Applies Meisner Acting Technique
You should also highlight your excellent EQ, outstanding communication skills, the ability to work in a team, and excellent time management skills.
Include A Headshot On Your Resume
A headshot is a professional image that you can provide to directors and producers when looking for an acting role. Focus on attaching a small photo at the top of your resume. It can increase your chances of winning a role in a desirable film or TV series. A headshot can help an employer assess the physical description of a candidate based on the role’s requirement.
How To Make An Acting Resume With No Experience
In terms of creating your very first acting CV when you have no experience, there really is no shortcut. Youll just have to get experience any kind.
Before you even start working on your actor resume, see if you can join any community theatres, drama clubs, apply to local student film productions, get into any type of acting workshops and acting classes anything will do.
To start with your acting resume with no experience, simply put anything you can remember: school plays, films you and your friends put together, etc. The same applies to your training.
What if you have nothing at all? If thats the case, then you may want to hold off from putting together an acting resume. How do you even know if acting is what you want to do if youve never done it?
If thats you, then start looking for acting opportunities that are accessible to amateur actors who may not even consider this as their career choice. The ones listed above are your best bet.
Things To Keep In Mind
First, remember that your acting resume can only be of a single A4 page. It should also fit nicely with your 8×10 headshot so that you can staple them both together.
As an actor, you never leave your home without a batch of acting resumes in your backpack or purse. You never know who you might run into. Once you get the opportunity to hand them over, you will also need your headshot, which is why you keep those two stapled together.
Once youre a more experienced actor, drop those credits with less value to keep everything packed on just one page.
Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid putting your date of birth and/or age on your acting CV.
There is absolutely no need for anybody to know how old you actually are before they cast you. In casting peoples eyes, you are as old as you look. More on the reason behind this in a separate article.
As long as youre legal 18, if casting directors ever ask you about your age, your first response should be: how old do I look? Whatever they say is how old you are. They have no business knowing your actual age if youre an adult.
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List Acting Roles In Reverse
Then, list your acting experience in reverse-chronological order, starting with your most recent or current acting role. Typically, it can be acceptable to include up to 10 years of acting experience, especially if you have had a long-standing role in a recurring series. If you are just entering your acting career, you might list the roles you have taken on in community theater projects, as part of your training or any other acting or stage work you have professional experience in. Additionally, your resume should leave out the dates of your past roles.
Current Location Of Residence
Step 5 involves customizing the acting resume title.
The title conveys your capability and expertise in your field to the recruiter.
It is supposed to be the second largest text in your actor resume with the font size between 12-14 point size.
Take a brief look at the below given acting resume example to get greater clarity on how to make the profile title section.
You can also opt for a professional review of your theatre resume done by select industry experts of Hiration to check the accuracy of your actor resume design and content.
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How To Align Your Resume With The Job Description
Whether youre an experienced actor or a theater school graduate fresh out of college, one of the most important things you can do with your resume is to align it as much as possible with the role that you know the director or casting director or associate is trying to fill. That means you need to look at your overall theatrical, film, or similar experiences and orient your resume toward the roles that are like the one thats being cast.
While its true that directors have been known to cast someone in a role based on their appearance alone, thats usually not the case. Most of the time people responsible for casting a play, a role in a TV series, or a film want to find someone who has experience in playing these types of characters or has the skills that show they can play these roles.
For instance, if its a theatrical role, you should lead with your theatrical experiences. If its casting for a commercial and you have commercial experience, thats whats at the top of your resume. If you lack experience in the type of role thats being cast, you should list your roles in the order of their importance. So, if you had the lead role in a production by your college s theater department, thats what you list first.
Write A Cover Letter That Goes With Your Actor Resume
Make your resume stand out with a cover letter. Cover letters are your sales pitch to the potential director stating why you would be a good fit for the job.
In your cover letter, write concisely about why you are a great fit to perform this role, the similar challenges you have taken in the past and how you have successfully executed them, and how giving this opportunity to you would benefit the production and the casting director. You can mention your passion to work with the director and mention how much you enjoy the directors previous work.
Keep the cover letter to half a page as the directors do not have time to go through a two page cover letter for a single applicant when they have thousands of resumes to shortlist.
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