So what’s so difficult about writing a résumé? Although it’s just a piece of paper that contains relevant information, many actors out there screw it up. In order to stop the madness, let’s dig deeper into every possible advice that works best for an acting resume, hoping that at the end of the day, you’ll learn from it too.
Creating an Effective Acting Resume
Do not ever use a paper clip when attaching a headshot to your acting resume.
If you don’t want your papers and photos to end up separated, please do not use a paper clip. If possible, staple them together to ensure they reach the hands of the casting panel together. You don’t want to lose your chances of being cast in a major role just because your acting resume or headshot got lost in the process.
Aside from paper clips, glue and tapes are other things you should avoid. They would only make your résumé look messy, and worse, they’ll warp the pages.
Make sure you include your contact information.
How can a casting director contact you for a possible job offer if you don’t include your contact information? Well, this level of stupidity is extremely mind-boggling. Who in his right mind would ever forget writing his phone number or e-mail address when applying for a job?
Besides your contact information and acting credits, you also need to include your union status, height and weight, and vital statistics. Be careful when writing your stats. You don’t want to overwhelm the casting panel with too much information. The basics about your physical appearance are more than enough.
For security purposes, never write your home address, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, and your social security number. If you are asking why, well, these pieces of information are keys to identity theft and other wrong practices.
Avoid using the metric system.
Some casting directors don’t like an actor to hand over his résumé that lists his height as 154 centimeters. Instead of watching him perform on stage, they end up wasting a couple of minutes trying to convert centimeters to feet.
It should have the section “Talents and Special Skills”.
This is where you list things that make you the perfect choice for a role. You can write your military training, your surfing or horseback riding skills, and the classes and workshops that you have attended. In case you have any Web sites where casting directors can know you better, you can also have it put here.
When writing your special skills, you have to be very specific. For instance, do not put “planting a tree” as a skill. Any man can do that. But growing a tree in less than a month can be considered one.0
Film and TV credits should be two separate categories.
Writing all your film and TV credits into one category won’t make your acting resume look fuller. Instead, it only makes it difficult to read. Even if you haven’t had enough credits, you still need to write them separately.
As you list your film and television credits, make sure you write the name of the show, your role, and the name of the director you worked with.
Also, when listing your work experience, you have to use the right terminology. You don’t want to confuse the professionals over things they are experts on. Here are some roles you can list on your résumé.
Film: Supporting Lead, Supporting Featured, Lead or Starring
Television: Guest Star, Series Regular, Co-Star, Recurring Co-Star
Do not include work as an “extra” on your acting resume.
The casting directors completely understand that you want to appear experienced. But actually, extra work doesn’t really mean much to them. This is because this type of work doesn’t show much about your acting ability.
In addition, do not ever attempt to play with information. An extra role is way different than a speaking or a feature role. Keep in mind that integrity plays a major role in your acting career.
Omit any unnecessary things from your résumé.
The goal here is to land that most coveted acting job, so including any unnecessary things on your résumé won’t help. Do you think listing your academic achievements and beauty pageant titles will make you a much better actor? If you really believe so, we suggest you consult an agent.
Your acting resume should appear neat.
Your acting resume has to appear neat. All information has to be properly divided into sections. As much as possible, it has to fit into an 8 x 10 space.
Since you’ll be working in a creative industry, you can always get creative with the fonts, but make sure they are still readable. You also have to keep in mind that this is a digital era, so you might be asked to send out your résumé in a digital format. If you use an uncommon font, some computers might not be able to decode it. As a result, your acting resume will only look bad.
It is already known that getting booked for an acting job isn’t easy. However, you can always do something about it. And the first thing you have in control as an actor is the way you present yourself to agents and casting directors, which obviously starts with a relevant acting resume.