Acting is an amazing career choice, albeit a highly competitive one. You will be rivaling a lot of other good candidates even for temp jobs. Hence, think of your resume as of a movie script – it should tell a compelling story and intrigue the reader with narrative details.
In this post, we offer you some specific resume writing tips for your profession, along with a dazzling acting resume example that you can use to “compose your lines”.
How to Write an Acting Resume: The Basics
Acting is a creative profession, but still, an employer will expect you to follow some basic standards in terms of resume format and overall design:
- It’s best to keep your resume one-page long. Aim to be a memorable featurette, not a dragging telenovela.
- Always include a headshot. It should be 8 X 10 inches and stapled to the back of your resume. Also, it’s OK to add several headshot variations to your application. One more theatrical, serious shot; a smiling commercial shot; plus a picture demonstrating your niche bookable talent (e.g. good muscles if you are a bodybuilder).
- Keep it on-point. Don’t try to squeeze in every gig you did throughout your career. List only the biggest, most relevant entries. For instance, if you are looking for a theater role, don’t mention that you did a toothpaste commercial in High School.
- Do not experiment with the resume fonts. Otherwise, your application will become unreadable and go straight to the bin.
- Do not put extra, unrelated work on your resume. You might not be doing acting full-time, but the decision-maker does not really need to know about your bartending gigs or sales work experience. But if you have experience with some additional bookable talents, relevant to the job posting (e.g. singing, professional dancing, horseback riding etc), do blend those along the lines.
The Best Format for an Acting Resume
The choice will heavily depend on how long you have been in the industry and whether you do acting full-time or on the side.
For prolific actors with a long track of successful engagements and roles, it’s best to opt for the standard chronological resume format.
By doing so, you’ll be able to put your most recent roles in the limelight. This way you will draw the decision-makers attention towards your progressive career development and extensive acting experience.
A functional resume format will be better suited for newer actors and those with a more modest line up of past gigs.
The particular appeal of this resume format is that it helps conceal employment gaps and place the focus on your unique talents, skills, education and other experience that may be relevant to the role you are after.
You can learn more about resume formats from our previous post.
What to Include in an Acting Resume
The first step to nail your acting resume is creating an informative header area. It should prominently highlight several things:
- Your name and contact information
- Your agent’s contact information (if you are represented)
- Union affiliation (if any)
- Personal stats information (height, weight, hair and eye color)
NB: Do not add age on your acting resume unless you are under 18.
Afterwards, stick to the more standard resume format and include the following sections:
- Resume Summary or Personal Bio Statement
- Work History/Acting Credits
- Education + additional training
- Additional info: languages, special bookable talents, testimonials etc)
- Your headshot
Now that seems like a lot of writing. But don’t get to overwhelmed. Below is a sample acting resume that you can use as a reference for crafting your own!
Resume Example For Actors (Word version)
Download resume example (.docx)
Your Acting Resume Sample (text version)
Screen Actors Guild
[email protected] |mob: 123-45-6789 | Acting Reel URL
Awesome Agent Name Height: 5’7
123 Agency Street Weight: 155
Los Angeles CA 90210 Hair: Strawberry Blonde
123-444-5678 Eyes: Blue
Experienced, bilingual (English/French) comedy actress and voice-over artist with 5+ years of professional experience in film, commercials and television acting. Have a recurring role in a romantic comedy sitcom on ABC in my portfolio. Worked with several major production studios and brands on 20+ voice over projects. Team player, easy-going and rigorous professional, trained at the Oxford School of Drama.
Recurring Cast Member
February 2016 – Current
Played “Alyson” in a winning Royal Television Awards television show “Funny Love”. (Director: Peter Swanson).
- Played a recurring principle role in 27 episodes with a collective 15 hours of screen time.
- Assisted screenwriters with character storylines, dialogue and jokes development.
Voice Over Artist
June 2017– Current
Provided creative voice-overs using different accents (British, US, Australian, French) for a number of commercial projects and animated series. Selected clients: Sony, Internet Agency 123, Coca-Cola, Super Movie Production Studio, Canal +, Channel 4.
Additional Acting Credits:
Film & TV Roles 2012-2016:
- Provance: (Director Lori Phillips). Film. Principal Actress.
- The Historical Tragedy: (Director Jerilyn B. Feliciano). Film. Bit Part.
- Dancing with Dragons Iva (Director Iva Davis). Featurette. Leading Actress.
- The Grand Detective. Television Series. Supporting Actress.
- Socks & Dresses. Pilot for CBC Network. Leading Actress.
Commercial Work: 2012-2017
- On-Air Personality. Radio Energy. Morning Show Host from 7 am till 11 am.
- Part-Time Drama Instructor. Community Theater Z. Led part-time group coaching classes and workshops.
- Horseback Riding Instructor. Orange County Horse Farm and Riding School. Led therapeutic horse-back riding classes.
- Stand-up Comedian. Awesome Club. Did a 12-week run evening comedy show.
Oxford School of Drama 2009-2012
Three Year Course
Accents: British, US, French, Irish, Australian, Gaelic
Vocal Styles: friendly, youthful and relatable for portraying young adults. Character voices, both dramatic and caricature. Can perform voice-overs both in English and French.
Hobbies and Sports: Horseback riding, surfing, paragliding, Musician (piano & ukulele), videography, photography.
This sample acting resume gives a diverse look into how you can combine and organize your scattered work experience in an easy-to-read manner. The author chose to highlight two of her most recent engagements and briefly list past roles. The resume is data-rich, yet can fit into one page, offering the decision-make a quick overview of everything the hire has to offer.
If are struggling to squeeze in all our credentials into a single page, try using one of our creative resume templates to give your application a better structure!