Whether you’re a movie extra, theater newbie, or commercial actor, if you want to get into the show business, you might need a professional CV. A good acting profile leads you to the audition, the real checkpoint towards fame.
In this article, we will discuss what an acting resume or audition resume looks like, and how to write one. You can also take a look at the acting resume example at the end.
Your performance art education or acting training you received probably didn’t teach you how to write a theatre resume or film actor resume, leave alone a voice-over resume, that impresses the casting manager.
Typically, a resume is a one-page document. The casting or hiring manager only has limited time to scan through your paper, so an acting or performer's resume should only include related content or anything important for the role.
Anything unrelated can be left out from your resume for acting.
For font styles, there are several widely accepted fonts. Arial, Calibri, Garamond, Times New Roman, and Verdana are among those commonly used.
👍 Note: In an acting resume, you can use stylish fonts for resume headings, but the normal text should still be easy-to-read fonts. If you want something different, Sans Serifs like Proxima Nova or Roboto, and Serif fonts like Noto or IBM Plex can look nice.
If you are using A4 size, you should leave your margin around 0.8-1 inch (2-2.54 cm). Within this margin, you can create a resume for acting that’s comfortable to read and also includes the necessary information.
Your acting resume body text should have a 1.0 to 1.2 line spacing, the same applied to bullet points. Double the line spacing for headings.
The format for your acting resume depends on the submitting channel you’re using. The scenario may vary and you have to consider how your actor resume or actress resume would be read.
✅ Fact: For a creative industry like film, theater or advertising, PDF files can work better, since it retains your acting resume design exactly as it is.
There is only limited space for creativity when using MS Word. However, PDF files are sometimes too large to send.
There are three basic types of acting resume format. Each of the formats focus on presenting respective aspects of a person.
📝 Chronological resume format
The most-used and probably the best fit for an acting resume would be a reverse-chronological format. It means to list the newest experience on top of older ones. Most acting professionals use a reverse-chronological resume.
By presenting your professional experience in a timely order, the cast or hiring people are able to get a taste of what kind of roles you’re capable of or even future potentials in your resume for acting.
A chronological resume can show your progression in the acting business, and can quickly display your recent activities.
📝 Functional resume format
A functional resume, or skill-based resume, emphasizes the ability a person possesses. A talented actor or actress like you might know a lot of acting special skills. Moreover, if you are writing a beginner actor resume and have limited experience, this may be the format for you.
In a normal skill-based resume, your personality and expertise will be divided into hard skills, soft skills, or language skills. However, skills for an acting resume can be more diverse and include special skills like musical instruments, sports, dialects, or horseback riding.
📝 Combinational resume format
A combinational resume format fuses a chronological resume with a functional resume, and shows your experience along with your acting special skills. In this kind of format, your skills section presented is as important as the work experience.
If you are a mid-level or an experienced actor, a combinational format allows you to build an audition-winning resume.
✍🏻 Reminder: Be honest when you list your acting special skills, and specify your level or years of practicing them.
Aside from your audition preparation, you need to write a perfect acting resume.
In an actor or actress resume, personal information is crucial.
Here’s how to list your acting profile:
A resume headline is a condensed sentence that shouts out your professional identity. A well-phrased acting headline should announce your experience and talent altogether on the top of a resume for acting.
Example of a resume headline:
Movie actress with over 8 years of experience and 30+ roles in short series and films.
In a professional actor resume, a summary grabs a casting director’s eye and describes your characteristics, passion, and peak achievements. A good summary should highlight some of your key checkpoints and important roles. On top of that, it should also be related to the acting role you’re asking for.
An objective, on the other hand, brings attention to your expectations and vision for the acting career. Your objective in the acting resume should align with the role you are applying for as well to persuade the casting director you’re the fit.
Example of a resume summary:
Sharp, energetic, and empathetic actress with 5 years of experience playing complex characters. Agile team player who does extensive study for the role. A Golden Bell Award nominee for The Victims' Game performance.
“Skills” is a crucial section for an acting resume. This is the section when you show your talent and abilities. If you have acting special skills or required skills for the part, they might be applicable for the audition.
✍🏻 Reminder: It’s important to target the role by filtering out the most important skills you acquire, or even essential soft skills for the industry.
Here is a list of special skills to put on an acting resume:
Example of skills for an actor/actress:
Categorize your experiences by type: TV, Films, Theatre, Commercials, or Voice-Over in the resume for acting. In the categories, arrange your experience by reverse-chronological order.
For an acting rookie without much experience, try to list out the acting training or acting classes in your resume. However, resumes for movie audition or TV actor resumes may leave out theater and commercial experience.
🔎 Note: It’s a world where fame really matters, you want to present famous or recognizable names. In these categories, ways to list your role are different. Use the correct terminology and keep it simple.
Barry · Supporting · Alec Berg Inc. · Bill Hader(dr.)
The Kominsky Method · Supporting · Netflix · Andy Tennant(dr.)
Listing commercials can be really tricky for any resume for an acting audition. Most people leave “Conflicts available upon request” or “Commercial List upon request” instead.
“Conflicts” is a term used when you have other commercials running and are unable to do commercials for another brand. You can provide commercial footage or demo reel to show professionalism in a separate commercial actor resume.
List the name of your school or university, the graduate date, and your major and degree. The education section helps the hiring director see those who submitted beginner actor / actress resumes. It indicates the training and theoretical knowledge the candidates had.
If you have won a student’s best film award or best leading actress in a film festival, showcase this honorable recognition in the resume for movie audition to back up your talent.
Make references to directors you have worked with, or famous actors who know you by name. The point is to show the casting director you’re good and worth a shot.
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If you are writing a resume for an acting audition without experience, here is some professional advice on how to write an acting resume for beginners.
The format you use affects greatly on how your information is presented to the casting director.
For actors or actresses with no or less experience, adopt a functional (skill-based) format as your resume for acting audition. With this format, your talent is obvious and limited experience is concealed.
Even if you have nothing mentionable to list, you can still do your best by writing a good career objective on the beginner actor’s resume. An objective clarifies your expectation as well as the enthusiasm you have for this profession.
Your objective has to be clear, but not empty or too idealist. Think of some of the actors or actresses you admire, how would you describe them?
In an acting resume with no experience, education speaks for you. Before the casting person sees you, he/she sees your casting resume. Your education represents the acting training you had. If your diploma is worth mentioning, list it along with some courses or acting workshops you took.
If you have an impressive portfolio, side projects, or personal website, it would be a bonus for your acting resume. In the online portfolio or website, you can include a demo reel or use design and colors to demonstrate your personality.
If you want to persuade the casting director into an audition call, a strong acting cover letter as an introduction is definitely worth a try. A concise cover letter is around 250-400 words, so craft your letter with passion and refer to the role you want and explain why.
Contact Information: Earnest Marks (Agent) 310-332-6789
Personal Website: www.DGlover.com
Versatile and agile actor with 10+ film experience in diverse film genres and complex movie roles. IFFBoston best-supporting award and TIFF best leading actor nominee. Seeking to integrate art expression with the audience through extensive research and acting training.
The Martian | Principal
Scott Free Productions · Ridley Scott (Dir.)
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day | Supporting
RBA, 343 Incorporated, MGMT. Entertainment · Miguel Arteta (Dir.)
UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television | CA
B.A. in Acting
--- Originally written by WuChaoMin ---