Research Summary. We analyzed 2,383 actor resumes to determine which ones land the most jobs. Below you'll find examples of resumes that can help you get an interview (and a job offer) from companies like Central Casting and SAG-AFTRA. Here are the key facts about actor resumes to help you get the job:
2019 - Present
The Wood CompanyLouisville, KY
Motion Picture Actor
2017 - 2019
2016 - 2017
High School Diploma
2016 - 2016
Fall River, MA
ABCEmergencyCustomer ServiceLifeguardActivity LogsMusic VideosGeneral PublicCardiopulmonary ResuscitationFeature FilmContract Job
2019 - Present
Fall River, MA
2016 - 2019
GEP Administrative Services
New York, NY
2007 - 2016
YMCA of Greater Indianapolis
Bachelor's Degree Liberal Arts
2004 - 2007
2015 - Present
2014 - 2015
GEP Administrative ServicesBurbank, CA
2013 - 2014
CBSNew York, NY
High School Diploma
2013 - 2013
Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Actor templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Actor resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.
Whether it’s your first role or you’re a seasoned pro, creating a resume for an actor can be difficult. It’s not like a standard resume, so those tips often don’t apply. Your goal is to prove you’ve got chops and show enough of a range that you land a role. How do you accomplish all of that on a sheet of paper? We’ve got some tips to help you create an actor resume.
An actor’s resume is often a bit different from a traditional resume.
There are several key elements that must be in your acting resume.
Age is a tricky part of an acting resume and should never be listed, but an age range is critical.
An actor’s resume should be tailored to the role.
Adding a summary gives the casting director a better idea of who you are as an actor and person.
An acting resume is sometimes called an Actor’s CV. CV stands for curriculum vitae, and it’s meant to be a summary of someone’s acting life consolidated onto one page. CVs are common outside of the United States, and in the academic world, they’re also a very apt description of what an actor’s resume attempts to do.
Every actor is going to have different professional experiences, so their resumes will obviously be unique, but there are some commonalities. Each actor’s resume should include:
Name. This might include your actual name and your stage name. It is acceptable to just go by the name you use professionally.
Contact information. Never list your physical address; this is especially important if the actor is a child. Resumes get passed around, and they can end up just about anywhere. Instead, list a phone number, email address, or website as your contact information.
Website. Speaking of websites, many actors have a website or a social media profile that they use to promote themselves. Go ahead and list the link.
Age range. This is tricky. There are illegal job interview questions that are designed to prevent discrimination. Age is one of them. Some companies automatically discard resumes that include age because they don’t want to be seen as using that information to discriminate.
Obviously, acting is different because a 92-year-old will have a hard time authentically playing a skateboarding 12-year-old. Listing your real age can also work against you as people mentally typecast you based on it.
Instead, it’s best to list a range of ages you’re comfortable or successful portraying. For example, successfully portraying characters aged 25 to 35 years old.
Training. Listing your acting coaches, classes, and education is important to many casting directors. Think of this as the education portion of your resume because it basically is, even if you don’t have a degree.
Special skills. This can be very important because characters often have traits or skills that need to look authentic. List the languages you speak, your talents, and even your hobbies. If you excel at these special skills, note that. If you are just starting to learn a skill, it’s not time to list it yet.
Body of work. The body of the resume should be your body of work. If you have experience in different mediums like television, theatre, and film, then it’s a good idea to divide those areas up. Each performance should list the name of the project, your character name, and where the project appeared. Theatre and movie credits should also list the director’s name.
Headshot or physical description. Most resumes in the acting world are passed around with a headshot. Sometimes they’re even printed on the back. If this is the case, then a description of your physical appearance isn’t necessary.
If you’re what is considered a character actor and use part of your physical appearance to define your character, you may want to include this; It’s not necessary, but you may find it useful.
One thing that’s important in your resume is highlighting your skills. There are a lot of people who want to be actors, so your hard and soft skills become vital in your quest for that next role. Hard skills are the things you’ve learned through your education, while soft skills are your innate talents or abilities.
The most common hard skills employers want from actors are:
Improvisation. Even if you work off a script, your ability to ad-lib or improvise is critical to your success in this field. Showing that you’ve taken classes and joined troupes that perform in this style can work in your favor.
Stage performance. There are a lot of different ways to act, and you’ll want to be able to prove that you’ve taken classes and had experiences on stage. Even if you never work on a stage in front of a live audience, this experience is critical to your growth as an actor.
Dancing/Singing experience. Not every acting job requires dancing and singing skills, but if you have them, they definitely will help you stand out from the others.
The top soft skills for actors are:
Timing. Timing is critical in every aspect of acting. If it’s just you and another actor, your timing dictates the dynamic. If it’s you on a stage, timing is how you connect with an audience.
Ability to take direction. While egos run amok in the work of acting, being able to take direction is what makes you a favorite hire for any job.
Flexibility. Being able to play one character today and another tomorrow is going to work in your favor. Any time you can display flexibility as an actor, you should.
Now that you know what goes into an actor’s resume, these tips will help you write a great resume.
Customize the resume. If you are trying to get the role of a lifetime, then you better customize your resume to reflect why you were born to play this role. Even better, treat every role you want that way and tweak each resume.
No reason to include job duties. One area that most resumes include, and it’s an important area in other fields, is a description of the job duties or responsibilities. You don’t need that in an actor’s resume.
The only time you might want to go beyond listing who your character was if there were special skills necessary. For instance, you might want to note that the character was an accomplished skateboarder, and you did your own stunts.
Roles listed most recent first. The rule of thumb is to list your roles with the most recent first, backward chronological if you will. Here’s the problem for actors, some of your roles were better than others, and some are well-known.
We suggest using a bold font to have some roles stand out. If you were the lead, add that to the resume after the character’s name and bold it. If you played a beloved character on a hit show in the past, be sure to bold that character’s name, so it’s a standout.
Include awards. Don’t be shy about your awards and any award nominations. That’s right, just being nominated really does count and should be included in your resume.
Have a summary statement. Not all resumes feature summary statements. In a traditional business world, they’ve become a thing of the past quite often, with greater emphasis put on specific tasks and even statistics. In the acting world, a summary statement is a great way to give casting directors an idea of who you are.
The summary for an actor is where you can highlight key roles and special talents, but it also gives you a place to list some soft skills that are important in the industry as well. Keep it brief, and avoid using superlative words that have no real meaning or specific connection to you.
Candidate with more than seven years of experience on stage and two years on television, playing lead roles in Hamilton and A Star is Born on the stage and a recurring supporting role in Days of Our Lives on television.
Accustomed to demanding hours and an energetic schedule with flexibility. Assisted in teaching choreography to new cast members in A Star is Born and leading dance numbers. Great with interpersonal communication and taking direction.