3 Acting Resume Template Samples
An acting resume template is quite different from a “normal” resume template. In any other field, you’d want to describe the duties and responsibilities of the position you held. You’d mention how long you were in that position. And you’d wish to your resume in chronological order most often.
But with an acting resume, we already know what your duties were and what you were responsible for. The length of time you were shooting doesn’t matter. And the order you want your credits to go in is not chronologically.
To present yourself as a professional in the world of film, television, or theatre, you need to know how to set up your acting resume template like a pro.
An Acting Resume Is Not a Chronological Resume
An acting resume is not a chronological resume. And for good reason. Usually, in any other field besides a creative one, a gap in your resume is a big red flag.
But in creative fields, especially as an actor, gaps in your resume are expected. And no one is going to fault you for not having booked a gig in a year. Your resume needs to represent your best work — not all your work — and it likely won’t go in the order you did the job.
How to Structure Your Resume
So you’re not going to put your resume in chronological order. In what order do you put your work? And what all needs to be included?
The order you put your credits in will depend primarily on your focus. But before you start listing your favorite credits, you need a little house-cleaning.
First of all, you will staple your resume to the back of your headshot, so it must be 8-by-10 inches and it must fit on one page. Don’t let your resume stay in 8.5-by-11 inches. Casting directors have piles of these, and if your resume doesn’t fit neatly in a pile, it will get thrown out. You can always cut letter-sized paper to the right dimensions, or you can buy 8×10 paper.
Second, your resume must be easily readable. Don’t use a crazy font. Feel free to do something a little different for your name, but type all your credits and contact information in Arial or Times New Roman.
And third, be honest. Do not lie on your resume. The casting director will find out.
First and foremost, you must include your name. Yes, your name will be on the other side on your headshot, but sometimes the resume and the headshot get separated for whatever reason.
Make a header and include your name, your union status, your contact information, and your representation if you have it. If you don’t have an agent or manager, don’t worry about it.
Back in the days when headshots were black-and-white, you’d want to put your height, weight, eye color, and hair color. Now headshots are in color, so that information is not needed. Plus who wants to put their weight on their resume?
This is where you can get a little creative with your fonts. Make sure it’s legible and that it suggests your branding.
The order of your credits will depend on several variables. If you have a well-known credit, put that first. If not, put your most significant or best role first.
You’re going to want to make three columns here. The first column will contain the title of the film in italics. Try to fit them all on one line. But sometimes titles can be rather long. So if one or two take up more than one line, that’s okay.
The second column is your role. Don’t put the name of the character — chances are we haven’t heard of it. Instead, type lead, supporting, or featured, depending on the size of the role.
The last column should have the director’s name.
Some people will tell you to separate television and new media. If you have quite a few credits in each category, then yes. Otherwise, keep them paired together. New media, for all intents and purposes, is the same as TV — just online.
You want three columns here as well. Again, the first column will be the title of the project in italics.
The second column for television and new media is a tad different from Film. You still want to put the type of role rather than the character name, and you still want your most impressive credits to appear first. However, the terminology is different.
For television and news media, the types of roles are series regular, recurring, guest star, and co-star. It may seem as though co-star should be bigger than a guest star, but it’s not.
The last column for TV and new media is the production company. Television directors move from project to project, and the same show will have multiple directors. So the important entity, in terms of the tone of the show, is the production company, not the director.
If you are in Los Angeles, chances are that you’re not pursuing theatre. However, many casting directors like to see theatre on resumes, so make sure you include it if you’ve done any.
Again with the columns. First column? You guessed it — the name of the show in italics.
The second column is your character name. Yes, you finally get to include your character name! If it’s something famous like Lady Macbeth, then that’s all you need to put.
However, if you performed the lead role in a world premiere of an original piece, then we may not have heard of it, so feel free to put “lead” or “supporting” in parentheses.
The last column is the venue and the director, though you can separate these into two columns if you like. You can also just put the venue, then a slash or a vertical line, then the director, like this: Venue Theatre | Director Name.
Here’s where you get to put all those exciting classes you’ve been taking! Some people skimp on this section, but especially if you don’t have a lot of credits yet, this section can make you stand out as an actor.
Again, you want to put your most impressive training first. If you’ve studied with a renown coach or at a famous studio, put that credit first under your education and training heading.
You still want three columns. The first will be the type of class you’re listing. It might be “Audition Technique or Scene Study,” for example.
The second column will be the name of the studio. If you’ve taken several classes at the same studio, you don’t have to repeat it. Instead, group all the classes from the same studio together, and leave the studio name blank.
The third column is your teacher or coach’s name.
Special skills is a weird section for a lot of people. What counts as a “special” skill? And how do you organize this section? The columns don’t work so well here.
Keep your special skills section as a sort of list. The types of skills that are more likely to serve you should go at the top. For example, if you’re musical, you might have “vocal range” as your first special skill, followed by “languages,” followed by “sports.”
Be careful! If you say you can do a British accent, they may ask you to perform your sides in that accent with no preparation ahead of time. Only put skills you are actually proficient in. If you can’t do it on the spot, don’t include it.
Another thing this section is good for is starting a conversation. If you have an interesting or odd special skill, make sure you list it.
For example, if you can wiggle your ears or play the guitar while balancing another guitar on your nose, put those in your special skills section.
Make sure to have a list of the places where you can be considered a local hire. Every state is a little different in terms of what they consider “local,” but basically, if you have a place to stay and you can drive to the location, you’re a local hire.
Definitely put the state where your parents live, if nothing else.
You don’t want to list your commercial credits at all. If you have done a commercial, then make sure you include the heading wherever you like, but instead of listing the credits, you want to put “credits available upon request.”
Here’s the thing: if you perform in a SAG commercial, then you can’t perform in another ad for the same industry.
For example, you can’t have both a Crest and a Colgate commercial running at the same time. That means that listing your credits just tells the person looking at your resume that you are available for fewer projects.
Commercial auditions never ask for your headshot and resume anymore anyway (still always have it with you just in case), so the only reason you’d need this on your resume is if you’re trying to find a commercial agent. And they can’t send you on many auditions if you have a list of current commercials.
Three Acting Resume Template Samples
You may want to order your headings differently. It all depends on what your focus is. If you’re primarily focused on television or theatre, you will put those credits first.
It’s good to have three current versions of your resume, to print whichever suits the audition you’re heading for.
If you have a film audition, print your film resume, which has your film credits first. If you’re auditioning for a TV show, print your TV resume, and if you’re heading to an audition for a play, print your theatre resume.
Film-focused acting resume template sample
If you’re primarily interested in film, then you’ll keep your acting resume template in roughly the above order.
Because film and television are both recorded media — versus theatre, which is a live medium — keep these two headings close to each other.
In other words, if you’re focused on film, put film first and TV/new media second. If your goal is TV, then swap. Here is a great film resume example to get you started.
Television-focused acting resume template sample
If your main goal is to book your next television role, then you’ll want to put your TV credits first. Only do this, however, if you have a substantial number of them.
Even if TV is your goal, if you only have one credit, put film first. Here is a great TV resume example to get you started.
Theatre-focused acting resume template sample
A theatre-focused acting resume template will put theatre credits first. Remember to put your most impressive credits at the top of the list, so they don’t get overlooked.
Here is a great theatre resume example to get you started.
Your acting resume, along with your headshot, is your calling card, so it should only represent your best work. You may do background acting work for money or to get experience on set, and that’s a great idea. But those roles do not belong on an acting resume.
Your resume gets you in the door, but your acting gets you the job. Obviously, you need to keep your skills sharp so that you’re ready for that big break. So make sure you’re in class and training regularly.
A little final advice: be specific when it helps; be vague when it helps. If the specifics of a project or training don’t put you in the best light, then don’t include those specifics.
There you have it! Your acting resume template is officially professional, clean, and ready to represent you in the world of acting. If you found this guide useful, comment below and share!
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