How to Make an Actor Resume (With Template and Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

April 9, 2021

Whether you are an experienced thespian or just entering your acting career, submitting a professional-looking resume when you audition can increase your chances of landing the part. Creating an acting resume may seem challenging, however, when you include your unique skills along with your experience and training, you can show hiring managers and casting directors the special traits that make you the best fit for the role.

In this article, we discuss what an acting resume is, how to write an actor's resume and explore how to format an acting resume with an example template to guide you when you write your own.

What is an actor resume?

An acting resume is a resume specially formatted for an actor who is seeking a role in film, TV, theater or another acting medium. Acting resumes are unique in that they are typically combined with an actor's headshot, so these resumes need to fit on a single, 8" x 10" sheet of paper. Acting resumes also highlight a professional's past acting roles and experiences, their training and may commonly include an agent's or representative's contact information along with the actor's details.

Additionally, acting resumes can sometimes place more emphasis on an actor's unique traits, skills and awards, as these factors can usually provide evidence of an actor's talent and abilities.

Read more: Resume Power Words

How to create an actor resume

Since an acting resume differs from a resume seeking a traditional position, there are several key steps to follow when writing an acting resume. The following guide can help you when you get started on your resume:

1. Relate your resume to the role

First, make sure your resume is relevant to the role you are pursuing. For instance, if you want to audition for a TV series role, match your resume to that part by listing your TV acting experience (if you have it) and your skills and training that are relevant to that position.

2. Include your contact information

Next, format your contact details with your full name, your role (like actor, thespian or current acting role), your current phone number and professional email address. If you have an agent, include their name and contact phone number underneath your details.

3. Include your physical characteristics

Then, it is important to include your physical traits. Include your height, weight, hair and eye color and clothing size, if that applies to the part you're auditioning for. These details can further help a casting director find the best actor to play the character.

4. Format your resume objective or summary

After your basic details comes your resume objective or summary. If you just starting your acting career, you might opt for a resume objective to highlight the role you are after and how you plan to use your skills on the job. If you have extensive screen experience, you might choose to write a resume summary to showcase your acting history, skills or awards.

5. List acting roles in reverse-chronological order

Then, list your acting experience in reverse-chronological order, starting with your most recent or current acting role. Typically, it can be acceptable to include up to 10 years of acting experience, especially if you have had a long-standing role in a recurring series. If you are just entering your acting career, you might list the roles you have taken on in community theater projects, as part of your training or any other acting or stage work you have professional experience in. Additionally, your resume should leave out the dates of your past roles.

6. Include your education and training

No matter your experience level, you should still include your education and acting training. List the name of your school or university, the date you graduated and your degree. If you have any special certifications related to the field, you can include those also. Additionally, if you have completed any specialized training like stage or theater training, stunt coordination or other professional training, be sure to highlight it within this section.

7. Highlight your unique skills

After you list your education and training, highlight the unique skill sets that set you apart from other candidates. For instance, if you have experience and skills with choreographing and executing stunt scenes, showcase that on your resume. The more unique and specialized your skill sets are, the more likely you are to be chosen for your desired role.

8. Showcase any awards or accolades

If you have any acting awards or notable accomplishments, you can also include these on your resume. Showing hiring managers that you have received public recognition for your talent, work ethic and dedication to your career can increase your chances of being hired for the role.

9. List any well-known directors or references

You may also choose to include the names of any well-known or reputable directors or professional references you have in your network. Be sure to only list a director you have worked with if they are well-known within the specific acting industry you work in. For instance, if you had a role in an award-winning film directed by someone who is internationally recognized, you would include that on your resume.

10. Attach your resume to your headshot

Finally, you can proofread and print your resume so that it can attach to the back of your headshot. Be sure your resume fits on a one-page, 8" x 10" sheet of paper and attach it to your headshot by stapling your resume in the top two corners of the paper. You can trim the excess paper to fit with your headshot if you use standard 8.5" x 11" resume paper.

Learn more: 8 Resume Do's and Don'ts

Skills for an actor resume

Depending on your acting experience, it can be a good idea to include any special skill sets you have developed throughout your career and training. The following skills can be effective at making your resume stand out:

  • Teamwork skills: Actors should have experience working on a team of artists, from producers and directors to other actors and production teams.

  • Time management skills: Being able to track your time spent in rehearsals, during pre-production and preparing for production can be crucial to maintaining an acting role.

  • Interpersonal skills: Because actors work with a diverse range of colleagues, the ability to build and maintain professional and personal relationships can be necessary to succeed in the industry.

  • Emotional intelligence: Playing a character can depend on an actor's ability to empathize with a story, and the ability to take on a fictional role complete with emotions and thoughts can depend heavily on an actor's emotional intelligence.

  • Special skillsets: Special skills like choreographic work, stunt coordination, musical talents and other unique skills can sometimes be necessary to take on different character roles.

Tips for writing your resume

You can also use the following tips to further guide you when you write your resume:

  • Under your acting experience and work history, only list the name of the production, your role and the production company. You can leave out your job responsibilities, as these can seem evident in your portrayal of your character roles.

  • Create a resume for specific roles. For instance, if you are looking for a role in stage acting, format your resume to highlight your theater experience and skills.

  • Keep your resume one page in length, and consider sticking with a professional font like Times New Roman, Arial or Calibri.

Related: 10 Resume Writing Tips to Help You Land a Job

Acting resume template

Use the following template to help guide you when you format your resume:

[Name], [City and state], [list your actors' union if you are a member of one]
[Phone number], [email address]
[Agent's name and phone number]
[Resume summary or objective]
[Acting experience starting with the most recent first]
[Education and training]
[Special skills]
[Awards and accolades]
[References]
[Headshot]

Download Resume Template
To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.

Example actor resume

The following example illustrates how you can use the sample template to format your acting resume:

Bry Ruez, Actress
Los Angeles, CA | 310-302-9876 | Bry.Ruez@email.com
Agent: Claire Von Houe | 310-332-6789 | c.vonhoue@email.com

*Resume summary: Passionate creative with a flair for taking on complex characters in drama and action genres. Dedicated to building a connection between the audience and characters through extensive studying, research and preparation of each character. Two-time Actor's Guild nominee with a proven ability to bring roles to life.*

Roles and experience:

TV series:

  • "Forever in Eternity," Rose Yeardly

  • "The Longest Mile," seasons 1 through 4, Yolanda Rice

Theater:

  • "Hamlet," Ophelia | Stage West Productions, LLC

  • "A Midsummer Night's Dream," Hippolyta | Shakespearean Productions, Ltd.

Education:
Torrenson School for Performing Arts 2013
Bachelor of Fine Arts

Training:

  • Thespian advanced training

  • Stage development training

  • Television production training

Special skills:

  • Stunt coordination and mini-roles

  • Ballet choreography

  • Fluent command of Spanish, French and Italian languages

Awards and accolades:

  • Actors' Guild Award: two-time nominee

  • Screen Award of Excellence, 2015

References:
Nick Hanes, Director | nick_hanes@email.com
Leslie Finndler, Producer | Finndler_Leslie@email.com

Read more: 10 Best Skills to Include on a Resume

Actor resume FAQs

The following frequently asked questions may also help provide more information for writing your actor resume:

Should I print my resume directly on the back of my headshot?

The short answer is no, you should avoid printing your resume on the back of your headshot. This is because the acting industry creates art for a variety of mediums, including TV series, web series, full-length films, theater and stage acting.

If you apply for a television role and your resume is formatted to showcase your theater experience, printing it directly on your picture can mean you have to start over to relate your resume to TV acting. If you have printed multiple copies of your resume and headshot already, this can make your prior work unusable.

What should be included in an acting resume with little to no experience?

If you are just entering your career in acting, you can still highlight your education and training within your resume. You might start by listing your most recent acting role along with your most recent professional training. For example, if you took on a part for a theatrical production during your college career, you can include that in your resume. Similarly, listing any unique skills you have or accolades you have acquired (like a second language or special award for excellence) can also help your resume stand out.

How can I list my acting experience on my resume if I have an extensive list of roles?

For extensive acting experience, it can be a good idea to stick with two to four major character roles you have taken on. A general rule you might follow is to only include up to eight or 10 years of acting experience. This can allow hiring managers to review your most recognized work rather than minor parts or behind-the-scenes positions you may have had.

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