How to Write an Acting Resume (With Steps and Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 16 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Securing an acting role requires candidates to demonstrate their skills and practical experience. A well-constructed resume can be an essential step in getting an audition and progressing your acting career. Understanding the fundamentals of a resume and knowing how to tailor it to an acting position may increase your chances of impressing the casting team. In this article, we show you how to write an acting resume in eight steps and provide two examples to guide you as you write your own.

How to write an acting resume

Below are eight steps you may follow to write an acting resume:

1. Choose a format

There are three main types of resume format, including reverse chronological, functional and combination. Choosing a suitable format can help you show potential employers where your strengths lie. Actors with some industry experience typically use a reverse chronological format. This format emphasises your professional history and lists acting roles from most to least recent.

A functional format may be useful for recent graduates or those looking to change their career. It emphasises education and training, rather than industry experience. For instance, you may begin a functional resume with your recent acting training and special skills. A combination format is similar, but includes both relevant skills and experience.

2. Include contact information

This may seem like a simple step, but can be crucial for your chances of progressing your application and securing an audition. Include your full name, home address, telephone number and professional email address. The email address may be your own or your agent's. If you have an agent, note their name after your own details.

Before submitting your resume, proofread your contact details to avoid simple mistakes, such as an incorrectly written phone number. Make sure the information is up to date and includes a professional email address. Accurate details ensure the recruiter can contact you easily for an interview or audition.

3. Note physical details and measurements

Acting resumes typically include physical details and measurements. This information helps recruiters decide if you're suitable for the advertised position. You may add physical details such as your height, weight, eye colour, hair colour or complexion. For costuming purposes, some applications may require you to include more detailed information, such as hip, waist and chest measurements. They may also ask for your hat and shoe size.

It may also be necessary to include a headshot on your resume. This gives casting directors a more accurate physical image of each candidate. It also assists them in choosing suitable roles for each actor. Consider using a professional photographer, as the headshot is there to catch the attention of the casting director.

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4. Provide a professional summary

A professional summary introduces who you are and your professional experience. It typically includes your title, years of experience and an outline of key achievements. The last line usually states why you're interested in the advertised role.

If you've minimal acting experience, you may consider a professional objective. This is similar to a summary but focuses on relevant skills and goals, rather than work experience. It may include your education and note one or more specific skills. For instance, you may identify your amateur experience in Shakespearian comedies.

5. List experience

For those with several years of acting experience, this section forms the main body of the resume. It gives you the opportunity to impress recruiters with the depth and longevity of your acting career. To create a resume that's easy to read, it may be helpful to use a consistent format. It's common practice to list each role beneath subheadings. These subheadings include film and TV, commercials, academic or regional theatres.

List each role in reverse chronological order so the recruiter sees your most recent role first. Beneath each heading, include information such as the production name, your role and the name of the director and producer. Be as specific as you can about each role. If casting directors have detailed information, this gives them a better idea of your experience level and areas of expertise.

Related: How to Become an Actor (With Steps)

6. Provide education and training

An education and training section is especially important if you're just beginning your acting career. It shows casting directors your acting knowledge and work ethic. It may also highlight any areas of particular interest or skill, such as musical theatre. In this section, you may include acting schools, tertiary education and any other acting classes or courses.

Provide the name and location of the institution and any significant achievements. This may be a noteworthy grade or a lead role. List your training and education from most to least recent. For those with several years of acting experience, it may not be necessary to include details on your education.

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7. Highlight special skills

This section is unique to acting resumes. Alerting the casting team about any special skills may increase your chances of securing an acting role. For example, a film set in the outback may look for actors who have experience in horse riding. Or, recruiters may seek actors who can sing or play an instrument for a TV series about a famous band.

A special skills section may include anything from a helicopter licence to motorbike skills or martial arts. You may mention a proficiency with dialects and languages or impressive vocal abilities. Be honest about what skills you can offer, as casting directors may ask for evidence of your talents. You can list your special skills in bullet points.

Related: How to Write a Skills-Based Resume

8. Mention awards and accolades

This section can be important, as it shows casting teams your talent and capabilities as an actor. Recruiters are likely to look favourably on a resume with evidence of industry recognition. What accolades you include may depend on your level of experience.

If you've just graduated from university or acting school, you may mention positive reviews from magazines or noteworthy academic awards. For those candidates with several years of professional experience, you may list any well-known acting awards that recognise your contribution and skill. This may be a national or international award or accolade.

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Resume examples for an actor

Here are two resume examples that may help you write your own:

Functional resume example

This resume example may suit a recent acting graduate applying for their first roles in the industry. They're hoping to secure a supporting role in a local TV series. As they've limited professional work experience, this resume follows a functional format, which highlights education, training and skills:

Isabella May
+61 4 6333 5782 | isabellamay99@email.com | Adelaide, SA

Agent: Mark Jones | +61 4 5382 8231 | markjones@email.com

Professional Summary
Recent acting graduate from the Red Hat Drama School. Driven student with lead roles in low-budget TV series and professional TV commercials, with particular skills in accents, dance and physical theatre. In the role of Mathilde, am seeking to contribute my skills and gain professional on-set experience.

Education
Advanced Diploma of Acting
Red Hat Drama School, January 2022

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Musical Theatre)
The University of Newham, 2020

Experience
TV series

  • 'Beachcomber' | Lilly Grouse | Square Jaw Productions | 2020-2021

  • 'Goodbye Joan' | Sarah B | Puzzled Productions | 2018

Short Film

  • 'Shapes' | Voice of Narrator | Festival of Short Films | 2020

Commercials

  • Green Energy | Lead | 2018

  • 4WD advertisement | Lead | 2018

Amateur Theatre

  • 'The Comedy of Errors'| Luciana | Bellbird Theatre | 2022

  • 'Waiting for Godot' | Vlatka | Wakefield Theatre Society | 2019

Special skills

Martial arts | Jazz piano | Motorbike riding | Fluent in Japanese and Indonesian

Accolades

  • Upcoming Young Actress Award, for lead role in 'Beachcomber', 2021

  • 5 star reviews for the leading role of Vlatka in 'Waiting for Godot', 2019

Reverse chronological resume example

This resume example is relevant for candidates with over six years of professional industry experience. They're seeking a supporting role in a big-budget film. As they've several years of work history, this resume uses a reverse chronological format:

Joanne Campbell
+61 4 6545 7082 | joannecampbell987@email.com | Cairns, QLD

Agent: Rose Allis | +61 4 5772 6200 | roseallis@email.com

Professional Summary
Dedicated actor with 6+ years of industry experience. Multiple lead roles in professional theatre and TV, with national recognition for supporting and lead performances. Seeking the supporting role of Antoinette in the film 'To Go Nowhere', to broaden my acting repertoire and be part of a committed and energetic cast.

Experience
TV series

  • 'The Yellow House' | Mrs Brill | Tall House Productions | 2019-2021

  • 'Small' | Unnamed Neighbour | UpsideDown Pictures | 2017-2018

  • 'Run Fast' | Young Millicent | UpsideDown Studios | 2014

Film

  • 'Call Me Home' | Martha Blue | Studio Nowhere | 2017

  • 'The Dark Forest' | Cindy Parker | Pineapple Production Studio | 2015

Commercials

  • Energy Food | Lead | 2015

Theatre

  • 'A Doll's House' | Nora Helmer | StageLeft Theatre | 2015

  • 'Macbeth' | Lady Macbeth | Revive Theatre Company | 2014

  • 'The Glass Menagerie' | Amanda Wingfield | Bloom Theatre | 2013

Education
Bachelor of Arts (Acting)
Westside School of Performing Arts

Special Skills

Opera singing | European accents | Horse riding | Stunt work | Unicycle

Accolades and Awards

  • Actor's Guild Award for lead role in 'The Yellow House', 2022

  • Upcoming Actor Award for supporting role in 'The Dark Forest', 2016


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