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Actor Resume: Examples and Tips

Actors portray characters in a variety of mediums, including television, movies and on stage. In an acting gig, you’ll usually be required to read and memorize scripts, take directions from the director and crew, and potentially improvise in certain situations. An actor should have a creative edge, a good grounding in acting principles, and excellent speaking abilities. Most professional actors also have undergone specific training to improve their range and versatility.

To make your own actor resume stand out, use our resume examples and tips to present your qualifications.

Top 4 Characteristics of a Best-in-class Actor Resume

  1. Summary This short paragraph should give recruiters a snapshot of your skills and expertise. Present your best work experiences and accomplishments, while highlighting your top skills. For example: “Energetic performer with experience in critically acclaimed television and theater productions.” Emphasize your best abilities related to acting, such as a professional approach, or training in Method acting.
  2. Skills Look to the job description to determine the skills most needed for this job, then provide your top attributes that fit the bill. You can also subcategorize your skills similar to this:
    1. Industry-specific skills such as memorization skills, voice modulation, understanding of dramatic techniques
    2. Soft skills such as being detail-oriented, dependable and adaptable
  3. Work history When describing previous gigs, provide a quick description of what the role entailed, and the value you added to the production. For example: “Played major role of Iago in ‘Shakespeare Theatre in Park Shakespeare’ production that sold out for 30+ summer performances.”
  4. Education List any formal training and/or degrees you have in theatre arts or filmmaking. Also include any training you have in specific related skills such as dancing, singing or performance arts (e.g., certification as a musician).

See Why My Perfect Resume is a 5-Star Resume Builder

Find the Right Template for Your Resume

Don’t waste time hunting for the right look for your resume. Consider these three professionally-designed templates as a foundation for your actor resume:

Artistic

This design uses colored accents that help organize each section, while the combination of black and colored font on the job applicant’s name gives it a modern look.

Strong

This template uses a blend of colors to give it a fresh appearance. The text is divided in two sections, making it easily scannable.

Contemporary

This layout follows a contemporary style, making for a good break from the conventional black and white. The unique placement of the job applicant’s name also catches the eye.

For more options to create on your own, please see our resume templates page.

Do’s and Don’ts for Creating Your Resume

  • DO include soft skills Recruiters value both technical skills and intangible, or “soft,” skills in candidates. As much of acting depends on one’s inner qualities as well as the ability to collaborate with others, be sure to list abilities such as empathy, ability to work in a team, superior communication abilities, and improving performance work based on feedback.
  • DO use strong action verbs Energize your statements with action verbs instead of passive phrases. For example, include phrases like “Delivered performance using a single take” rather than “Was able to finish scenes in single takes.” Use words like “delivered” and “performed” rather than “was responsible for” or “was tasked with.” The more you can describe your experience using these verbs, the stronger your image will be as a proactive candidate.
  • DO prepare different versions of your resume for each job Don’t stick to one resume for all positions — after all, an acting role in an improv setting is different from a part in a filmed commercial. Tailor your resume according to each job role by going through the job description, determining what qualities/abilities the recruiter prioritizes for that particular job, and incorporate relevant skills and experiences in your resume that address those needs.
  • DON’T write an overly-long resume Just as audiences don’t appreciate a movie that overstays its welcome, don’t make your resume longer than it needs to be. Focus only on information that tells employers about your best, most relevant skills and qualifications. For example, previous work as a waiter may have paid the bills, but there’s no need to go into detail about it on your resume. Stick to a single-page layout, with concise details summed up in bullet points.
  • DON’T forget to list relevant activities and certifications Acting jobs often require familiarity with a variety of skills such as dancing, singing, performance arts, horse-riding or mimicry. The best way to show your recruiter about your proficiency in these areas is through listing any certifications or training you’ve had in these areas — be sure to include them in your education section.
  • DON’T rush into submitting your resume without proofreading Actors who flub their lines don’t last very long. ake sure you don’t flub your resume, and, run a check for grammatical errors and typos before sending it. This is also your chance to review the information in your resume, and make sure it’s accurate and up-to-date.

Actor Resume FAQs

1. What are the skills you should emphasize for an actor position?

Hard skills:Soft skills:
Knowledge of acting techniquesCreative Insight
Memorization skillsPersistence
Reading abilities – scriptsReading abilities – scriptsReading abilities – scriptsCharismatic
Voice modulationAttention to detail
Clear dialectPhysical stamina
Dancing, singing, performing stuntsCommunication skills
Mimicry and voice-oversPositive response to feedback
Good onscreen presenceActive listening
Improvisation skillsTeamwork
Flexibility
Empathetic
Confident
Hard skills:
Knowledge of acting techniques
Memorization skills
Reading abilities – scripts
Voice modulation
Clear dialect
Dancing, singing, performing stunts
Mimicry and voice-overs
Good onscreen presence
Improvisation skills
Soft skills:
Creative Insight
Persistence
Charismatic
Attention to detail
Physical stamina
Communication skills
Positive response to feedback
Active listening
Teamwork
Flexibility
Empathetic
Confident

2. How do you incorporate keywords in your resume?

Go through the job listing to determine what skills are fundamental to this job role and what particular abilities the employer wants from the ideal candidate (e.g., “experience acting both on camera and on stage”). Come up with a list of your own skills that fit these key phrases, and include them in your resume, as well as any work experience that matches what’s required. Optimizing your resume with keywords will help you pass applicant tracking systems (ATS) many employers use to scan resumes. Be specific and use targeted terms like “ran PR campaigns” rather than general, broad terms like “marketing.” Sprinkle keywords throughout your resume, using some in each section.

3. Should you include references on an actor/actress resume?

Although you can mention directors, producers or media houses you’ve worked with in your work history section, don’t add a reference section to your resume. If a casting director or employer wants a reference, they will contact you directly. Use the space in your resume to describe your best abilities and experiences. You could also include a link to a portfolio site, which contains a list of your references.

4. What are the examples of some training and certifications that fit an actor’s resume?

Academic courses at drama schools and performance art theatres are useful to include in your resume, including coursework at drama schools accredited by the National Council for Drama Training (NCDT). Also mention any training you’ve had in other areas that can be applied to a performance, such martial arts, dance forms (e.g. jazz, salsa, contemporary), mimicry, theatre arts, horse riding and singing.

5. How should you craft your resume if you are looking to take the next step in your career?

To move upwards in the entertainment industry here look to gain experience in the following areas, and add them to your resume:

  • Work with prominent directors and crews that earned critical or popular praise
  • More training in various art forms, such as dancing or singing, that can add to your value
  • Regular training with acting techniques and speaking skills
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