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wikiHow to Create Your Acting Resume

Want to get into the world of acting, but don't know where to start? In addition to having talent and passion, a well-crafted resume is vital to getting noticed and turning heads in your direction. Here are some steps you can take to help you get the jobs you want!


  1. Image titled Create Your Acting Resume Step 1
    Get a headshot. This is your introduction to the world of directors and talent agencies. It's what they'll refer to when reviewing potential fits for a role. Whether you are working as an amateur at the local level, or going for the lights of Broadway, it pays to have your head shot done professionally.
    • Black and white, or color? Color is the norm, but talk to a local agency and see what is best-received in your area.
    • Change your photo if your appearance dramatically alters.
  2. 2
    Gather information for your resume. An acting resume is completely different from a business one. Don't try to make your acting skills fit into a business type resume. Know the difference and proceed accordingly.[Image:Create Your Acting Resume Step 2.jpg|center]]
    • Your professional name. This may be your stage name, or your real name. This is how you will be known in the industry, so pick one and stick with it.
    • Union affiliations, if any. This is important. If you are in a union, you will not be able to work as an amateur.
    • Your contact information. This must be current and accurate if you want to have people reach you.
    • Your parts. List the roles you've played in movies, TV, and theatre. If they're extensive, include the most relevant ones on the page: where they were performed and in what category (industrial film, advertisement, stage, dramatic film, etc.).
      • Doing a secondary role for an important venue is better than doing community theatre leads. Training credentials don't hurt, but they aren't terribly important for certain venues, like voice-over work.
    • List any professional training you may have taken, including acting, voice, improv, dialects (accents), and physicals skills such as dance, acrobatics, or boxing.
    • List all skills. Anything you can do that might come to bear in the world of acting should be here. That includes such things as dancing well, or being able to throw knives at a target blindfolded. You may be able to gain or lose weight for a role quickly. You might be able to sing the alphabet backwards while balancing on a plate—include it! You want to put anything that makes you unique.
    • Your personal information, including your age (required if you are a minor); your height to the nearest inch, without shoes; and weight to the nearest 5 lbs.
      • Include your hair and eye color as well, even if you are including a color head shot. The head shot may become separated from your resume, or the director might be color blind. Whatever the case may be, having that spelled out eliminates guesswork.
  3. Image titled Create Your Acting Resume Step 3
    Keep it professional.
    • Use a clean design and legible, professional fonts. Times and Helvetica are always safe choices. Mistral or Comic Sans, not so much.
    • Do not submit a five-page resume with everything you've ever done. Like any hiring executive, they want to see the relevant information right away, and if they like what they see, they'll call you to find out more.
    • Try to keep your resume to one page if at all possible. Don't go over two pages.
  4. Image titled Create Your Acting Resume Step 4
    Adapt your resume to showcase your most relevant experience if there's a role you are particularly keen on. If you are seeking a role on the stage, put your stage experience first. If you are seeking a role in television, put the television category first. Update it each time you have new experience to add.
  5. 5
    Have a selection of six audition pieces ready to go at a moment's notice.
  6. 6
    Be patient. Realize that the selection process can be very opaque. A "look" can trump all other considerations, as long as you don't come off being brain dead or an ego-maniac, like for a commercial. Sometimes the auditioners don't know what they want and will even use what you invent in auditions, without necessarily casting you.
    • It's up for debate whether a stellar resume will get you far in the beginning. These people are going through tons of these things and frequently. They are looking for competence, professionalism, and some unknown quality that matches their particular project. The format and selections of your credits and training is the last thing on their minds.


  • Don't lie about what you put on your resume. Just tell the truth, plain and simple. If you lie, you may get a bad rep in the acting world, and it could damage your career for years.
  • Audition as often as you can. When you're trying to get into the biz, auditioning is a full time job. Auditioning four or five times a week is a really good idea.
  • A demo reel sometimes helps, provided it is professionally done and shows something.


  • Never pay to audition. Anytime someone asks you to pay to audition, it is almost always a scam. If you're asked to pay to audition, walk away.
  • Do not name drop on your resume. Most people make the common mistake of mentioning which celebrities they know, but knowing a celebrity is not a special skill. In fact, it can even be a detriment with some casting directors.
  • Do not disrespect anybody on the set. The toes you step on today may be connected to the "rear-end" you have to kiss tomorrow.
  • Do not act rude or hurt if you are notified that someone else has been cast for the role you auditioned for. If you are known for taking rejection personally, people will be unlikely to call you.

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Categories: Auditioning | Resume Preparation