Let's talk resumes! Second only in importance to your headshot is your
resume. These are the 2 things that can get you in the door. Or keep you
Most agents have a template of the style they wish their talent to use.
Even if you don't have an agent, you still need to have a very
professional-looking, one-page resume. If you are represented you have to
follow the format provided by your agent.
*Use a font that is legible. Skip the Italics!
*Your name, contact information and union status, if any, go at the top.
Once you have an agent, all personal information should be removed from the
resume and their logo and information inserted. If you are submitting
yourself for a non-paying job, then by all means use your cell number as the
contact, rather than your agent.
*Hair and eye color should be listed, as should height and weight.
*Don't lie! Women tend to lie about their weight and men tend to lie about
their height! The CD will see you when you walk in the room, so tell the
truth! You are who and what you are, so be proud of it!
*Parents: Be sure and list your child's DOB, not just age. Anyone under 18
must do this.
*Remove "Age Range". Talent usually are wrong about their ability to play
various ages. Let the CD decide if you can play younger or older.
*The standard order for the resume is: FILM, TELEVISION, COMMERCIALS,
VO/INDUSTRIALS/ETC., THEATRE, TRAINING and then SPECIAL SKILLS.
*If you have no work to show in any category, skip it. Do not write down
"NONE", just omit that category.
*FILM: List the name of the project, how you received credit (optional:
the character's name) and either the studio or production company and
*TELEVISION: Same as above, listing network or studio and director.
*COMMERCIALS: There is some disagreement here. Most CD's agree that you
should NOT list products because of potential conflicts. (Even if a
commercial has long since run its course, most clients don't like to see
that you have worked for their competition.) Some agents suggest writing
down production companies or ad agencies. Industry standard is: CONFLICTS
*VO/Industrials/etc.: List what it is that you have done, i.e. conventions,
voice overs, personal appearances, music videos, whatever doesn't fit into
another category goes here! Whatever is listed in it, becomes the title of
*THEATRE: List name of production, character portrayed and venue. It
doesn't matter if it is a school, church, local theatre or whatever. A play
is a play!
*TRAINING: List the name of the class, the name of the coach, the venue or
city and state. Please note that attending a "free" class or only taking
one in a series of classes, doesn't count! It has been suggested that
talent should ask the coach for permission before putting his/her name on
the resume. If you have taken many classes from one coach, you may wish to
consider putting "Film Acting (On-going)" on the resume rather than listing
each and every class.
*SPECIAL SKILLS: This is a list of physical abilities not your personality
traits. List sports, music, dance, etc. and give a definition, i.e. Dance
(Hip-hop, Ballet, Jazz), Golf (17 handicap), Softball (pitcher, infield),
Soloist (3-octave range), etc. so that the CD will know what you can do.
Don't forget to list if you have a valid US Passport, can speak a foreign
language (fluent or conversational), drive a stick and any other skills you
have. Actors in Texas frequently perform jobs that would be done by a union
member or stunt person in another state, i.e. driving a car, a motorcycle,
diving into a pool, etc.
*Be as thorough as possible because this one-page resume is your
introduction to the decision makers.
*Resumes should either be printed directly onto the back of the headshot or
attached to the headshot (back-to-back) with a few staples. Be sure to trim
the resume to the size of the headshot (8" x 10").
*Modeling and print work do not belong on an actor's resume. Neither does
crew work. Keep to the point and that is that you are an actor.
*Be sure and always have your most recent work at the top of the column.
*If in doubt about putting something on the resume, don't! Do not list
Social Security Number, measurements, clothing sizes, GPA's or advanced
degrees. While you should be proud of who and what you are, the resume is
strictly about acting and training, not academia.
*At the far right on the bottom of the resume, in a small font, it is a
great idea to let people know when you last updated your resume or had a new
Let me know if you have any specific questions you'd like answered.
And remember, I am expressing my opinion only. Not that of any other CD.
And, keep in mind, that your agent has the final word on everything
pertaining to your career, so listen to him/her!
Donise L. Hardy, CSA