Actor Resume Example

If you're looking to land that big role, making sure your resume has what casting directors are looking for is key. This actor resume article will help your resume be ready alongside you for any audition.

Flor Ana Mireles
Written by Flor Ana Mireles • Last updated on May 14, 2021
Actor Resume Example
Finish this resume example
in less than 10 minutes.
Complete your resume in a few minutes by customizing this example

Our resumes have been proven to work.

Beautiful resume templates to land your dream job

Lights, camera, action! From the looks of it, you're ready to jump into the deep end of becoming an actor or actress, and luckily for you, the Occupational Outlook Handbook says there are 70,100 acting jobs out there. With the industry projected to grow by 3% each year, there are plenty of opportunities for you to catch your big break. Not to mention, the growth of the internet has helped the industry grow as well.

Whether you've already landed a spot in a movie or tv show, looking to land your first role, having a resume that speaks the industry language is crucial.

In this article, we will go over 7 steps that can help your resume go from a C-lister to an A-lister.

Here's an overview of what we'll go over:

  1. The importance of formatting your resume for a career as an actor or actress
  2. How to write an award-winning resume summary
  3. How to list your work experience, or in this case, acting credits, and what to do if you have no previous acting experience
  4. The importance of a headshot in your resume
  5. Impress casting directors with your special skills
  6. How to list acting awards and recognitions
  7. How to list your education in your resume

1. Format your resume

Actor resumes are differently formatted than, let's say, an accountant resume. In order to impress casting directors, it is necessary for your resume to read like that of someone who is really interested in being an actor or actress and knows the industry language.

With that said, it's important for your resume to be formatted in a way that shows casting directors you're serious, even if you're auditioning for a comedic role.

Here are the three ways to format your actor resume:

  • Reverse-chronological, which emphasizes your previous acting credits
  • Functional, which highlights your special skills
  • Hybrid, which combines the previous formats to give casting directors a closer look at what you're bringing to the table

As an actor or actress, it is not just important for casting directors to see what your acting credits are, but to know what your special skills are. You can sing or dance? You've starred in a hit tv show? Even if all you said were a few lines, these are things you want to highlight in your resume. Therefore, to truly impress casting directors, the best way to format your actor resume is with a hybrid that emphasizes your acting credits and shows off your skills.

Tip: Including headshots in your resume as an actor or actress are crucial! Select a format for your resume that allows you to show casting directors who you are.

Want to learn more about hybrid-formatted resumes? Check out our guide on how to format your resume.

2. Write an award-winning resume summary

Like shooting stars, the star-filled acting industry is always moving fast. On average, resumes are looked at for less than 6 seconds at a time. To make sure your resume stands out and is ready for the spotlight, it is important to have an award-winning resume summary.

A resume summary is a 1-2 sentence blurb you include at the top of your resume that summarizes your entire resume and lets casting directors know what projects you have worked on and what kinds of acting you have experience in.

Here are some elements to consider including in your resume summary:

  • Years of experience
  • Types of acting you have done
  • What your focuses are

If you're still not sure of what your resume summary should look like, here's an example:

Passionate actress with a BFA and 10+ years experience working in film and television acting with a focus in comedy and voice-overs and a reputation for
artistic integrity.

Tip: If you've starred in or won awards for big-name productions, feel free to include this in your resume summary, too! It could read something like this: Accustomed to demanding sets like Brooklyn Nine-Nine and have done award-winning performances in The Stand In and Parental Guidance.

Here's what your resume summary should not look like:

Talented actor with extensive experience on sets. Have starred in roles on broadway and tv.

Even if you're the humblest of actors, it's important to show casting directors what you've got, even if you may think it's braggy. Honor your achievements, A-lister!

Take a look at our guide for an in-depth look at resume summary examples.

3. List your acting credits and what to do if you have no experience

Hollywood is bringing in the big bucks, but you don't need to necessarily start or end there to make your acting career or add credits to your actor resume. Starring in independent productions or smaller projects can help you get into the larger spotlights, too.

When it comes to work experience on an actor resume, the formatting and structure are very different from your typical resume. You're not describing what you did on the job. Instead, you're listing what productions you've worked in.

Here's an example of what the acting credits section of your resume can look like:

Acting Credits in Television

Brooklyn Nine-Nine, FOX (Dir. Claire Scanlon)

Supporting • Episode 4 — Season 6 (2019)

Shrill, Hulu (Dir. Jesse Peretz)
Principal • (2019)

Your acting credits section of your resume should not look like this:

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2019)

Played Trish in an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Worked with Andy Samberg

Assisted the cast with various activities

Tip: You don't need to list the name of the character you played with your acting credit.

When writing what role you played in your acting credits, it's important to know the lingo.  This shows casting directors that you're familiar with the industry and the different ways of describing what an actor  or actress specifically did on set and their role.

Here are some types of speaking roles that you can add to the acting credits section of your resume:

  • Lead: The most important character in the show or movie.
  • Principal: A character with recurring scenes opposite lead to progress storyline.
  • Supporting or Day Player: A character limited to no more than a few lines.
  • Voice-Over Artist: An unseen person who does the voice-over.
Tip: If you're been the voice in an animated tv series or film, you can state you are a voice-over actor for that production.

If your acting experience is more non-speaking roles, here are some examples you can include in your resume:

  • Featured: Non-speaking character that lends credibility to a scene. This could be a driver, bartender, etc.)
  • Extra: This character generally livens up a scene. This could be pedestrians, an office worker, an audience member, etc.)
  • Stunt Performer: This is a specialist actor who performs stunts.
  • Stand-In: This is an actor that takes the place of another actor with the same physical properties.
  • Body Double: Body doubles are used for shots of physical fitness or nudity.
  • Stunt Double: This performer specifically takes the part of another actor for a specific stunt in the movie or tv show.

What to do if you have no previous acting credits

If you have no previous acting credits and don't know what work experience to put on your resume, don't sweat it.

Here are some things you can put under the acting credits section of your resume:

  • Workshops
  • Broadway or Off-Broadway
  • Musicals
  • Short Films
  • Independent Films

Even though you haven't caught your big break just yet, having at least attended workshops, been a Broadway production, or starred in a short film can help you to get noticed by a casting director looking to work with undiscovered talents.

You can also check out our guide on how to write a resume with no work experience for more information.

4. Include a headshot in your resume

As an actor or actress, you know you only get one shot at first impressions. So, it's important to make it count.

Unless you're strictly working as a voice-over actor, your physical appearance does play a massive role in your ability to get casted. With that said, including a headshot in your resume is crucial because it shows casting directors what you look like and if you meet any physical requirements for the character you are auditioning for.

When formatting your resume, a template that allows you to include a headshot may be beneficial -- and of course, when submitting your resume, include some more photos to help casting directors see if your physical characteristics meet those of the character they are wanting to create or create.

Typically, the headshots you include with your resume are glossy 8x10 borderless close-ups, but nowadays, this can vary with the specific production market you are trying to work with.

Regardless of what kind of headshot the casting director is asking for, it's crucial for it to be of high quality. A low resolution photo will not help you get the part.  

Tip: See our resume example at the top of this article to see how you can incorporate a headshot into your actual resume.

5. Impress casting directors with your special skills

Oftentimes, an actor or actress does more than just act, and showcasing to casting directors your special skills on your resume can really help you catch your big break.

Unlike in other resumes, here, you're not listing your skills in Microsoft Office of Adobe Creative Suite. Instead, you're listing special skills like singing and dancing that can aid your acting career.

Here are some special skills you can include in your resume:

  • Improv
  • Singing
  • British Accent
  • Scottish Accent
  • Spanish-Speaking
  • Combat Training
  • Dance
  • Violin
  • Piano

If a casting director is looking to cast an up-and-coming actor or actress in her musical, it's going to beneficial for the person casted to know how to sing and dance. Who knows? Maybe being cast as a dancer for a movie will put your acting career on the map.

Tip: Don't list your hobbies as your special skills. Just because you enjoy singing in the shower, unfortunately, does not always mean you can sing and stay on key.

When listing your special skills, try to list at least 5 of them. If you're comfortable doing so, include a skills progress bar to show casting directors just how skilled you are at the talents you are listing.

6. List acting awards and recognitions

If you've received acting awards, including them on your resume may help to impress casting directors and secure the role.

Awards show casting directors that you have experience in the industry and have been recognized for your work and the roles you have played.

Here are some awards in the U.S. you can include in your resume if you've received them:

  • Obie
  • Lucille Lortel
  • Gold Derby
  • Emmy
  • Academy Award
  • Golden Globe
  • TONY
  • Drama Desk
  • Outer Critics Circle

If you've received a regional acting award, be sure to include those in your resume, too.

Here are some regional awards that you may know of and be able to include:

  • Ovation (Los Angeles)
  • Carbonell (Florida)
  • IRNE (New England / Boston)
  • Kevin Klein (St. Louis)
  • Joseph Jefferson (Chicago)

Tip: Try not to include social media driven awards where may have won by asking friends and family to vote for them. It will not help to impress casting directors.

And if you haven't received any awards just yet, don't worry. With this resume you're creating, you'll sure land the role and then receive the recognition.

7. List your education in your resume

Some actors and actresses are child stars, took acting in high school or college or have just always dreamed about being a famous actor or actress without having worked for it. Regardless of your history, if you've received a college education, include it in your resume.

As an actor or actress, listing your education in your resume shows casting directors what you may have a background in. Especially if you received a BFA, or Bachelor of Fine Arts, for acting, this is something you want to highlight and for casting directors to notice.

When including your education, here are the basic components to list:

  • College Name and Location
  • Years in School
  • Degree
  • Grade Point Average (GPA)

The space on your resume is very limited. You don't need to include what you did for those years you were in college.

Here's what the education section of your resume can look like:

California College of the Arts, Oakland, CA
2003 — 2007
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting
GPA: 3.8/4.0

Here's what your education section should not look like:

California College of the Arts, Oakland, CA
2003 — 2007
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting
GPA: 3.8/4.0

Received a degree in acting

Attended acting workshops

Starred in a college short film

Take a look at our guide on listing your education for more help.

Key Takeaways

We know we've covered a lot. We also know that with this guide, you're sure to wow casting directors with your impressive resume.

Here's a summary of everything we covered:

  1. The importance of formatting your resume for a career as an actor
  2. How to write an award-winning resume summary
  3. How to list your work experience, or in this case, acting credits, and what to do if you have no previous acting experience
  4. The importance of a headshot in your actor resume
  5. Impress casting directors with your special skills
  6. How to list acting awards and recognitions
  7. How to list your education in your actor resume

Now that you've seen the script, it's time for your resume to start acting! Go out there and break a leg!

Flor Ana Mireles
Flor Ana Mireles is a writer and editor with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Journalism) and a background in English literature, music, marketing, and business. She is also the self-published author of two poetry collections and the lead singer of South Florida rock band Leather and Lace. Flor has experience in social media and getting crafty and artsy. When she is not writing, she's spending time in nature, reading, or listening to music.
View Author ProfileLinkedin

    Get inspired with more resume examples

    Read our how-to guides on making your resume perfect

    How to Write a Two-Page Resume (with Examples & Tips)

    Don't know whether you should write a one-page or two-page resume? Find out when it is appropriate to write a two-page resume and learn how to write it correctly.

    Read this how-to guide

    How to List References on a Resume in 2024 (with Examples & Tips)

    In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about including references on a resume, from how to format them to how to know when they should be included at all.

    Read this how-to guide

    How to Describe Work Experience on a Resume in 2024 (Examples & Tips)

    Your work experience is a summary of all your hard work, dedication and achievements over the years. Here's how to do justice to your work history.

    Read this how-to guide

    How to List Accomplishments on a Resume in 2024 (Including Awards & Key Achievements)

    Showcasing your achievements is what can be the cherry on the cake to help you stand out from the crowd as a top performer and really attract employers.

    Read this how-to guide

    More advice that will accelerate your career path

    Best Job Search Websites for Every Industry in 2024

    Follow our favorite job search and placement website for job seekers in healthcare, technology, startups, finance, and college internships.

    Read this career-advice article

    20 Strengths and Weaknesses for Job Interviews in 2024

    Many job seekers get stuck in this interview question. Yes, it can be hard to identify your own strengths and weaknesses, but if you focus on a few key points and provide relevant examples, you'll do just fine.

    Read this career-advice article

    50+ Key Technical Skills to List on Your Resume in 2024 (With Examples)

    Including technical skills on a resume is an absolute necessity. These types of skills show employers your quantifiable qualifications. In this guide, we will cover exactly what a technical skill is and some of the best examples to include on a resume.

    Read this career-advice article

    15+ Key Management Skills to List on Your Resume in 2024 (With Examples)

    Pursuing a career in management gives you many opportunities for professional advancement. To land a management job, it is crucial to include the right skills on your resume. In this guide, we will discuss the best management skills and how to use them on your resume.

    Read this career-advice article

    Professional resume templates to help land your next dream job.

    Choose from one of our many resume templates to help you stand out from your competition.