Actor Resume Example for 2024 [W/ Detailed Guide & Free Templates]

27 December 2023
15 min read
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Whether it’s on the stage or in front of the camera, you feel great in the spotlight.

You’re an actor looking for your next starring role, and you know you’ve got what it takes.

There are just a few lines you can’t seem to nail.

Try as you might, your resume just doesn’t convey your talent and devotion to the craft. You spend hours pacing and wondering if you’ll ever get past it.

But there’s no need to get dramatic just yet.

This article is here to teach you how to transform your actor resume into a role-winning calling card.

We’re going to cover:

  • What a Blockbuster Actor Resume Example Looks Like
  • 11 Steps to Writing a Flawless Actor Resume
  • What Your Actor Resume Should Include

…and so much more!

And enter, stage right.

Actor Resume Example

Actor Resume Example

This is a shining example of an actor resume.

So let’s look at what it does right:

  • Fits on one page. This actor resume uses every bit of space available to fit all the sections into one page.
  • Uses the reverse-chronological resume format. The candidate uses the resume format that shows their most recent roles first, so the casting directors have a clear view of their career progression.
  • Includes all the necessary contact details. The contact information here includes the candidate’s full name, phone number, email address, and a link to their Instagram.
  • Features an eye-catching resume summary. This great resume summary captures the hiring manager’s attention by mentioning the candidate’s years of experience, top achievements, and notable skills.
  • Quantifies achievements. Highlighting measurable successes like boosted ticket sales or nominations shows the true impact of this actor's previous performances.
  • Keeps the education section brief. A short education section makes sure that the candidate's roles and achievements are center stage, which is exactly what casting directors are interested in.
  • Adds other sections. This actor resume uses acting workshops, awards, and hobbies to give depth to their application.

11 Steps for a Stellar Actor Resume

You’ve seen what an actor’s resume is supposed to look like, so now it’s your turn to play the part.

Here’s how to fill in every section of your actor resume:

#1. Decide on the Format (and Layout)

Scene lighting directs the audience's attention to what matters most.

The format you choose for your actor resume plays the same role.

There are three primary resume formats you can pick from:

For 99% of cases, the reverse-chronological format is your best choice.

This resume format puts the spotlight on your latest roles and achievements, which is what casting directors want to see first.

Plus, it's the go-to format for hiring managers worldwide.

Here’s how it looks:

actor reverse-chronological resume format

Now that the lights are on, it’s time to set the stage. Enter, the resume layout.

Looks matter, and before a hiring manager reads your resume, they’re going to look at it.

Follow these tips to make sure your actor resume leaves a good first impression:

  • Set the font size. Your resume’s font determines its readability. Stick to 10-12 pt for the body of your text and use 14-16 pt for headings, so the hiring manager doesn’t have to squint.
  • Use bullet points. Avoid long paragraphs and organize the information on your resume into bullet points. It will make your resume more visually appealing and reader-friendly.
  • Adjust the line spacing. The line spacing on your actor resume should be set to 1.0 between text and 1.15 after subheadings and section titles. Anything outside these limits can make your resume look too cluttered or too empty.
  • Stick to one page. The best length for your actor resume is one page unless you have decades of relevant experience to list.
  • Save it as a PDF. The best format for your actor resume is always PDF, since it stays the same across any device or OS a hiring manager might use to open it. Only use a different format, such as a Word resume, if the job ad specifically requests it.

Or Use a Resume Template

Creating the perfect actor resume from scratch takes away valuable time that you could be using to learn your next lines.

You have to set the margins, fix the line spacing, try different font styles and sizes to see what works best, and keep everything from spilling over to a second page.

What if you could skip all of that?

Give any of our free, tried-and-tested resume templates a shot and save valuable time.

Our templates are designed in close collaboration with leading HR professionals from around the world to guarantee that your resume blends professionalism with style.

Take a look at how our resume templates compare to a standard text editor resume template:

novoresume versus normal resume

#2. Provide the Right Contact Information

The contact information is probably the easiest section to fill out on your actor resume.

All this section needs is to be factual - no matter how talented you are, you’re not getting an audition if your phone number has a typo in it.

Here’s what you need to include in this section:

  • Full Name. (E.g. Constantine Dancy)
  • Title. (E.g. Actor)
  • Phone Number. If you’re applying for a role abroad, be sure to include your country’s dial code in front of your phone number.
  • Email Address. Keep your email address professional and preferably related to your name. (E.g., not
  • Location. Your city and state/country are usually enough, but if you’re looking to relocate for a role, be sure to specify that somewhere in your resume.
  • Social media (optional). You could include a link to a relevant social media profile, such as a dedicated Instagram or Facebook page.

When To Include Your Agent’s Contact Information

If you’re represented by an agent, that’s who casting directors should be talking to first.

Your agent is the first point of contact for anyone interested in you, so your contact information should reflect this.

Instead of adding your own phone number and email address, list your agent’s.

Here’s how this can look on your actor resume:

Agent Contact Information Example:

Contact information

Constantine Dancy


Represented by Todd Hughes

+44 7700 900907

Should You Include A Picture?

As a general rule, yes, your actor resume should include a clear picture of you.

You might choose to add a small headshot at the top of your resume, next to your contact information. This gives any casting director an immediate idea of what you look like, but you’ll likely be asked to submit a larger photo as an attachment.

Talent agencies advise that you attach a separate, high-quality headshot along with your resume. Contact a professional photographer and get a few great pictures you can choose from before sending in your application.

If you have to leave your application in person, make sure the photo is attached firmly to your resume so it doesn’t get lost.

#3. Write a Convincing Resume Summary (or Objective)

Stepping onto the stage, every actor dreams of captivating the audience from the start as they get lost in the character's world.

And you want your resume to invoke that “wow” factor from the start, too. This is why you should add a small paragraph at the top of your actor resume to grab casting directors’ attention from the get-go.

Think of this brief 3-4 sentence segment as a trailer for the rest of your resume. It should offer a sneak peek that makes the hiring manager want to explore the entire story of your professional journey.

You have two options to choose from:

  • Resume summary. If you’re an actor who already has some significant roles to their name, the resume summary is the perfect tool to highlight your years of experience, previous roles, and any significant achievements.
  • Resume objective. If you’re new to life on the set, like a recent drama school graduate, or are switching from a different field, go for a resume objective instead. It shines a light on your passion, professional aspirations, and qualifications, rather than acting credits.

Let’s look at some practical examples.

First, an experienced actor's resume summary:

Actor Resume Summary Example:

Versatile stage actor with 4+ years of experience, eager to bring depth and nuance to roles at Shakespeare Theater Company. Notable performances in "Hamlet" and "Othello," receiving acclaim for embodying complex characters. Collaborative and dedicated, with a talent for both drama and comedy. Trained in Stanislavski and Meisner techniques.

Any casting director would think this resume is worth reading from the get-go. 

But even a student with no experience can make an impression. So, let’s see a less experienced actor’s resume objective:

Actor Resume Objective Example:

Drama school graduate, passionate about joining the ensemble at Broadway Beginnings. Keen to bring fresh perspectives to classical roles and collaborate on innovative productions. Trained in physical theater, voice modulation, and improvisation. Grounded in theatrical history and performance theory.

#4. Describe Your Work Experience

The work experience section is the heart of an actor's resume.

It’s the section every casting director is going to read first, so you should be very careful when writing it.

Here's how to format the work experience section the right way:

  • Organize it in reverse chronological order. Always begin with your most recent roles and then move back to earlier ones. Skip anything that’s too dated or irrelevant - your summer gig in a community play when you were 12 won’t hold much weight.
  • State your exact role. Whether you played the lead, a supporting role, or even a background character, state it clearly. Avoid jazzing it up or downplaying it (e.g. "Lead Role" is straightforward and professional, while "Star of the Show" might come off as exaggerated and arrogant).
  • Give the production details. Say what the title of the production and its location are. If the show or movie isn’t well-known, you can give a brief description for context.
  • Note the performance period. Using the mm/yyyy format keeps things clean and consistent throughout your resume.
  • Detail your role and accomplishments. This is where you should dive into the essence of your character, the acting methods you used, and your role in the production’s success. Use bullet points to outline significant scenes, skills you portrayed, or achievements you contributed to.

Actors’ work experience is usually called “Acting Credits” and focuses on the roles they’ve held. If your acting experience includes coaching and other production work beyond acting, then writing “work experience” is more appropriate.

That’s all there is to formatting your actor resume’s work experience.

But if you want this section to shine, you have to push beyond the basics.

Follow these tips to rise above all other actors auditioning for the same role:

  • Tailor your work experience to the casting call. Carefully read the casting brief and find out exactly what they’re looking for. If the role needs a Shakespearean-trained actor with experience in improv comedy, your actor resume should center on your performances and training that highlight those skills the most.
  • Focus on achievements over small-time gigs. The casting director knows the standard responsibilities of a background actor or theater performer, and they won’t be impressed by them. So instead, highlight all roles or projects where you brought something unique to the table and the support your performance received.
  • Quantify your achievements. Be as specific as possible whenever you can. Mention the size of the audience, the run of the show, or the percentage of ticket sales. This provides a clear picture of the scale and impact your work has.
  • Use powerful verbs. Drop the boring “participated in” or “performed in" and choose more dynamic action words. For example, 'Led a cast of 20+ in a critically acclaimed rendition of “Hamlet”' packs a bigger punch than 'Acted in “Hamlet”'.

Let’s look at an example of an actor’s work experience section:

Actor Work Experience Example:

Supporting Actor

Flux Theater Troupe

Summerville, CT

03/2022 - Present

  • Played a pivotal role in 3 major theater productions, receiving praise for versatility and character depth.
  • Collaborated closely with directors and fellow actors, improving scene dynamics and overall flow.
  • Attended 10+ workshops for skill enhancement, focusing on method acting and improvisation techniques.
  • Took on the challenge of portraying a complex character in a modern adaptation of a classic play, leading to sold-out shows for two weeks straight.

What if I don’t have work experience?

If you're stepping onto the stage or set for the first time, not having a lengthy acting resume can seem daunting.

But your actor resume can still show your acting abilities and devotion to the craft!

All you have to do is list acting credits that aren’t contracted, such as school plays or club productions.

Here are some examples you can consider:

For example, if you volunteered for a role in your local community theater's production, that’s a valuable experience that can boost your actor resume.

Here’s how that might look in practice:

Actor Resume Volunteering Experience:

Lead Actor & Assistant Director

Mapleton Community Theater

03/2021 - 10/2021

  • Volunteered as the lead for a community production, receiving commendations for powerful performances.
  • Assisted the director in scene setups and scheduling, ensuring smooth rehearsal sessions.
  • Took charge of organizing a workshop for the cast, honing everyone's skills in voice modulation and body language.
  • Interacted with the audience post-shows to gather feedback, leading to better performances and tighter scenes.
  • Collaborated with local schools to host theater days, exposing students to the magic of stage acting.

#5. Mention Your Education

Actors do need formal training or workshops to refine their craft.

But if you've already landed significant roles, you don’t need to put too much emphasis on your education section.

Casting directors are more interested in your acting credits and specific skills. So, keep your education section brief and start with your most recent degree or course.

Here’s what you need to add:

  • Degree Name. E.g., Bachelor in Dramatic Arts, Workshop in Method Acting
  • Institution Name. E.g., The New York Acting Studio
  • Location (optional). E.g., New York, NY
  • Dates Attended. Stick to the mm/yyyy format for consistency (e.g. 08/2019 - 05/2022)

If you’re fresh out of acting school, you might want to delve deeper into your training. Describe specific courses or a standout performance to show off your acting prowess.

Here’s how this section would look on an actor’s resume:

Actor Resume Education Example:

Bachelor in Dramatic Arts, Specialization in Classical Theatre

The London Drama Academy

London, UK

09/2019 - 07/2023

Courses: Shakespearean Performances, Voice and Movement Techniques, Improvisational Theatre, Character Development, Modern Drama Interpretation

#6. Mention Acting Workshops and Training Camps

In the acting world, honing your craft is the key to success. This is where acting workshops and training camps come in. 

These acting classes are usually taught by big names in the industry, so you get to learn from the best of the best and show it off on your actor resume.

Casting directors will be interested in seeing your skills, experience, and who you’ve learned from. Acting workshops and training camps show you’re always looking to improve.

Plus, you never know when a workshop you attended might catch a casting director’s eye or match a role they’re looking to fill.

Let’s take a look at an example of acting workshops on a resume:

Actor Resume Workshops and Training Camps Example:

Workshops & Training Camps

  • Shakespearean Acting Intensive - June 2023
    London Theatre Workshop, London, UK
    Instructor: Dame Judith Harrow
  • Scene Study & Character Development - February 2023
    New York Acting Studio, New York, NY
    Instructor: Michael Lorne

#7. List Your Relevant Skills

Another important section of your actor resume is dedicated to your skills.

Your talent and acting skills are your ticket to impressing directors and casting agents. Your skills as an actor can range from your ability to emote on cue to your knack for accents and dialects.

So, it's essential to highlight the right acting skills on your resume. You don’t need to jot down every single skill you have—just focus on the ones required by the role you’re after.

For example, if you're after a role in a historical drama, your singing skills might not be as crucial as your understanding of the era's language and mannerisms.

Here are some tips to create a standout skills section for your actor resume:

  • Cater to the role. Read the casting call or role description carefully. If it mentions any specific skills, add the ones you have to your actor resume.
  • Research the right skills and practice them. The world of acting is ever-evolving and diverse, and you never know what skills you’ll need for a role. Attend regular acting workshops to keep your acting skills sharp and stay updated on developments in the exact field you’re interested in. (E.g., if you’re looking to get into musical theater, practice your singing and dancing skills more than sword-fighting.)
  • Separate your hard skills from your soft skills. Organize your soft skills (like communication) separately from your hard skills (like dancing or martial arts). This way, it's easier for casting directors to find exactly what they're looking for on your actor resume.

So you know how to list your acting skills.

Now here’s a list of the 65 most in-demand skills for actors to help inspire you!

65 Most In-Demand Acting Skills

17 Acting Soft Skills
  1. Empathy
  2. Active listening
  3. Collaboration
  4. Adaptability
  5. Emotional intelligence
  6. Creativity
  7. Observational skills
  8. Self-discipline
  9. Time management
  10. Reliability
  11. Problem-solving
  12. Cultural awareness
  13. Motivation
  14. Memory retention
  15. Networking
  16. Public speaking
  17. Feedback receptivity
48 Acting Hard Skills
  1. Stanislavski Method
  2. Meisner Technique
  3. Lee Strasberg's Method
  4. Michael Chekhov Technique
  5. Uta Hagen's Technique
  6. Diction and pronunciation
  7. Voice modulation
  8. Breath control
  9. Script analysis
  10. Sight reading
  11. Cold reading
  12. Improvisation
  13. Physical characterization
  14. Vocal projection
  15. Accent acquisition
  16. Mime
  17. Movement techniques
  18. Dance
  19. Stage fighting
  20. Film acting techniques
  21. TV acting techniques
  22. Theatrical stage presence
  23. Singing and vocal training
  24. Clowning
  25. Comedic timing
  26. Dramatic interpretation
  27. Character development
  28. Audition techniques
  29. Monologue mastery
  30. Classical training
  31. Puppetry
  32. Mask work
  33. Alexander Technique
  34. Camera awareness
  35. Voice-over technique
  36. Motion capture technique
  37. Dialect coaching
  38. Period-specific training (e.g., Renaissance, Victorian, etc.)
  39. Stage makeup application
  40. Casting Networks
  41. IMDb Pro
  42. Commercial acting techniques
  43. Scene study
  44. Vocal warm-up routines
  45. Memorization techniques
  46. Self-taping and recording
  47. Use of props and set elements
  48. Ensemble work

#8. Awards

You don’t need to be an Oscar enthusiast to know that awards make a difference.

As an actor, your awards show casting directors how endorsed your talents are and what you can bring to the table—applause, recognition, and sales. 

Just to give you an idea, casting directors and audiences alike want some of the most nominated actors.

Whether it’s a prestigious international honor or a local theater award, dedicating a section to these accomplishments in your actor resume helps set you apart from other candidates for the same role.

Here’s what your awards can look like on your resume:

Actor Resume Awards Example:

Awards & Honors

  • Best Supporting Actor - 2023 International Film Festival for "Whispers in the Wind"
  • Outstanding Theater Performance - 2021 National Theater Awards for "Midnight's Lullaby"
  • Emerging Talent of the Year - 2019 Global Acting Guild Awards

#9. References

Unlike many fields, where references on your resume are optional and rarely checked, the acting world thrives on trust and reputation.

A director or casting agent might recognize a reference’s name, such as an actor who mentored you or a reviewer who’s written about you.

References on your actor resume don’t have to be limited to the names and contact details of someone you know. You can include links to your past work, testimonials, reviews, and more.

Casting directors or agents will likely recognize the name of your reference or the publication you’re mentioned in, and that can give you instant credibility. 

References from respected industry professionals can also back up your work ethic and reliability, which means no one will have to worry about you being unreliable.

Here’s an example of what references can look like on your actor resume:

Actor References Example:
  • James Langley
    Family friend and retired Broadway actor
    (555) 123-4567
  • Theater Performance Review
    Stellar Performance in 'Moonlit Dreams' by Candice Terry

#10. Consider Adding Optional Sections

If you have any room left on your actor resume, you can fill it up using optional sections.

These sections are like powdering your nose one last time before jumping onto the stage - they aren’t essential, but they can be a nice touch that helps your resume stand out.

Here are some optional sections you can include:

  • Memberships. Being a member of an acting guild or other organization can show dedication to your field, which might sway a hiring manager.
  • Certifications. Any certifications that might be useful for the job are a great addition, such as teaching qualifications if you want to be an acting coach.
  • Languages. Knowing a foreign language can help you land international roles.
  • Hobbies and interests. How you spend your free time can show casting directors that you’re perfect for a certain role. For example, if you play the guitar and you’re auditioning for the role of a rock star, that puts you ahead of actors who can’t.

#11. Create a Matching Cover Letter

When you’re auditioning for a job as an actor, you might wonder—do I even need a cover letter?

In short, yes. Yes, you do.

Hiring managers don’t just like cover letters; they expect them. So skipping this final step could have consequences.

Writing a cover letter shows that you’re a dedicated candidate and that you truly want this specific role in this specific production.

Here’s an example of a great cover letter for an actor:

cover letter for an actor

Now that you know what a perfect cover letter looks like, it’s time to write your own!

Just follow these cover letter tips, and you’re sure to impress the director:

  • Match your contact information. Your cover letter should have a header with the same contact information as your resume. Add the contact information of the hiring manager or place you’re applying to, and keep an eye out for any typos.
  • Greet the hiring manager. If you can, find out who’s casting and address them by name. Personalizing your application gives a good impression.
  • Open with the highlights. You should always start with a paragraph to pique the hiring manager’s interest. Mention what role you’re writing for and an achievement or qualification that makes you perfect for the role
  • Get into the details. The main part of your cover letter should get into the nitty-gritty details of your career so far and elaborate on anything you think your actor resume didn’t give you enough space for. This is the place where your way with words should convince the hiring manager that you’re perfect for the role.
  • Wrap it up professionally. Always finish your cover letter with a call to action that invites the hiring manager to do something, like arrange an audition or contact you. And don’t forget to use an appropriate closing line before signing off with your name.
cover letter structure

Key Takeaways

And, scene!

That’s everything there is to know about writing your actor resume. Hopefully, now you feel confident about your upcoming audition!

But before you go get that applause, let’s recap what we talked about so far:

  • The reverse-chronological resume format is usually the best choice for any actor's resume since it’s a favorite across industries.
  • Your resume should include an interesting resume summary that can impress any casting director or hiring manager for the job you have your sights set on.
  • Keep your education section brief since your work experience and other achievements carry a lot more weight.
  • Tailor your acting skills according to the role you’re auditioning for. The more relevant your skills and experience are, the better.
  • Some sections that are usually optional, like workshops, awards, and references, carry a lot of weight to an actor’s resume, so always add them if possible.
  • Don’t forget to pair your actor resume with a matching cover letter and increase your odds of impressing the hiring manager.