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There are few industries quite like show business. If you want to be an actor, then your CV will probably look different from CVs for other industries. Many of the common CV guidelines may not apply here; an acting CV is one of the few examples where you may need a photograph of yourself, for example (although this is not always the case). So what makes a great actor CV?
Generally, casting directors will spend less than a minute looking at each CV that they receive, so a professional acting CV must be clear and concise. You should focus on listing prestigious and notable roles and certifications as focal points of your CV. Agents and casting directors will be looking for schools, teachers, studios and theatres that they respect first and foremost. If you received your Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree from Julliard, for example, this should be emphasised in your CV.
Beyond this, you should highlight the different venues and productions you have acted in alongside any specialist acting skills or talents that you may have. Musical skills, singing skills, and dancing capabilities are all attractive additions to any actor’s CV, as is enrolment in acting groups and professional guilds. Some roles may ask you to provide details of your appearance, like your height, hair colour or eye colour, but it is not always necessary to include these details. Only provide this information if you are asked.
Ideally, your professional acting CV should be no more than one page in length. This basic structure provides a great blueprint that you can follow when writing your , but you can also use a CV builder to create an eye-catching CV. CVHelp offers a range of beautiful CV templates via their CV-building tool.
Every CV should have a header at the very top of the page. This should include your full name, phone number, alternative contact information and professional social media profiles.
Next, you should have either a professional summary or a career objective statement. A professional summary should contain the highlights of your acting career and skills. Essentially, this summarises what makes you right for the role. If you lack experience, you should opt for a career objective statement instead, which is a statement of your career goals and skills.
If you have decent experience as a professional actor or have undergone formal education, you should have a decent range of skills to list here. Examples of acting skills you could include are:
The way professional experience should be presented in an acting CV differs from more traditional CV formats. Ideally, you should split your acting roles into categories and list whether you were an extra, a supporting actor or the lead. For example, you might have headings for theatre, voiceover and film & TV roles within your work experience section. You do not necessarily need to provide the character’s name. For example:
When you list your film and television acting credit, do so in this form:
The Haunting | Lead | Tom Pink/Bloome Productions
Your education section should include the formal qualifications that you have. You do not necessarily need to include the details of all of the acting classes that you have attended. Instead, focus on prestigious or notable academic achievements. For example, if you attended the London Film School, then this will carry more weight than acting classes at your local community college. If you don’t have prestigious academic qualifications, don’t despair; list what you have and focus on areas where you excelled.
If you want to ensure that you make a great first impression, then it is a good idea to make use of acting CV templates and acting CV examples to ensure great formatting and get inspiration.
Yes, unless you have specifically been asked to refrain from sending a cover letter, you should include one in every application, whether it’s to your community theatre or Broadway. Consider relevant examples to see how you can write the best actor cover letter for you.
If you are new to acting, you should use all the acting credits you have. List everything, from student films and unpaid roles to small parts on TV shows, notable acting roles, and theatre credits. You can also make use of any memberships that you have; if you are a member of The Actors’ Guild of Great Britain, for example, this can be helpful.
Not always. Some roles may ask for a professional headshot, while others may specifically ask that you don’t. Check the job description before you attach a picture to your applications for acting jobs.
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