Do the credits on your acting resume make you question whether you even have an acting career? Given the level of competition in show business, it’s vital to have your acting resume be as strong as it can be and to make the most of your credits.
Your resume is basically is a brief statement of your experience, and it needs to be as impressive as you can make it–while still being truthful.
Whether you’re a new actor or veteran, you can easily jazz up your resume with a few simple tips. You don’t need to add credits, you just need a few tweaks. If you already have strong credits, it is critical to make them sound as good as possible. If your credits are not so strong, you can make them look better by a few simple tips.
1. Put your shows that are still on the air above those that not on the air anymore – even if they aren’t the most recent.
If you haven’t added any network credits to your acting resume for the last year or two, and some of your shows are off the air, then put the shows still on the air first, even if they aren’t the most recent. Chronological order isn’t as important as showcasing where you are still on air. Roles in current shows hold more weight than those off the air.
2. If you did multiple episodes of a show, put that beside the title (2 Episodes).
Multiple episodes are significant to casting directors. It shows that you did a good enough job that you were hired again, or that you got a role that was big enough to recur on 2 episodes (or more). When you list a show title on an acting resume without the number of episodes, it is assumed that you only did one episode. Let them know you were good enough for multiple episodes and mention how many.
3. For TV credits, in the third column list the three letters of the Networks first and no director, unless it’s a super big name. Television network call-letters make that credit stand out.
Networks are more impressive than an unknown director and some shows have multiple directors. The most important aspect is the network and you want to have a clear concise resume that highlights what is most important. If you worked with a big director, then that is the only name that should be mentioned.
4. If you’ve done a lot of student films, you might list only the director’s name or use the director’s initials as the name of the production company: DH Productions.
You can make it clear that you did a USC Grad Film, and that’s fine. However, if you want to up the level a bit, make it look like an independent film by listing the credit as that student’s production company. Student films are in fact independent films, and they will look better written this way.
5. In your special skills and interests, list any major traveling that you’ve done or overseas living experience.
Traveling and living overseas highlights that you are flexible, adaptable, and can handle the stress of new situations. These are valuable characteristics in an actor. If you don’t have many credits, this is one more thing that can help make you stand out.
6. Put a line for Commercials Upon Request even if you haven’t done any.
Commercials are not necessarily seen as “real acting” experience for TV or film, so they don’t need to be listed individually. In fact, you should not list them because if a company sees you’ve worked for their competitor, they won’t hire you. Just add the line “Commercials Upon Request” and leave it at that. It’s part of a standard resume.
7. List no more than 3 or 4 of your jobs as an extra if you were featured in a scene; take these off as you get better credits.
Having some experience is better than none, but put no more than 4 credits, preferably when you were featured in the scene. Remove these credits as you have better speaking roles.
These simple steps will take your acting resume to a new level without needing to add more credits. Making sure credits are listed properly and accurately is key, and highlighting your strong credits will make you look as impressive as you’d like to be!