How do I Format my Resume?
The subject of resume comes up a lot at our office. Clients are constantly wondering what to put on their resume, and how to format it. The short answer is that you can format your resume any way you want, but there’s a universal template that has been adopted by a good portion of the industry. It has the right amount of information, and is clean and easy to read at a glance.
You want to start by categorizing your credits by the types of projects. Film, Television, Theatre and Commercials are the most common headers. You can also add in Print and/or Modelling if you want. Each of these sections are then broken down into three columns.
Column 1: Name of the project
Column 2: Type of role you played (Principal, Guest, Supporting, Actor, Lead, Guest Star, Recurring, etc.)
Column 3: Production Company and Director (You can choose to do one or the other if you prefer). For Television credits, when you work on more than one episode of the same serious, you can list the different directors as ‘Various’ to save space.
Once you’ve listed all your credits and experience, then you can list your Education/Training, Awards and Special Skills. The three column structure can still be used, but is no longer necessary. You want to list your largest training/education achievements first, and then all the rest by date or relevance.
If you have some prestigious Awards, you may want to list them before Education, but that’s your choice. You can also link the awards to your credits using the * or footnote notation numbers.
We have seen all kinds of things put into Special Skills. Everything from chewing gum and walking at the same time, to Olympic medal finalists. This section is simply for anything that may be relevant in getting you the job. If you think it might get you the part, put it down. Accents and Languages, as well as sports and talents are very common. Put anything that you are talented at or know how to do. Just ask yourself ‘is it relevant?’.
1.) List your credits by date. You can cheat a little by putting the biggest names/credits at the top, but otherwise they should be in order from newest (at the top) to oldest (at the bottom).
2.) Stay away from listing experience that has nothing to do with acting. At first, you may need them to fill out your resume, but agents and casting directors are looking for film and television credits. If they only see general work experience, they’re going to assume you have no experience.
3.) Spelling!!!! If you’re listing the names of directors, double and triple check to make sure they are spelled correctly. It could lose you a job if a director sees that their name is misspelled.
4.) When sending out your resume, always send it in PDF. If PDF isn’t available, then a JPEG is better than Word. Any document writing program like Word can re-format your resume when someone else opens it. Especially if you’ve used special fonts or a different version of Word than your recipient. PDF is a universal format which will never screw up your formatting.