Tips on Creating Resumes and Headshots for your Child
It’s a question we get asked a lot from clients whose children are just starting out in the industry. The younger they are, the less likely it is they have any real acting credits. Parents want to know what to include so that the resume section of the profile isn’t a big blank. What type of things will help their child stand out?
This question is hard to answer, because every child is different and every child has different talents. But you need to ask yourself this, “What has my child done that can adapt to film and television?”
Do they play sports? Did they win a public speaking contest? Are they in dance? Are they a kick ass skateboarder? Can they pout and/or cry on a dime? There are lots of areas of skills that might be useful to know. You need to list all the things that your child is good at, and all their accomplishments. If you can break it down into sections to organize them, that would be ideal. Just remember to ask yourself if it can translate to film and television. Your child may have a talent for squishing spiders, but it might not have anything to do with acting.
Here are some examples of things you could put on their resume:
1.) Sports: Soccer, Baseball, Basketball, Frisbee, Bike Riding, Bowling, Skateboarding, Hockey, etc.
2.) Specialized Activities: Horseback Riding, Karate/fighting, Magic Shows, etc.
3.) Music and Singing: Level 1 Royal Conservatory Piano, Singing Lessons, etc.
4.) Awards: Public Speaking School Finalist, Talent Show Winner for Best Song, Gymnastics Tiny Tots Best Somersault Winner, etc.
5.) Special Skills: Multilingual: English/French, Can sing the whole alphabet, Arts and Crafts, etc.
6.) Related Experience: Dance Recitals, Talent Shows, School Plays, etc.
You should find a way to add the things that make them ideal to work with. Are they comfortably around strangers? Are they social? Can they play with other children? Do they understand certain commands/requests? The easier they are to work with, the more likely they are to get called in.
As far as formatting goes, you want to follow the two or three column structure as much as possible (you can find our article on resume formatting here). Since very few “credits” will break down like that for a child, just make it as legible as possible. Click the image below for a clean, well organized example to follow.
There is no wrong way to format it, as long as it’s clean and makes sense. One of the biggest mistakes we see is a page of sentences listing everything they’ve ever done without any rhyme or reason. Every credit should have a simple title, then a short explanation. It should be extremely easy for someone to skim the information, and come away with a pretty good idea of your child’s skills.
For a young child, paying the money for professional headshots can be tough. Especially because you’ll need new ones about ever six months as your child constantly changes. So it’s alright to consider taking your own. It is very important to understand what kind of self taken shots are not a good idea to use.
Take a look through our ‘Tips for Making the Most of your Headshot’ posting. Most of the points are the same. But here are a few extra tips specific to creating a headshot for your child.
1.) Background: Make sure the background is as clean and clutter free as possible. Think about the placement of your child in the photo. If you’re just taking a picture of them in your living room, then the couch, coffee table and stack of books will all be distracting. Make the background as simple as possible.
2.) Framing: It’s alright to have a full body shot for children, especially if they’re small. Waist up is a popular option as well. But make sure that their face is clear and easy to see. It is their face that Casting Directors and Agents will want to see most.
3.) Types of Shots: It’s perfectly fine to have a picture of your child playing or laughing, and because kids are so adorable when they smile, it’s a quick and easy go to. But keep in mind that you need to show their range. Can you get them to pout? How about if they look like they’re up to mischief? The more range you can show, the better.
4.) Quality: Do not upload a shot that’s grainy or small. If you had to crop the picture down to frame just your child out of a family photo, you’d be reducing the quality. It’s better to sit down and take a picture specifically of your child with good light, than to try and manipulate a family photo. Candid shots can be fun, but they rarely, if ever, have perfect lighting or a clutter free background.
The younger your child, the more often you will need to change their photo. Twice a year is a good start. You can do it as often as you want, but make sure the photos are as close to professional as possible.
It’s important to remember that at this stage, the things that are important are how easy your child is to work with, and how many different talents they’d already begun to accomplish. Keep this in mind while you’re building their resume.