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How to Make an Actor Resume for Theatre and Performing Arts Jobs

Difficulty:IntermediateLength:MediumLanguages:

Catch the eye of casting agents than with an extraordinary resume. Even non-traditional jobs such as those in theatre and performing arts require attractive, eye-catching, and compelling resumes. 

Because of the cut-throat competition in acting, your performance resume needs to stand out. You’re probably vying for a role with dozens of contenders.

Acting Resume Template
Use this resume template for Microsoft Word to create your own acting resume.

How can your resume out-shine the others, short of hiring a professional designer to create it for you? Fortunately, creating your own stunning, professional actor resume is within your reach. 

In this tutorial, learn how to make an outstanding actor resume by starting with a professionally-designed template for Microsoft Word. Start with an acting resume template or customize any resume template to suit your needs. Choose from thousands of resume templates available in Envato Elements (with unlimited downloads), and GraphicRiver (buy individually).

5 Characteristics of a Good Actor Resume

No matter which template you choose, the ingredients that go into an outstanding actor resume remain the same.

Keep these features in mind when choosing which template you'll use to make your acting resume:

1. Visually Attractive

A good acting resume must visually grab the attention of casting directors, directors, and producers. Look for a resume template design that’s visually pleasing, enticing, and easy to read. For fun and if it's appropriate, make the design match the role. For example, use an acting resume template that matches the time period of the play, movie, or program you want to perform in.

2. Fits On One Page

Resumes for traditional jobs can be as long as two pages. However, the norm for actors is different. Actor resumes for theater and performing arts jobs should only be one page long (see item 3 below). You can find resume templates for Microsoft Word that are specifically one-pagers, which you can then easily adapt for your actor resume.

3. Includes a Headshot

The prevailing advice for actors is to attach your resume to the back of your headshot.

Many of the professional resume templates in and GraphicRiver include headshots, either as a full page or a thumbnail.

If the resume template has a headshot as a separate, full page, then you can print your headshot and performance resume, back-to-back, from the same file. This makes for a more professional-looking resume + headshot document than the typical one that’s glued or taped together.

Acting Resume Template with Headshot
This resume template can easily be adapted into a resume for actors, complete with a full page for a headshot.

A thumbnail photo that matches the full headshot you submit makes your resume more memorable.

And, as you'll see in this tutorial, it's easy to switch the headshot in your resume, so it's appropriate to the role you’re applying for.

4. Truthful & Accurate

As much as you want to impress the decision-makers behind the production you’re vying for, you never, ever want to lie or “embellish” on your performing arts resume. Stick to the facts and make sure you can provide evidence for any claims you make. For example, if you say your performance was critically acclaimed, then be ready to show clippings or screenshots of the glowing reviews.

5. Customized to the Role

If you’ve had a lot of performances, you may not be able to fit everything on one page. This is when it becomes necessary for you to customize your performance resume to the role you want. Include only the experiences, education, and special skills that are relevant to the role.

Envato Elements (Design Without Limits)

Envato Elements Unlimited creative template downloads
Envato Elements - Unlimited creative template downloads for one low price.

Before we get into our main tutorial on how to make a theatre resume, let's discuss Envato Elements and what it can do for you.

Envato Elements has a single compelling (all inclusive) offer:

Sign up for Envato Elements and you get access to thousands of graphics and templates (with unlimited use), from creative website themes to resume templates that are perfect for your acting resume, and more—all for one low price.

Envato Elements unlimited downloads from a massive digital warehouse of creative assets
Get unlimited downloads from a massive digital warehouse of creative assets.

That’s right! Download as many professional templates and graphics as you want, then customize them to fit any of your project needs.

And if you don't want to invest in Envato Elements, you can download resume templates and pay-as-you-go with GraphicRiver.

How to Make a Theatre Resume for Acting & Performing Arts in 7 Steps

Now that you know what features a great actor resume has, you’re ready to make one for yourself. You may think that you need a acting resume template or a theatre resume template, but it's easy to create a performance resume from a professionally designed template.

After selecting a resume template, open it in the application it’s compatible with. The resume template listing will indicate which file types are included in the template. For this tutorial, I’m working with a resume template for Microsoft Word to create a sample theatre resume.

Here’s the resume template I’ll be customizing, which I found in Envato Elements. Follow along if you want to learn how to make an actor resume.

Clean Acting Resume Template
Make a powerful acting resume by starting with an easy-to-use resume template.

1. Insert Your Photo

Click on the photo placeholder to select it.

Insert Your Photo

Go to Shape Format > Shape Fill > Picture...

color fill for actor resume

Find the image file in your computer. Select the file and click the Insert button.

Select File

Choose an image that's identical to the headshot you intend to submit along with the resume. This makes it easier for the casting director to associate your resume with your headshot.

The image you selected appears, and the image mask is applied automatically.

photo replaced final

2. Add Your Contact & Personal Information

Click inside the appropriate text boxes and replace the existing text with your own information.

Personal Information Replaced

Include: 

  • affiliations to actor’s guilds
  • your agent's contact information 
  • your website
  • your personal information: height, weight, hair color, eye color, and voice (if applicable)

3. Fill In The Work Experience Section

Your Work Experience section will be different than what’s required in resumes for traditional jobs. For example, it's not necessary to provide dates.

To delete the date, select the text box for the and use the Delete command.

Text box to delete

Repeat for the other date text boxes.

Edit the remaining text to indicate your acting experiences. Make sure to include:

  • performance title
  • role
  • for theatre performances: theatre name and location
  • for television and film: network or distributor
  • director's name, if they're famous
work experience selected

If you've appeared in a variety of performances, group your experience by performance types. In this example, theatre and television performances are grouped together:

Work Experience Edited

4. Add Your Special Skills

Replace the text with your special skills.

Drag the rectangle, making it longer or shorter, as needed, to indicate your level of proficiency in this skill.

special skills bars

To add a sub-heading for a group of skills, click on a text box to select it and right-click. Select Copy.

Copy Text Block

Replace the text with the sub-heading:

new text block

This is what the Special Skills section looks like now:

Special Skills Completed

5. Create a Demo Reels Section

We’ll use the Portfolio section to create a Demo Reels section. This will provide links to video clips of your performances, which the casting director can watch online.

Replace the text with your own.

portfolio to demo reels

This is how the Demo Reels looks like now. We’ll replace the icon later on.

Delete Icon

6. Add a Social Media Section

Let’s convert the References section into a Social Media section, with links to your social accounts.

First, replace the existing icons with social media icons. 

Delete the existing icons, then insert social media icons into the document. 

Hint: You also get unlimited downloads of social media icons in Envato Elements. For this tutorial, we’re using Vector Roundies Solid Glyph Icons.

Click Insert > Pictures > Picture from File...

insert pictures social

Find and select the icon image file in your and click Insert.

choose picture social

With the new icon selected, go to Picture Format > Wrap Text > Tight

Click and drag the icon into place under the Social Media section.

social icon wrap text

Repeat the previous steps to insert the rest of the social media icons.

Next, we'll tidy up the social icons by making sure they’re properly aligned on the page.

Hold down the shift key while clicking on each icon to select a group of icons > Picture Format > Align > Align Left.

align social icons

We also want the distance between each icon to be equal. Select the icons as a group. Then select Picture Format > Align > Distribute Vertically.

distribute vertically

Replace the text with links to your social media accounts. Delete and/or copy text blocks, as needed.

The Social Media section is complete.

Social Media Done

7. Replace Other Icons

Follow the process in Step 6 to replace other icons on your resume with ones that are more appropriate.

Your acting resume is finished!

Acting Resume Done

All that’s left for you to do is to print your performing arts resume. I recommend printing it on card stock and then attaching your headshot at the back.

More Resume Templates You Can Customize

This tutorial uses only one of the thousands of resume templates you can adapt to make an outstanding actor resume.

Here are other resume templates for you to choose from:

Learn More About Resumes

Check out these articles for more tips to help you make your acting resume. Just remember to adapt the advice to conform to the standards in the performance industry:

Nab That Audition With an Exceptional Actor Resume

An impressive actor resume can help you get an audition. Then you can do the rest to get the part. You've just learned how to create a performance resume.

It all begins with a professionally-designed acting resume template. Enjoy unlimited downloads of resume templates—including icons, fonts, and more—with an Envato Elements subscription.

If you prefer to pay per use, then GraphicRiver is the place for you to find your resume template.

Now that you know how to make an actor resume using any template, you can create an impressive resume for every role you desire.

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