How to stand out in your resume

acting job imdb resume Mar 02, 2022
Katherine Beck, The All American Actor’s Podcast

Episode 41: How to stand out in your resume

In today’s episode we are putting the spotlight on your resume. 

We are taking a closer look at how you present those acting jobs and special skills so you can stand out from the crowd.

From imdb to your resume those actor credits are an important part of your career so let’s make sure they’re in order in today’s episode.

By the time you finish listening, you’ll know:

  • The simple way to make your resume stand out
  • What to avoid putting on your resume 
  • What’s so special about those special skills

If this episode inspires you then I'd love to hear from you! Take a screenshot of you listening on your device, post it to your Instagram stories and tag me@katherine_beck_ !

Then follow me on Instagram to go 'behind the scenes' with me and my own journey as an American accent coach and Voiceover Actor.


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You're listening to the All American actors podcast, Episode 41. In today's episode, we are talking about how to stand out in your resume that's coming up next, ready to go behind the scenes and learn what it really takes to build a sustainable career as a working actor in the US film and TV industry. Join me, Katherine Beck, you're all American accent coach, as I give you the insight and inspiration to take action on your career, learn my best tips and tricks to performing with an American accent and hear from working actors and other industry professionals. To give you a comprehensive overview of this biz we call show biz. This is the all American actors podcast. We will get started with today's episode in just a moment. But first, I want to give a big shout out to the effortless life who sent me this five star review and says you need Katherine in your pockets. Katherine is a genius when it comes to helping actors embody the American accent and land bigger, better roles. This podcast is a wealth of info to help you feel more confident and find your voice. Thank you so very much. What a great review. I am so glad that you're enjoying this podcast and finding value here. And that's really my aim to inspire you to dream big and land those bigger roles, it can be done. So let's get out there. Let's stop thinking about it right, and let's start doing the work little by little to get you where you want to be. So thank you so much for this glowing review. And if you're listening and you're loving this podcast, loving what you hear, do me a favor, just take 30 seconds out of your day, subscribe. If you have not yet subscribed, tap those five stars, write a brief review about the podcast, let me know what you think. And you may just get a mention here on the show. So if you're loving what you hear, go ahead and leave us a review. Alright, I have a confession to make. I thoroughly dislike writing. I am not a fan of coming up with words on the page. And I'm actually also not a big reader to unless it's nonfiction. Or maybe it's a script like a movie script or play. But basically, it's because I'm not a big book reader. I like to learn about things or I like to read a play or or film that I can really visually see in front of me. But I would so much rather watch a movie. I'm more visual that way. So for me when we talk about you know, fiction versus nonfiction, what do you like to read? Well, for me, it's always nonfiction. But I'll tell you what should not be fiction. Speaking of fiction versus non fiction is your resume, your resume should not be fictitional, right? It's got to be nonfiction, it's got to be the truth, the facts, your history, your experiences on the page. Now, if you're starting out, you may not have many credits on your resume. And that's okay, we all start somewhere, we all start from scratch and gradually build up that resume with credits. But if I can give you one piece of advice right from the start right from the get go. And even just a reminder, for those that are seasoned actors out there is to avoid the temptation to embellish your resume. We want to keep it brutally honest, and it will pay off in the end, because the last thing you want to do is wreck your reputation in the industry. So keep it real, keep it honest, keep it truthful. All right, let's get to it. Let's break down how to stand out in your actor resume. Number one, let's keep it clean, and easy to read. So when we're talking about the basics of creating a resume, we all want any fancy fonts, nothing too pretty, because we don't want it to be a struggle to read, especially if the person that is reading the resume is in a rush or is just scanning the resume. So the key factor here to remember is that the person reading your resume will likely scan it and only stopping to read more thoroughly. If there was something on there that catches their eye or if they're looking for something specific, like improv training. What's your previous improv training? Does this actor have improv training, so you want to make sure that font is easy to read. Now you can bold you can use bold and you can increase font size on different sections so that can stand out. But aside from that, we want to just use common fonts really easy to see fonts, and those That are recognizable to the eye, you know, there's certain fonts that you see over and over and over again. And chances are, those are the ones that you're going to want to use. And it's just as simple as that, you know, it doesn't have to be complicated, it doesn't have to be a big thing, it's as simple as that. Let your resume attract the reader. We don't want the font to attract the reader, we want them to actually read the words on the page. And in terms of font size, 12 is standard 12 is good, you can go for slightly bigger for your headings if you want. But when you're deciding on fonts, just keep it simple. Don't use too many fonts, one font is good throughout the page, too. If you want, you know those headings to stand out or pop a little bit more, you can do that one for the body of your text, and then another font for the headings. But that is it. That's as far as you want to go. Now let's talk about the meat and bones of your resume, obviously, you got to have your contact info on there. And sometimes we forget about that, if you've got an agent, you're going to put their contact info on there, if you've got a manager, you're going to put their contact info on there and their logo, you know, sometimes people like to put both agents information, you can pop on their logo on there as well can look really nice, just make sure it's clean, easy to read, easy to see. And if you don't have an agent or manager, then you're going to want to supply your email address your contact number so people can actually know how to reach you. Now other important information that you're going to want to put up towards the top of your resume would be things like your eye color, your hair color, your height, these are three key physical attributes that the person reading your resume is gonna want to know. So make sure that that is on there, and it's up towards the top. Next, you're going to want to display your credits, what have you done, what could we have possibly seen you in? So first things first, you are going to want to categorize it by film, television commercials, you can have web series corporate feed or your plays, you could potentially even add character voice work here as well. But only if I would say if it was in a role, let's say in a Disney film or something like that something really big. Otherwise, I would probably not bring in voiceover work in this main resume, I would do that separate because generally you probably have a different agent representing you for voiceover work versus let's say your on screen work, your theatrical work or your commercial work. So I would only bring that into this resume, if it was like in a major Disney movie, for example, then I would put that on here. And so like I said, you could potentially have two different resumes, if you wanted to one for commercials for your commercial agent and one for your theatrical agent, a theatrical resume, for example, you would probably take the commercials out, that would be something that I would remove from that resume and just reserve it for your film and TV work. That's, you know, the bulk of what we would want to see on that one. And then obviously, we want to know the type of role. So then once you've categorized them this way, with film, television, and so on, then you're gonna want to break down within those categories, the type of roles so you know, start with the biggest roles, and then work your way down. Make sure you tell us what type of role it was, was it a lead a supporting actor, a guest star co star, let us know. But the biggest thing to keep in mind here is that extra work is not a credit. Yes, it can be great for experience to learn and experience what it is to be on set. But if you have not auditioned for the role, you have not been cast in the role, you do not have a line you're not featured with any sort of words to express then don't add it as a credit. So take the extra work out of the resume. Now you can also add the name of your character here. So if the casting director, for example, wants to look you up on IMDB or watch a snippet of your film, they know who and what to look out for. Then you're going to want to mention who and where this credit was produced. So for example, if you know it was a show on MTV, you're going to list that it was an MTV production. If it was Steppenwolf theater, you're going to live that it was a Steppenwolf theater production. You get the idea. And in this section, you know if you've worked with a really well known director, like for example, if you worked with Steven Spielberg, you're going to want to make sure that you're right Steven Spielberg director for that credit. So you want to make sure add those directors if they're known, pop them on there too. Then you got your special skills. This is probably one of my favorite categories on the resume because You know, I love those accents, I am your American accent coach. So you definitely want to put some attention into this section and start thinking about building those skills. If this area, you know that you don't have a lot to put in this area, maybe it's time to start taking class and refining some of these skills accents is a good one, it's a very important one, it is a special skill that I would definitely have on your resume, because whether it's on screen work, or voiceovers, the demand for actors that can pick up an accent fast or sound authentic in an accent is highly sought after from the agents. And of course, if you're not from the US, you're definitely going to want to have that American accent and your toolkit and your special skills. So you can feature it here on your resume. Next, tell us any of your physical skills. So for example, if you've done stunt training, or stage combat training, this is going to be a massive bonus as well. And if you've had any sort of certifications in this area, make sure you list them out too. Then any other physical skills that you might have from team sports, like basketball, individual sports, like golf, if you're a dancer, list out all of those dance styles that you can do, we want to see what sort of physical attributes you can bring to the table. We want to see what sort of physical skills you got. Then any other areas that could be super helpful for us to know about you? Are you a singer? If so listed out and tell us Are you a soprano, and Alto, what are you? Can you speak another language fluently listed out? Can you play a musical instrument listed out? But not like? Can you play a musical instrument? Well, yes, I did in fifth grade, but it's been 20 years, so I kind of don't remember, then you might want to leave it off the resume. But if you still play this musical instrument, and you're quite good at it, make sure you put it on the resume. Because one piece of advice here in the special skills is to be honest about your ability, because with any skill, do not list it. If it is not a skill you can do a skill becomes a skill after hours of training and practice. So think about it before you list it. There is nothing worse than saying that you are proficient at the American accent for example, and then you get a 10 page audition and you embarrass yourself because you clearly are not at the level you said you're at on your resume. These skills should be at the level to where you feel confident that if you are given that role or audition today, you would be ready to go. Next, tell us where you trained. So start with the big places first. For example, if you got a BFA or MFA at a university list that first then any major acting schools you trained at, for example, was it Stella Adler, or Anthony Mindell or Howard fine lists that out to then any special skill training like improv, we want to know where you train. So for example, if it was improv, did you train at the Groundlings? Did you train at second city? Now with this and any training you list? Let us know how far you trained, especially with something like improv, did you just do a level one class? Or did you complete all the levels and perform on the main stage, there's a big difference there. And we need to know what training you've actually had. And this makes a massive difference for the casting director, for example, because they may need to find someone who is a master improv or for this role, but if you only take in one class, but you make it look on the resume, like you've performed on the main stage, well, it's not gonna really serve you so well for this casting director is it so don't make it any harder or frustrating for the agent or the manager or the casting director, just be honest and upfront with the level of training you have had in any of these areas of education and training. And then finally, if you've won any awards, you're gonna want to spotlight those awards on your resume. I mean, of course, you know, you think about it, if you won an Oscar, you're going to spotlight that, but don't forget about those other awards too. So for example, in Chicago, we've got the Jeff awards, the theater awards, you know, if that's all you've won, be proud of that list that because we want to see those awards. So it doesn't have to be an Oscar, you know, you can put other awards and accomplishments on there too. And last thing I want to mention with the formatting of your resume is follow the guidelines. If you post somewhere and they've got a particular format that they want you to break things down on the resume, do that follow the guidelines that they give you or if your agent wants things to look a certain way, do it for them make their lives easier. And just remember, always, you know, if you don't have any guidelines to follow, just keep it clean and simple. We don't need Eat a lot of fancy designs and colors just make it easy for us to read. And if you want to add your picture on the resume, I would just recommend keeping it small, big enough for our eye to see for our eye to catch, but small enough so that it doesn't distract from what we're really there to look at, which is the words on the page your resume. All right, there you have it. Those are my top tips on how to really stand out with your resume. I hope you enjoyed this episode. And if you did, let me know send me a DM on Instagram at Katherine underscore back underscore and let me know you love this episode or take a screenshot of the show share it on Instagram stories and tag me in it. Thanks so much for listening. And remember if you have not yet grabbed my free American accent guide that will break down my step by step process to getting you to sounding all American. It is yours just head over to Katherine slash accent. And coming up next week on the show. We are talking about genres understanding the genre you are auditioning for. So you can now that audition and booked that role. Now make sure to share the show with all your actor friends, let them know what's coming up next week and invite them to tune in with you and learn how to become an all American Actor. So you can be the working actor you dream to be until then go practice your American accent and I'll see you back here next time.