As an actor, you’re all about portraying others. Getting a good acting CV together is something else:
It’s all about portraying yourself, as an actor.
Feel like you’ve stepped into the film Synecdoche, New York yet? Or maybe you haven’t given it too much thought—
Maybe you’re not convinced you need an acting CV. Got an agent? Fending off opportunities with a pointy stick? Then you do need an acting CV.
This guide will show you:
- An acting CV example better than 9 out of 10 of those out there.
- How to write an acting CV that will land you more auditions.
- Tips and examples of how to put special skills and acting credits on an acting CV.
- How to describe yourself on an actor's CV to get a shot at any role you want.
Want to save time and have your CV ready in 5 minutes? Try our CV builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ CV templates and create your CV here.
Sample CV made with our builder—See more CV examples and create your CV here.
Looking to branch out into other creative fields? See some of our other guides and CV examples:
- Model CV Example
- Artist CV Example
- Makeup Artist CV Example
- Fashion CV Example
- Copywriter CV Example
- Video Editor CV Example
- Career Change CV Example
- Personal Trainer CV Example
- Student CV Example
- Best CV Examples for Various Professions
Acting CV Template
0 798 393 8076
Disciplined, university-educated actor with 5+ years’ experience in television and theatre. Seeking to play Rowena in ZOMBPOCALYPSE IV. Critically acclaimed in series including GRAVEL and SUMMER HEIGHTS COLLEGE. Special skills include hand-to-hand combat and various British and foreign accents.
GRAVEL - Co-Star - CBC - 2022 (Dir. Jack Reesyder)
GOAT TRAIL - Supporting - AMC - 2021 (Dir. Jennifer Plateau)
SUMMER HEIGHTS COLLEGE - Lead - BBC - 2021 (Dir. Timothy Redkay)
MACBETH - Lady Macbeth - Norwich Theatre Royal - 2018–2020 (Dir. John Foggerty)
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW - Katherina - Royal Shakespeare Company - 2017 (Dir. Sue Shaw)
TO THE LIGHTHOUSE - Mrs Ramsay - Hawken Smith Theatre - 2016 (Dir. Judith Seaboyer)
BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen
Staffordshire University, Staffordshire
- Excelled in Acting for Recorded Media and Play Production coursework.
- Co-president of Drama Queens student club.
- Won People’s Choice Award for final-year performance in the short film “The Sierra Incident”.
- Hand-to-hand combat
- Fluency in Scots language
- British and foreign accents
- Dance (ballroom, contemporary, hip-hop)
- Musical performance (singing and accompaniment)
- Voiceless Acting, Truman Academy, 2020
- Martial Arts for Film and Television, WH Macey Studio, 2018
- Theatrical Diction, Herbet G. Smythe, 2018
- English—native speaker
- Scots—native speaker
Now here’s how to write a winning acting CV, step by step:
1. Stage your acting CV template properly
You wouldn’t send in a pixelated video audition with scratchy, muffled audio. You wouldn’t use a weird format that no one knows how to open. So make sure your actor CV is the equivalent of a 4K, Hi-Fi sample video that plays on anything.
Your acting CV should be a single page long. It should feature your head shot, but not all tiny and cramped up in the corner. Print your headshot on the back of your CV. If you have professionally printed copies of your head shot on hand, staple or tape one to the back of your CV instead.
Coming back to the front of your acting CV, use 1.15 line spacing and leave the margins at the default 2.5 cm on all sides. Choose a good font for your resume—Calibri or Arial are always good picks. Leave the font size at 11 or 12 pt. Except for the subheadings.
Make section headings and other subheadings stand out by using a larger font size. Use plenty of white space to make them pop even more and to clearly separate your CV sections.
Here’s what to include in an acting CV: a header with your and your agent’s contact details, a CV summary or objective, your acting credits, education, and special skills. Add one or two “extra” sections. Use reverse-chronological order throughout each section.
Submitting your acting CV electronically? Send it in PDF, with your headshot on the second page. If you’re responding to a call-out or advert, check the application instructions for a preferred file format.
When a role is advertised, casting directors are often inundated with applications. They sometimes use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) to deal with the inrush. ATSs can be fussy about file formats, so always go with whatever is required, defaulting to PDF.
It’s time to get started, but don’t grab the first cab off the rank—that’s a recipe for writer’s block.
Instead, start with the easiest and most important part: your acting credits.
2. Begin with an acting CV credits section
Divide your acting credits into sections. Theatre, film and television, voice acting, musical theatre, and so on—group your credits into categories with similar skill sets.
For each credit, put the title in all caps, your role, the studio or company, the year, and the director. Present this information in a simple grid pattern. Your goal is to make it as clear and easy to read (and skim) through as possible.
Don’t include every single thing you’ve ever done. Choose the most recent, most impressive and, above all, most relevant credits. This is called tailoring your CV—what’s most impressive and most relevant will vary role-by-role. For instance, if you’re applying for a part in a theatre production of Romeo and Juliet, your previous experience with Shakespeare adaptations will be more relevant than a part in a soap opera.
Organise each subsection in reverse-chronological order, listing credits from most recent to least.
These acting CV examples show how:
Acting CV Examples: Acting Credits
GRAVEL - Co-Star - CBC - 2022 (Dir. Jack Reesyder)
2017 – 2018
The second acting CV example above treats acting like any other job, listing CV work experience like you would if you were in standard employment—and in that way it misses the mark. There’s nothing else quite like being an actor, and an actor CV has to reflect this.
Writing an acting CV with no experience? Include roles you played as part of your education or any workshops you’ve done. List your teacher or instructor as the director.
When making a CV in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional CV template here for free.
When you’re done, Zety’s CV builder will score your CV and tell you exactly how to make it better.
3. Cue Your Education (It Matters More Than You Think!)
There’s no question that your acting ability matters way more than your education. The thing is: you can’t get your acting chops down on the page.
A good education section will give casting directors an idea of what you can do beyond the things you’ve already done. Organise your education section in reverse-chronological order, from your most recent qualification to the earliest one.
Create a subheading for each qualification by using the award name, the issuing institution, and your graduation date. Still studying? Include an expected graduation date. Don’t mention secondary school if you have a university degree or similar and a year or more of experience.
Writing an acting CV with no experience? Add bullet points that list relevant coursework, extracurricular activities, awards, and achievements.
Actor CV Example: Education Section
BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen
Staffordshire University, Staffordshire
Read more: How to Put Education on Your CV
4. List Your Special Skills in Your Actor CV
Your acting skills come through in your acting credits. At least as far as your acting CV goes. The audition is, of course, where they’ll truly be on display.
Instead of listing skills narrowly related to the craft of acting, list the special skills that give you that extra something for the given role.
This is another example of tailoring your acting CV—for every role you go after, choose 5–10 special acting skills that suit that role. These are the kinds of special skills you could choose from:
Special Skills for an Acting CV
- Dance skills
- Music skills
- Vocal skills
- Languages other than English
- Martial arts
- Fitness levels
- Sporting skills
- Weapons training
- Horseback riding
- Rock climbing
- Musical instruments
Tailoring your actor CV like this will be a breeze if you create a master list of special skills first. Brainstorm as many as you can, save the file somewhere you won’t lose it, and add to and update it over time.
Then all you need to do is copy and paste from your master list. This is an example of special skills in an acting CV for a Scottish zombie apocalypse musical:
Acting CV Example: Special Skills
Pro tip: If you mention singing as a special skill on your acting CV, remember that you can include information on your vocal range. It’ll make your CV look even more professional.
5. Steal the Limelight: Add “Extra” Sections to Your Acting CV
The thing about using a winning acting CV template is that you won’t be the only one who knows about it. The problem? Your acting credits and education are likely to be broadly similar to other candidates’.
Even carefully chosen special skills won’t reliably set you apart from the best candidates. You’re all applying for the same role, it’s not crazy to think there will be overlap in the special skills you choose to include.
Here’s what you can do to make your actor CV stand out: add extra sections, ones that play to your strengths.
Focus first and foremost on awards, training, and references.
Some of your special skills might benefit from being put into their own extra section. Do you speak more than one foreign language? Will those language skills be important in this role? Create an extra section for languages.
Aim to add up to three extra sections to your acting CV.
Acting CV Example: Extra Sections
6. Condense the Best Bits Into an Acting CV Objective or Summary
You’ve done all the heavy lifting at this point. Now it’s time to pick out some of the best bits and put together a trailer of sorts. Like a trailer, your acting CV summary statement or objective will give casting directors a quick sense of what you’re about and, if you do it right, whet their appetite.
Write an actor CV summary if you have some experience, enough to list at least two relevant and impressive acting credits. These acting CV examples will point you in the right direction:
Acting CV Examples: CV Summary
|Disciplined, university-educated actor with 5+ years’ experience in television and the theatre. Seeking to play Rowena in ZOMBPOCALYPSE IV. Critically acclaimed in series like GRAVEL and SUMMER HEIGHTS COLLEGE. Special skills include hand-to-hand combat and various British and foreign accents.|
|Actor with both screen and theatrical experience. Seeking great roles to grow as an actor while gaining much-needed exposure. Prefer film, will do television if the script looks good.|
Write an objective for your actor CV if you’re just starting out and don’t have many credits to your name yet. Again, these acting CV examples will give you an idea of what you’re going for:
Acting CV Example: CV Objective
|Disciplined, university-educated actor with a wide range of special skills. Seeking to play Rowena in ZOMBPOCALYPSE IV. Won People’s Choice Award for final-year performance in the short film “The Sierra Incident”. Special skills include martial arts and various British and foreign accents.|
|Aspiring actor, university-educated. No real-world experience yet, but ready for that big break. Looking for roles that play to my strengths while providing enough of a challenge to promote development.|
How to Write Your CV Summary or Objective: Actor’s CV Template
Sometimes the best results come from following a simple formula. Need to portray intense emotional distress? You could re-traumatise yourself with childhood memories. Or, just jog on the spot before your scene.
Here’s the formula for both an acting CV summary and objective. For the objective, use “credits” from your studies or training and put greater focus on attributes, special skills, and training.
Adjective(s) + Job Title (actor, voice actor, etc.) + Years of Experience + Credits & Accolades + Special Skills + Target Role
Read more: How to Write a Strong CV Introduction
7. Write an Acting Cover Letter
You’ve got a great acting CV. Send it in without a cover letter, though, and it may never get read.
You don’t just hand someone a random document and walk away. You say something like “here’s the form I was talking about” or “this is that profile you asked for”. That’s what a cover letter is for. More than that, like a trailer or poster, it makes people want to read your acting CV.
Make your acting cover letter short—just a single page with plenty of white space. Use it to highlight your most relevant acting credits, special skills, and accolades.
Plus, a great cover letter that matches your CV will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:
Here’s how to write an acting CV, step by step:
- Curate your acting credits, listing the best ones in reverse-chronological order.
- Summarise your education, highlighting any achievements and accolades.
- List your special skills, choosing them to match the role you’re going for.
- Add extra sections to your actor CV, including your training and anything else that sets you apart.
- Compile the best, most relevant bits from all of the above to write your acting CV summary or objective.
That’s all there is to it! Now we’d love to hear from you:
- What kinds of roles do you need an actor CV for?
- What was the most challenging part of writing an acting CV for you?
Let us know down below. We and your fellow readers are waiting!