How to write a good acting CV

There are many types of acting CV's but the key is to ensure it is concise and gets across the pertinent points. The top of the CV should clearly lay out your stage name, playing age range, skills, contact details, links to website, drama school and a headshot. The next section should contain your work credits. This can be in tabular format with the following headings:

- Date - to and from
- Production - name of the film, show etc
- Type i.e. feature film, presenting, theatre, advert etc.
- Character - name or role
- Director
- Other details - such as website, links. If permitted, it is useful to have a general contact for the director or production company so that prospective casting directors can easily contact them for a reference.

The next section of the CV should list all training with dates. If you have room (without making to CV too long), you could also list the objectives next to each training. The CV should not be longer than this as the intention is to give a quick and detailed overview of your credits, training and skills. However, an acting CV should look professional and eye catching. Therefore, consider the use of colour (i.e. with the table of credits) but keep it simple and not too much colour. An example is a deep colour with an outline shade with light shaded colouring for the rows. The CV should be between 1 to 3 pages long. Use Arial font to a minimum of size 11 although 12 is better. Your name (at the top) should be about size 18 to 24.

In terms of credits, you should avoid listing Supporting Artiste (extra) work. If you are new to the industry, then listing a few Supporting Artiste is fine. Similarly, the same applies to listing armature dramatics or semi professional. As you start to do more professional work (i.e. paid or/and high profile work), then you can supplement this in place of any low key work on your CV.

In terms of headshots, you may want to have one main headshot and (if you like) a number of smaller whole body or other headshots at the side. Again, be careful not to make the CV look complicated. You may decide to have no headshots on the CV as when sending out CV's, headshots would be supplied separately. One thing to be aware of is that when you include a headshot in the CV, this may push the file size up to the extent that some email accounts won't accept it. But having a low megapixel photo on your CV doesn't do much good either. So you need to find the balance. The best Microsoft package for building a CV is MS Word.