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Résumés: Prepare for Success

May 24, 2017

Giving your aspiring child actor every advantage starts with the materials necessary for each encounter with a prospective manager, agent, or casting director. When your child’s résumé and headshot are well done, you’ve taken the first step towards a favorable and lasting impression.  

Here are a few tips to help guide you.

Résumé Tips:
  1. Keep your child’s résumé to one page.  Keep from going on to two pages by selecting the very best items from your list of work experiences.  As the list grows, you can lose the less significant credits.  A lengthy list overwhelms the reader.
  2. Avoid tags like “SAG Eligible”. All that does is highlight that you are not yet a SAG member.
  3. Use the 3-Column method to list credits and training (see right). Columns are much easier to read than paragraphs.
  4. Keep the listing of ‘Special Skills’ brief, just a couple of lines. Include foreign languages, unusual skills, and any musical instruments your child plays. Don’t add things like “likes to Travel” or “enjoys watching movies” under special skills. Stick to physical activities that your child excels in (eg. Piano, Karate, Horseback Riding, Archery, etc.) and BE HONEST; you never know when a casting director might want your child to show one of their skills.
  5. For infants and toddlers, list simple skills (i.e. blows kisses, waves, smiles or giggles on cue) and personal traits (i.e. playful, energetic, curious)
  6. To protect your child’s privacy, use only your cell phone number or a PO Box for your contact information.  Don’t forget to include your Talent Agent and/or Managers info if you have representation.

Experience:

Don’t worry, if your child has never worked, there is still plenty you can include under experience on their resume.  Start by listing all of the performing experience you can think of. Include any legitimate paid and non-paid roles.  This can be school plays, church events and community productions. This signals to the reader that you’ve gotten a taste of the performing arts and working on-set.

Rules for the 3-Column Method:

Your training and experience should be listed in three columns and work experience should be categorized by type (see right).

Remember, when you are updating your training to ALWAYS include the instructor’s name, not just the school. The casting director, agent or manager may know your instructor or have worked with kids who used the same instructor.  That alone can get your foot in the door.

When you are adding ‘skills’ to your child’s resume make sure your child can perform those skills.  For example, if you add horseback riding to your child’s skills they should be able to ride a horse alone and confidently.   Don’t add something you are not confident your child is reasonably good at.

Your resume and head shot are often your first impression.  Make your child as interesting on paper as they are in person, all the while making your resume professional, complete and truthful. 



 
 
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