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What are the Most Important Things to Have on Your Resume?

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Your resume is essentially your ticket to landing gigs.  It has to be on point for clients to take notice.  Remember, there are lots of other talented people applying for the same opportunity.  So, what are the most important pieces?

The header. Your header should list your full name and up-to-date contact information.  The header text should be larger than the body of the resume and bolded so it’s visible and clear to the client how to get in touch with you.

An objective. The client will want to know what your intentions are.  This is one line of your resume that may have to be tweaked for each new gig depending on what you’re applying for.  You may get away with something that states, “To successfully land a lead role in a dramatic comedy that will further my acting career,” even this is genre-specific.  Adjusting your objective slightly for every gig in which you take interest will show a CD that you are serious about participating in the project you are submitting for.  It comes across as more personal and meaningful.  Make sure to put your objective up top, right after the header.

Gigs. Always list your most recent opportunity first and anything else you’ve been involved in should be in descending chronological order.  If you are just getting started, it’s still important to have a resume handy.  So, even though there might be a bit more whitespace than you’ll have when you can add in a few more credits, be prepared to hand one over.  Everyone has to start somewhere – even the client was in your position once upon a time.  You have to know how to sell yourself in person, too.  

Dates. Just because you know you’ve listed the gigs in chronological order with the most recent first doesn’t mean the client will understand the order.  Make sure you include dates for all of the positions.  While you may have more transitions than a typical job resume, know that this is largely irrelevant in entertainment.  The client just wants to understand when one project ended, and another began.

Clean formatting. Don’t haphazardly list out everything you want to include without considering your resume’s format.  You want to make sure it’s easy to read and a client doesn’t have to make any assumptions.  Strike a balance between allowing certain parts to stand out with a different font and streamlining the content.

Your resume can really make or break your career.  So, take the time to refine it and consider having someone proofread what you’ve listed before you submit.  Having a stand-out resume will allow you to stand out!

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