Best Ways to put together a Resume & Portfolio
By Gunner Glam
Looking for a new job? Studio Brow would like to share a few pointers on how you can get that resume and portfolio from howdesign.com:
What is a portfolio?
Simply stated, a portfolio is a visual representation of your résumé. A portfolio highlights your skills and abilities, and it documents your academic, employment, and extracurricular achievements.
Until recently, portfolios were primarily used only in creative professions and sectors. However now they are now being used across all industries and can be used as a strong persuasive tool in the interview process.
Rather than simply telling an employer about your skills, you can visually demonstrate evidence to them providing a ‘snapshot’ of your achievements to date, the type of work you’ve done and hence the type of employee you will be.
It is important to make your portfolio visually appealing, well organised, concise and easy to read, while making it tailored to a specific role or position.
It might even be a good idea to get going on your portfolio when you start your degree. That way you can easily keep track of what you have achieved. It can also help you focus on your goals and how to attain them.
What to include in a portfolio
There are a variety of suitable items that may be included in your portfolio. However the contents should be relevant to your industry and role.
Example portfolio items include:
• degree transcript
• dissertation if relevant for position/ function
• written references (academic or job-based)
• examples of work (academic or job-based)
It’s also a good idea to have an electronic version. That way, you can send it to prospective employers via email to review at their leisure.
How to Put a Resume together:
- Gather information about past employers and your education. Get names, dates and addresses for the jobs you have had. Contact previous employers or teachers about listing them as references if your prospective employer requests a list.
- Decide on the style of resume to put together.
- Choose from chronological or functional, or one that combines both styles. Look at sample resumes to help you decide the best format for the job you are seeking.
- Enter your educational history. Include relevant information about graduation dates, areas of study and degrees received.
- Add your career information. Check with the hiring company to see what kind of history it requires. Enter career history that covers the past five to 10 years. Include relevant job details and tasks.
- Add a separate area to list skills. List anything that falls outside of your normal job responsibilities as well as awards or special training that you have received.
Just like any other job, your resume should reflect your talents and highlight your skills. When putting together your acting resume, only include truthful information. While the industry is big, it isn’t that big. People talk and network, so there’s a very good chance that someone with whom you have an audition knows someone who knows someone who knows all of your previous work. No one expects a young actor to have a stellar resume. In the end, it is your audition that will land you that job. A small, credible resume is much more effective than a large one padded with lies. It’s better to earn your credits the hard way. In the end it will pay off.
THE RESUME RULES
- Want to land an acting job? Follow these basic resume rules:
- Your resume should never be more than one page long.
- Never make the font on your resume smaller than 10pt. It is difficult to read in any situation, whether it’s in a well-lit office or a darkened theater.
- Staple and trim your resume to fit the headshot, or even better, print it directly to the back of your headshot.
- Don’t staple clippings or reviews to your resume; they will just get in the way.
- You should have an email address created specifically for your acting resume. It should be your first and last name, whenever possible (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org)
THE HEADSHOT AND RESUME COMBINATION
Since you’ll be handing your resume over with your headshot – the two are rarely, if ever, separated – you need to have the resume attached to the back of your photo. Many photo printing companies offer the service of printing your resume directly to the back of your photo. If this option is in your budget, take it; it is the preferred method of casting directors. If not, neatly glue your resume to your photo. If gluing is too messy, staple your resume to the back of the photo. Be sure to staple each corner to the photo. Never use paper clips, as they snag on other photos and resumes in a casting director’s pile. The last thing you want is for your photo and resume to be separated; one without the other is useless!
TYPES OF HEADSHOTS
There are two basic types of headshots: commercial and theatrical.
Commercial: These should be attractive, warm, and open. Always smile for these shots, with teeth showing, if possible. (You never know if you’re going to be up for a toothpaste ad.)
Theatrical: These can be more “natural,” and should try to represent your characteristics as a person.
The format for headshots varies throughout the country –- from close-ups to 3/4 shots, from bordered to borderless. Make sure you use the preferred format for your area of application. It’s not a bad idea to have one of each taken so that you can submit to all types of jobs.
The general rule is that television and commercial work receives the commercial shot, theater and film receive the theatrical shot. If you’re in a showcase, you can present either, depending on the industry professionals who may be present at the event.
YOU AND YOUR HEADSHOT
Casting directors use headshots to get a feel for an actor’s type. The headshot should embrace your best qualities. Don’t dress or use make-up that covers your true nature; let the shot be true to you. And by all means, get new headshots if your look changes drastically and/or after a few years have passed. Misrepresenting yourself will only lead to trouble later in auditions. Remember, headshots aren’t glamour shots. The look should be natural, open, and compelling. Many times, you will be judged by your headshot even before you are called in to have an audition. Let your photo speak for you and your abilities by being professional yet accessible.
1. Have you checked your spelling and grammar? Check it again. And again. And, that’s right, one more time.
2. Have you asked anyone else to check it? Get two people to look it over.
3. Have you checked with your referees that they’re happy to be contacted and give information about you? Check their favoured method of contact.
4. Is the information clear, concise and relevant? Get rid of any jargon or waffle.
5. Does your covering letter refer to your skills and past experiences in relation to the career opportunity being advertised?
6. Does your CV match the competencies required for the role?
7. Have you been 100% truthful, with no embellishments, fake achievements or invented experiences? Lies will be discovered.
If you’ve got seven yeses, you’re ready.
-More coming soon from Studio Brow-