1. Highlight your most impressive credits.

Enhance those credits that make you salable, says Paul Doherty, partner and head of the Los Angeles division of Cunningham-Escott-Slevin-Doherty (CESD) Talent Agency. Credits should be listed in order of importance, not chronologically, he continues. Small roles in high-end projects-TV series, reputable theater companies-are far more significant than leading roles in summer stock. Still, if you only have a few lesser-known regional credits, lead off with projects helmed by a name director and/or in which you had an important role.

Tim Weissman, a theatrical agent with CESD, points to a stylistic difference between New York and L.A. résumés. “New York City résumés always list the character’s name,” he says. “In L.A. we never do, unless it’s a major or iconic role. It’s always lead/supporting/guest star/co-star, etc., etc.”

Student films are also worth mentioning by the actor with few professional credits, but again list them in order of consequence, starting with those directed by students from prestigious graduate programs. Also, remember to note those student films in which you’ve had a leading role.

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