Anna Keizer
November 30, 2021

How to Improve Your Film Production Resume

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While having connections is usually the best and most common way to secure a job and climb the industry ladder, a well-constructed film production resume still goes a long way.

More and more companies are looking to production-specific job boards when they need to fill a spot fast. If their immediate circle is out of options, impressing them with a polished resume is a great way to stand out. Additionally, most producers at least want to see what else you’ve worked on, even if you do get recommended by someone else. Following up with your experience is standard and should be considerably prepped. 

Whether you’re a college graduate, a film veteran pivoting towards another sector of the industry, or someone in-between, we’re here to provide actionable tips on how to make and improve a resume that will stand out from the dozens or even hundreds of others waiting to be read.

So let’s get started!

Download our film production resume template

Film Production Resume - Download - Wrapbook

Whether you're trying to get a job in the TV, film, or commercial industry, keeping your resume up to date matters. Referrals or not, when someone wants to know more about you, having a one sheet is a quick way to solidify the offer.

First, what is a film production resume & why do you need one? 

A film production resume, just like any other resume in any other industry, is your chance to prove in just seconds that you’re the right fit for the job in question. 

Wait, seconds? Sadly, yes. 

Studies show that the average recruiter—or whoever is making the initial hiring decisions—looks at a resume for just six seconds. (And I bet a producer looks at even less! Just kidding).  But that’s why what’s on yours has to count.

Avoid listing your responsibilities outlined via bullet points. 

The kind of projects (and even numbers of projects) you’ve worked on typically carries more weight with a hiring manager than detailed descriptions of what you did. It shows the producer you have the experience needed to competently do the job and that you understand the expectations (at least to some degree). 

Real life example: production assistant resumes

Let’s say you’re creating a film production assistant resume. When listing prior PA gigs, you don’t have to include duties such as picking up lunch, running out to get last-minute supplies and cleaning up after the shoot is over. Those are widely expected aspects of the job, and the producer or hiring manager knows that. So if you have previous PA experience, that in itself speaks more about you being qualified for the job than the details you provide about that experience.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t list your skill sets, though! On the contrary, as you learn how to make a resume for film production, it’s important to know that certain skill sets can tip the hiring scales in your favor.

Avoid listing these skills

Keep in mind, though, that the type of skills you include matters. For instance, putting down soft skills such as adaptable, creative, resourceful or problem-solver—used time and again on traditional resumes—probably won’t get you far on a film production resume.

The soft skills that sound so good on a normal resume are just taken for granted in the film industry… Adaptable? Creative? Resourceful? You must be all those things to pull off being a competent PA. And problem-solver? That’s 95% of the job! 

Keep in mind that as competitive as any field might be, the film industry is even more so. 

Skills to include

Now, if you have hard IT skills or experience with lighting equipment, those are assets important to bring up as they can rely on you for extra assistance if needed, and very well might select you because of it. Again, it doesn't mean soft skills aren't necessary, they absolutely are, but that should come across in the way you work once you get to set. 

Hard skill sets can be even more important for actors. A master of European accents? Have a black belt in martial arts? List these capabilities, as they might make the difference in you getting passed up or booking a gig.

Bottom-line: No matter the focus of your film production resume—whether for a PA role, an actor role, or otherwise—list only skills that are specific and valuable.

What goes on a film production resume?

While your resume will vary based on what position you currently hold and are applying for, there are a few general rules to follow.

1. Length:

Keep it to a single page. Remember, six seconds.

2. Format: 

Always submit your film production resume as a PDF to retain the intended layout…unless you’re an actor! A PDF is still the way to go if you’re emailing someone your resume, but often this particular type of resume is printed out because it’s stapled to the back of the actor’s headshot. For this reason, keep hard copies no bigger than 8x10 inches.

3. Contact information: 

Include your name, job role, phone number, email address, and website (if applicable). If you have representation, such as an agent or manager, you can provide their contact info in lieu of your own. For actors, directors, producers and production coordinators, also list your union status if applicable.

4. Personal bio and/or summary:

We can’t stress this enough—keep it brief! This is not the time to go on at length on a resume that you hope to one day direct an Oscar-winning film. Instead, include information that can help you get noticed. For example, if you’re submitting a film production assistant resume or even a film production internship resume for a horror production, you can mention how much you love the genre.

5. Credits: 

The film credits that go on a TV or film production resume should always start with the most recent production.  For each credit, first list the project name, then the type of production—short film, web series, etc.—and then your role in it. 

A good rule of thumb: Include only credits that are applicable to the job in question. And for actors, don’t forget to group your credits according to medium: film/TV, commercials/industrials, Broadway, national tours, regional theater and academic theater.

6. Education:

If you don’t go to law school, you can’t be a lawyer. In contrast, Quentin Tarantino dropped out of high school and is now an award-winning screenwriter, director, and producer. You don’t necessarily need a formal education to succeed in the entertainment industry, but if you have it and it’s relevant to film, TV or a comparable medium, include it on your film production resume.

How can you improve your film production resume?

A mantra to remember as you create a film resume: make it as easy as possible to be hired.

What the heck does that mean? 

Well...

 1. Keep it simple 

A persistent resume urban legend is that you need to use an unusual font or even text color to grab the attention of a recruiter or whoever else might be reviewing your film production resume. Not so much. There’s a reason why fonts such as Calibri, Arial, and Helvetica are commonly used on TV and film production resumes—they’re easy to read! 

2. Make it relevant 

A director’s resume is different from a film production assistant's resume is different from an acting resume. It’s possible that you might be looking for gigs in all three areas of the industry—after all, Hollywood is a town of hustlers—but you certainly can’t use the same film production resume for all three pursuits. That’s why this point cannot be overstated: each piece of information on your resume should prove to the hiring person that you have the necessary experience for the job.

3. Include skills

As we’ve mentioned, if you have skill sets that can make you a bigger asset to the production team, include them on your film production resume. However, do not exaggerate those skills. You may never have to use a Romanian accent for an acting role, but if you list a proficiency for that particular accent, be prepared to bring it out on demand. If you can’t do a particular skill instantly, keep it off your resume.

4. Add accolades

A film production manager resume or film production coordinator resume typically are reserved for individuals who do just that—manage or coordinate aspects of the project. As such, they don’t often include creative accolades. But for actors, directors, producers, and other creatives whose projects have been acknowledged through film festivals or other award-giving organizations, make sure to note those accolades, as they speak to your talent and contribution on those projects.

5. Get creative if you have no experience

Probably one of the biggest headaches for emerging filmmakers is a lack of experience to put on a film production resume. This often is the case with new college grads. But if you’re short on credits or don’t have any credits at all, think outside the proverbial box. Odds are you worked on a student film or two, maybe participated in a 48-hour film contest—include those things. Still have a lot of white on that document? Talk to your friends in the industry. Most people are happy to have another PA on hand, and even a few days of work can beef up a resume.

6. Have references ready

Remember those connections? Now’s the time to use them. Word of mouth goes a long way in this industry, so make sure your references are solid. Contact them before you need them to get their permission as a reference, and when you’re up for a gig, make sure to let them know that they may be contacted. Oh, and have current contact information for them!

Note on internship resumes

Everyone has to start somewhere and there’s no shame in reaching out for internship opportunities to gain experience. 

And unlike many of the film production resumes we’ve discussed, a film production internship resume is the one type of resume where the rules are relaxed a bit. The person looking at it understands that the applicant likely has no experience. That’s the goal of getting the internship after all!  

So when putting together a film production internship resume, it’s okay to include some of those soft skills or even work experience that is outside the industry if those skills and experience are transferable to the opportunity at hand.

Different kinds of film resumes & their unique considerations

Film production resume is often used as a catchall term, but make no mistake, your resume should be tailored to your particular aspiration or existing job in the entertainment industry.

The number of individuals who contribute to the making of a commercial, music video, or any other project can range from single digits to the thousands, and many of them have a different role on that project. For the purposes of this article, we unfortunately cannot detail them all. 

However, if your interest in entertainment pertains more to development, post-production, or another facet of production that we don’t cover here, we encourage you to seek out a film production resume sample, as there are many online. In fact, just by Googling your title plus film production resume sample, you’re bound to have multiple examples pop up.

For acting, producing, directing and other crew resumes, we want to highlight a few final differences among them to keep in mind.

  • Acting resume: Another tip on how to list production credits on a resume---make sure to include each project’s director and production company. Why? Basically, so that the casting director can better identify the type of production. If you list only that you played Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, you’re not giving any context. By adding the director and producing organization, the casting director can more accurately assess the quality of the production.
  • Producing resume: The title producer is nearly as much a catchall term as film production resume. That’s why specificity can go a long way. To make sure that the recruiter knows exactly what you’re qualified to do, include your exact title, such as line producer, supervising producer or even executive producer. Though most producers get their work from referrals, networking, and reps, it’s still good to keep your credits updated.
  • Directing resume: As mentioned, it takes many individuals to make a movie. That being said, a production is often thought of as the outcome of the director’s vision. For the purposes of a film production resume, if possible, a director-for-hire may want to tweak their credits—while keeping them accurate—to reflect experience with a particular genre when going up for that type of story.
  • Other crew resume: For film production assistant resumes, film production coordinator resumes, film production manager resumes or similar, remember that more can be more. Though perhaps not as glamorous as an actor or director, these roles are vital for a smooth-running production. Gain as much experience as you can, as it will make the individuals in charge of the production more inclined to hire you because of it.
  • Internship resume: Again, you know and the recruiter knows that you’re just starting out. So for a film production internship resume, include your contact information, education, applicable skills—soft or not—and any experience—film-related or not—that could point towards your proficiency for the internship in question.

Where can you find film production resume templates? 

If you’re still fuzzy on how to make a resume for film production, Wrapbook has you covered!  If you haven’t already, download our resume template here. 

If you’re just starting out professionally, look at other strong resume samples to gain invaluable insights into how to craft your own. Ask someone you know for their resume. 

Reach out to another actor, director, production coordinator, or PA to see if you’re on the right track. It’s also a great excuse to  catch up and chat about what works and what doesn’t on your respective resumes. Who knows, maybe they’re about to start a job and need extra hands.  

Plus, they might be able to provide additional samples from their contacts.

Wrapping Up

Whether you have a ton of connections or zero, keep an updated resume ready to go. You never know when you might need it. Publish it to LinkedIn, Production Hub, save it to your desktop, or even keep a printed copy on your desk. 

If you haven’t already, download our film production resume template to get started.

Disclaimer

At Wrapbook, we're all about providing the very best free resources to producers and their crews. However, this post is not a substitute for professional legal advice. Answers do not create a company-client relationship, nor is it a solicitation to offer legal advice. Seek the advice of a licensed attorney in the appropriate jurisdiction before taking any action that may affect your decisions or rights.

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About the Author

Anna Keizer

Anna Keizer originally hails from the Chicagoland area. After receiving her B.A. in Film/Video from Columbia College Chicago, she moved to California and finished her M.A. in Film Studies from Chapman University. She has also graduated from UCLA’s Writing for Television Professional Program and is currently in post-production on the short She Had It Coming, which she wrote and is executive producing.

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