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5 Background Actor Resume Examples...

5 Background Actor Resume Examples & Guide for 2024

Your background actor resume needs to showcase your experience and professionalism. Highlight any set protocols you're familiar with to demonstrate your understanding of on-set etiquette. Mention specific projects or types of productions you've been a part of, whether they're commercials, TV shows, or films. This gives casting directors a quick snapshot of your versatility and adaptability in various filming environments.

All resume examples in this guide

As a background actor, one of your resume challenges is effectively conveying the breadth of your experience without specific character names or lead roles to highlight. Our guide can assist by providing tailored strategies to showcase your on-set versatility and reliability in ways that will catch a casting director's eye.

Perfect your next application for the background actor role with our quick guide on how to:
  • Format your background actor resume to ensure that it balances professionalism with creativity, and follows the best practices.
  • Match the background actor job requirements by including industry keywords on your resume.
  • Use various resume sections to showcase your skills and achievements to answer why you're the best candidate for the background actor role.

Take inspiration from leading background actor resume examples to learn how to tailor your experience.

How to style your background actor resume: layout and format

When creating your background actor resume, have you ever wondered how long it should be? Experts point out that it should be between one and two pages. Choose the longer format, if you happen to have over a decade of relevant experience. What is more, resume formats play a crucial role in presenting your experience. Use the:
  • Reverse-chronological resume format to highlight your experience;
  • Functional skill-based resume format if you have less experience and want to focus on skills;
  • Hybrid resume format to guide recruiters through both your experience and skills.
Here are a few more pointers on your background actor resume layout :

  • Make sure your headline is simple and includes the job you're applying for or your current role, an abbreviation of a certificate you have, or even your professional area of interest;
  • Always tailor your background actor resume to the role you're applying for by matching job requirements to your experience via different resume sections;
  • Once you've created your resume, download it in PDF (unless otherwise specified). This is to ensure readability and that the layout remains fixed.

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List all your relevant higher education degrees within your resume in reverse chronological order (starting with the latest). There are cases when your PhD in a particular field could help you stand apart from other candidates.

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The five (plus) definite sections your resume for a background actor job should include are:

  • Header with your headline, contact details, and/or a preview of your work
  • Summary (or objective) to pinpoint how your success aligns with the role
  • Experience with bullets of your most relevant achievements in the field
  • Skills to integrate vital job requirements (both technical and personal)
  • Your further dedication to the field, showcased via relevant higher education and/or certifications
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What recruiters want to see on your resume:

  • On-set experience: Listing previous background acting gigs where you successfully followed directions and remained unobtrusive on camera.
  • Ability to blend in: Demonstrating a look or demeanor that doesn't distract from the main actors or scene but still contributes to the atmosphere.
  • Versatility in appearance: Showing a range of looks or the ability to fit into various historical periods, event types, and crowd scenes.
  • Professionalism: Mention any training or workshops attended, punctuality on set, and an understanding of on-set etiquette.
  • Special skills: Any special skills relevant to background acting such as dancing, sports, or playing a musical instrument that could be useful in certain scenes.

Writing your background actor resume experience

Within the body of your background actor resume is perhaps one of the most important sections - the resume experience one. Here are five quick tips on how to curate your background actor professional experience:

  • Include your expertise that aligns to the job requirements;
  • Always ensure that you qualify your achievements by including a skill, what you did, and the results your responsibility led to;
  • When writing each experience bullet, ensure you're using active language;
  • If you can include a personal skill you've grown, thanks to your experience, this would help you stand out;
  • Be specific about your professional experience - it's not enough that you can "communicate", but rather what's your communication track record?

Wondering how other professionals in the industry are presenting their job-winning background actor resumes? Check out how these background actor professionals put some of our best practices into action:

Work Experience
Experienced Background Performer
Central Casting
  • Participated in over 120 filming days as a background performer, blending into various scenes without drawing attention away from the lead actors.
  • Collaborated with the main cast and directors to create authentic scene settings, contributing to the show's increase in viewership by 15%.
  • Received recognition for professionalism and punctuality, resulting in being frequently requested by production staff for various high-profile projects.
Work Experience
Background Actor Specialist
Warner Bros. Entertainment Group
  • Enhanced scene realism and diversity by portraying a wide range of non-verbal supporting roles across 30+ television shows and feature films.
  • Maintained high energy levels and focus during long shooting schedules, often exceeding 12 hours, ensuring consistent performance throughout the day.
  • Contributed to a memorable cinematic experience in a blockbuster film that grossed over $300 million worldwide.
Work Experience
Supporting Background Artist
Paramount Pictures
  • Cultivated a network of industry contacts, leading to increased job opportunities and a 20% growth in personal bookings year over year.
  • Adapted quickly to various on-set environments, efficiently transitioning between roles and reducing downtime for the crew.
  • Implemented feedback from directors to fine-tune scene presence, enhancing the overall production quality.
Work Experience
Versatile Background Actor
20th Century Fox Film Corporation
  • Assumed diverse personas, from historical figures to modern-day pedestrians, adding depth to the secondary visual layer of scenes.
  • Assisted in prop management and scene setup, demonstrating versatility beyond standard background actor duties.
  • Advocated for safety and comfort of fellow background actors, leading by example and voicing collective concerns to production management.
Work Experience
Background Actor Associate
Universal Pictures
  • Contributed to the smooth running of set operations by following precise directions and quickly adapting to last-minute changes in scene requirements.
  • Performed in various weather conditions and locations, showcasing a high level of commitment and endurance.
  • Facilitated the realism of crowd scenes, which played a pivotal role in the authentic portrayal of the film's setting.
Work Experience
Background Ensemble Actor
Sony Pictures Entertainment
  • Displayed a strong ability to follow complex choreography in large group scenes, contributing to seamless and coordinated background action.
  • Experienced in working under prosthetics and makeup, maintaining character integrity during long hours of filming.
  • Promoted a positive and cooperative demeanor on set, often acknowledged by directors and primary talent.
Work Experience
Featured Background Actor
Netflix Originals
  • Worked efficiently with the wardrobe department to ensure accurate representation of period-specific costumes and helped depict realistic scenes.
  • Regularly selected for close-up shots due to an expressive demeanor and attention to nuanced direction from filmmakers.
  • Enhanced the on-screen atmosphere in over 25 episodes of a popular TV series, contributing to its critical acclaim and multiple award nominations.
Work Experience
Background Performer
  • Demonstrated a strong understanding of set etiquette, ensuring smooth operations during complex set pieces by maintaining silence and positions as instructed.
  • Participated in action sequences requiring choreographed movements, adding tension and excitement to key scenes.
  • Provided valuable feedback during production meetings to enhance the effectiveness of background action in various scenes.
Work Experience
Seasoned Background Actor
Showtime Networks
  • Mastered quick costume changes and maintained character continuity across multiple takes, thereby minimizing production delays.
  • Engaged with the principal actors when necessary, providing a dynamic backdrop to the main storyline.
  • Recognized for contributing to a record-breaking season premiere viewership, through immersive and authentic background portrayal.
Work Experience
Historical Background Actor
AMC Networks
  • Experienced in working with special effects, ensuring that interactions with non-existent CGI elements were believable and well-executed.
  • Participated in several period dramas, contributing to the visual storytelling by authentically representing historical backgrounds.
  • Actively engaged with the art department to ensure sets were accurately populated and reflected the intended era and locale.

Quantifying impact on your resume

  • Include the number of acting projects you have participated in to demonstrate experience.
  • List the variety of set sizes you've worked on, from independent films to major studio productions.
  • Specify the number of roles portrayed with specific types or genres to show range and flexibility.
  • Mention the total hours of on-set experience to underscore your industry commitment and reliability.
  • State the number of acting workshops or classes attended to highlight ongoing professional development.
  • Indicate any increases in booking rates over time to show career growth and demand.
  • Detail the number of repeat collaborations with directors or studios to emphasize trust and rapport.
  • Quantify the audience reach or box office numbers for projects you've been involved in to illustrate the scope of your work.

Action verbs for your background actor resume

Action verbs are a great addition to your background actor resume because they point recruiters to the fact that you’re willing to take the initiative and work hard to achieve your goals. Use these power words to stand out:
Read The Guide

No relevant experience - what to feature instead

Suppose you're new to the job market or considering a switch in industry or niche. In such cases, it's common to have limited standard professional experience. However, this isn't a cause for concern. You can still craft an impressive background actor resume by emphasizing other sections, showing why you're a great fit for the role:

  • Emphasize your educational background and extracurricular activities to demonstrate your industry knowledge;
  • Replace the typical experience section with internships or temporary jobs where you've gained relevant skills and expertise;
  • Highlight your unique skill set, encompassing both technological and personal abilities;
  • Showcase transferable skills acquired throughout your life and work experiences so far.
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The more time and effort you've put into obtaining the relevant certificate, the closer to the top it should be listed. This is especially important for more senior roles and if the company you're applying for is more forward-facing.

Shining a light on your background actor hard skills and soft skills

To win recruiters over, you must really have a breadth of skill set presented and supported within your background actor resume.

On hiring managers' checklists, you'd initially discover hard or technical skills. Those are the technology (and software) that help you perform on the job. Hard skills are easy to quantify via your education, certificates, and on-the-job success.

Another main criterion recruiters are always assessing your background actor resume on is soft skills. That is your ability to communicate, adapt, and grow in new environments. Soft skills are a bit harder to measure, as they are gained both thanks to your personal and professional experience.

Showcase you have the ideal skill set for the role by:

  • Dedicating both a skills box (for your technical capabilities) and an achievements or strengths section (to detail your personal skills).
  • When listing your skills, be specific about your hard skills (name the precise technology you're able to use) and soft skills (aim to always demonstrate what the outcomes were).
  • Avoid listing overused cliches in the skills section (e.g. Microsoft Office and Communication), unless they're otherwise specified as prominent for the role.
  • Select up to ten skills which should be defined via various sections in your resume skills sidebar (e.g. a technical skills box, industry expertise box with sliders, strengths section with bullets).

Spice up your resume with leading technical and people skills, that'd help you get noticed by recruiters.

Top skills for your background actor resume:

Basic Acting Techniques

Understanding of On-Set Etiquette

Ability to Follow Directions

Mime and Improvisation Skills

Physical Conditioning

Wardrobe Maintenance

Makeup and Hair Styling Basics

Knowledge of Camera Angles

Ability to Maintain Consistency in Performance

Time Management



Patience and Persistence

Attention to Detail

Flexibility and Adaptability

Teamwork and Collaboration

Reliability and Punctuality

Positive Attitude

Ability to Stay Focused

Stress Management

Respect for Authority and Coworkers

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If you failed to obtain one of the certificates, as listed in the requirements, but decide to include it on your resume, make sure to include a note somewhere that you have the "relevant training, but are planning to re-take the exams". Support this statement with the actual date you're planning to be re-examined. Always be honest on your resume.

Background Actor-specific certifications and education for your resume

Place emphasis on your resume education section . It can suggest a plethora of skills and experiences that are apt for the role.

  • Feature only higher-level qualifications, with details about the institution and tenure.
  • If your degree is in progress, state your projected graduation date.
  • Think about excluding degrees that don't fit the job's context.
  • Elaborate on your education if it accentuates your accomplishments in a research-driven setting.

On the other hand, showcasing your unique and applicable industry know-how can be a literal walk in the park, even if you don't have a lot of work experience.

Include your accreditation in the certification and education sections as so:

  • Important industry certificates should be listed towards the top of your resume in a separate section
  • If your accreditation is really noteworthy, you could include it in the top one-third of your resume following your name or in the header, summary, or objective
  • Potentially include details about your certificates or degrees (within the description) to show further alignment to the role with the skills you've attained
  • The more recent your professional certificate is, the more prominence it should have within your certification sections. This shows recruiters you have recent knowledge and expertise

At the end of the day, both the education and certification sections hint at the initial and continuous progress you've made in the field.

And, honestly - that's important for any company.

Below, discover some of the most recent and popular Background Actor certificates to make your resume even more prominent in the applicant pool:

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The top 5 certifications for your background actor resume:

  1. Standard CPR/AED/First Aid Certification (CPR/AED) – American Heart Association or American Red Cross
  2. Safe Sets COVID-19 (Level A) Certificate – Safe Sets International
  3. Firearm Safety Certificate (FSC) – Various accredited institutions depending on the state
  4. Food Handlers Card (FHC) – Various authorized food safety training providers
  5. OSHA 10-Hour General Industry Training (OSHA 10) – Occupational Safety and Health Administration
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Bold the names of educational institutions and certifying bodies for emphasis.

Your background actor resume top one third: choosing between a resume summary or an objective

The top third of your resume is crucial, as recruiters might focus only on this section rather than reading the entire document. Therefore, it's important to carefully decide whether to include a resume summary or an objective.

  • The resume summary encapsulates your most significant experiences, key achievements, and skills in the field. Ideal for candidates with substantial relevant experience, the summary previews what recruiters will find in the rest of your resume.
  • The resume objective outlines your professional aspirations. It describes your career goals for the coming years and how you envision your role evolving in the prospective company. The resume objective is suitable if you have less professional experience and wish to emphasize various soft skills such as motivation, vision, and planning.

Explore some of the best examples of resume summaries and objectives from real-life professional resumes in the industry.

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Resume summaries for a background actor job

  • With over 5 years of dedicated experience in the background acting industry, an actor skilled in a diverse range of on-set protocols, adept at scene improvisation and character embodiment. Holds a profound presence that enhances film realism, once featured prominently in an award-winning independent film.
  • Seasoned theater actress with 7 years in demanding stage environments now branching into screen acting as a background artist. Brings a wealth of character interpretation skills, a keen understanding of dramatic timing, and a robust portfolio of over 20 successful theatrical productions.
  • Dynamic former hospitality professional with over a decade's experience in premier event management, seeking to transition into the world of background acting. Exemplary crowd interaction abilities and meticulous attention to detail honed while overseeing large-scale events for internationally recognized establishments.
  • Energetic marketing specialist with four years of experience in creative campaign development, eager to apply transferable skills to the entertainment industry as a background actor. Exceptional at crafting engaging narratives and a natural aptitude for teamwork, characteristic of many successful promotional projects.
  • Aspiring to bring a fresh perspective to background acting, armed with a passion for cinema and a desire to contribute to a dynamic artistic ensemble. A quick study, ready to absorb professional guidance, and committed to supporting robust storytelling through dedicated behind-the-scenes engagement.
  • Aiming to leverage a lifelong interest in film and theater into a vibrant career in background acting, with a promise of embodying each scene's environmental authenticity. Motivated to develop and reflect intricate aspects of characters that greatly enrich the primary narrative and viewer experience.

What else can you add to your background actor resume

What most candidates don't realize is that their background actor resumes should be tailored both for the job and their own skillset and personality.

To achieve this balance between professional and personal traits, you can add various other sections across your resume.

Your potential employers may be impressed by your:

Key takeaways

  • Invest in a concise background actor professional presentation with key resume sections (e.g. header, experience, summary) and a simple layout;
  • Ensure that the details you decide to include in your resume are always relevant to the job, as you have limited space;
  • Back up your achievements with the hard and soft skills they've helped you build;
  • Your experience could help you either pinpoint your professional growth or focus on your niche expertise in the industry;
  • Curate the most sought-after certifications across the industry for credibility and to prove your involvement in the field.
background actor resume example

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