Complete Your Résumé - Optimize Your Settings to Book More Gigs
When you're creating or updating a résumé on BackStage.com, it's important that you fill out all of the fields very carefully, because each field is connected to search-filter options used by casting directors when they're looking through the Back Stage Talent Database and filtering through the submissions they receive via their casting notices.
To create a new Multimedia Resume or update your current resumes, visit your "Manage My Resumes" page. After you've created a resume, you can update it at any time by clicking on the Edit/Wrench button next your resume's listing on your "Manage my Resumes" page. This will bring you to the Resume Builder & Editor interface, which is divided into 10 convenient sections: Main Info, Contact Info, Details, Education, Experiences/Credits, Languages, Photos, Audio/Video, Documents, and Links.
The following tips will assist you with completing your Multimedia Resume in a way that's optimized to help your CV get seen more often and raise your changes of being invited to audition for more projects:
1) MAIN INFO: On the first tab of the Resume Editor, enter your name, job title, and Resume Summary (a very short bio or overview highlighting key details about yourself). In addition to your main photo, these will be the first things casting directors see about you when they're sorting through applicants, before they've even opened up your full resume; so please be clear and concise and avoid typos. Additionally, you can use the Main Info page to set your resume's Talent Database Exposure Level, and you can assign the resume a name (that only you'll see when you're applying to casting notices) and leave yourself some notes.
2) CONTACT INFO: This page determines how casting directors will contact you. List your contact details as well as your agent and manager's details (if available). Note: We recommend that you leave the "Street Address" field blank (casting directors do not usually need to know your full address upfront), and you might want to leave some or all of the phone-number fields blank too. Click here to learn more about protecting your privacy while still allowing casting director's to contact you.
3) DETAILS & SKILLS: The multi-select fields on this page are tied directly to search options used by casting directors when they're sorting through resumes, so carefully filling out the information on this page is critical. The options on this page include your gender, age ranges, weight range, height range, union affiliations, work experience, basic skills, comedy skills, and more. You can also use the "Additional Details" box on this page to list more info about yourself, such as your exact height, weight, and measurements, your full bio, awards you've won, etc. Quick tip: Choose multiple options whenever appropriate. For instance, if you can realistically play roles of different age ranges or ethnicities, then choose all of the age ranges and ethnicities that you think you can play. Or if you belong to a union but you can also accept nonunion work in some markets, then you may want to choose the "Nonunion" option in addition to the names of your unions in the "Union Affiliation" box. Likewise, make sure to select all of your skills from the "Basic Skills" menu even if you're also listing your skills somewhere else on your resume. Because each of the options you select on this page will help determine whether or not your resume is correctly filtered in and out of casting directors' search results.
4) EDUCATION: List the schools you've attended, acting coaches you've worked with, and classes and workshops you've taken. We recommend using the "Builder" options on this page to enter your education credits one at a time. Although entering each credit one-at-a-time can take awhile, the "Builder" options will result in the best-looking resume. If you instead decide to use the "Text Editor" option, then we recommend typing in your credits manually, and then apply formatting (bolding, italics, etc.) to achieve the best results. If you decide to paste all of your education credits in at once, then make sure you're copying-and-pasting from a "plain text" source; pasting in text from a "rich text" source (like Microsoft Word) can result in a corrupted, weird-looking layout and font-sizes that don't match with the rest of your resume.
5) EXPERIENCES/CREDITS: Enter your performance credits, including all of your work in film, theater, television, commercials, voice-overs, radio, etc. Once again, we recommend using the "Builder" options on this page to enter your credits one at a time. And if you choose to use the "Text Editor" option instead of or in addition to the "Builder" options, then we recommend typing in your credits manually, and then apply formatting (bolding, italics, etc.) to achieve the best results; see above for details. Click here for tips on how to number, order, and group your credits, to help make your resume look great and to make it easier to update in the future.
6) LANGUAGES: On this page, enter all of the languages you speak. And if you speak English, don't forget to list English as one of your languages. Even if English is the only language you know, you should visit the Languages tab of your Resume Editor and enter "English" as your language. Otherwise, your resume will not appear in casting directors' search results if they're searching through applicants using a "language skills" filter.
7) PHOTOS: You can upload as many photos as you'd like using this page of your Resume Editor. The photos will appear at the top of your resume. We recommend uploading up to 20 photos per resume. "Tall" (8x10-style) photos work best; "wide screen" photos won't fit in your resume's photo-grid as nicely. If you have wide photos, then you may want to crop them before uploading them; or assign them an "order number" that makes them appear at the end of your photo-grid or next to very "thin" photos, so that they "wrap" nicely into the grid. To get the best results, you'll want to experiment with the order of your photos until you're happy with the way they look on your resume. Click here for help with resizing your headshot, comp cards, and other photos. And click here for help with naming and uploading your pics.
Important: Make sure to mark one of your photos as your "Main Headshot" or no one will look at your resume! Your "Main Headshot" is the very first thing casting directors see when they're searching through the Back Stage Talent Database and sorting through the submissions they receive. Your "Main Headshot" appears at the very top-left of your resume (bigger than all of your other photos) and it's showcased next to your resume's listing in search results and on your shareable Resumes Landing Page and in casting directors' inboxes. To turn one of your photos into your "Main Headshot," click on the "Designate as Main Headshot" box when uploading or editing your photo on BackStage.com. (And if you have multiple resumes on BackStage.com, we recommend choosing a different "Main Headshot" for each of your resumes, so your various resumes can be easily distinguished.)
8) AUDIO/VIDEO: You can upload and embed audio and video files onto your Multimedia Resume. Demo reels, sizzle reels, showreels, clips from projects you've worked on — this is your shot to show casting directors what you can do. Adding videos to your resume is a great way to grab people's attention. Click here for help with naming, uploading, and managing audio and video files. And click here to learn how to embed audio and video items on your resume; "embedded" media looks awesome and plays back faster than traditionally uploaded files.
9) DOCUMENTS: You can attach multiple document files (.pdf, .doc, .rtf, and .txt resumes, press clippings, reviews, comp cards, bios, cover letters, etc.) to your BackStage.com Multimedia Resumes. Click here for help with uploading and managing your resume's documents.
10) LINKS: Link your resume to your press clippings, your personal website, videos, and your pages on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, iActor, IMDb, IBDB, OurStage, Myspace, YouTube, Vimeo, other casting sites, and more.