Your Multimedia Résumé - 10 Tips for Success!
Your Multimedia Résumé is the centerpiece of your Back Stage account and a great way to gain entertainment-industry exposure.
And unlike other casting websites that nickel-and-dime actors every time they want to upload a new photo or video, Back Stage lets you embed an unlimited number of video reels and audio demos and upload as many photos as you want for no extra charge — plus you can even upload document files (your "offline" resume, press clippings, your bio, and more) and link to your pages on other sites — it's all included as part of your BackStage.com subscription.
However, just creating a resume isn't enough — the ways you update, manage, promote, and use your resume can make all the difference between booking an audition or getting ignored. The following 10 tips will help to more than double your chances of getting discovered:
1) DETAILS MAKE THE DIFFERENCE: All of the fields in the BackStage.com Resume Builder & Editor are tied to search-options and filters used by casting directors when they're looking for talent and sorting through submissions. Filling in all of the fields correctly — and carefully optimizing your choices — can make a huge difference in determining whether or not your resume appears on the casting director's screen. For instance, it's important to remember to choose "English" as one of your languages on the "Languages" tab of your Resume Editor or else you could be filtered out of some search results. And you should choose all of the age-ranges and ethnicities you can realistically play on the "Details" page, instead of just your exact age-range and ethnicity. Likewise, the multi-select "Skills" options on your resume are also key. Click here to learn how to complete your resume with optimum settings and book more gigs.
2) PHOTOS GET ATTENTION: You need to upload at least one photo to your resume (preferably more) — and you absolutely must remember to mark one of your photos as your "Main Headshot." Without a "Main Headshot," it's very unlikely that anyone will ever look at your resume. Your "Main Headshot" is the photo that appears at the top-left of your resume and next to your resume's listing on your "Promote My Resume" page, in Talent Database search results, and in casting directors' inboxes before they've even opened your resume; without a "Main Headshot," they'll skim right by your resume. Tip: "Tall" photos will fit better than "wide-screen" photos on your resume. Click here for help with naming, uploading, managing, and resizing your photos.
3) VIDEOS KEEP THEIR ATTENTION: Make sure to include videos on your BackStage.com Multimedia Resume to engage the interest of casting directors and agents. We highly recommend our "embedded" video option, because embedded videos look great, are compatible across multiple devices, and are easy for casting directors to play back fast. Click here for help with embedding video reels and audio players on your resume.
4) UPDATE OFTEN! The most up-to-date resumes are showcased at the top of Back Stage's online Talent Database search results. The longer you wait to update your resume, the farther down it sinks in the results. And if a resume isn't updated for over a year, it's unlikely to get viewed by casting directors in the Talent Database at all. So we recommend updating your resume at least 2-4 times a year. It doesn't have to be a big update: Just upload a new photo or video, switch out your "Main Headshot," add your most recent credits or a new link, or clean up the formatting on your resume to give it a cleaner look, etc. Even just small, occassional updates to your resume will help to keep it looking fresh — and will boost your ranking in the Talent Database results. Click here for tips on how to number, order, and group your credits.
5) FIND YOUR SHAREABLE LINK: Visit your Manage My Resumes page on BackStage.com, scroll down to the "Promote Your Resumes" section, and then click on the "Your Resume Page Link" option to discover the link you can use to share your resume(s) with everyone, even with people that don't have a BackStage.com account. Click here to learn more about using your shareable "Resume Page Link."
6) CREATE A QUICK LINK: You can also create short, customized, memorable links pointing to the shareable versions of your resumes, making it even easier to share your Multimedia Resume with others. Examples: Actress Sri Gordon created this TinyURL link to showcase her full resume on BackStage.com, including her photos and reels: www.tinyurl.com/SriGordon. And I've used GoDaddy.com to redirect www.LukeCrowe.com to my profile on LinkedIn.com; you could use similar techniques to create custom URLs of your own to promote your Back Stage resume. Click here for detailed instructions on how to showcase your Multimedia Resume with a custom URL quick-link or website domain.
7) MARKET YOUR RESUME: Once you've set up a great Multimedia Resume, it's time to start marketing and promoting yourself. Add your resume's shareable quick-link to your business cards, email signature, Facebook profile, and other versions of your resume. Make sure your BackStage.com Multimedia Resume turns up in Google search results. Etc. The more exposure you can get for your resume, the better! Click here for tips and tricks to start marketing and promoting your Multimedia Resume.
8) CREATE MULTIPLE RESUMES: We recommend starting out with just one great resume. However, one of the many cool things about BackStage.com is that you can actually create multiple resumes if you want. For instance, you might want to create extra "niche" resumes that focus on specific aspects of your career: One resume for theatre acting, another for film, another for commercials, modeling, dancing, singing, comedy, or voice-over work, etc. If you create multiple resumes, make sure to assign each one a unique "Main Headshot," "Resume Name," and "Job Title" so that they're easy to distinguish. Click here for more info about creating and managing multiple CVs.
9) SUBMIT ONLINE: Whenever the "Submit Online" or "Apply Now" option is available on a casting notice, you should use it to apply to the project (if you think you're right for one of the roles). Click here to find out how Back Stage's online-submission system can double your chances of getting seen by casting directors.
10) PROTECT YOUR PRIVACY: All of the attention your resume is getting now is great, right? But you need to be careful, too. To help protect yourself, we recommend that you only provide essential contact details on your resume: Don't put your exact street address or apartment number on your resume. Think about leaving some or all of the phone-number fields blank. Never list your Social Security Number on your resume. And to protect yourself even more and potentially reduce contact from spammers and scammers, consider using Back Stage's "Confidential Exposure Level" option instead of the default "Public" option. Click here to learn more about how to protect your privacy and Back Stage's Talent Database Exposure Level Options.
For more Multimedia Résumé tips, tricks, and assistance, visit www.411faq.backstage.com/resume_help/
- Luke Crowe, National Casting Editor, Back Stage