Getting Started in the Industry

One of the most difficult things about breaking into the film industry is securing your first job. Being armed with the right information makes all the difference, and creating a resume is a good first step. Below you will find some helpful hints and a sample resume. You’ll also want to register yourself on our Crew and Resource Database. Please note on the database, you may select and be listed in up to three categories. If a category other than PA is chosen, credits must be listed.

As you compose your first resume in the film industry, keep in mind that the people who will be reviewing it are extremely busy. There is no time to read cleverly worded descriptions of your previous job duties and things that may be typical in other resumes. Keep it short and remember that your first resume will be one of many. Creating and updating your resume should be a monthly routine as you move from job to job.


  • Keep it Simple. No fancy colors or intricate patterns. No “fun” fonts. No plastic covers.
  • Your resume should be ONE PAGE ONLY. No cover letter. No letters of recommendation. No extensive list of schools you’ve attended.
  • DO NOT include a picture of any kind. You do not want your resume to be mistakenly forwarded to a casting department.
    Note: Even if you are pursuing acting as well, it is considered unprofessional to have one resume for both crew and casting calls.
  • Don’t Lie. There are many less-than-creditable people in the film industry, and working professionals keep working by being able to spot things that are less-than-true. Don’t Lie.
  • Including references on your first resume is optional. After you have proven yourself to other professionals in the industry, your references and credits will be a powerful tool.
    Note: Your former manager at your retail job will not be receiving a call.
  • It’s okay if you have no professional experience! No one expects you to. If you have NO professional experience, not even as an intern, it’s ok to just list your most recent job under the “highlights” section. Remember, it’s important to separate your amateur experience from your professional experience. You can find a sample resume here.


  • Be Brief. The person you are emailing is probably overwhelmed with work.
  • Be Professional. Compose your email similar to a formal letter. The person you are emailing will see a hundred poorly assembled emails for every one that is professionally formatted. Make sure your spelling and grammar are correct.
  • Name your files something easily recognizable. Most people will download your resume to their desktop before opening it, and you want to make it as easy to find as possible. FirstName_LastName_CurrentMonth&Year (JohnSmith_February2012) is an easy and simple option.
  • Include your phone number in the email. Do not make someone have to open your resume to find your phone number.
  • Make sure to include your name, both in the email and your resume.
  • Always attach your resume to an email in TWO file formats, such as Microsoft Word and PDF. These are two common formats that both Windows and Mac users should be able to open. If you are using a newer version of MS Word, make sure you are saving your resume in a format that is compatible with older versions. Not everyone will have the newest version of Word.