The Right Way to List Commercial Credits on Your Résumé

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There are as many ways of creating an acting résumé as there are acting résumés. Often in my class, I’ll have students ask me résumé questions like, “How should I list my commercial credits?” Or, “What if I don’t have any commercial credits?”

Like any good teacher, I always do the same thing: shrug my shoulders and ask someone smarter than me. In this case, that person is Stacye Mayer, my commercial agent at Paradigm Talent Agency.

When asked how to list commercial credits, particularly if you’re worried there may be a conflict between brands, Stacye had this to say:

“I always appreciate it when an actor’s résumé says ‘Commercial: conflicts available upon request.’ When an actor lists the spots they’ve booked, others can read that as potential conflicts for a new spot.”

You see, the casting directors don’t know if you booked that commercial yesterday or a year ago, but they don’t have the time to check. If they see something that raises a potential conflict flag, they’ll just cross you off the list and move onto the next. Instead of listing individual conflicts right on your résumé, make yourself as hirable as possible and don’t. If you do have a conflict, make sure your agent tells them so.

READ: Should You Ever Leave Professional Work Off Your Acting Résumé?

Stacye also suggests that actors never put dates next to commercial jobs they’ve booked on a résumé as it will date the work. You may have booked a lot but if you haven’t booked anything in the last two years, that’s going to be glaringly apparent if you list the date of your last shoot. Why do that to yourself? Also, if you date it, it focuses on the fact that you may still have a conflict.

And what if actors have never booked a commercial? What should they put on their résumés?

“I wouldn’t list anything on the résumé,” Stacye says. “I do still appreciate honesty. If someone is at least taking a commercial acting class, that should clearly be noted under training. Everyone has to start somewhere.”

Résumés are like fingerprints, no two are the same. However, these suggestions will create a résumé that will help you get into that audition room instead of keeping you out of it.

Bill Coelius has been in numerous television shows including “American Horror Story: Hotel,” “Parks and Rec,” “The Office,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Law and Order,” and many others. His movies include “Taking Woodstock” directed by Ang Lee, and “Brave New Jersey” with Tony Hale. He has also booked 49 national commercials which has allowed him to visit Buenos Aires, hang out with James Gandolfini, and get naked on 43rd Street. He also teaches acting in New York, Los Angeles, Portland, and Detroit. Visit theworkingactorsolution.com to learn more.

Check out Backstage’s commercial audition listings!

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and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

Bill Coelius
Bill Coelius has been in numerous television, movies, and over 50 national commercials. He also teaches acting in New York, Los Angeles, Portland, and Detroit.
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