Type your letter
Your covering letter must always be typed, never handwritten. The only hand writing on the letter should be your signature and the addressed envelope. All day to day business is done with professional typed correspondence and the acting world is no different.
The letter should always be addressed to the agent’s or director’s name. Never write ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ or ‘To whom it may concern’. When doing a mass mailing always make sure that each letter is addressed personally to the recipient. If you are unsure of the contact name, do some research by using the internet or calling the office and getting the name right!
What should the cover letter include?
Your covering letter should always be a ‘one off’ personal letter that should be related to the acting job you are applying for, rather than a generic one that you keep on file. The letter should include the details of the role you are applying for, your previous acting experience, your acting skills and details of acting training. Also mention if you have been referred to the agent or director by a third party and make sure this appears at the start of the letter.
Depending on the job you are applying for, you need to highlight any specific skills that would be required for that particular role. For example, your martial arts training would be great to mention if you are applying for an action packed blockbuster movie, but best to leave it out if you are looking to do a Chekov! Another good tip is to include any awards that you may have received, anything like this will certainly get you noticed.
You should always include your name, address, phone number, email address and website link. This should be placed in the top right hand corner of the letter. The letter should also contain the date and the recipients details on the left hand side. Give the letter a header title which relates to the role or production you are applying for. If you omit these details and the letter goes astray, it will mean very little to whoever finds it and will probably be ‘filed’ into the bin.
As we mentioned in our CV writing top tips, all correspondence should be written and printed on good quality paper as this adds extra credibility and professionalism. Print the letter using black ink on white or very light coloured paper. Remember that this letter is your first contact with the agent or director and first impressions mean a lot. Don’t send smudged or creased printed letters, chances are that they will end up in the bin.
Keep it short
You need to get yourself across clearly and you must keep it simple. Most agents or casting directors might not have time to read a long winded letter so your letter will most probably be ‘speed read’. Don’t ‘waffle on’ or give them a full blown history of your acting career. If applying for a role, you will be only one of hundreds of applications, so be brief and keep to the point. Your letter should include a brief introduction about yourself, why you are applying for the role and what experience you have. Grab their attention.
Refer to your headshot and CV
Always refer to your CV and headshot in your covering letter. A lot of actors don’t actually do this and they are missing a trick. Directing them to the enclosed material will enable them to get a better picture of you. The covering letter works as a brief introduction to you and what talents you have. The letter, CV and photo should all work together i harmony to describe you perfectly. Also remember to place a label on the back of your headshot which includes your name and contact details.
Mention any enclosures that you have attached to your covering letter such as CV, complimentary tickets and head shot. This is usually typed at the bottom of the letter. See the example of a good letter, which you can find at the bottom of this article.
Always check your spelling. Don’t rely on your computer spell check alone. Get someone to check the spelling and grammar for you. Also make sure you have the correct contact name, writing or misspelling the recipients name does not make a very good impression.
Did you know that only around 2% of ‘mass mailings’ actually end up on the agents desk? The other 98% ends up in the paper shredder. Agents receive hundreds of actor letters and CV’s every week, so do your research and only send out letters to agents that are looking for new clients. A great tip is to get yourself an actor website designed, the link can be easily emailed to agents and casting directors and can include a CV, news, galleries and a showreel.
It’s not a good idea to write a good covering letter to then fold it so it can be crammed into a smaller envelope. Use an envelope that can contain your UNFOLDED letter, CV and headshot. Spend a little more money on ‘Do Not Bend’ envelopes or write it in bold letters in the top left hand corner of the envelope. Sometimes these small details can be the key to getting your details to an agents desk rather than the shredder.
Some acting jobs have a deadline. They use these deadlines for a reason. Send your details well before the deadline so it can get there in good time. Alternatively you could drop the letter off personally to the director’s or agents office if it happens to be nearby. If this is the case, always be dressed smartly, be polite and always tell the receptionist something like, “Hello, would you mind giving this to Mr Smith? He is expecting it.” This works every time!
Cover letters to Agents
If you are not currently in a show or don’t have a show reel, explain in your letter how much you have been in demand recently by briefly describing what you have been working on or who you have been working with.
Creating an application that stands out from all the rest is a major hurdle when applying for a job. Writing a strong cover letter can help you catch the hiring manager’s eye and land that coveted interview. With our actor/actress cover letter example and writing tips, you’ll be well-prepared to craft a competitive application.
- Do examine the job description to get an idea of what characteristics of a desired candidate the company mentions most often. Then, highlight your related skills and experience.
- Don’t use a generic greeting such as dear hiring manager” if you can help it. Look up the name of the hiring manager and address him or her directly.
- Do be creative. In artistic fields such as theater, creativity can pay off. Consider experimenting with the traditional formats for a letter that stands out.
- Do resist the temptation to write about how extremely excited you are to apply for the position. Too much enthusiasm can come across as artificial and may hamper the clarity of your letter’s message.
Actor Actress Advice
Looking to get hired as an actor/actress? You’ll need your acting chops, a great headshot, and of course, an impressive cover letter. The actor/actress cover letter examples below can help you highlight your acting background, impress casting directors, and land you more auditions. Choose from multiple design options to make your cover letter stand out. Get started today!
Cover Letter Tips for Actor Actress
Finding jobs as a Actor Actress doesn’t have to be as daunting as it may seem. Taking the right kinds of action as you begin your job search can take a lot of the difficulty out of the process. Below is a short list of tips to help you with your hunt.
1. Stay positive. Your attitude can boost you or bog you down. Work on developing the ability to handle rejection and roadblocks in a constructive manner.
2. Schedule your search activities. It doesn’t matter whether you create a daily or weekly agenda, so long as you maintain an organizational framework. Applying to numerous jobs as a Actor Actress could become overwhelming if you don’t keep track of what you’ve already done and what comes next.
3. Make the most of your network. Reach out to colleagues, friends and family. They may surprise you with unknown connections or helpful information. Networking could put you in touch with decision makers or make you aware of openings you may not have found on your own.
4. Research employers. Take the time to learn everything you can about companies that catch your interest. Learn about their company cultures and the challenges they face in their industries. Finding out all you can could help make you more competitive and allow you to better demonstrate how you could make a positive impact on an employer’s operations.
5. Talk about your job search every day. Staying accountable is important when engaged in a difficult task. Talking things over with someone also can help reduce your stress and maintain your motivation.
Actor Actress Job Seeking Tips
A quality rÃ©sumÃ© can make you much more competitive, regardless of your targeted industry or position. It’s important to understand the basics characteristics all good rÃ©sumÃ©s share. Here are some helpful pointers.
1. Format your job listings so the reader encounters the details they want to know first. This order is generally preferred title/position, employer, employer location, employment dates.
2. Don’t be afraid to sing your own praises. Featuring your accomplishments provides concrete examples of your potential value to a prospective employer. Rattling off a basic list of job responsibilities is much less meaningful.
3. Employers tend to get a lot of applications, leaving little time to thoroughly consider them all. It has been found that many managers only look at the average rÃ©sumÃ© for about six seconds. It’s important for your rÃ©sumÃ© to be sharply focused so it can make a case for you quickly.
4. Don’t lie. Resist the temptation to embellish your background when you’re hunting jobs as a Actor Actress. Even little white lies” should be avoided. Assume everything on your rÃ©sumÃ© will be checked.
5. Proofread your rÃ©sumÃ©. You don’t want to create the impression that you’re lazy, inattentive or unintelligent. Spend some extra time ensuring your grammar and spelling are beyond reproach.