Anders was born in Madison, Wisconsin; was raised in DeForest, Wisconsin; and now lives in Los Angeles. She graduated from DeForest Area High School in DeForest, Wisconsin, in 1993; and received a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point in 1997. In 2001, she earned a Master of Fine Arts from Rutgers University.
Her brother is director Sean Anders.
In 2001, Anders began her career in theatre. She was an understudy for Mary-Louise Parker in the Broadway production of Proof and later played the part of Elaine Robinson in The Graduate. She also appeared in On the Jump at the Arena Stage, New Doors at the Guthrie Theater, and two New York Stage & Film productions: Cold/Tender and New World Rhapsody.
In May 2007, Anders started in the Geffen Playhouse performance of Fat Pig. She played the part of Jeannie, an accountant. Fat Pig closed on July 1, 2007.
One of Anders' first appearances on television was a commercial for Dannon that ran in the 1990s and then again around 2006.
She also appeared on an episode of Law And Order " The Fire This Time" (2001) as a teenager Emily Hoyt
Anders is most notable for her work on Joey as lawyer Alex Garrett and on the ensemble situation comedy The Class as Nicole Allen (née Campbell), an ex-football player's wife. She appeared in all episodes of both Joey and The Class. Both shows were shortly canceled.
Anders has also made guest appearances on One Life to Live, Law & Order, Guiding Light, and Tru Calling. She appeared in five episodes of HBO drama series Oz as Donna Degenhart in 2003 and made a minor appearance in the 2004 film The Stepford Wives, playing the part of Heather. Anders also appeared on Numb3rs in 2008.
Anders appeared in two unsuccessful television pilots, Spellbound and News To Me. More recently, Anders appeared on Better Off Ted, a single-camera workplace satirical comedy written by Victor Fresco for ABC.
In 2011, Anders co-starred in the television series Mr. Sunshine alongside creator Matthew Perry. ABC picked up the comedy as a midseason replacement for the 2010–11 television season. In May 2011, ABC cancelled this series.
Also in 2011, Anders appeared briefly as a cheerleader in the music video "Revenge of the Nerds", a rap song recorded by her former Better Off Ted co-star Malcolm Barrett under the stage name "Verbal". The video features all the other main actors from the Better Off Ted series in cameos either as their TV characters or, in the case of Anders, new characters.