Table of Contents
What to Include in a Model Resume
Choose what to include in your resume by learning all you can about what the prospective agent, talent scout or employer is looking for. Announcements for job openings, modeling auditions and casting calls are good places to start. As you review announcements, think carefully about your skills and abilities as well as what types of modeling you are willing to do. Also, consider whether a particular opening has the potential to help build your career. Then, using the knowledge you gained from perusing model resume samples, tailor your resume to fit each announcement that interests you instead of trying to make a “one-size-fits-all” resume.
You will notice when you look at model resume samples that even though each one is uniquely designed and worded, most of them contain the following basic sections:
- Summary Statement
- Work Experience
In reading model resume samples, you also may become aware that there are two types of resumes, chronological and functional. Some resumes are a combination of both styles. Chronological resumes list information in the Education and Work Experience sections according to dates, with the most recent dates first. Functional resumes separate information according to the event or purpose served by the model’s work. Emphasis is on skills rather than dates. In a functional resume, for example, you might categorize the work you have done under headings such as “Pageants,” “Fashion Shows” and “Outdoor Action Commercials.”
How to Write the Model Resume Summary Statement
Your resume summary statement provides the best opportunity to capture the reader’s attention. It needs to be brief yet powerful. You have about 30 seconds of the reader’s time and attention in which he or she will skim over or read through the summary statement to decide whether to read the rest of the resume. You want your summary statement to be so compelling that hiring managers can’t stop reading.
After you review your notes and the chosen job announcement, closely examine the resume summary in each of several model resume samples to come up with wording that works for you. Adapt what is said to accurately tell why you are a good fit for the position. As you write, think about what will get the reader excited about the possibility of putting you to work. Emphasize the work experience, abilities and skills that matter most to your prospective employer.
So that you can more easily understand the information in this section of the guide, here are two fictitious examples of resume summary statements. The first one is for a model who has training but little experience. The second is for a model who did not finish high school but has several years’ experience in modeling. Both are applying for work as a fashion model.
Aspiring fashion model with two years of career training in fashion arts and merchandising. Skilled in assuming various poses to display features of new clothing styles or merchandise in order to create viewer interest. Graceful, agile and physically fit. Able to apply makeup and adjust hairstyle to suit the occasion.
Versatile, stylish and graceful fashion model with seven years’ experience in retail store projects. Presented new clothing styles as well as accessories and explained features to store customers. Able to assume a variety of poses and expressions. Excellent stamina and communications skills. Enjoy creating public awareness in the fashion industry by promoting new products and modeling clothing styles.
How to Write the Model Education Section
Higher education isn’t essential in the modeling world, but it’s still worthwhile to include in the education section, which you can put after your work experience resume section.
If you went to a college or university or attended classes in modeling, acting or retail sales and merchandising, list that education before earlier educational activities. If you took part in unpaid or on-the-job training that is related to being a model, include it and list what you did and the skills you gained.
If you have less than a high school education, minimize this section. Include activities that you participated in during high school that gave you experience in being in front of the camera or in front of people. List the name of the school and its city but do not list dates of attendance nor the level of completion.
Check model resume samples to see ways to highlight important areas of your educational experiences. Don’t forget to include internships, studio training and membership in any professional organization that is related to the modeling field. The education section also is a good place to list awards and honors.
How to Write the Model Work Experience Section
If using a chronological resume format, document the most recent work first and include the dates you worked, the type of modeling you did, and the company name, city and state. Underneath each listing, use bullet points to emphasize important information regarding your work. Illustrate how productive you have been by starting bulleted statements with action verbs. Use numbers whenever possible. Here is an example:
- Introduced new products and clothing styles to the public in five television commercials, three fashion shows and 15 print advertisements.
Also, mention volunteer activities that have a connection to modeling work, such as being a clothing model at an amateur style show.
The functional format serves quite well for experienced models whose work crosses a wide range of sectors within the model industry. If you choose this format, you may want to insert a section titled “Accomplishments” that comes immediately after your summary statement.
If you add the section on accomplishments, your work experience section will then become a more simple list of headings and bullets that might look something like this:
- The Rose of the Night – Book Cover Model – Josephine McCarthy, Author
- 2015 Clothing Catalog – Women’s Western Shirt Model – Quality Supply
- Jewelry Infomercial – Women’s Rings Hand Model – Gems ‘R’ Us
If you prefer to make the functional format a bit more traditional, group your work experience by the type of modeling work you performed, then list details for each job. Include the year or years you worked there, the name and address of the company, and your job title. Mention responsibilities and accomplishments underneath each listing. Use action verbs, and quantify the work whenever possible.
Looking at model resume samples will help you determine which format best fits your situation.
Action Verbs to Include in Your Model Work Experience Section
Action verbs create a picture in the reader’s mind. Help your prospective employer see you as a professional model by using these verbs when you write about your work experience and accomplishments. If you are talking about past positions, use the verb in past tense. Use present tense if you still work there.
Here is a list of action verbs related to the modeling industry. Choose those that fit, and look at model resume examples to find others.
How to Write the Model Skills Section
Write down all skills that are mentioned in the job announcement. Next, look at model resume samples to see the various ways that this section is worded and organized. As you create your own resume, bring forth the skills you have that directly relate to statements made in the announcement. Then, bring attention to other skills that add to your ability to be the model that the company who produced the announcement is looking for.
Review model resume examples to increase your awareness of transferable or “soft” skills. Such skills are ones that employers in any industry look for in the persons they hire. These are skills that have become an integral part of the person, no matter where they are or what they do. Artistic talent, enthusiasm, patience, creativity and the ability to work as part of a team are examples of soft skills.
Should I Include References in my Model Resume
As model resume samples demonstrate, references do not need to be included in your resume. Even though companies that hire models often do not ask for references, it is a good idea to prepare a separate list so that you can readily furnish it in case you are asked. Choose individuals who have first-hand knowledge of your skills as a model as well as your individual strengths and your work ethic. Immediate supervisors and production managers of past modeling work usually are the best. If you are just starting out and have little or no paid work experience as a model, list persons who are familiar with your creative performances, your educational achievements or your photo shoots.
Model Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid
- Do not hand out a resume that is not professional. Review your completed resume carefully before putting it to use. If possible, have someone you trust read it, too. Listen to suggestions for improvement, but make your own decisions regarding changes. Your resume represents you, not anyone else.
- Do not ignore grammatical errors or disregard how your resume looks on the page. The care you give your own appearance may be judged by the appearance of your resume.
- Do not put anything on your resume that is not true. One lie often leads to another, and employers have the right to fire you at any time if a lie is discovered, whether the discovery comes before you are hired or years later.
- Do not make your resume sound as though you have greater strengths and abilities than you really have. Employers are more likely to hire someone they feel they can work with than someone who is egotistical.
- Do not forget that the purpose of your resume is simply to open the door to possible employment by sparking the reader’s interest in hiring you. Keep it short. A one-page resume is more likely to be read than one that is three or four pages long.
- Do not forget to include complete contact information in your resume. Make sure that your mailing address, phone number and e-mail address are current and that there are no typos. Also, if your e-mail user name could be thought of as inappropriate, change it to one that sounds professional.
Job Prospects in the Model Industry
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report published in the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) shows that only 4,800 workers nationwide were employed as models in 2012. A 15 percent increase in the number of jobs is expected by 2022, which is higher than the national average for all jobs in the United States.
Because the total number of persons working in this field is small to start with, a 15 percent increase means only 700 more jobs. Competition for jobs is fierce, and opportunities for full-time employment are extremely rare. However, there are no stringent requirements as to minimum age, education, work experience or on-the-job training in order to be successful.
Models are expected to continue to be in high demand in the retail industry. Within this industry, models wear, display and promote products to customers in stores, participate in fashion shows and appear in television commercials as well as in online advertising. Models also are in demand in the education industry, where they pose for aspiring artists and for promotional materials produced by colleges, universities and trade schools. Many models find work through casting and modeling agencies. These models are employed by the agencies rather than the companies or schools for which they model.
In 2012, the median average wage for models was $9.02. Ten percent of models were paid less than $7.81 an hour, and the top 10 percent earned almost $21.00. Models that had a strong portfolio and worked for famous designers and publishers of high-end glamour magazines earned more than those who posed for schools or artists.