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Monday, August 27, 2012

The Importance of a Modeling Resume

(This post is for both agency represented models and freelance models but is mainly applicable to freelancers.)

In any model's career, the portfolio is going to play a major role. However, many professional models also have actual resumes they use to submit to gigs. Why would clients care about looking at a resume when they could easily just review a model's portfolio?

For one thing, a resume is oftentimes a much more direct way for a client to see exactly what type of work a model has done. Browsing through a physical portfolio book or looking at an online portfolio is convenient but sometimes clients want to know the name of the photographer, project, client or assignment the model has done work for. The pictures don't always list this info, especially if it isn't a recognizable tearsheet.

A resume is a more organized and structured way of obtaining this information. Agency represented models may or may not have a resume put together for them but freelance models can greatly benefit from having this additional document to present when submitting to jobs.

There are no hard and fast rules as to how a modeling resume should look and an online search will turn up templates/samples that can be used for reference. However, the main information that should appear at the top of the resume should include the following:
  • Model's Name
  • Full Stats & Measurements
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • Official Modeling Website (if applicable...I would recommend NOT listing your Facebook profile link)
As for the body of the resume, this should be clearly labeled and organized so that it isn't hard for a person looking at it to understand what type of work you've done. Use categories to separate different types of modeling work. For example, a model's experiences could be broken down into these categories for the body of their resume:
  • Runway/Fashion Shows
  • Print
  • Spokesmodeling
  • Online/Digital Work
  • Promotional
Never did work in a certain category? Then don't include it. Only list categories for stuff you've done.

Under each category, bullets or some similar format should be used to list each specific gig worked (I would avoid using paragraphs or trying to explain in sentence format what you've done). It's hard to explain but to get a better understanding of what I'm describing, click the link below to view my own modeling resume:

Dania Denise Official Resume

It is important that each bulleted item has basic information to describe each work experience. For example, if you're filling out the Runway/Fashion Shows section, this info should be included: Name of the Show, Your Role and the Name of the Production Company or Venue Where the Show Took Place. So on the resume it would appear like this (fictional example):
  •  2012 Lee Designs Fashion Show - Runway Model - Lee Designs
Creating a resume in Microsoft Word is ideal for using tools like columns and tables, which can effectively and clearly organize your content. But don't go too fancy by adding graphics, colors, etc. Keep the design styles to a minimum. Your content should speak for itself instead of relying on other stuff that only serves as a distraction.

New to modeling and don't have any experience at all? Then it's safe to say you won't have a resume to submit and that's okay. If you explain in your submission that you're new, the client will understand. However, if you've done test shoots, those do count as experience and can be used as a starter resume.

New models in this situation will still want to have the same information at the top of their resume (see bulleted list above). For the body, they can simply use the category heading "Photoshoots," followed by a bulleted list of the name of the photographer and the name of the type of shoot.

For example, say you did a test shoot as a new model with a local photographer and you wore outfits that were casual. This info would appear on your resume as:
  • Causal Wear Shoot - [Insert Photographer Name Here]
You can also include the location (city/state) if you want to add a bit more content.

Just as a model needs to update a portfolio as new photos get added, it is also important to remember to add any new gigs to the resume. Unlike portfolios, where older pictures should be removed, older modeling experiences don't need to be removed from a resume--simply add the newer gigs on top and make sure the older bulleted items are on the bottom.

Do not add the dates you did each gig that appears on your resume. This info isn't necessary. At most, you can include the year but only if it applies to the work experience you're listing, such as a fashion show (i.e. Winter 2012 Season).

Adding your headshot is optional but helpful. I find that putting my headshot at the top is great for helping clients associate a name with a face. Don't make the photo huge, though.


Lisa said...

Shouldn't models also add skills to their resume such as fashion design, photography, hair styling, makeup, film production, etc. to their resume as well if that applies? These skills seem pretty useful.

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Lisa!

A Special Skills section is optional. Usually, it's not necessary to include that info on a general modeling resume because clients mainly care about you've worked with and what you've appeared in.

However, it is helpful to include a special skills section if you're submitting to modeling jobs that mention certain attributes they want from the model hired (i.e. a model that can do their own hair and makeup, etc.).

When it comes to traditional modeling jobs, mentioning stuff like production, fashion design and photography skills aren't as relevant when it comes to doing a simple shoot or fashion show.

The Special Skills section is an asset that should be used for gigs where those skills are relevant/applicable but it won't hinder a model to not have this section on their resume.

Anonymous said...

So do you need a resume if you're looking for an agency? Or are they just for when you start getting jobs?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Lindsey! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #552," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!