You have found the perfect modeling job, and you know you have what it takes to make it yours. However, you can’t just go there and show them how it’s done. First, you need to submit a captivating model resume.
To get the chance to visually introduce yourself to a new agency or client, you need to stand out from the crowd of other models with a written application.
Don’t let that alarm you. We've made a complete, easy-to-follow guide that will help you make a perfect model resume even if you've never done it before.
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
You should use the reverse-chronological resume format for optimal chances of success.
Make sure your resume has your contact information, bio, work experience, education, and skills and attributes.
Consider adding optional sections, such as languages and hobbies, to make your document stand out.
Include a clearly visible link to your portfolio in the contact information section.
It’s recommended to submit a job-specific cover letter and use it to further emphasize your skills and experience.
What is the Right Format to Use for a Model Resume?
A resume format describes the way you present information to the reader. Just like with modeling, the goal is to highlight your strengths and present them to the viewer in the best way possible.
With that in mind, the model resume format that the majority of candidates go for is the reverse-chronological one. Since your last job is usually the most important, the chronological format puts it front and center and features the rest backward from there.
The recruiters are mostly familiar with this format and know exactly where to look for information that interests them. Plus, it’s neat, well-organized, and ATS-friendly.
If you’re an aspiring model or someone who mostly does freelance work, you could go with a functional resume format. This format emphasizes skills rather than work history, so it’s the best option to turn to when you lack professional experience.
Lastly, there’s the hybrid or combination resume. It combines a chronological and functional format to make a version that focuses on skills and backs them up with various professional achievements. It’s the best format for seasoned models.
Resume layout is all about the look of your document. It deals with dimensions and proportions, and as a model, you know that these aspects are vital.
First off, always try to keep your resume one page long. It’s more than enough for you to fit every piece of information that recruiters may find important.
Then, choose a proper font for your resume and create a size hierarchy by making your subheadings 14–16 pt and your body of text 10–12 pt.
Finally, have at least 1-inch margins on all sides and use white space to keep your sections distinct. It’s one of the best ways to ensure you’ll end up with a professional model resume.
What Sections Should a Model Resume Contain?
There are several must-have sections that every recruiter wants to see on a resume. These are:
You can always go the extra mile and turn a simple model resume into an extraordinary one with optional sections such as:
Hobbies & interests
Another critical part of your application is your portfolio. In the modeling industry, your portfolio is probably even more important than your resume, but it’s a whole new document, so make sure you include a link to it.
And if you don’t want to bother trying to remember all the details, you’re welcome to use our resume builder. It features ready-to-use model resume templates where you can simply fill in your information and you’re good to go.
Model Resume Contact Information
Contact information is pretty standard for any resume. It’s part of a resume header and the first thing recruiters will see. The essential parts of this section are your name, phone number, and email address. Take a look at the example:
Contact Information Example
There’s no need to include personal information, as your resume might get discarded due to anti-discrimination laws. For example, only include your physical location if you’re applying for a job abroad or if it’s required by the job posting.
You shouldn’t even include a photo in your resume—even though you’re a model, save any photos you want recruiters to see for your portfolio.
Model Resume Bio
A model resume bio is a short paragraph right after your contact information. In 1–4 sentences, you should grab the reader’s attention and get them to check out the rest of your resume. To do that, focus on your strongest skills and your most impressive achievements and attributes.
Fashion Model Bio
As an experienced model, you can make a compelling model bio by putting emphasis on the results of the work you've done. Give hiring managers exact information and concrete data to go off. Be precise about the number of clients you worked with and specify what kind of work that was, like in the next example:
"Versatile fashion model looking to take on new challenges and work for high-end clients of Sunset Model Agency. 33/24/35, 5’8’’, 119 lbs. Modeled for 15+ clients in advertisements, for promo material, and on runways at HRA Modeling Agency.”
Now compare that to a bad example where the candidate gave no factual information about their work history:
“Qualified fashion model with experience presenting brand clothing and walking runways. Fast learner with unique looks and a professional attitude.”
The potential recruiter can’t draw any conclusions as to what the candidate is capable of from such examples. All they have is the candidate’s promise of being qualified and experienced, which is nowhere near as impactful as the previous bio.
Aspiring Model Bio
Being new to the modeling industry isn’t an excuse to slack off when writing your bio. You can highlight the skills you have learned so far or showcase some experience gained while studying, volunteering, doing internships, or engaging in similar activities. Let’s see what an example of such a bio looks like:
“Aspiring fashion model with experience working as a volunteer. 35/25/36, 5’10’’, 118 lbs. Modeled for the ItsDress fashion brand’s social media campaign. Endorsed by colleagues and photographers for flexibility and professionalism. Regularly model for Pratt Institute students.”
The next applicant, however, gives nothing of substance in their bio:
“Passionate model with some freelance experience. Exceptional look and proportions. Eager to work hard and to learn.”
This example would’ve been much better if the candidate highlighted their freelance experience and wrote exact HWP numbers.
How to Add Model Portfolio To Your Resume
A good portfolio is often the deciding factor between getting an interview and being outright rejected. And, while employment opportunities in the modeling industry are expected to grow by 9% over the next decade, you’ll want to do everything you can to stay ahead of the competition.
For starters, you want to ensure you have a breathtaking online portfolio. You need a one-stop shop where anyone—agencies, clients, representatives, etc.—can come to see your work. If you don't already have one, consider finding an expert to create it for you, even if it means paying to get a head start.
The previous example of a content information section would look like this, with a portfolio link added:
Portfolio Section Example
Model Resume Work Experience
If your portfolio shows what you’ve done, the work experience section of your model resume tells recruiters more about it. That makes it the most important part of this document, which is why you want to make it the focal point.
First, if you are using the chronological format for your resume, list your past jobs in reverse-chronological order. Make sure you’re only including relevant jobs (a few months of work as a hotel receptionist, for example, doesn’t contribute to your model resume in any meaningful way), and list the following information:
The agency or client and their location
Dates of employment
A bullet-point list with all your responsibilities, achievements, and results
To quantify your achievements and thus make them more prominent, use specific numbers and statistics—just like in your model bio.
Another neat trick that will definitely make you stand out among other candidates is to use action verbs and power words. These creative alternatives to overused terms draw the right kind of attention and make the whole section more memorable. So, the next time you want to say that you “changed” or “improved” something, go with “revamped” or “streamlined” instead.
Finally, make this section succinct. You want to convey as much as possible, but it all needs to be concise and useful without unnecessary details.
If you’re creating a model resume with no experience, you can leverage endeavors other than professional ones and utilize all the general tips we talked about to present them. Highlight some of your key achievements from the competitions you took part in, the volunteer modeling you did, internships, and similar activities.
Take a look at the example:
First prize winner in the 21st Annual Spring Modeling Contest at the University of Massachusetts in 2019.
First runner-up in Miss Massachusetts Teen USA, held in Burlington, MA, 2015.
Took part in college runways and modeling contests during various events and festivals with great success.
Even though the candidate has no work history, they gave the hiring managers a lot of useful information that emphasized their skills and potential.
Now let's look at a bad example:
Modeling contest award.
Participated in a teen pageant.
Modeled a lot during college.
While these achievements might talk about the same activities as in the previous example, they show no concrete data and, therefore, carry no weight.
When writing a work experience section for your fashion model resume as a seasoned veteran, highlight the most prominent results from the most impressive jobs. No need to list everything you ever worked on. Focus on the most impactful stuff, and don’t forget about bullet-point lists with numbers and action words.
Check out the example:
HRA Modeling Agency
Los Angeles, CA
Worked for brands like H&M, CCC, and LC Waikiki.
Modeled for 20+ clients to help them grow their social media follower count by more than 15% per partnership.
Took part in 11 local and 3 national advertising campaigns for Toyota and Madewell.
Now, let’s strip that example of any substantial results, and we’ll get the following bad example:
HRA Modeling Agency
Los Angeles, CA
Worked for several fast-fashion companies.
Modeled for many clients to help them with their social media growth.
Took part in both local and national advertising campaigns.
Took part in both local and national advertising campaigns.While both examples state the same thing, the first one is precise and provides palpable evidence of the candidate’s skills and qualities.
Model Resume Education Section
You generally don’t need any kind of formal education or training to become a model. Certain clients, however, could propose specific criteria you need to meet to get a job, requiring acting, various performances, etc. Moreover, a good education section works wonderfully in supplementing your skills and portraying you as a driven and accomplished candidate.
You want to list your highest degree, the institution that issued it, its location, and the dates of attendance. If you have any other relevant information to add, such as coursework, club memberships, and similar, include a bullet-point list to make this section more prominent. Check out the example:
Education Section Example
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting
New York Film Academy, NY
September 2014–May 2018
Modeling Workshop Course
Only include your high school diploma if it’s your latest one. You can even list an unfinished degree by marking a graduation date as “expected” or "ongoing." And if you dropped out, you could state how much credit you’ve earned towards a degree.
Model Resume Skills
Modeling is a vocation like any other, and as such, it requires certain skills. Are you good at following instructions and easy to communicate with? Note that in your model resume’s skills section.
Another important part of this section is your attributes. Modeling is often as much about your physical appearance as it is about your abilities. Depending on the client’s needs, they might be looking for specific characteristics.
There are 13 modeling categories, each requiring different traits and attributes. For example, high-fashion (editorial) models feature different appearances than fitness or mature models.
Attributes for Models
Attributes describe your physical appearance. Here are some attributes that a female model resume could include:
Soft skills are transferable and applicable in different environments, and they define your personal traits and social prowess obtained through real-life experience. Here are the most sought-after soft skills for models:
Soft Skills for Models
Attention to detail
Model Resume Optional Sections
Optional sections are a great way to spruce up your document. They allow you to include additional important information about yourself that doesn’t fit any of the mandatory sections. In turn, that could help differentiate you from the rest of the candidates.
Proficiency in foreign languages can only benefit your resume. Due to the nature of modeling, you can often run into foreign clients, colleagues, photographers, and more. If you have language knowledge, add a list of the ones you’re proficient in after all the mandatory sections.
The language section can even be a must-have if you’re an international model or working for international clients. In that case, you should put it somewhere higher in your model resume. Start with the language you’re most proficient in, and be honest and precise while writing this section.
Language proficiency levels go as follows:
Language Proficiency List
Full professional proficiency
Professional working proficiency
Limited working proficiency
Hobbies & Interests
This section represents a subtle but great way to show that you’re really passionate about modeling. Therefore, you should list those hobbies and interests that are directly related to your profession.
Activities such as dancing, acting, or photography are all welcome on your resume. Simply adding a short list or a sentence near the bottom of your document will be enough.
Should You Submit a Cover Letter With Your Model Resume?
A cover letter is yet another way to display diligence and show strong interest in the position you’re applying for. It’s an optional document that many candidates skip, which is why you’ll get an edge over them when you submit it along with your resume.
After greeting the recruiter, use the first paragraph to grab their attention with your greatest achievements. Continue by expanding on your skills and experience. Finally, wrap things up with a call to action and a desire to hear from them to discuss your future. And that’s it; your cover letter is good to go!
Expert Tips for Creating a Model Resume
Here are several expert tips to help you iron out the details and end up with an impeccable model resume:
Mention some of your skills in your model bio and work experience section to make them more prominent.
Focus on achievements and tangible results instead of on your duties and responsibilities.
Keep your resume one page long and link to a professional portfolio.
Make sure that a link to your portfolio is clearly visible and clickable in the soft copy of your resume.
Use a cover letter to further showcase some of your experience. Use extra space to add more than fits in your resume.
You had the looks and the skills, and now you also have the knowledge to put all that information on a model resume. Study the guidelines for as long as you need, and check out the examples to see what you’ve learned in practice.
Your model resume will be ready for the job of your dreams. Best of luck out there!