How To Prepare (or Not Prepare) Your Modeling Resume

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If you are a new model and haven’t yet booked any modeling jobs, you may be struggling with how to create a modeling resume. What exactly should you put on your modeling resume, and what are the agents and clients looking for?

When you apply for a job outside of the modeling industry, you are expected to have a resume. A resume typically lists your education, skills, experiences, accomplishments, and job-related interests to impress a potential employer and show them you’re the right person for the job.

You see here's the thing—there is no such thing as a modeling resume and you don't need one. You can all collectively sigh in relief now. However, you still need to prepare for your first job. This process just looks a little different for models.

When Resumes Don't Help Land the Modeling Job

Many aspiring models use templates they find online and cut and paste their information into them. A quick internet search will turn up numerous sites with examples of how to set up and write modeling resumes. The sites go into great detail about what information a model should put on their resume, and some even sell templates that models could purchase and fill in with their own information.

However, almost any model agent or scout who has worked in the business for the past few decades will tell you that they have never asked a model for their modeling resume. They probably have never prepared one for any of their models, nor been asked by a modeling agency to provide a modeling resume for a model. So, if someone is trying to sell you a template for a modeling resume, you can save your money.

Use Photos Instead

In the modeling business, a model’s photos are their resume. Rather than listing experience, training, and other stats on a piece of paper, a model’s photos will show potential agencies and clients all they need to know about hiring that particular model. These curated collections of photos are called modeling portfolios. The photos may be of actual work the model has done—these are called "tearsheets"—or they can be photos that the model has hired a photographer to take on their own dime—these are called "tests." Even if a model doesn’t have professional photos, snapshots are acceptable to show to agents, scouts, and even clients.

To present their "resume"—in this case, photos—to potential agents, scouts, and clients, a model may post their photos on an online model scouting site or print several hundred “composite cards.” A composite card is a selection of five or six of the model's best photos, which are printed on a card that includes the model's name, stats, agency representation, and contact information. Professional models will often prepare composite cards in addition to posting photos online.

Exceptions to the Rule

The only time a model may need a resume is if they are also an actor. Actors do use and submit resumes to agents, casting directors, and clients when applying for acting jobs.

Having said that, if you are primarily a model, you most likely don't have to worry about a resume. It is not customary for models who are represented by modeling agencies to use an acting resume, even when they are applying for an acting job. The bottom line for models is that they don't need to stress about modeling resumes—agents and clients don't want them and models don't need them. Models always let their pictures do the talking.