As a model or commercial talent, as you market yourself you will often be asked to provide a listing of previous work and accomplishments. Or perhaps you already want to showcase these items on your website or online portfolio to illustrate that you have the professional experience your target clientele is looking for. Here are some tips on what to include (as well as some things to omit).
If you are printing out your resume, keep it to a single page (one-sided). Often times a commercial agency or will ask you to staple a resume back-to-back with your headshot when applying for a gig. Having more than a single page makes that a bit more challenging.
Also, realize that the people reviewing your information may not have a lot of time to read through very closely. So break up the resume into an easily digestible format. Separate out the different types of work to make your resume more of an itemized list as opposed to several paragraphs of details.
THE THINGS TO INCLUDE
The basics: You want to make sure you include your name, contact information and location. Seems obvious, I know.
Measurements and Stats: Can be a particularly important facet, especially if the client needs a certain look or style. Or if clothing is being sponsored, they need to be able to pull items in your size.
Your work experience: As mentioned above, you want to break these out into separate categories. For example you can list your experience in fashion shows separately from your experience in advertising/commercial, which is different from your experience in film/tv, which is separate from your print work experience.
Special skills: This could be particularly beneficial to some clients if you (for example) are an expert in martial arts and they are needing that. Or if you are great at swimming and they need swimming action shots. The possibilities here could be limitless depending on the gigs you are applying for.
Applicable honors or awards: If you have been awarded for your efforts, be sure to include that as it can be a great indicator to clients that you have excelled in your efforts.
Education and training: This could play an important role if you are seeking acting or some commercial jobs.
THE DETAILS TO INCLUDE WITH IT
When it comes to listing out your work experience, keep it to a list format, but include some details such as your role in the project, the client it was done for, and the month and year it was released.
For example, if you did a magazine feature it could look like:
Magazine Name XYZ Cover & Spread Month, Year
Alternatively if you were featured in a movie it could look like:
Cliché Movie Name Here Your Role Production Company Month, Year
Be sure to put some emphasis or note next to key roles or key projects you took part in.
THE THINGS TO OMIT
It is probably not necessary to include a list of photographers you have worked with. Although it can appear impressive, it does not mean much to most clients and can take up valuable space where other information could go.
Your payment history with previous clients. To some clients it may appear as if you may charge too much; whereas to others it may handicap you into a lower pay scale.
Non-relevant job experience. Keep your modeling resume to modeling work. Your background as a cashier, waitress, office clerk, etc. is most likely not important to your clients now.
Hobbies. Unless they directly relate to your career that you can put under special skills, probably best to leave out so you can use the space for other information.
False information. Everything can be verified. Why risk it? This also applies to exaggerated information in your work experience. Just a quick example that I see sometimes; just because you appear on the website of a magazine, does not mean that you were hired to be photographed to be in the magazine itself.
Negativity. Sometimes I see talents have a “do not work with” list on their resume. I tend to see it more on websites or online portfolios rather than in print resumes. Although their intentions may be good, it unfortunately just casts them in a bad light as someone who is hard to work with. Clients may avoid hiring them just out of concern that they too may end up on the “do not work with” list.
Attitude. Goes with the above note on negativity. Once again, not something that is seen often in print resumes, but seen a lot with online resumes or portfolio sites is a lot of attitude. Clients tend to want to book talents that are very easy to work with. If their first impression of you is that you have a lot of attitude; chances are they may look elsewhere. Position yourself (honestly of course) in the best light possible. Remember that your goal is to encourage clients to hire you by reinforcing your positives; not to send them looking elsewhere.
SOME ADDITIONAL IDEAS FOR RESUMES
If you have your resume hosted online (website or model portfolio) maybe consider hyperlinking the information in the resume. For example, if you have appeared in films, you can hyperlink the name of the film to the IMDB.com listing for the movie. If you appeared in a magazine, you can hyperlink the name of the magazine to their website.
You could host tear sheets for your resume online and have links to that within you resume.
If you are applying for gigs online or through e-mail; consider filming a demo reel that you can include with your resume.
You could even go as far as recording a unique video (with a unique URL) for a specific client as to why you are qualified for the gig.
Hope you found value in some of these ideas!