Special Skills Can Boost Your Modeling Career

Shot of an attractive young woman dancing against a green background
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As you know, most jobs require you to submit a resume. You spruce up your list of education, skills, and experience, and sum it up with a neat little cover letter that demonstrates how you are a great fit.

The modeling industry is different in this regard. While there are many descriptions of modeling resumes found around the internet, the truth is that you don’t need one. Instead of using resumes, models use photos like tear sheets, test shots or even snapshots (if you’re especially new to the business) to show potential agents and clients their work.

That doesn’t mean your portfolio is the be-all and end-all of your career, though. Successful models also know how to market themselves. Having special skills that fall outside of the modeling realm is just one of the ways to boost your career. After all, the more versatile you are the more types of modeling jobs your agency can book for you. 

Modeling Portfolios

Since models don’t use resumes, your additional skills will need to be listed or discussed somewhere. Forms on agency websites often include space to fill in your skills.
ModelScouts.com, a popular scouting site, includes a section for “Additional Skills” in their online portfolios, and you can always add your modeling skills to your social media profiles.

Social Media Tip for Models

You should always keep your personal and modeling social media profiles separate. Also, keep in mind that as you grow in popularity, your personal information and profiles will be sought after more. You may want to secure your personal social media accounts, and allow only trusted friends and family access.

Your portfolio is your resume. The more you work, the more you have to put in it, and the more your skills will build. You should always mention your additional skills when you go to agency or client interviews.

Most interviewers will ask if you have any special skills. You should work to have some, regardless of how you might view the skills. If the only additional skill you have is whistling, it is a skill that could be used. Some skills are highly desirable, such as dancing, acting, or athleticism.

Dance

A trained or talented dancer tends to be aware of their body and its position. They are able to move gracefully, perform effortlessly in front of others, and let their personalities shine without inhibitions. Plus, they often have healthy and fit physiques.

Dancing and modeling have more in common than you might think. If you’ve taken dance classes since you were young or have even just recently enrolled in some, it’s definitely worth mentioning.

And if you need further convincing, take a look at Coco Rocha’s epic Irish jig down Jean Paul Gaultier’s runway (Fall 2007 at Paris Fashion Week). It’s one of the top runway moments of all time and catapulted Coco into the supermodel stratosphere.

Acting

As a model, particularly a commercial one, you’re basically pretending to be someone else while you’re on set. And the more convincing you are, the better the ad will be. So even if you don’t plan on branching out into TV, movies, or theater, it’s helpful to have an acting background.

If you’ve never acted before, don’t be afraid to seek out classes at your local community college or community center, or get involved with a local theater group. 

Sports/Fitness

Many times, a model will be booked not only because she fits the type needed, but also because she has experience with a certain physical activity and can make the poses look authentic. For example, picture someone who’s never held a golf club versus someone who has. 

Of course, no model is going to know everything about every physical activity, but it pays to be active in some athletic activities. Athletic-minded individuals tend to be healthy, outgoing, and have confidence in their bodies and how they move.

The more knowledge and experience you have of the athletic world, the more likely you are to land not just the special niche jobs, but a diverse career in modeling.