Special Skills That Can Help Your Modeling Career

Shot of an attractive young woman dancing against a green background
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As you already know, most jobs these days require you to submit a resume. You know, the classic list of education, skills, and experience, all summed up by a neat little cover letter. It’s standard and expected, and whether you submit your resume online or in person, there’s really no way around it.

But the modeling industry is special in this regard. While many websites go into great detail about how to set up a modeling resume, the truth is that you don’t need one.

They’re not even a real thing. Instead of using resumes, models use photos like tearsheets, 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. Modeling is all about marketing yourself, and 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 you for. 

So you might be asking yourself, “If models don’t use resumes, then how do I share my special skills with the world?” Well, there are plenty of ways! 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 skills to your social media profiles (pro tip: keep your personal and modeling profiles separate!).

And of course, you should always mention them when you go on agency or client interviews.

Here are some of the top skills that will give your modeling career that special something.

Dance

A trained dancer (or just a talented one, for that matter) tends to be aware of their body and its position, to move gracefully, to perform effortlessly in front of others, and to let their personality shine without inhibitions getting in the way.

Plus, they often have healthy and fit physiques. Sound familiar? That’s because dancing and modeling have more in common that you might think! So if you’ve taken dance classes since you were a kid or have even just recently enrolled in some, it’s definitely worth mentioning.

And if you need further convincing, just take one 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 check out classes at your local community college or community center or to get involved with a local theater group. 

Sports/Fitness

A lot of times, a model will be booked not only because of her looks but also because she has actual experience with a certain physical activity and can make the poses look authentic. For example, picture someone who’s never held a golf club before versus someone who has.)  

Of course, no model is going to know everything about every physical activity, but it still pays to be sporty. Athletic-minded individuals tend to be healthy, outgoing, and have confidence in their bodies and how they move. So the more knowledge you have of the athletic world, the more likely you are to land not just those niche kinds of jobs, but all jobs!