By Jasmine Chorley Foster
For most of us, modelling isn't a viable long-term career. For many, aging is a career-ender. Others simply crave more financial stability. For most, career prospects outside of modelling become more appealing. Whether applying for part-time work to supplement modelling income, or looking for a job after leaving modelling entirely behind, all models are faced with a question: "Should I put 'Model' on my resume?"
More often then not, the answer is "Yes." If you're young or new to the non-modelling workforce, your work history is likely to be short. At this point in your professional life, you need to fill-out your resume, and any and all work experience is fair game. Babysitting, volunteer work, and extracurricular school activities are usually the bulk of a young person's first resume, and if you began modelling in your teenage years, you should include that as well.
Models have many transferable skills that are valuable to employers in a variety of industries. You've got the skills, so don't discount them!
- Punctuality - Modelling requires attending numerous appointments each day, so we learn to be punctual early on. It doesn't matter if two call times are only 30 minutes apart, you figure out a way to be at both on time. (Applicable fields: all)
- Teamwork - Every modelling job means working with a new team. We learn to work productively and bond quickly with complete strangers. Oftentimes, there are even language or cultural barriers at play. Producing quality work under these kinds of circumstances builds strong teamwork skills. (Applicable fields: all)
- Listening - "Walk like you're an angel on a cloud. But you're strong. You're fierce!" This clearly makes no sense, but it is a model's job to interpret the strangest of requests and deliver them to the client. Models deliver the image the client desires through strong listening skills. Especially in entry-level jobs, your supervisor will want employees who can follow instruction and deliver exactly what they want. (Applicable fields: all)
- Creativity - Modelling exposes you to some some very creative people, and you're bound to pick-up a few tricks. Emphasize the caliber of photographers, stylists, and clients you've worked with and take note of instances where you actively collaborated and contributed ideas. (Applicable fields: arts & culture, media, retail, business, food service, etc.)
- Organization - How many teenagers travel half-way around to world by themselves on a business trip? Having to be available 24/7 and ready to work at the drop of a hat requires top organizational skills. Emphasize how you balanced irregular, demanding work hours with high school or university responsibilities. (Applicable fields: all)
- Communication and interpersonal - Still smiling after 16 hours on set in Shanghai? Yeah, that takes a special person. (Applicable fields: administration, retail, food service, media, business, etc.)
- Professionalism - From speaking with high-powered clients and colleagues to knowing how to dress for a business meeting (who knew that St. John's casting would be so handy!), models have a leg up on a lot of their young peers when it comes to being professional. (Applicable fields: administration, retail, etc.)
- Salesmanship - You've sold everything from high-fashion leather bondage gear, to romance novels, to mysterious Korean beauty products. These skills go beyond your good looks to your ability to connect with just about anyone. (Applicable fields: retail, media, etc.)
- Book-keeping - How many teenagers have to manage their finances in multiple currencies, keep track of agency debts, budget for constant travel, all while receiving payment for work as much as three (or more) months after jobs? Odds are that modelling is one of the most rigorous ways to learn financial management skills. (Applicable fields: administration, retail, food service, etc.)
- Social media branding - Not only do you know how to use social media, you know how to market yourself and build a following. If you can work your new job into your existing model-sized Instagram feed, that's even better. (Applicable fields: media, arts & culture, personal assistance, retail, etc.)
- Adaptability - Our generation is facing an increasingly precarious labour market - and what will prepare you for that better than modelling? Yes, I've dropped everything to get to a last-minute job when the client's first choice got sick (read: hungover). Yes, I've designed every physical aspect of myself to fit as many potential clients as possible. Yes, I've waited for six hours at a casting for a job I didn't book. Especially as a new, entry-level worker, your ability and willingness to bend over backwards for even the chance to book a job, is an asset. (Applicable fields: all)
What other transferable skills have you learned from your time as a model? Share any job-seeking tips in the comments, and we wish you the best of luck!