You may not know this but some pageant directors do not give your resumes/platform statement/paperwork to the judges until minutes before the interviews begin. Some give the paperwork a week or more in advance. Some pageants do not have resumes at all (if you are unsure, ask).
So how do you stand out when the judges may have just a few moments to eyeball your paperwork? Let’s explore a few options:
Never leave anything blank:
Some people say “oh well, I do not have any awards or honors, so I’ll leave this blank”.
What a waste. If anything, you skipping this part will make you stand out in a bad way. A judge may even ask, “why did you leave this blank” or “why did you not list any honors and awards”?
Something to consider: they are likely looking at other resumes that are FULL of awards and honors (or other full categories). Do not leave anything out; leaving a space blank almost makes you look unqualified when next to the other contestants and their paperwork!
Advice: find out what is asked for on your pageant paperwork ahead of time and look to fill each category by doing work outside of the pageant. Maybe you could apply for a writing award or community service award. Maybe you could start volunteering with a local food bank or clothing drive. Whatever the case, show that you care about the job by putting in the work AHEAD of pageant time so you do not leave anything blank.
KNOW your paperwork:
You should be able to explain EVERYTHING on your resume. If your mom or coach is writing your paperwork and you never read it over, it will lead to failure. Inevitably, a judge will ask something on your paperwork and if you cannot explain it or do not know what it is, it is a dead giveaway that you did not care enough to review your paperwork…so how much care will you give to the job of being the titleholder?
For example, if the judge asks “what did you like about volunteering at the State Food Bank” and you reply with “I never did that” or “I don’t remember…that was a long time ago,” you have just wasted an excellent opportunity to have a conversation with the judge. Maybe they are asking because they like the organization or have volunteered there too. Know your paperwork - keep a copy with you in your pageant binder, review it in your room, review it before your interview, review it again before your on-stage question, and even keep a copy on your phone.
- What did you like about volunteering at XYZ organization?
- What did you do as Class President?
- Why/how did you earn the ABC Award?
Do Your Research:
What is the job of a titleholder? What is an ambassador? What really is “marketing” “recruiting” or “gaining sponsorships”? If you do not understand the job fully, you will not able to explain why you should have it!
Review the pageant online - what does the mission statement say? Are they looking for a role model who volunteers OR a model in front of a camera? Are they active on social media or do they ignore social media? What events or organizations do they support.
Know the job you are applying for so you can speak with confidence when asked about the job.
- Why should you win this pageant?
- What is the responsibility of a titleholder?
- What do you look forward to doing as the titleholdeR?
- How will you market the pageant?
- What will our social media look like when you are the titleholder?
Practice Speaking Your Resume:
Do not just write the words of your resume, speak the words too! Does the grammar make sense? Can you explain a specific award or honor? What will you specifically say about a certain experience? How did something inspire you?
Your interview is your opportunity to share why you are qualified for the job of the next titleholder. Make sure you can tell the judges why you are the best choice by filling your resume with relevant experiences, qualifications, and words. You must then be able to SPEAK about your resume/qualifications/experiences because the judges do not always get time to read it.
And IF they DO read it, they may not see/understand how each thing qualifies you! You must explain it! NEVER assume that the judges see the connections or important points that you see. Never assume; be prepared to speak and explain.
Format Your Resume Correctly:
While I do not endorse changing the required format, I do advise making your paperwork neat and orderly. Consider adding bullet points and consider proofreading (and having at least 3 others proofread as well) your paperwork.
Make sure your paragraphs are aligned. Make sure nothing is sticking out like a sore thumb. Pay attention to the details; did the pageant ask everyone to submit a one-page resume and you submitted 3 pages? Did they ask for a photo in the top left corner and your picture is no where to be found? Paying attention to the details proves the type of titleholder you are going to be. Your paperwork is often your first impression - what is it saying about you?
If you need a paperwork edit or review, email me and let's get started: BeVictoriousPrep@gmail.com.