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All of these tips are courtesy of Priscilla Luong - Miss American Junior Teen 2002.  These are the best tips I have found so far.
Thanks Priscilla!

If possible, TYPE ALL OF THE FORMS THAT YOU SUBMIT TO THE OFFICE.  It looks professional and is easy to read.  Many contestants and parents have complained about misspellings and mispronunciations in names; remember that typing your forms will help staff members avoid these errors.  Choose a font that is easy to read and appealing to the eye.  The best ones are Times New Roman and Arial.  Make several copies of each form and practice typesetting it; once you have it perfect, you can print the form out on the original.  As an emcee, I love the girls (and parents) that type out the cards for me!  They are easy to read and make my job so much easier!  If you do not have access to typewriters, computers, or a copy shops and can not typeset your forms, print VERY VERY NEATLY! 

Take advantage of the second page attachment and include a resume of your achievements in the past 3 years.  Type this form out and print it on high quality paper.  Avoid "pretty" stationery paper and stick with Letter Size or Resume Paper.  DO NOT HANDWRITE YOUR ATTACHMENT.  Type up an attachment that is easy to follow, the best way of listing is chronological: most recent and important first.  Here is a sample format for a fact sheet:

123 South Main Street
Anytown, CA 01234
(567) 890-1234

2002-2003          Roosevelt School of the Arts: Vocal Performance          Anywhere, CA
2000-2002          East Anytown High School: General Education              Anytown, CA


2003                  California State Scholar: High Honors
2001                  Presidential Physical Fitness Award


2003                   ASB Leadership: Junior Class President
2001-2003           Teens Helping Teens: Founder, President

6 Years              Figure Skating
5 Years              Classical Ballet
2 Years              Piano: Suzuki Method

2000-2003          East Anytown Public Library: Children's Storytime
2000-2002          American Red Cross

2003                 Anytown Dance Center: Dance Teacher
2001-2002         In-N-Out Burger: Drive Thru Cashier


2002                 American Red Cross Volunteer of the Year
                        Anytown Emerging Artist Scholarship
2001-2002         East Anytown High School Theater: "Best Actress in One Act Festival"
2000                 East Anytown Dance Dept: "Most Valuable Dancer"


Watercolor painting; sewing doll clothing; baking chocolate chip cookies; regional dialects: Southern, British, Asian; watercolor; wakeboarding

-  A neat chronological format will be easy to follow, normally, the pageant requests that girls indicate their achievements and activities from the past three years.  Listing the year in which you received your award will verify this. 
-  List your MOST RECENT, UNIQUE, and PRESTIGIOUS awards/honors/activities first.
-  Keep it black and white, do not use "Word Art" or "Clip Art" on your attachment, and remember that this is a RESUME.  Make it look professional.
-  Be concise with your language!  If you were an officer in a club, do not write down your responsibilities in infinite detail.  This way the interviewer will be able to ask the questions that you want to answer!
-  Use an attractive font that is easy on the eyes.  Save the fun and "pretty" fonts for class projects.  Some great typesets include: Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica, Century Gothic
-  Make sure that your font size is appropriate.  The standard is usually 10-12 font.  Your headings can be bold faced, underlined, or italicized.  Names should be larger than the heading and information on your fact sheet (I usually go about 16-28)
- Keep your fact sheet down to one page, if you need more room, try adjusting the page margins
- For clean spacing, create a table on your word processor

This is the most important thing you send into the state director's office.  Every contestant and pageant official receives a copy of the state program.  Many girls also like to send their sponsors and loved ones a copy of the program as a souvenir as well.  What does this have to do with your headshot?  It is seen by everyone!  When I visit state pageants, the program photo is the first impression is receive of every contestant.  Judges often look through the program before meeting contestants too.  It is extremely vital that you send in a great headshot that looks like you.

Remember, your headshot does not need to be a professional photo, but contestants who have professional headshots do have an advantage.  Great pictures make great impressions, and girls who have an experienced pageant or talent photographer shoot their headshots always look their best.  Make sure that your photo (whether professional or not) is a photo that shows you looking your best.  Do not send in a snapshot of you and your prom date that has been strategically cropped to show you.
The photo should be a close shot of your head and shoulders.

-  The eyes have it.  Always choose a photo that brings out and emphasizes your eyes.  Do not wear color contacts in the photo or at the pageant.
-  Fancy backgrounds are distracting, avoid the "busy work" behind your face and choose a photo that has a simple background.  If you are getting professional headshots done, choose a background that matches your outfit or has great contrast with it.
-  Black and white is best for these programs, but if you choose a color shot, make sure that the contrast looks good in black and white. 
-  Be sure that the photo LOOKS LIKE YOU!  The hairstyle you have in the picture should look like you at the pageant.  If you plan to change your hairstyle or color for the pageant, get that done well in advance and take your headshot after these changes have been made.  Make up should look natural in the photo.  Make sure you look like the picture when you go to the pageant. 
-  Always choose a smiling headshot!  These are the most age appropriate.
-  Go for a flattering or interesting neckline when you choose outfits for headshots.
-  When choosing jewelry to go with your headshot outfit, pick something that draws attention to the face.
-  No crunchy up do's, props, or hats in the picture!
-  Make sure that the lighting is flattering to your face: studio or natural lighting is both appropriate.

Pageant Tips Page 2