Cinematographer Resume with Examples, and Tips

If you've always wanted to get into the world of filmmaking, working as a cinematographer has probably crossed your mind. This exciting job allows you to explore your creativity and show your talent as you tell stories through the camera.

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Getting an opportunity in this field can be challenging because the industry is so competitive. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. Having an exceptional cinematographer resume highlighting your experience working on different movie sets and your top achievements is a great first step.

This article will give you all the tips you need to get started on your resume. Some of the topics we’ll cover include:

  • How to structure your resume without leaving any vital sections.
  • The right skills for a cinematographer
  • How to add your work experience to your cinematographer resume
  • The best resume format and layout for your resume
  • A cinematographer resume sample like no other.

Cinematographer Resume Example

Frank Berry
Cinematographer

837-092-228
frankberry@gmail.com
New Martinsville, WV
linkedin.com/in/frankberry

Professional summary
Award-winning cinematographer with eight years of experience. Vast knowledge and experience in creative lighting techniques for basic and complex videos. Provides effective direction and supervision to the video production team using various recording and broadcasting camera equipment. Excellent leadership and organizational skills.

Work experience 
Lucky Films Inc.
Cinematographer
March 2018-Date

  • Worked with the creative team members to interpret concept strategies and create concrete tasks and assignments to delegate to the appropriate crew.
  • Made arrangements for post-production processes for 3 different narrative feature stories made for television productions.
  • Responsible for setting up HD cameras needed at remote stations for broadcasts and promotions.
  • Assessed post-show recaps to highlight successes and noted what improvements if any, would be possible.

New World Films Inc.
Video Production Liaison
June 2016-February 2018

  • Obtained relevant production information, created a weekly production schedule, and distributed copies to the production manager and camera crew.
  • Submitted written scripts for concepts included in show launches, current shows, and ad-sponsored campaigns.
  • Edited assignment stories for multiple platforms, produced high-quality video content and researched and selected the visual content to be included.
  • Acted as writer and producer for short-form content, sizzle reels, and image spots used for social media platforms.

Education
Bachelor’s Degree in Cinematography
DePaul University
2017

Skills

  • Film editing
  • Final Cut Pro
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Lighting skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Screenwriting
  • Communication skills
  • Creative writing

Additional Information

Memberships
Member- The American Society of Cinematographers

Salary & Employment Rates for Cinematographers

According to the U.S Bureau of Statistics, the overall employment of film and video editors and camera operators is projected to grow 29 percent from 2020 to 2030.

The industries with the highest levels of employment in Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Film include:

  • Motion Picture and Video Industries
  • Radio and Television Broadcasting
  • Cable and Other Subscription Programming
  • Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services
  • Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

The average salary for a cinematographer is $51,000. The typical range is $44,000 to $58,000, depending on your skills, education, and professional experience.

How to Write a Job-winning Cinematographer Resume

Getting into the entertainment industry as a filmmaker is a dream job for many people. This means that the hiring manager gets hundreds, if not thousands of resumes. Your resume must stand out if you want to get your next cinematographer position.

Check the job description and tailor your resume to match the recruiter’s requirements. If you’re using one resume for multiple jobs, you’re making a mistake, which could be why you’re not getting any callbacks.

The job description also has specific keywords and action verbs that the hiring manager needs to see in your resume. Ensure that they are in your resume so that the applicant tracking systems do not filter it out.

You also need to consider your format, layout, and structure. Let’s look at these in detail.

Resume Format, Layout, and Structure of Your Resume

The format determines the qualifications you put first in your resume. Here are some of the formats you can consider.

  • The reverse-chronological order focuses on your expertise and is suitable for candidates who’ve worked as cinematographers for many years. It’s also a favorite of most hiring managers because it’s easy to scan on ATS systems.
  • The functional resume format is perfect if you recently graduated or are changing careers and don’t have a lot of experience. It’s also known as the skills-based resume because it focuses on your skills.
  • The combination/hybrid resume is a blend of the two other formats. It combines their best features and is also perfect for candidates with the required experience and skills.

The layout of the resume should be simple to read and understand. Cinematographers are creatives and would love to show their creativity on their resumes. That’s okay, but ensure it’s not too much, and the hiring manager can still read your resume. Choose fonts that are easy to read, like Cambria, Calibri, Times New Roman, and Arial. Also, use a font size of 10-12pt.

The structure of your cinematographer resume should have the following sections:

  • The header section
  • Professional summary/objective
  • Work experience
  • Education section
  • Skills section
  • An additional section (Languages, awards/honors, and interests)

Start Your Resume With a Header

The header details your personal and contact information. It must be accurate so that the recruiter reaches you if they need to do so. These are the details you’ll include:

  • Your full name
  • Job title
  • Phone number
  • Professional email address
  • Location
  • A link to your LinkedIn profile.

A good header

CORRECT
Lorraine Parks
Cinematographer

683-202-922
lorraineparks@gmail.com
New York, NY
linkedin.com/in/lorraineparks

A bad header

INCORRECT
Lorraine Parks
Cinematographer

683-202-922
lorraineparks@gmail.com
1344 Jarvisville Road
House number 12
New York, NY
Date of birth 02/09/1997
linkedin.com/in/lorraineparks

📌The header shouldn’t have too many personal details. Focus on the important details that the recruiter needs to contact you.

Photo or No Photo?

Most job seekers wonder if they should add a photo to their resume. It’s best if you don’t add one because it increases the chances of discrimination and unconscious bias. There are some instances where the recruiter will ask you for one, in which case you should send it, but ensure it’s a professional passport-sized one.

Create an Eye-Catching Work Experience Section

Your employment history working as a cinematographer is crucial.  Every hiring manager on the set of a show or movie wants to hire an individual who can do a superb job .

They need to see that you can take direction and capture what they need, and your employment history helps them with this. If you’ve worked as a cinematographer, list your work history, starting with your most recent position.

Start with the name of the workplace, your job title, and employment dates. Under each workplace, add three to five primary responsibilities, then quantify them with facts and figures. This shows the recruiter the value you could bring to the company.

Use simple sentences that describe your duties and include keywords and action verbs from the job description to optimize your resume. Also, focus on the relevant experience that’s related to the job.

If you don’t have any experience, add volunteer experiences from school that have helped you gain some video and film production knowledge.

Correct example

CORRECT
Creative Y&R
Cinematographer
July 2017-March 2020
  • Responsible for raising donations and securing grant funds for more than $1M to finance multiple shows while maintaining brand identity standards.
  • Wrote 4 high-impact scripts to be submitted to editors for review and approval and researched information and video equipment required.
  • Managed a variety of projects and supervised a team of 10 editors, a lighting crew, and a production crew.
  • In charge of creating film budgets and monitoring expenditures to keep within budget guidelines reducing expenses by 10%.
💡The example above does a great job of explaining the candidate’s duties and achievements, which they quantify using figures.

Incorrect example

INCORRECT
GLab Media
Director of Photography
May 2018-June 2019
  • Traveled to various locations and took photos at events.
  • Posted photos on social media platforms.
  • Communicated with clients to discuss their creative vision.
  • Produced promotional strategies for lifestyle shoots.
💡The example above is vague and fails to show the recruiter the results they could achieve by adding figures and facts.

Describe Your Educational Qualifications

Every agency you’re applying to will have different educational requirements. Check the job ad and ensure you’ve added what is required.

There are a lot of individuals in the creative industry who are self-taught, including cinematographers. However, even if that’s the case, you shouldn’t leave the education section out of your resume.

If you have a bachelor’s degree or high school diploma, add it here. If you don’t have a lot of experience,  use this section to describe the relevant coursework  that has prepared you for the position.

Start with the name of the degree/diploma, the name of the school, and the year of completion.

Correct example

BFA in Film and Television
New York Film Academy
2016

Key Cinematographer Skills for Your Resume

The right skills will elevate your resume and help you land your dream job.  Most hiring managers use ATS systems that filter out resumes  that don’t have the required skills.

Before adding your skills, check the job description and use the wording/language used by the recruiter as you list your abilities to increase your chances of landing an interview.

Everything from utilizing industry-standard hardware to video production should be added in this section. Separate your hard skills from your soft skills and use bullet points to list them to make them more visible.

Hard skills are taught at school or through on-the-job training and may take some time to learn. Soft skills are the interpersonal attributes that help you interact with your colleagues on set and the clients you meet on the job.

Here are some of the skills that will help your cinematographer resume.

Hard skills

  • Video editing
  • Film lighting
  • Adobe premiere
  • Experience with Final Cut Pro
  • DaVinci Resolve
  • Project Management
  • Budgeting
  • Configuring video equipment

Soft skills

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Creative writing skills
  • Multitasking
  • Time management
  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Decision-making

How to Create The Summary Section

The professional/resume summary is a short paragraph that introduces your resume. This is the second section of your resume, and it should be catchy and engaging to get the recruiter’s attention and compel them to read the rest of your resume. Add your best achievements, experience, and skills to this section, quantifying them with figures and facts.

Correct example

CORRECT
Passionate cinematographer with nine years of experience managing all aspects of pre and post-production. Extensive knowledge of equipment configuration, video editing using software programs like Final Cut Pro and Avid, and special effects integration. Working proficiency in using production equipment and collaborating with external creative agencies to produce high-quality video content.
💡The example above highlights the candidate’s experience, skills, and top accomplishments, giving the recruiter an excellent overview of their resume.

Incorrect example

INCORRECT
Hardworking cinematographer with a strong background in media production. Worked on multiple popular television shows and proficient in using various software programs.
💡The example above is vague and doesn’t give the recruiter insight into the specific skills and accomplishments that make them a unique candidate.

Professional Objective

Candidates who don’t have much experience, like recent graduates and career changers, use a professional objective to introduce their resumes. They can also summarize their career goals and express their interest in the position.

Correct example

CORRECT
Meticulous cinematographer with a strong educational background in motion pictures, television, and multimedia journalism. Excellent at relationship-building, possess a highly professional attitude, and skilled at making sound judgments in challenging and deadline-driven environments. Looking for a challenging position to grow in my career at a top firm like Benaco Media.
💡The example above describes the candidate’s skills that will make them excel in the position and expresses their interest in joining the company.

Additional Sections for Your Cinematographer Resume

One of the best ways to stand out is by including an additional section to your resume. This section holds extra qualifications that you don’t want the recruiter to miss.

Use our resume examples to find out some of the sections you can add here and our resume templates which will give you enough room to accommodate all your additional qualifications.

Let’s look at some of the sections you should add here.

Awards/honors

When you’re in the entertainment industry, winning awards is a big deal and an outstanding achievement. Always include your awards under this section to ensure the recruiter doesn’t miss them. Start with the title of the award, the organization that gave the award, and the year awarded.

Example of an award

Best Cinematographer of a Musical, Tony Awards, 2018.

Languages

Working as a cinematographer means working on different sets and meeting people from different cultures. Production managers are on the lookout for bilingual candidates, so don’t leave it out of your resume if you’re one. Highlight it under this section and use the official language reference as follows:

  • IELTS for English (with 30 points and above)
  • DELF for French (with 70% and above)
  • Goethe Zertifikat for German(with 36 points and above)

Interests

Your interests give the recruiter an idea of who you are outside of work. You must research the company or agency you want to work for to determine their culture before adding your interests. This ensures that this section doesn’t work against you, causing you to lose the opportunity.

Tips To Boost Your Resume

  • Always craft a new resume for each cinematographer position.
  • Use the job description to find the right keywords and action verbs for your resume.
  • Choose the right format and layout for your resume.
  • Consider using a resume template to arrange your sections correctly.
  • Avoid using one job title for multiple applications and optimize each title with keywords.
  • Proofread the resume before sending it to the recruiter to ensure there are no mistakes.

Summary: Key Points for Writing a Perfect Resume for Cinematographers

  • The resume header contains your contact information, which should be correct.
  • Keep your resume design simple by using easy-to-read fonts and a font size of 10-12pt.
  • Detail your employment history in the work experience section and list your relevant experience.
  • Use facts and figures to quantify your achievements and show the recruiter the value you bring to the company.
  • Always add your educational qualifications even if you’re self-taught because it’s an essential part of your resume.
  • Using bullet points to list your skills makes it easy for the recruiter to spot them.

Write a Compelling Cover Letter

A cover letter is an essential part of your application. It gives more details on your qualifications and shows your writing skills and outstanding personality. Always accompany your resume with one unless the recruiter doesn’t require one. Check out our cover letter examples.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which top companies are hiring for video editor jobs?

According to Glassdoor, the company hiring video editors include:

  • NBCUniversal
  • Discovery, Inc.
  • Paramount
  • Conde Nast
  • BuzzFeed
  • WarnerMedia
  • LinkedIn
  • Bloomberg L.P

Which college degree does a cinematographer need?

A bachelor’s degree in film, film studies, or a related field.

Cinematographer CV examples

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