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
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
- A link to your LinkedIn profile.
A good header
A bad header
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.
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.
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.
- Video editing
- Film lighting
- Adobe premiere
- Experience with Final Cut Pro
- DaVinci Resolve
- Project Management
- Configuring video equipment
- Interpersonal skills
- Communication skills
- Leadership skills
- Creative writing skills
- Time management
- Creative Problem Solving
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.
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.
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.
Let’s look at some of the sections you should add here.
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
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)
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:
- Discovery, Inc.
- Conde Nast
- Bloomberg L.P
Which college degree does a cinematographer need?
A bachelor’s degree in film, film studies, or a related field.