Getting your CV right is vital to your success in your chosen career. The more specific and tailored you make your CV for each job role the better you chances are. Portfolios/showreels/demoreels are also key in getting yourself noticed.
Specifically for this area, remember the media industry is always busy. Recruiters need extra help, sometimes at short notice, and they are not willing to read through paragraphs of descriptive text. Make the job easy by being concise.
Including a profile section at the start of your CV helps recruiters but it must be very brief, focusing on what you have done and what you are looking for, not your personality traits. For example "technically competent runner with studio-based and location experience”.
Related awards you have won or competitions you have entered should come next if you have them. If not, get applying to awards and competitions.
As you work through the sections of your CV highlight any experience of equipment you have. Ravensbourne has given you access to professional standards that can put you ahead of the competition.
If you have an impressive list of student films or productions you have worked on then list a few in your CV with an indication of how involved you have been. With more industry experience you may choose to include programme credits as an appendix by listing:
- Dates from – to Job Title – Name of film/ duration Prod Co/Director
- Brief description of film, tasks completed
- Jobs undertaken, people managed
- Any press reviews/good ratings/ screenings/ festivals entered
Ensure you cover all the key headings expected in a CV but no need to include hobbies like “socialising”. Instead, list interests that are relevant, for the role you are applying for e.g specific interest in a subject for those wanting to work in documentaries or music film. For film jobs, a driving licence is always good to include on your CV if you have one.
Finally, save your concise CV as a PDF with a name that will be easy for employers to find digitally on file. eg. 'Harry Clark. Camera assistant CV'.
Camera and lighting CV tips
- List cameras or kit that you have used.
- Be clear if you have done studio based and/or location lighting/ camera.
- Studio-based work has grown in London so if you have studio experience and are flexible there may be more work available with smaller studios and channels.
- If you are applying to events companies or corporates ensure you highlight your client-facing skills in your covering letter.
- Save your C.V as forename_surname_position_date.
- List the things you did with your work experience.
Do a Google search for CVs related to your area and looked at Linkedin profiles of your competitors. This will help you to consider what works best. The two CVs below are examples of formats that can work nicely as they are clear, concise and easy to read, although we’d usually advise using just one colour in addition to black.
Covering letter advice
If you are applying for a specific role in film, demonstrate that you have the skills needed. For example, a graduate applying for a camera assistant role could write “I recently graduated with a degree in Digital Film from Ravensbourne. During my course and on placements I have gained experience on XYZ cameras.”
You also need to give a specific reason why you wish to join them, not a general “I would like to join a company like the Mill because of your worldwide reputation”. Instead highlight specific features or work they have done that separates the company from their competitors. Remember employers hate to feel that they have received a standard letter.
The covering letter is not about what you can gain from working with them, it clearly lays out in whichever order you choose:
- Why them?
- Why you?
- What are you looking for/ availability.
- A ‘Thank you for considering the CV’.
Some useful articles on media CVs here: