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.
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”.
Highlight any experience of equipment you have - remember that Ravensbourne has given you access to professional standard equipment that some of your competitors will not have used.
Ravensbourne students have well-developed software skills and it is always worth mentioning that you have the full Adobe suite on your laptop.
Finally, don't forget that passion and enthusiasm are what will make your CV stand out so be upbeat. Also, given the number of CVs employers receive, a clear layout and an understanding of the skills that will be needed are essential.
If you have an impressive list of student films/productions you have worked on - give an indication of how involved you have been. Lots of experience shows a drive and passion for what you do.
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 location 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 your name so that it will be easy for employers to find digitally on file (not “My CV_3”).
Some useful articles on media CVs can be found on:
Covering letter advice
If you are applying for a specific role, 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 broadcast operations 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 just 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 ‘for considering the CV’
Companies or freelancers vary in what they are looking for in a showreel but all expect something targeted at them. Think of your showreel as a visual version of your cover letter and CV and always remember your audience.
- Keep it short. Put your best material first and include as wide a variety of styles and techniques as you can.
- Always get permission to show footage that isn’t exclusively yours.
- Look at showreels online that relate to your particular experience level so that you know what your competitors are producing
Malcolm Brinkworth, Managing Director or Touch Productions once said.
"I need to see a reel showing a mixture of situations and demonstrating that the operator has a developed eye, can cope in a controlled situation, can light and has an intuitive understanding of framing. I can tell when watching reels how much is down to the camera operator and how much is the work of the director. Experience is crucial, but many experienced camera operators send in poor CVs. As well as a list of credits, broken down into sub-divisions (e.g. drama, docs, etc.), I am looking for a sense of personality and what makes them tick. Some are good at actuality work and human interest stories, others prefer more controlled situations. Indicate this in a good personal statement and play to your strengths."
BAFTA mini masterclasses and interviews with professionals: