You can bring the creative director’s vision to life through your lens, but when it comes to writing a great CV, you lose focus.
So, if you need a little help writing your next job application, you’ve come to the right place.
Below, we’ll share a whole host of top tips and expert writing advice, as well as a director of photography CV example to guide you.
Director of Photography CV example
This example CV demonstrates how to structure and format your own Director of Photography CV, so that it can be easily digested by busy hiring managers, and quickly prove why you are suitable for the jobs you are applying to.
It also gives you a good idea of the type of skills, experience and qualifications that you need to be highlighting in your CV.
Director of Photography CV format and structure
In today’s fast-paced job market, recruiters and employers are often short on time. If they can’t locate the information they’re searching for within a few seconds, it could result in them overlooking your application.
Tips for formatting your Director of Photography CV
- Length: Your CV should always be limited to two sides of A4, regardless of whether you have a year or three decades of experience. With recruiters juggling multiple responsibilities, they don’t have time to sift through lengthy applications.
- Readability: Recruiters appreciate CVs that they can quickly scan through without trouble. Ensure yours makes the cut by formatting your headings for attention (bold or coloured fonts should do the trick) and breaking up long paragraphs into smaller chunks or short, snappy bullet points.
- Design & format: While it’s important that your CV design looks good, it also needs to be functional (which means easy for recruiters to read) Keep the design simple to achieve a good balance between looking good and reading well.
- Photos: Headshot photos aren’t required in a CV by most employers, but some creative and artistic industries like to see them. If you decide to include one, make sure you look smart and professional in the picture.
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As you write your CV, divide and sub-head into the following sections:
- Name and contact details – Always start with these, so employers know exactly how to get in touch with you.
- CV profile – Add a short summary of your relevant experience, skills and achievements, which highlights your suitability.
- Core skills section – A 2-3 columned list of your key skills.
- Work experience – A detailed list of any relevant work experience, whether paid or voluntary.
- Education – An overview of your academic background and any training you may have completed.
- Hobbies and interests – A brief overview of your hobbies and interests, if they’re relevant (optional).
Now you understand the basic layout of a CV, here’s what you should include in each section of yours.
Make it easy for recruiters to get in touch, by heading your CV with your contact details.
There’s no need for excessive details – just list the basics:
- Mobile number
- Email address – Use a professional address with no nicknames.
- Location – Just write your general location, such as ‘London’ or ‘Cardiff’ – there’s no need to put your full address.
- LinkedIn profile or portfolio URL
Director of Photography CV Profile
Recruiters read through countless applications every day.
If they don’t find what they’re looking for quickly, they’ll simply move onto the next one.
This short and snappy summary sits at the top of your CV, and should give a high-level overview of why you’re a good match for the job.
This way, you can ensure that busy recruiters see your suitability from the outset, and so, feel your CV is worth their time.
How to write a good CV profile:
- Make it short and sharp: Aim for a short, snappy paragraph of 3-5 lines. This is just enough room to showcase why you’d make the perfect hire, without going into excessive detail and overwhelming busy recruiters.
- Tailor it: Recruiters can spot a generic, mass-produced CV at a glance – and they certainly won’t be impressed! Before you write your profile (and CV as a whole), read through the job advert and make a list of any skills, knowledge and experience required. You should then incorporate your findings throughout your profile and the rest of your CV.
- Don’t add an objective: Career goals and objectives are best suited to your cover letter, so don’t waste space with them in your CV profile.
- Avoid generic phrases: If there’s one thing that’ll annoy a recruiter, it’s a clichè-packed CV. Focus on showcasing your hard skills, experience and the results you’ve gained in previous roles, which will impress recruiters far more.
Example CV profile for Director of Photography
What to include in your Director of Photography CV profile?
- Experience overview: Recruiters will want to know what type of companies you’ve worked for, industries you have knowledge of, and the type of work you’ve carried out in the past, so give them a summary of this in your profile.
- Targeted skills: Ensure that your profile highlights your key skills that are most relevant to your Director of Photography, and tailor them to match the specific job you are applying for. To do this, refer to the job description to closely align your skills with their requirements.
- Important qualifications: Be sure to outline your relevant Director of Photography qualifications, so that anyone reading the CV can instantly see you are qualified for the jobs you are applying to.
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Core skills section
Create a core skills section underneath your profile to spotlight your most in-demand skills and grab the attention of readers.
This section should feature 2-3 columns of bullet points that emphasise your applicable skills for your target jobs. Before constructing this section, review the job description and compile a list of any specific skills, specialisms, or knowledge required.
Important skills for your Director of Photography CV
Camera Operation – Operating various types of cameras, including digital, film, and specialized cameras.
Lighting Techniques – Using different lighting techniques and equipment to set the tone and mood of a scene.
Composition and Framing – Composing and framing shots creatively to enhance the visual storytelling.
Colour Theory – Understanding colour theory and its application in cinematography to influence the mood and style of the footage.
Lens Selection – Maintaining knowledge of various lenses and their effects on the depth of field, focus, and overall look of a shot.
Visual Storytelling – Conveying a story visually, considering narrative elements and visual composition.
Post-Production Techniques –Maintaining familiarity with post-production processes, including colour grading and editing.
Technical Camera Settings – Understanding camera settings like ISO, shutter speed, and aperture and how they affect the image.
Cinematographic Styles – Maintaining knowledge of different cinematographic styles and techniques to suit various genres and narratives.
Crew Management – Leading and coordinating the camera and lighting crews to achieve the desired visual outcome.
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Recruiters will be itching to know more about your relevant experience by now.
Kick-start this section with your most recent (or current) position, and work your way backwards through your history.
You can include voluntary and freelance work, too – as long as you’re honest about the nature of the work.
Structuring each job
Whilst writing your CV, it’s essential to look at it from the eyes of a recruiter.
If they’re met with giant blocks of text which are impossible to navigate, they might get frustrated and skip onto the next CV.
Instead, make use of the 3-step structure shown below, to give them a pleasant reading experience.
Start with a brief summary of your role as a whole, as well as the type of company you worked for.
Next up, you should write a short list of your day-to-day duties within the job.
Recruiters are most interested in your sector-specific skills and knowledge, so highlight these wherever possible.
Round up each role by listing 1-3 key achievements, accomplishments or results.
Wherever possible, quantify them using hard facts and figures, as this really helps to prove your value.
Sample job description for Director of Photography CV
Create and preserve the look and feel for each scene, for a leading European production and distribution company with a rich history and a significant presence in the global entertainment sector.
- Select and rent or purchase appropriate cinematic gear for each project within allotted budgets, as well as submit invoices for reimbursement.
- Partner alongside designers to confirm that lighting and props are compatible with camera equipment used for motion pictures or photography sessions.
- Hire, supervise, and ensure crew members are suitably trained to carry out their duties.
- Shoot footage using various camera techniques such as pans, zooms, and close-ups.
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Although there should be mentions of your highest and most relevant qualifications earlier on in your CV, save your exhaustive list of qualifications for the bottom.
If you’re an experienced candidate, simply include the qualifications that are highly relevant to Director of Photography roles.
However, less experienced candidates can provide a more thorough list of qualifications, including A-Levels and GCSEs.
You can also dedicate more space to your degree, discussing relevant exams, assignments and modules in more detail, if your target employers consider them to be important.
Hobbies and interests
This section is entirely optional, so you’ll have to use your own judgement to figure out if it’s worth including.
If your hobbies and interests could make you appear more suitable for your dream job, then they are definitely worth adding.
Interests which are related to the industry, or hobbies like sports teams or volunteering, which display valuable transferable skills might be worth including.
An interview-winning CV for a Director of Photography role, needs to be both visually pleasing and packed with targeted content.
Whilst it needs to detail your experience, accomplishments and relevant skills, it also needs to be as clear and easy to read as possible.
Remember to research the role and review the job ad before applying, so you’re able to match yourself up to the requirements.
If you follow these guidelines and keep motivated in your job search, you should land an interview in no time.
Best of luck with your next application!