To land the best photographer jobs, you need to wow prospective employers and clients.
Alongside your portfolio of work, you will need a CV to backup the reasons why they should hire you, and secure a meeting or interview.
This guide along with an example photographer CV example will teach you everything you need to get results.
- Photographer CV example
- Structuring and formatting your CV
- Writing your CV profile
- Detailing work experience
- Your education
- Skills required for your Photographer CV
Photographer CV example
This a good example of a Photographer CV which contains all of the information that an employer would need to know, and presents it in a well- structured, easy-to-read manner.
Take some time to look at this CV and refer to it throughout the writing of your own CV for best results.
Photographer CV structure & format
If you focus on the written content of your CV but ignore how it actually looks, your efforts could end up wasted.
No matter how suitable you are for the role, no recruiter wants to spend time squinting and trying to navigate a badly designed and disorganised CV.
- Length: Recruiters will be immediately put off by lengthy CVs – with hundreds of applications to read through, they simply don’t have the time! Grabbing their attention with a short, snappy and highly relevant CV is far more likely to lead to success. Aim for two sides of A4 or less.
- Readability: Make sure your CV is easy to read and looks professional by applying some simple formatting tricks. Bullet points are great for making large paragraphs more digestible, while formatting your headings with bold or coloured text will help the reader to find the information they need, with speed.
- Design: When it comes to CV design, it’s best to keep things simple and sleek. While elaborate designs certainly command attention, it’s not always for the right reasons! Readability is key, so whatever you choose to do, make sure you prioritise readability above everything.
- Avoid photos: Ditch logos, images or profile photos. Not only do they take up valuable space, but they may even distract recruiters from your important written content.
Structuring your CV
For easy reading, write your CV to the following CV structure:
- Contact details – Make it easy for recruiters to get in touch with you by listing your contact details at the top of your CV.
- Profile – A short and snappy summary of your experience and skills, showcasing what makes you a good fit for the position.
- Work experience / career history – Note down all your work history, with your current position first, then working backwards.
- Education – A short list of your academic background and professional/vocational qualifications.
- Interest and hobbies – This is an optional section, which you can use to highlight any relevant hobbies or interests.
Now I’ll guide you through exactly what you should include in each CV section.
CV Contact Details
Start off your CV with a basic list of your contact details.
Here’s what you should include:
- Mobile number
- Email address – It’s often helpful to make a new email address, specifically for your job applications.
- Location – Share your town or city; there’s no need for a full address.
- LinkedIn profile or portfolio URL – Make sure the information on them is coherent with your CV, and that they’re up-to-date
Quick tip: Delete excessive details, such as your date of birth or marital status. Recruiters don’t need to know this much about you, so it’s best to save the space for your other CV sections.
Photographer CV Profile
It’s ideal for busy recruiters and hiring managers, who don’t want to waste time reading unsuitable applications.
Think of it as your personal sales pitch. You’ve got just a few lines to sell yourself and prove you’re a great match for the job – make it count!
Tips for creating an impactful CV profile:
- Keep it brief: 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: The biggest CV mistake? A generic, mass-produced document which is sent out to tens of employers. If you want to land an interview, you need to tailor your CV profile (and your application as a whole) to the specific roles you’re applying for. So, before you start writing, remember to read over those job descriptions and make a list of the skills, knowledge and experience the employers are looking for.
- Don’t add an objective: If you want to discuss your career objectives, save them for your cover letter, rather than wasting valuable CV profile space.
- Avoid cliches: “Determined team player who always gives 110%” might seem like a good way to fill up your CV profile, but generic phrases like this won’t land you an interview. Recruiters hear them time and time again and have no real reason to believe them. Instead, pack your profile with your hard skills and tangible achievements instead.
What to include in your Photographer CV profile?
- Summary of experience: 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.
- Relevant skills: Employers need to know what skills you can bring to their organisation, and ideally they want to see skills that match their job vacancy. So, research your target roles thoroughly and add the most important Photographer skills to your profile.
- Essential qualifications: Be sure to outline your relevant Photographer qualifications, so that anyone reading the CV can instantly see you are qualified for the jobs you are applying to.
Quick tip: Your CV is your first impression on recruiters, so it’s vital to avoid spelling and grammar mistakes. Use a free writing assistant tool, like Grammarly, to check over your CV before hitting send.
Core skills section
In addition to your CV profile, your core skills section provides an easily digestible snapshot of your skills – perfect for grabbing the attention of busy hiring managers.
As Photographer jobs might receive a huge pile of applications, this is a great way to stand out and show off your suitability for the role.
It should be made up of 2-3 columns of bullet points and be made up of skills that are highly relevant to the jobs you are targeting.
Work experience/Career history
By this point, employers will be keen to know more detail about you career history.
Starting with your most recent role and working backwards, create a snappy list of any relevant roles you’ve held.
This could be freelance, voluntary, part-time or temporary jobs too. Anything that’s relevant to your target role is well-worth listing!
Structuring your roles
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.
“Work independently, as part of a wider team of 6 photographers, and take professional photos of couples, families, and children either at the studio or on location; reported to the director.”
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.
- Employed specific photography techniques to enhance photographs as required, and utilise photo manipulation software such as Adobe to achieve desired results.
- Work with clients to offer creative input in order to achieve client requirements.
- Adjust apertures, shutter speeds, and camera focus based on lighting, field depth, subject motion, and photo requirements.
Finish off by showcasing 1-3 key achievements made within the role.
This could be anything that had a positive effect on your company, clients or customers, such as saving time or money, receiving exemplary feedback or receiving an award.
- Oversaw the company portfolio and 3 social media accounts, and built a follower base of over 400k.
- Attended key events to promote work and network with potential clients; securing new clients and enhancing annual revenue by 14%.
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 Photographer 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.
Interests and hobbies
The hobbies and interests CV section isn’t mandatory, so don’t worry if you’re out of room by this point.
However, if you have an interesting hobby, or an interest that could make you seem more suitable for the role, then certainly think about adding.
Be careful what you include though… Only consider hobbies that exhibit skills that are required for roles as a Photographer, or transferable workplace skills.
There is never any need to tell employers that you like to watch TV and eat out.
Essential skills for your Photographer CV
Tailoring your CV to the roles you are applying for is key to success, so make sure to read through the job descriptions and tailor your skills accordingly.
However, commonly desired Photographer skills include:
Histogram reading – You will read your histogram while you are taking photographs to ensure you don’t lose detail in important highlights.
Lighting – To produce photos of a certain look, you will need to know how to manipulate light outside and in, you’ll need to know where to place lamps.
Photography Software – Photography doesn’t end at the taking of the photo, you will likely need software to enhance, crop or edit pictures based on your client requests.
Creativity – Many photographs will need staging, you need to display still life objects or backgrounds to help frame your photography.
Make-up – If you’re photographing people, you may need to enhance or change their appearance to create the photography you’re after. If your project hasn’t employed a make-up artist then you may need to do this yourself.
Writing your Photographer CV
When putting together your Photographer CV, there are a few key points to remember.
Always tailor your CV to the target role, even if it means creating several versions for different roles.
Additionally, remember that the structure and format of your CV needs just as much attention as the content.
Remember to triple-check for spelling and grammar errors before hitting send. If you’re unsure, consult Grammarly – it’s free!
Good luck with your job search!