According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Cinematographer positions are at a 29% growth rate, which is much faster than average. With that said, there are currently 63,300 jobs in the market right now. The total number of jobs is expected to increase by 18,300 to 81,600 in the period of 2020-30.
What’s more, the median annual wage for the Cinematographer jobs was $61,900 in May 2020. The lowest 10% earned less than $34,870, and the highest 10% more than $152,720.
Our conclusion? The Cinematographer job market is wide open for candidates.
Top cinematographer sections that make the best resume
- Professional summary
- Experience (with numbers and results)
- Relevant skills
Writing a strong cinematographer experience section
Cinematographer resume experience section: Ultimate checklist
- Use no more than 4-6 bullet points per position;
- List relevant positions and situations that add value to your application;
- Describe situations, tasks, actions, and results (the S-T-A-R method);
- Remember to include numbers in whatever form you like (e.g. the number of projects you’ve finished);
- Begin each bullet point with an action verb.
Check out the examples below when building your experience section. They will help you stand out!
Don't make the same mistake everyone else does. What we mean is, don't list your Cinematographer job responsibilities instead of your achievements. Recruiters know what you do. They want to know what kind of difference you can bring to their company. Focus on what you've accomplished.
Action verbs for your cinematographer resume
Writing a strong skills section for your cinematographer resume
Checklist for your cinematographer skills section:
- Include all relevant skills from the job description to pass ATS;
- Focus on skills that show your expertise;
- List your technical skills in a clear and concise manner;
- Leave room for transferable skills related to teamwork, communication, negotiation, and conflict management.
Top skills for your cinematographer resume
Adobe Premiere Pro
Avoid getting sidetracked by Applicant tracking software by including a tech skills' section matching the job description and your own qualifications.
Cinematographer resume header: tips, red flags, and best practices
Checklist for your cinematographer resume header
- Your name and surname in a legible and larger resume font
- The job title you’re applying for or your current job title as a subheading to your name
- Link to your portfolio or online profile, such as LinkedIn
- Address (City and State for the US; just your city for rest of the world)
- Email address
- Headshot (required or welcomed in the EU; not required and sometimes frowned upon in the US)
Stick to popular email providers such as Gmail or Outlook. And use these professional formats to create your username:
Some companies, states, and countries have policies about identifying information like photos on your Cinematographer resume. Be sure to check all the relevant rules before submitting yours. If you’re in doubt, you can always try contacting the company’s HR department to ask for their policy.
The ideal summary for your cinematographer resume
Mastering the summary section: checklist
- Mention the total years of experience you have in the field;
- Focus on 2 to 3 of your top achievements;
- Highlight the things that make you the best fit for the position;
- Go for short, easy-to-read sentences to keep the recruiter’s attention.
Resume Summary Formula:
Your summary section should act as a professional taster. Use it wisely. Effectively convey your professional profile and let the hiring manager know that if they hire you, they won’t be disappointed. Make sure to include keywords from the job description too! Elaborate on your abilities further in your experience section. Again, cater to the job description.
Things to include in your cinematographer resume education section
Cinematographer resume education section checklist:
- Mention your highest education degree;
- Add the duration of your course and the institution you attended;
- List the awards you’ve received during your studies;
- Feature your certifications if they are relevant to the position;
- Entry-level positions: Share more about projects and classes.
Top certifications for your cinematographer resume
Film Cinematographer Fundamentals
The art of capturing emotion visually through the lense of a camera.
The art of dramatic lighting, for cinematographers of independent films
Video Production Masterclass: Beginner to Pro Video Creation
Create Stunning Videos as a Youtuber, Filmmaker, Vlogger, Journalist or Cinematographer. Learn Sound, Lighting & More!
Filmmaking: Write, Direct and Distribute Your Feature Film
Make Your Dream Come True by Filming Your Movie and Distributing It Around the World
Filmmaking in a Box: Indie Feature Film Masterclass
(20+hrs) Watch & Learn the Entire Filmmaking Process of Directing a Low Budget Feature Film. Real Life Film School
There are dozens of certifications that you can claim as a Cinematographer. But, some are more effective than others. That’s why you mustn’t include every certificate other applicants might have. Try instead to earn and list a few of the difficult ones.
Formatting your cinematographer resume
What’s worse than a .docx resume? A resume with a poorly chosen format.
In general, there are three basic resume formats we advise you to stick with:
- Reverse-chronological resume format;
- Functional skills-based resume format;
- Combination (or Hybrid) resume format.
Choosing between them is easy when you’re aware of your applicant profile – it depends on your years of experience, the position you’re applying for, and whether you’re looking for an industry change or not.
The reverse-chronological resume format is just that – all your relevant jobs in reverse-chronological order. It’s great for applicants with lots of experience, no career gaps, and little desire for creativity.
When working with less experienced applicants, we suggest the functional skills-based resume format. It’s great for recent graduates or people with large career gaps. Functional skills-based resumes focus on your personality, the skills you have, your interests, and your education. Ultimately, the idea is to show you’re the perfect fit without putting too much emphasis on your work experience (or lack thereof).
If you’re in the middle or are generally looking to make your resume feel more modern and personal, go for the combination or hybrid resume format. It offers the best of both worlds by combining sections focused on experience and work-related skills and at the same time keeping space for projects, awards, certifications, or even creative sections like ‘my typical day’ and ‘my words to live by’.
Cinematographer Resume Formatting Checklist
- Choose the resume format based on your level of experience and the company you’re applying for
- Go for a traditional 10-12p font
- Stick to 1-inch page margins to ensure high readability
- Match the length of your resume to your experience, but don’t go for more than two pages!
To take it a step further, check out how your resume can stand out without leaning too much on the creative side.
If you feel that you don’t have high chances in a particular company, due to lack of relevant experience, then you can still consider using a creative layout. That might help you get noticed and invited for an interview, as most of the other applicants will have boring resume designs.
Additional sections for your cinematographer resume
In some cases, especially when it comes to entry-level positions, adding more sections beyond the usual ‘experience’, ‘skills’, and ‘education’ works well in your favor. Such additional sections will help you paint a fuller picture of who you are in the recruiter’s head.
Here’s a list of fun yet informative additional sections for your resume:
Making your cinematographer resume creative
We know too well that recruiters go through tons of resumes every day. The worse part is, they often need to hire people for different positions and teams. So how do you make yourself stand out in such cases?
By adding a dash of creativity to your Cinematographer resume. It can be in the form of a colorful layout, a section describing your typical day, or even a picture of your favorite book – you decide!
Just make sure that the levels of creativity match the industry, company, and position you’re applying for.
What Makes a Great Cinematographer Resume: Key Takeaways
- Choose a resume layout that sends the right message across and fits your current career situation;
- Create a resume header that shows your desired job title, and easy to find contact numbers;
- Be specific about your experience, accomplishments and future goals in your summary;
- Feature detailed metrics and specific examples that show the impact you made in your previous roles when describing your experience;
- List soft skills backed by examples;
- Add all of your technical skills and certifications that you have and match the job description;
- Show off a dash of personality in your resume that will demonstrate your culture fit and the right mix of hard and soft skills.