How to Write a Photographer Resume That Will Stand Out in 2018

What you need for a winning Photographer resume:

The photography industry is as cutthroat as any, so how do you create a photographer resume that stands out and gets you the work you deserve?

  • Make sure it’s the right length, unless you’re an extremely experienced photographer in the prime of your career, one page should be enough
  • Ensure it focuses on showing the photography skills most directly related to the kind of job you want to get
  • Always write with your audience in mind, consider who will read your resume and make sure everything on it is optimized for that person
  • Try as much as possible to show and not tell about who you are and what you can do

It’s easy to forget that people want to hire photographers for more than just their photo-taking abilities. They want photographers who will be easy to work with, reliable, all the things that don’t come through just by seeing their work. Showing you possess those traits means going beyond a basic resume. See how Nikolay accomplished this in his photographer resume below:

Best Photographer resume examples by users who got hired

How to write a photographer resume

Begin with the mission

The first thing you should do is ask yourself “what is the purpose of my resume?” Do you want to hand it out as a kind of business card for networking? Are you going to use it to apply to a specific position? Are you going to use it for multiple things? Every step you take to create your resume should stem from your mission.
If you’re using your resume for multiple missions, you should consider creating a tailored photographer resume for each one. For example, a short and friendly resume to hand out when you work a wedding and a longer more detailed one to use when applying for a long-term gig.

Make it a One-Pager

If you have enough of a body of work to justify a two or three page resume, then you likely have a personal website which can offer all of that additional information for anyone interested. For that reason, it’s nearly always best for photographers to stick to a one page resume. The example from Nikolay above shows just how much you can fit into a single page, so don’t bore or distract the person reading it with unnecessary details.

Show, don’t tell

A cardinal rule for any resume is to avoid empty buzzwords (and use effective ones). But just as important is to replace empty, meaningless words with something more substantial. In other words, you can say that you’re creative, reliable, or adventurous, but your resume will have a far greater impact if you show it. In Nikolay’s photographer resume, he demonstrates that he’s entrepreneurial by listing projects and companies he’s founded. He demonstrates his adventurousness by mentioning work in refugee camps and hitchhiking. He demonstrates his skill by noting various awards and recognition. Nowhere on his resume does it say he possess these traits, the content speaks for itself.

Focus on what makes you unique

In nearly every case, someone looking to hire you has plenty of photographers to choose from. So, one of the missions of your photographer resume should be to show what makes you unique. Including the kind of compelling personal details about your passions, accomplishments, and interests can really make a difference here.

What 8 sections you should include in your photographer resume

While including every one of these sections is overkill, you’ll want to carefully consider which ones will have the greatest impact on your resume mission.

1. Bio
2. Strengths
3. Experience
4. Uniqueness
5. Languages
6. Мost proud of
7. Philosophy
8. Contact information

1. Your Bio

This is a simple but vastly underrated resume section. Just a few words under your name describing who you are, what you do, or what your mission is can have a significant impact on how someone reads the rest of your resume. Your bio is a kind of primer, giving context for all the other information on your resume.
In Nikolay’s example below, knowing he’s also a visual journalist helps the reader understand some of his work and awards.

Resume Section

2. Your Strengths

If you’re skilled in a specific area of photography (like wedding, photojournalism, sports, etc.) this can be a great place to mention it. Of course, as mentioned above, you should back this up in other areas like your experience section as well. In any case, this can be a compact section which quickly explains where your talents as a photographer lie.

3. Your Experience

This is the section at the heart of any resume, including one for a photographer. What’s important is getting it right, however. Don’t include experience that is unrelated to your work as a photographer and doesn’t demonstrate any of the skills or qualities you want to emphasize. Again, think about the reader and only include things which will be meaningful to them.

Resume Section

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4. Your Uniqueness

Most people looking to hire a photographer don’t want generic photos (most of us have some amateur we know who could do that just fine). So show what makes you different. This can be in your work, but it can also be in your passions, your artistic sensibility, or how you spend your time (our My Time section is an Enhancv exclusive and perfect for this).

Resume Section

5. Your Languages

This will vary from person to person, but being able to communicate in other languages can be a real blessing in the right circumstances. Photographing a wedding where half the party only speaks Spanish? Looking to travel overseas for a nature shoot? Speaking the relevant language is very helpful in both cases, so it’s worth mentioning.

6. What you’re most proud of

The value of this section is similar to that of number 4 above. It’s a great place to show achievements that wouldn’t normally fit on a resume like funny experiences on jobs, overcoming hardships that define you, or just achieving a lifelong dream. See how Nikolay’s achievements section makes his values, interests, and accomplishments clear all in one.

Resume Section

7. Your philosophy

Do you have a photography idol who’s philosophy you follow? Do you have your own guiding principle for how you work? This is the perfect place to include information like that.

8. Your contact information

This may seem obvious, however, this is more complicated than it seems. Be sure to spent a minute thinking about how you’d like to be contacts and what type of information is best to include here.

How to get a referral on LinkedIn for the photographer role you want

Applicants who rely solely on their resume to get an interview have less than a 2% chance of getting an interview. At the same time, the sales industry is downsizing (in the US). As you can see, it’s important to give yourself the best shot possible at getting hired. This includes leveraging personal connections to get referred to a job.
So before you start applying for a new sales role, check your 1st and 2nd degree contacts in both LinkedIn and in any other relevant groups you may belong to. If you don’t have strong connections in the industry you’re looking to establish yourself in, start making them now!
Check out our complete guide to getting job referrals for more actionable tips.

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