This is an article for those who are just starting out in film and have little experience to place onto their film crew resume. You might be a recent graduate or changing careers over to film.
You will learn - film resume design, structure and have access to a free film resume template. I also have a video on my new YouTube channel - Film Production Resume Tips
My E-book ‘Find Work In Film’ has more film crew resume examples and details on where to send your Resume/CV.
YOUR JOB ROLE
At the top of your film crew resume should be your job role title. If you are just starting out in film you might not know what job role to write down. Your job title should be the same as the job title you are applying for. The entry-level job roles in film are Production Assistant, Runner or Trainee (for example, camera trainee, grip trainee, art department trainee).
You might also have a specific film crew job role in mind that you aim to pursue (for example, camera assistant, production designer, script supervisor). Keep in mind that applying for fully paid job roles will require some previous experience.
Some film school students graduate knowing what job role they wish to pursue. This job role might be a competitive role such as ‘director, producer, screenwriter’. If you are going to place a competitive job role at the top of your resume understand that it will take a long time (and plenty of experience) before you will be trusted with paid work within these roles.
This depends entirely on your personal situation. For example, some people start out as directors straight away but they might work for free for many years building up their experience.
If you are unsure what job role to pursue start out within an entry-level job role. If you have a specific job role in mind build up your resume experience by working on indies and low budget films. To get paid for a job role other than entry-level you will need plenty of past experience.
YOUR PERSONAL BRIEF
Below your name and job title is your personal brief. This is a few sentences explaining who you are and why you are a good fit for the job. This is a short paragraph letting whoever is hiring you know a little more about you. Mention your experience, your expertise, and goals. Here is an example of a simple profile brief from a former student applying for a runner job role
“ I have had an interest in filmmaking from an early age. I studied film production at university and I am hoping to gain more experience working on professional film sets. I have a full clean driving license and I am able to start work immediately.”
The majority of your film crew resume will be your credits or work experience. If you are a new filmmaker you might struggle to fill this section. If you only have student film experience put this experience under a title such as ‘Student Projects’. If you have done any volunteer work on independent films place these credits on here too.
If you have yet to work on a film set, place details of your regular day jobs. However, consider how the skills from your day job could be transferred over to film work
(for example, office admin work can transfer directly over to production office admin work).
If you currently have no film experience at all consider finding some. This could be helping out on a local student/ low budget film. Film is a very competitive industry so having some experience is as good as necessary.
I also have an article on - How To Kick Start Your Film Career
Include any higher education even if not related to film (degrees, masters, PhDs). It can also be helpful to attend some workshops depending on your job role. For example, assistant directors would benefit from first aid training.
Keep your skills relevant to the job role you are applying for. Skills desired for entry-level roles might be a driving license, first aid training, admin skills, communication skills, teamwork. You don’t need to list all of the skills you have, for example, a production runner does not need to know how to use editing software.
Your film crew resume should also not exceed one page! Yes, especially if you are just starting out a clean, clear, focused one-page resume is better than a two-page filler.
Hopefully, the above advice has helped you understand more about film crew resume design. However, there are some mistakes that people keep consistently making. Here are the main ones below to try and avoid –
Listing Multiple Job Roles – If you applying for professional film crew work then only one person is hired per job role. You might have multiple job roles that are closely related (for example, camera operator and Steadicam operator) but a common mistake is to list a series of film crew job role that are not related at the top of your resume (avoid writing a list of job roles for example, Director, Editor, Screenwriter on the top of your resume especially if you are a new filmmaker. Producers only hire one person per job role).
Different Job Title – This is the most popular mistake I keep seeing again and again on film crew resumes. If you are applying to a ‘Production Assistant’ job role place Production Assistant at the top of your resume. If you write ‘Director’ at the top of your resume and apply for a Production Assistant job role you will not get hired.
Trying To Be Good At Everything – When you are writing your resume make sure it is consistent, focused and makes sense with the job role you are applying for. You might have learned a multitude of skills in film school but listing editing software, grip skills, lighting skills, camera brands you have worked, is not making the most of that space.
Consider what job you are applying for and if the entire resume makes sense towards that job role. To put it harshly everyone can edit on Final Cut, everyone can read a script, everyone knows how to operate a DSLR camera, these skills are not special. Only place skills that are specific to the job role and department you are applying towards.
Colour, Images and Long Resumes – Avoid using lots of colour on your resume. The only country that requires a photograph of your face (that I have come across) is Germany and even then it's not needed for film crew job roles. Your resume should be one page long. If you have too many credits create a title such as ‘selected credits’ and place only your best and most relevant work here.
I also have a free film crew resume template -
Hopefully this article answers all of your questions on how to design a film crew resume with no experience. I also have a CV Service where I will design your Resume for you - Find Here