How To Make Your CV Media Ready

Posted on:   Posted by:

Desperate for a career in TV/Film but don’t know how to get it?

As someone who is currently one month away from finishing university, I’ve become reluctantly but inevitably overfamiliar with job searching, particularly for jobs in the media industry. If you’re looking for a job, or even if you’re not, hopefully this article can prompt some ideas about your next application.

I’ve identified the top skills TV/Film employers list when advertising jobs and pulled in some expert advice from professionals to get you thinking about how to supercharge your CV.

Ambitious/ Self-motivated /Proactive

The number one skill TV and Film employers want in an applicant is drive. This is a quality you will need to display at every step of the process: when sending in your CV, writing a cover letter and at the final interview stage. This is because every employer wants you to show a real passion for the industry – think of it like a sales pitch, the more you believe in what you can offer, the more employers will as well.

Creative Access say that writing a blog is one of the best things you can do to show self-motivation. A regularly updated blog demonstrates commitment to your passion, proactivity and good organisational practices. Make sure you check that each post is spellchecked before it is published and that the content of the blog is appropriate for all audiences. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you lead a group or society?
  • Have you organised an event relevant to the media industry?
  • Have you volunteered or interned within the industry before?
  • Have you made your own videos/scripts/books?

If you know you’ll struggle with fitting in extra activities because of money, time or other reasons, look for access schemes. Creative Access, for example, lists jobs for underrepresented and low income groups.

Creative Cardiff also lists entry level positions and most are very open to candidates who have struggled getting experience in the past.

If you don’t know where to start, maybe start with charities and organisations’ event pages, such as the BFI’s.

Deadlines/ Time-sensitivity/ Working to schedule/ Timekeeping

In all TV/Film jobs, you will see this skill listed as a requirement. This is because every TV programme and film production will have to stick to a very strict schedule in order to release on time. It is very important that you demonstrate your ability to keep to deadlines in your CV, not only by listing “keeping to deadlines” as a skill but including concrete examples.

You might be struggling to find examples of where you have worked to deadlines, however you’ve probably done more of it it than you might think. If you’ve worked in catering before, for example, you’ve consistently worked to and fulfilled short-term deadlines in a time-sensitive environment.

The general rule of an effective CV is “don’t put it in if it’s not relevant” and those with a good amount of experience will likely be picking and choosing the best of their past work experience, but if you’re struggling to break into the industry in the first place then have a really hard think about tasks in previous jobs that fulfil the requirements of the job description. 

I know that I unconsciously play down responsibilities from previous jobs, but running through your past experience and actively looking for where you were in a time pressured environment can help your case.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • When was a time you completed a long term project?
  • Have you ever had a role which required you to work under pressure?
  • Did you report to a supervisor who monitored your work?
  • In education, how many deadlines did you have regularly?

Enhancv lists some ways you can include your time-management skills easily on your CV.

Verbal and Written Communication Skills

As well as writing your CV and cover letter, employers will want to see plenty of times where you’ve shown how well you can communicate your ideas. Even though you might have a brilliant idea, if somebody can’t understand what you’re thinking then a myriad of problems could arise.

You will need to communicate your ideas explicitly so they can be heard by others.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Have you ever been paid to write content to be read by the public?
  • When have you had to explain tricky concepts in a simple way so that others can understand?
  • Have you ever taught anyone anything?
  • Have you ever given presentations to an audience?

Interest in the industry

This seems like a given, since you’re looking at jobs in the industry, but for a strong chance at a job you need to go above and beyond to prove your interest. If the experience on your CV is good but doesn’t fit with what they’re after, employers might think that you haven’t planned ahead and might be disinterested in actively participating in the industry. 

ScreenSkills says that approaching employers or industry professionals directly is one of the best things you can do to prove you have a genuine interest in the industry, it also has a chance of leading to work experience in the future. If you can prove you’ve taken the initiative and researched those who work in your area of interest, it’ll highlight the quality of your CV.

‘Be laser focused on who you are approaching… be concise, be polite, be professional.’

Gareth Ellis-Unwin

If you have been in a relevant role before and are still enthusiastic about the industry after having done the job, then it demonstrates a level of persistence.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Have you ever directly engaged with the company in question?
  • Are you personally connected to one of the company’s products?
  • What is the company’s unique selling point (USP)?
  • Does the company run any short/free courses you can engage with?
  • Has the company created a resource specifically to help you?

Related Information

An app for young people in Wales, like Tinder but for jobs? Find out more.

Sign up for updates for jobs from Screen Alliance Wales.

Cyber Essentials Logo

Funding Partners

promo cymru
TheSprout :