When you're a freelance photographer, putting your experience on your resume can be a difficult task. Not only do freelance photographers have to deal with client confidentiality issues, but often times photographers have so many clients that they can't list them all on one page. So, what do you do? What should your resume include and what should you avoid? Keep reading to find out how to create the perfect freelance photographer resume.
The Importance of a Freelance Photographer Resume
In today's day and age, your resume is just as important as your experience itself. Some large companies won't even take a look at your portfolio unless you've included a concise resume and cover letter. Resumes for freelance photographers are not only a must if you want to reach high-end clients but it's a great way for you to keep track of and catalog your accomplishments. To learn what your resume should include, keep reading.
While it is a great accomplishment that you won your state soccer game, there are things that are and are not appropriate for resumes. You always want to create a resume specifically for a job listing and with the individual hiring in mind. You wouldn't want to flip through a four-page resume with blocks of text filling the page, so why would the hiring manager? Once you keep that in mind, as well as the tips below, your resume will be much better received.
One of the best things to include on a freelance photographer resume is key words from the job posting itself. If the company mentioned they were looking for an employee with leadership qualities, highlight this throughout. Some companies even have programs that filter online resumes and search for the key phrases and skill sets that they've listed in the job posting itself.
Keep It Relevant
If you want to give yourself the best chance at booking a new client, you'll want to ensure everything on your resume is relevant to the application process. Too many professionals keep things like sports accomplishments, GPAs, and volunteer experience on resumes when they're not completely relevant.
This goes for your work experience as well as your personal information. Most hiring managers won't care if you helped put together the company Christmas party, so don't highlight it. Don't be afraid to add things and take things out to ensure your resume makes sense for each specific job posting.
As you may already be aware, one of the most important things to include on your resume is a link to your portfolio. That's right, your resume should be interactive and feature hyperlinks if you want to compete with the modern crowd. If you have a physical portfolio, you'll want to scan and upload or take photos of your work to make them as accessible as possible.
Trust us when we say that those who have a freelance photographer resume and modern, online, portfolio have a much better shot than those without. This is especially true for those in the wedding photography or portrait industry. Having an online portfolio is also a great way to get more leads and, eventually, clients.
A call to action isn't just for marketing and advertising anymore. In fact, there is a fair bit of psychology behind a call to action that almost everyone can take advantage of. Adding a request to connect on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter can help further expand your network and potential opportunities. This strategy is also a gentle approach that often works whether you end up working together or not. Either way, adding to your network is never a bad thing.
What to Avoid
Now that you know what to include on your freelance photographer resume you'll want to know what not to include. Heed our advice below to gain even more clients:
Too Much Text
One of the worst things you can do on a freelance photographer resume is have too much text. There's no denying that a block of text with no differentiation in font or format seems overwhelming. This is especially true when it comes to those working in visual-based professions, like artists, graphic designers, etc. Too much text can easily earn your resume and portfolio a trip to the circular filing cabinet; also known as the trash can.
Not Enough Text
Another mistake we see on freelance photographer resumes is, unlike the problem above, having too little text. Not having enough text on your resume can make it appear barren, and some hiring manager equates this to having too little experience. If you're having trouble filling up the page, try adding bullet points and additional sections including skill sets, a list of lenses used, equipment owned, etc.
?One of the things that's widely debated amongst resume writers is the idea of including or skipping schooling. If you're just out of school, even with a lot of experience, sometimes adding your graduation date can make hiring managers pass you by. Although we live in a world where companies want fresh graduates to somehow have years of internship and real-world experience under their belts, it doesn't always help you if you do. Unfortunately, a lot of large companies and older individuals still value age as the best indicator of experience.
If you feel your age or graduation date could play a negative role in a hiring managers decision process, leave it out. We're seeing more and more resumes from seasoned professionals remove schooling to ensure it no longer plays a factor in the decision making processes. That being said, those who have degrees from Ivy League schools or with advanced degrees should always include this information, as it's almost always positively received and works in your favor.
?Tips and Considerations
You finally know what to include and what not to include. You're almost ready to start creating your own freelance photographer resume. Before you begin, there are a few more tips and considerations we want to leave you with. Check them out below:
Bullet points are a great way to slim down a lot of content. Like we mentioned above, most hiring managers aren't going to want to spend a lot of time reviewing a resume. If someone can glance at your resume and understand your qualifications in a few seconds, then you'll be well on your way to new opportunities.
Just make sure that you reserve bullet point information for the most important and relevant snippets possible. After all, the eye is going to be drawn to read bullet points well before a paragraph, so make sure the most pertinent accomplishments are listed there. We recommend using bullet points for data that showcases how you saved a client money, made them money, made them happy, etc. Some of the best resume bullet points include things like sales numbers and the outcome of social media engagement.
Keep It to a Page
You may have seen the debates raging online about whether or not resumes should still be restricted to a single page. The truth is, as we have hammered over and over, everything you do should be catered to the person hiring. One thing we do know that applies both to hiring managers and our own selves is that we are all lazy. No one wants to read, in detail, about every single client and project you've done. All they want to know is that you have the skills and experience to complete the job and complete it well.
The best thing you can do is make the hiring process easier for someone and pinpoint key information that they need to know. By keeping your resume short, it forces you to be concise and only leave the most essential and useful tidbits behind. Trust us when we say that hiring managers will thank you for this.
Too Many Clients?
If you're the type of freelancer that works with multiple different clients a week, you're probably struggling to fit your resume all on one page. Instead of listing each client out individually, you can categorize clients into your job titles. For example, you can have the main section highlight wedding photography, portraits, landscaping, and products with each section listing prominent clients.
Bullet points are also a great way to help with having too many clients to list on your freelance photographer resume. If categorizing doesn't help narrow things down, a bullet point counting out the number of clients in each category or types of completed jobs in each category will be key.
Now that you know the ins and outs of a freelance photographer resume, you can begin to craft your own with confidence. As long as you use the tips above, like adding key words from the job posting, having an online portfolio, and avoiding too much text, you'll have no problem. Just remember to keep everything to a page and use bullet points if you're struggling to get all of your opportunities to fit. Good luck job hunting!
Featured Image source: Pexels