Your CV is your first chance to impress an employer and as a Runner its vital you make this first impression count, as this industry doesn’t allow for second chances. Employers receive tons of CVs for every job ad and plenty of them do not meet the mark and are immediately thrown in the trash pile, or rather, dropped into the trash folder.
Some of the things that will make an employer dismiss your CV (and by association dismiss you) include:
A lengthy, over written CV.
Runner CVs should be one page long. Don’t feel as though you have to pad it with unnecessary information, such as which subjects you studied at GCSE and a detailed description as your part time job.
Not stating the key information upfront.
The first things on your CV should be your contact details, where you’re based, if you drive, if you have a car with business insurance and a brief opening line about your experience.
If your CV is scatty and all over the place, the employer will assume the same applies to you. Make sure your CV looks tidy on the page and doesn’t have any unnecessary gaps. Avoid funky layouts and photos of yourself, as it doesn’t look professional.
Spelling and grammatical errors.
There is simply no excuse for this. You should check and double-check your CV every time you update it and make sure there are absolutely no errors. You need to demonstrate a level of professionalism and eye for detail if you want employers to take your CV seriously.
A lack of concise information.
Your CV needs to be concise if it is going to fit on one page and keep hold of the employer’s very short attention span. Don’t over explain the information; keep it short and relevant.
Confusing or misleading job titles.
If you have technical or photographic experience, you might be tempted to call yourself a Cinematographer / Filmmaker / Runner. Well, don’t. This is confusing, misleading and makes it look like you don’t really understand the industry. By all means include your technical knowledge and experience in your personal profile but don’t call yourself a Cinematographer or DOP.
Not including transferable skills.
If you don’t have much or any experience in the industry, it’s vital to include your transferable skills. Now you may not think you have any, but trust us you do! For example; working in a pub shows that you’re used to working unsociable hours and in a busy environment. If you’ve worked in retail that you’ve demonstrated you can handle cash and work well as part of a team. Baristas and waiters are experienced in taking complicated orders and being on their feet all day. There are plenty of transferable skills for almost any job out there and you just have to pick them out.
Avoid these CV annoyances and employers will give your CV their full attention. And if you can grab their attention, hold on to it and impress them, your chances for getting the job are substantially increased.