Applying for Jobs in Photography


Photography graduates will be expected to produce a well-designed and informative CV. However, it is important to strike a balance between creativity and professionalism. The primary purpose of a CV is to demonstrate how your skills, knowledge and experience match the qualities that a potential employer is looking for.  

The general rule for CVs is that it should be no more two pages long. However, the majority of employers in the creative / media industry prefer a one page CV. Employers will be more interested in your portfolio as a means of deciding whether to invite you for interview or not. However, be aware that employers’ attitudes towards CVs will vary. It is therefore, very important that you check before applying to a company.

For more information see the section on Specialist and Creative CVs.


See the section on Portfolios.

Speculative Applications

It is generally agreed that more than 70% of those working in the creative media/arts industries have found opportunities through speculative applications [Source: AGCAS 2012].

A speculative application involves approaching an organisation about the possibility of working for them rather than applying to an advertised vacancy. Employers from the creative media/arts industry receive so many speculative applications that it makes advertising vacancies in the conventional manner practically unnecessary.

For advice on making speculative applications, see the Speculative Applications section.


For general advice on interviews, see the Interviews pages.   

Here are some examples of Creative Media specific questions:

  • Can you provide an example of when you have successfully followed through a creative/innovative idea from its original concept until its successful launch/exhibition?
  • Give an example when you have presented your work to others and have had to deal with critical questioning from your audience. How did you approach your responses, and how successful were you in arguing your case?
  • How is your work influenced? / What are the main influences in your work?
  • How do you measure your own creative/design success?
  • What major issues are currently affecting the creative industry?

A recent interview question asked by a local Sheffield Creative Media company was: 'How many people do you estimate attended your local cinema last week? What would you do to double the footfall in the following week?'

Keeping up to date with current issues

The best way to keep abreast of the latest factors influencing or affecting the creative industries is to regularly read specific trade newsletters and publications, and consult related professional organisations/associations. Employers will expect graduates to be aware of relevant current issues as well as the latest and forthcoming sector exhibitions and events. They are likely to assess your knowledge and understanding at an interview. In addition to area-specific skills it is very important that you are able to demonstrate a clear understanding of the commercial aspects of the work you are or will be involved in.


Last modified: 
Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 14:09