Writing an Artist CV
The key to a good artist CV is that it looks good, it conveys exactly what is needed, it gives a teaser of the work produced by the artist and it has links to more online images and information.
An artist CV is very similar to a normal career resume; just the content is different. You still need to include; qualifications, work history/experience, skills, referees, and of course personal contact details. The difference is you need to include your arts practice information such as exhibition history, prizes/awards, memberships (optional) and so on.
You need to modify your CV to suit the job/role or commission you are applying for; especially if the requirements ask for a 1-2 page max CV. Stick to what has been asked of you, rather than giving your whole history. This shows that you have followed direction and respected the instructions given.
The reason for also seeking a short CV is that employers want to see current or recent practice. So from the last 5-7 or even 10 years tops. Just put…‘various exhibitions for the last two decades. Full list on request’…or something similar. If you don’t have any recent practice from the last 5 years, go to the closest point and work back 5 years from that.
Be aware of formatting and style. Keep text black in Ariel or another clear font in a point size of 11 or 12 preferably. Think about the impression you want to give and reflect this in your CV. You are creative so adding a coloured heading, header or logo is fine, just don’t make it super colourful as it detracts from the content. Remember you still need to be professional.
- Include relevant information, eg; experience, skills, education, referees etc.
- Modify your CV to suit the job you are applying for.
- Keep it concise and to the point.
- Use headings and bullet points.
- Order your headings most relevant to least relevant, with the most important information seen first.
- List from the most recent to oldest.
- Include a brilliant thumbnail image of your best work if it’s important for your work to be seen.
- Include links to websites, blogs or other social media sites that host your work.
- Save a copy of your CV and do updates as you undertake new positions & projects.
- Save it as both a Word document and PDF – I find it better to send a PDF via email.
- Be consistent with your formatting throughout the document.
- Exceed maximum page requirements.
- Include information that is not relevant or hasn’t been asked for.
- Use curly font or very small font – make it legible and accessible.
- Include your age on your CV – it is usually not relevant.
- Include referees unless you have confirmed they are happy to be a referee.