Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How to write an Artist CV

As I am arts worker I have seen many different types of Artist CV's. And what sticks out in a negative way is Artists not submitting what has been asked for! 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 really need to modify your CV to suit the job you are applying for. Especially if the requirements ask for a 1-2pg max CV. It is asked for a reason and if you can't stick to that (though as impressive your career history may be) it says that you don't follow directions or read instructions. That makes an employer think "what will they be like working in a structured environment?". First impressions make a difference. 

The reason for also seeking a short CV is that, for example, 30 years of exhibition history may not be relevant  Mostly, employers want to see current or recent practice. So from the last 5-7 or even 10yrs 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 for the last 5yrs, go to the closest point and work back 5yrs from that.

Be aware of formatting and style. Keep text black and Ariel or San Serif font in a size 11 or 12 preferably. This is not a school project so don't include a pretty cover page with a photo of you or your work -that takes up your maximum page limit. You are creative so adding a coloured heading or header or logo is fine (just my opinion), just don't make it super colourful as it detracts from the content -remember you still need to be professional.


  • Tailor your headings to include relevant information
  • alter/modify your CV to suit the job you are applying for
  • Use headings and bullet points
  • Order your headings most relevant to least relevant -remember you want the mostr important information seen first.
  • List from the most recent to oldest
  • exceed maximum page requirements or
  • include what has not been asked
  • use curly font or very small font
Here is a suggested layout example: