Give yourself the best chance of success with a good Artist CV
How to write an Artist CV is a guide based on our experience of working with commissioners, curators, producers and employers looking to work with artists.
Consider who will be reading your CV
If applying for an opportunity or job, ask yourself, what are they looking for? Is it a particular skill set, experience, or something specific? Read the brief or job description and write a list of their priorities.
Tailor your CV to the opportunity or job
Selection panels normally use a matrix to assess a candidate's suitability based around their priorities. Shift certain aspects to the front of your CV to emphasise the more relevant details for the opportunity.
Create different versions of your CV depending on who you are approaching - Commissioners, Galleries, Funders, Universities or a potential Employer.
A CV is a summary of your experience, skills and education
Include only relevant information that will help someone make a decision to hire you. Keep in mind what the reader is looking for and use relevant headings that help tell your story.
Typical headings include:
- Contact details
- Education and professional development
- Experience and achievements
- Commissions and projects
- Exhibitions and shows
- Related work experience
Be factual and back up what you say with evidence
You are not writing a biography, a CV is a summary of your skills, experience and achievements relevant to the opportunity you are applying for. Always back up any statement with real life evidence.
Include a personal statement
Placed at the beginning of your CV, a personal statement can help you stand out. Be concise - it’s not a thesis. Write an enthusiastic, interesting and informative statement that says something about you and highlights your relevance for the opportunity.
Keep it short and simple
A CV should be snappy for quick reference. Aim for no more than two sides of A4. A long CV suggests an inability to edit, prioritise and make your point.
Edit ruthlessly. Consider adding ‘Selected’ to your heading.
Use the right tone and be confident
Your CV should be confident. Back up your claims, such as a quote from a previous project. Avoid generalisations and sweeping statements.
Use active words and replace passive verbs and nouns.
Being wordy without purpose is harmful. Your aim is to engage the reader. Consider the reader, their background and expectations.
Make it easy to read
Be creative and make your CV attractive and stand out. But your priority should always be to keep it professional and make it easy to read.
Proofread and spell check your CV
Check, or ask someone else to check, your CV as many times as you can. Errors in your writing could lose you an interview.
Keep your CV it up-to-date
Your CV should be a dynamic, evolving document. Keep updating it.