How to Write an Artist CV & Resume

Writing an effective artist CV and resume is hugely important to pursue job and career opportunities as an artist.

This video explains in great detail what should or should not be included in an artist CV.

Tips on how to format a CV differently depending on where you are sending your CV for review.

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Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist Lauryn Welch.

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Video Walkthrough

  • Resumes are usually 1 page, and used for job applications
  • CVs (Curriculum vitaes) are many pages long, and are used for gallery exhibitions and academic appointments.
  • Tailor your resume/cv in the context of where you are sending it to.
  • For a college level teaching position, emphasizing grants and exhibitions is important.
  • For a job, emphasize past positions that are related.
  • When you have no professional experience, it’s okay to have a very short resume.
  • People can tell right away if you are young and inexperienced, so no need to hide that!
  • Avoid padding your resume, skills and jobs that are totally unrelated will just clutter your paperwork.
  • “Professional Affiliations” can be vague, generally it’s being part of an artist group, being on the board of an arts organization, etc.
  • It’s easy to take for granted all the skills you have when writing a job description.
  • Take a step back and recognize all the skills you really have at your job!
  • Look at other artists’ resumes to get a sense of what’s out there.
  • Look at New American Paintings, you can see tons of artist resumes in one place as a reference.
  • Internships are not necessary to do well professionally, many are unpaid and do not provide helpful, relevant experiences in the field.
  • For skills, list industry standard software you know well.
  • Adobe Premiere is good, but iMovie is not software to list under skills.
  • Don’t try to get fancy with graphic design, if anything it’s a distraction from the hard facts people want.
  • Keep your resume/CV simple and clean, remove any unnecessary information.
  • Depending on where you are in your career, you will choose to include or not include certain exhibition listings.
  • It’s good to have exhibitions listed for every year, so it’s clear you are exhibiting regularly.
  • If you don’ have certain categories on your resume/CV (collections, commissions, publications, lectures) that’s okay!
  • Better to not have a category than to include one just to fill the space.
  • Listing your aunt under “Collections” isn’t a good idea.
  • Your degree does not have to be in art, and you do not have to go to art school to list it.
  • Listing a non art degree can make you stand out!

Need help with your CV or resume?

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You can purchase edits from Prof Lieu on your CV, resume, or artist statement.

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Prof Lieu’s Tips

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I personally get annoyed when people try to add fancy graphics and colors. When you’re reviewing hundreds of resumes, all of those graphics really do get in the way of understanding the information.

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In my opinion, a resume with standard formatting, in plain text, is easy to read and gets me the info I need most efficiently.

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