Writing a Creative CV

Creative CV’s – General guidelines

  • Don’t let the medium interfere with the message. You need to balance eye-catching/different with a sharp and professional promotion of your style. Presentation is particularly important but that does not necessarily mean an unusual CV.
  • Start by producing a standard CV. Only when the wording is excellent consider something that is a bit different: get the content right before focusing on the design.
  • Once you do start introducing more of a design element to a CV you have to recognise that this is more of a high risk strategy. Some recruiters may love your design, others may hate it, so show your CV to other people first.
  • The same will go for many big organisations.  Where they have specialized recruitment functions, a well formatted CV will always work better.  One large advertising agency recommended a standard CV.  Some smaller companies may like a more individual approach. They may be more impressed by an unusual CV because they have fewer to look at.  It’s the content, practical skills, and work experience that employers are particularly interested in and evidence of what you have created: listings of exhibitions etc and work experience can sometimes take priority over education.
  • If in doubt call the employer and ask them what they would like you to send. You don’t even have to leave your name!
  • Provide a link on your CV to a web site with examples of projects from your portfolio.
  • Use your logo if you have one and ensure your CV and portfolio is the same stylistically.
  • For most roles the content will most likely stay the same for both your creative and corporate CV – unless of course the design of your creative CV limits what you can write OR if you are applying for a part time job in which case the content will be considerably different.

Note for artists – when contacting galleries and exhibitions for the purpose of showing your work you will need to send an Artists CV. A photo of an example CV is included in this pack but in summary the headings to use in your CV are:

    • Personal Details
      As described in a standard CV
    • Artist Statement
      this should be a short and clear statement of your work and thoughts as an artist. Feel free to use relevant industry terminology as you will most likely be dealing with industry professionals. Statements can include information on the themes of your work, the direction it is heading in, its meaning, etc.
    • Professional Artist Training
      Include information on relevant artist specific education and training such as your BA or Foundation Degree.
    • Artistic Achievement
      List your achievements, starting with the most recent including things such as awards and reviews.
    • Art Related Employment
      List your related employment such as teaching and commissions. Include any placements if you do not have any employment.
    • Agent
      If you have one.

Produced by Seema Tailor, Careers and Employability Adviser 

Last updated – August 2010

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