How to write a CV
If you’re looking for work you need an up-to-date CV (curriculum vitae). Here are our tips for writing a standard CV.
Standard CVs are made up of the following sections:
Include your full name, telephone number, email and website (if you have one).
1-2 sentences explaining who you are as a person and the type of role you are looking for.
List IT skills, languages and anything else that is relevant to the job you are applying for. Make sure you include relevant soft skills too; this might include good timekeeping, communication skills or a positive work ethic.
List your relevant jobs (including work experience/internships), starting with the most recent first. Include company name, job title and the dates you worked there. It’s good to include ‘Key achievements’ for each job.
List each qualification, starting with the most recent first. Include the qualification title, the date it was awarded and the school/college/university you attended.
If you have had your work recognised, published or commissioned, or you have be part of a residency, freelance project or exhibition that’s relevant to the job, make sure you include it on your CV.
Mention a couple of activities or interests that you enjoy here – ideally relevant to the job.
At the very end of your CV you should write 'References available on request'. Two references are standard. If you do not have 2 work references, you could ask a College tutor to be a reference for you.
- Adapt your CV for every job you make sure it matches the requirements outlined in the advert.
- Employers often have to scan a large number of CVs, so make sure you put key information at the top.
- Keep your CV short and relevant (ideally no longer than 2 pages).
- Avoid using long paragraphs; bullet points will help to highlight key information and make it easier to scan.
If you’re applying for creative roles your CV should showcase your creative skills. Consider using branding that matches your website, or create a CV that isn’t in the traditional format.
Structure for Artists' CVs
Artists’ CVs are normally created for a specific purpose such as an exhibition, competition or residency. They should only include information that is relevant to your artistic achievements. Don’t include unrelated work experience, employability or education in your Artist CV.
Most artists include a statement about their work and philosophy. This can be several paragraphs long and may include the following:
- The ways your work has developed
- Where it is going
- The materials or skills that you use
- The meaning of your work
- Your ambitions
- Your intended market
- Your influences
- Personal reflections
- Key themes of your work
- Your personal and professional beliefs/ethics
If you’re applying for a job you’ll need to write a cover letter to accompany your CV. Read our advice on how to write a cover letter.
A good portfolio demonstrates your creativity, skills and ability. Read our tips for creating an effective portfolio.
Read our tips for how to prepare for an interview, to help you feel confident on the day.
Read our online advice and guidance on how to find jobs in the creative industries.