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Writing An Effective 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:

Contact information

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.

Key Skills

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

Got a specific question about your CV? Book in for one of our upcoming workshops or attend one of our CV Checks for personalised feedback.


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