Writing an artist resume requires different content, organization, and formatting than the standard resume. Depending on the particular job and field of interest, artist resumes will highlight a number of skills and include some sections that are not present in a standard resume or academic CV. For this reason, an artist resume may be slightly longer than the standard one-page resume. Some artists might include a link to their portfolios in their contact information. Keep in mind that the resumes discussed here relate primarily to positions within commercial galleries, museums, exhibition opportunities, and grant applications.
In addition to the standard Education, Experience, Honors and Awards, and Skills sections, the artist resume may include some or all of the following sections:
- Bibliography: Includes articles on your work, media interviews, and reviews of your art work
- Exhibitions: List the exhibitions you have participated in along with details such as the name of the exhibit, place, and space. You can divide this section into separate categories such as group shows, solo shows, and invitational exhibitions
- Collections: This section can be divided into corporate collections, private collections, and permanent public collections. Seek permission before referencing the name of the private owner of your work in your resume.
- Publications, Productions, Shows: For authors and performing artists, you may include a list of your publications, productions, and performances.
For more tips on writing an artist resume, see the College Art Association’s “Artist Resume: Recommended Conventions.”
Resume for A “Day Job”
Artists may use a standard resume format when applying for positions outside of academia, and possibly unrelated to your art discipline (administrative positions or other office jobs). Using a standard resume in such cases will give potential employers relevant information about your transferable and administrative skills. Keep in mind the following strategies and tips for writing this version of your resume:
- Keep it to one page.
- Focus on skills that are relevant to the position and highlight the transferable skills you use as an artist.
- Use strong action verbs (listed in our 200+ Action Verbs to Spice Up Your Resume resource) to start your bullets.
- Keep the information clear and concise and include relevant details that create impact.
- List sections and headings strategically to showcase necessary skills sets.
- Highlight volunteer activities and memberships (clubs, associations, and student organizations) to demonstrate leadership and involvement outside of school.
For tips on writing a standard resume, see our Writing a Resume: Getting Started resource.
Academic Curriculum Vitae (CV)
You will want to create a CV when applying to academic employment in higher education. There are several key differences between an artist’s academic curriculum vitae and an artist’s resume. Primarily, the CV is a record of all of your professional activities and is intended for use in applying for academic positions. whereas the artist resume is an abbreviated document used to apply for non academic jobs. As your career progresses, you will need to add to the list, create new categories or make changes in your CV format.
Keep in mind the following strategies and tips for writing a CV:
- Try to keep it to 3-4 pages.
- Highlight your most significant achievements as a student, teacher, and scholar.
- Use headings such as “Selected Solo Exhibitions” or “Selected Bibliography” to organize numerous shows or a lengthy bibliography.
- In addition to Exhibitions, Bibliography, and Collections, section headings can include, but are not limited to : Education, Honors and Awards, Grants and Fellowships, Teaching Experience, Visiting Artist Lectures and Presentations, Research Experience, Relevant Work Experience, Skills, Presentations, Publications, and Professional Affiliations.
For tips on writing an Artist’s Academic Curriculum Vitae and for a number of additional sections that can be included, see the College Art Association’s “Visual Artist Curriculum Vitae: Standards and Conventions.”