CV for Artists and Creatives

A CV is an overview of a person’s experience in their professional life. When you apply for funding, grants, scholarships, education or employment, you always include a CV in your application. While the application most often describes your motivation or project, your CV quickly gives an overview of your education and professional experience. The same goes for the CV you post on your website or as part of your online portfolio or LinkedIn profile – here your CV also needs to quickly and clearly state what educational and professional experience you have.

Your CV can be constructed in a variety of ways. For example, it can be either conventional or creative, depending on where you will use it. Perhaps you also have different CVs for different purposes. The main message is the same no matter what style or tone you give our CV: it must be as short as possible and be presented as an overview rather than a novel.

How to design and develop your CV:

  • Start your CV with your name and contact information. You can also include a portrait photograph, but it is not required. If you use a picture, consider the photograph’s appearance. If you choose a conventional portrait shot, always be sure the photo is sharp and in focus. If you choose a less traditional portrait format, you can choose a more experimental visual style.
  • Your CV should always include the category headings Education and Professional Experience. Consider which section the recipient will read first and present them thereafter in chronological order. Always begin with the most recent at the top of the list. It is most common to put the education section first, since it is usually the shortest category.
  • In addition to your professional work, you can also include other relevant experience, such as having served on the board of directors of an association, volunteer work with the Red Cross, etc.
  • Categories: If you have exhibited, performed concerts or have had works published etc., dedicate a special category to these activities. This can also be courses, tours abroad or other relevant qualifications you want the recipient to be aware of.
  • If you have a very extensive CV, it may be a good idea to be selective of the content if you are targeting a specific employer or collaborator. It should certainly include everything you are proud of, but you can still be strategic and tailor your CV, for instance by highlighting assignments in the areas you want to work in in the future.
  • Always list items in a category in chronological order beginning with the most recent activity. If the activity is finished or you already know when it will be finished, write the start year and the expected end year. If the project is not finished, keep the end year open, but still put the start year first.
  • Describe your experiences but keep it short! If you only write a job title, it can be difficult for the recipient reading your CV to know exactly what you did in a specific position or assignment. For this reason, include a short description (a minimum of one line) of exactly what you did and what your assignments consisted of. You may choose to write it in keywords to keep it short.
  • Use several different CVs. When using the CV in a job application, try as much as possible not to exceed one page. In an application process, you want to give the recipient a quick overview of your experience by showing the best of what you have done. In contrast, when using a CV on your website or LinkedIn profile, you can include more experience and use the CV to keep track of what you have done.
  • Consider your writing style and your layout. Your writing style and layout can say a lot about who you are, so consider what style is best for the application. If you want to be able to use your CV in several different situations, choose formal language and fonts.
  • Write correctly! You must ALWAYS proofread your CV, and you should also ask another person to proofread it for you. Your CV must be completely free of carelessness and grammatical errors.
  • Create air in your layout. Make sure your CV is easy for the eyes to read. Use margins and line spacing to create a simple overview. Keep the sections aligned so you avoid disturbing the natural readability.

Creative alternatives and platforms:

It can be a good idea to use creative formats and platforms to present your CV online. For instance, you can combine your CV with a portfolio, sound files, film or a digital platform. Just keep in mind that it should be consistent with the way you want to be perceived. If you aren’t sure, then stop and consider it before you continue.


CV for Artists and creatives


If you’re not sure what your CV should include and how a CV should look, you can see examples here: