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Many artists showcase their artistic competencies through portfolios that include their best work. Though, that doesn’t mean they don’t have their own resumes like all other professions. A professional artist’s resume is as important as their portfolio when it comes to getting a job in the fine arts.
But, an artist’s resume also contains elements that are different compared to resumes in other professions. They use it to showcase their work experience and competencies. But, they also use art resumes to showcase their portfolios, productions and exhibitions.
You should follow a different set of guidelines when it comes to writing your artist resume. This is true whether you’re applying for an art exhibition or a job position as an art director at an art gallery.
Think of your artist resume as your sales pitch to potential employers. It accomplishes the following:
This article will walk you through the essential elements you should highlight on your artist’s resume. We’ll then take an in-depth look at the structure of an artist’s resume. Then, we’ll go over some essential dos and don’ts to keep in mind when crafting the perfect artist resume.
An artist’s resume can contain other elements depending on your field of art. This can include a list of exhibition works, music events, or theater productions. An artist’s resume can include links to online portfolios of artwork, as well. They can also contain bibliographies that showcase or critique their work.
What you should highlight on your artist resume will largely depend on the field of art you’re in. A painter’s resume can highlight gallery exhibitions, solo exhibitions, or juried exhibitions. An actor’s artist resume can highlight productions they’re involved in, such as theater, commercials, TV or film.
An artist’s resume structure can vary depending on the field of art and resume format. Though, all artist resumes are in one of the three most popular resume formats:
No matter the resume format you choose, your resume should contain these essential elements:
Your artist resume header should catch the attention of recruiters and be easy to follow. It’s important to keep in mind that employers will often use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan resumes. So you should format your header with ATS in mind. The header includes the following information:
The resume summary statement appears below the header, and is a few sentences long. It encapsulates an artist’s statement that sums up your career path, relevant skills, accomplishments and experience. An artist’s resume summary sets the theme for the remainder of the resume. Use this to impress potential employers with your top skills and achievements here.
Your education section should include any relevant education, certifications or professional training you’ve received, starting with the most recent.
Your skills section should showcase your artistic skills as they are relevant to the position or exhibition you’re applying for. For example, because the art field is varied, a musician’s required skills can vary significantly from what skills an actor showcases. Regardless of their art field, there are some skills virtually all artists can showcase on their professional resumes:
Your artist’s resume’s work history should showcase your professional experience, starting with your current or most recent job and working your way down. For each job, list three to five achievements or recognitions you’ve earned. You can include freelance work here, as long as it applies to your field of art and is relevant to what you’re applying for.
The bibliography section showcases reviews of an artist’s work, articles about their work, and any relevant media interviews. These elements can be included in the exhibition section as well. If you decide to make your bibliography a separate section, place it before the exhibition section.
The exhibition section should be used to list events where you’ve showcased your artistic work, as they are relevant to the position, exhibition or affiliation you’re applying for. Depending on the field of art you’re in, this section can also be called “productions” for actors, for example. You can include online portfolios of your creative work in this section.
Below is a list of some valuable dos and don’ts when it comes to crafting the perfect artist resume:
An artist resume is a shortened document that artists use to apply to non-academic jobs. It includes your relevant skills, work history, and education. It also has additional sections for an artist’s bibliography and exhibitions. An artist CV is a more comprehensive document that is a record of all of your professional activities as an artist, primarily used to apply to academic positions in higher education. An artist CV can be up to 3-4 pages in length.
Use a functional resume format for your artist’s resume if you don’t have much experience. Focus on relevant extracurricular projects or pieces of art you’ve created that can relate to the position or exhibition you’re applying for. Place a more significant focus on your art you can showcase in your bibliography.
Review the art job description or exhibition application to pull out relevant keywords connected to skills and experiences, then update your resume to emphasize. Then tailor your art skills, experience, exhibitions and productions to match what the job posting is seeking.
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