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How to Write the Best Artist Resume

The best artist resume should showcase your skills and mastery as an artist and list your accomplishments in creative endeavors. Read on for tips and examples on how to write your own artist resume and get hired for the position you want in a creative industry.

Focus Your Resume On The Job

What you focus on in your resume will depend on what type of art you are interested in working with. Thoroughly researching the position you are applying for will help you greatly in the process of writing your resume. Make sure to read the job description and learn about the employer, gallery or patron, as well as any affiliations. Being prepared will put you ahead of the competition. As an artist you might apply for a position in a variety of fields, including:

  • Fine arts: A fine artist can be a painter, interior designer, costume designer, sculptor or set decorator among many others.
  • Graphic design
  • Visual artist
  • Art director
  • Fellowships
  • A group exhibition, solo exhibitions, or juried exhibitions
  • A residence program

This guide will help you to write a clear, easy to read resume that will present you at your best and increase your chances of getting hired in any area of art.

Artist Resume Example

Artist Resume Example

Eight Tips For Writing An Artist Resume

Use a professional resume format

A professional resume format will make your resume easy for recruiters to read by presenting your information in an organized way. There are three resume formats that are typically used:

  • Reverse chronological order (best for those with many accomplishments and work experience to display)
  • Functional format (best for job seekers who have needed skills but might lack work experience)
  • Combination format (good for those who can present a balanced mix of skills and work history)
  • If you aren’t sure which one is right for you, you can use a resume builder to explore each option.

Thoroughly research the opportunity

By researching the company and the position you are applying for, you will gain an edge over the competition when writing your resume.This will also be helpful later on during your job interview. Look for key information relating to skills and duties in the job description as well as sites such as LinkedIn. Take note of the types of skills, tasks and experience that is needed and try to address them in your resume and cover letter.

Make your experience section relevant to the job description

When you write about your previous work experience, name your position, the name of the company, describe your top duties and accomplishments, and note how long you held the position. Think of experiences most relevant to the job you are applying for. This will help you to stand out to the recruiters, art gallery or art directors who are in charge of hiring.

If you lack professional experience, focus on education and skills

If you don’t have the exact experience they are requesting, look to make up for it other ways. You can use your education and skills to compensate for a lack of experience, or single out extracurricular or freelance activities, such as group or solo shows you have done at school or other unpaid work. Anything that shows you know how to use your skills and get noticed is good to include.

Make the most of your skills section

Use your skills section to show that you are the perfect candidate for the job. Artists can have vastly different skill sets. You should include both hard and soft skills. Hard skills are technical skills, like knowledge of InDesign or watercolors. If you work in a specific medium or technique, this is a hard skill. Soft skills are people skills, like communication skills and teamwork, or traits like creativity. Include 8 to 12 relevant skills in this section and use bullet points to make your skills stand out.

Use your professional networking accounts to connect with recruiters

Linking from your resume to portfolio sites such as LinkedIn can be a great way to network with people in the art industry who may be hiring or know recruiters or directors who are in charge of filling spots at fellowships, a residence program, art gallery or exhibition. Social media allows the use of visual material that your resume can’t support.

Add creativity to your professional resume

As an artist, the design of your resume will speak volumes about your artistic abilities. Look through our professional resume templates for examples of different layouts and fonts, and arrange your resume in a way that best showcases your personality. Make sure not to overdo this step, as your resume still needs to be clear and easy to read.

Make an online resume or online portfolio

An online resume or portfolio is helpful in the art industry because it provides direct evidence of your skills, abilities and accomplishments. An online portfolio can impress recruiters and improve your chances of getting the job. Provide a link to your portfolio from your resume.

FAQ: Artist Resume

One of the most highly sought after qualities in the creative industry is discipline, as your work will require you to meet tight deadlines. Artists often overburden themselves with tasks and also rely on inspiration in their work, which makes accomplishing certain projects difficult. If you have mastered the art of time management, definitely mention that in your skill section to catch the eye of recruiters.

Applying for your dream job should not be limited by your previous experience. In arts your experience easily translates from one medium into another. Think of the experience you do have and how it can be helpful in the position you are applying for. For example, if you have experience painting on ceramic mugs, but are applying to a company that designs clothing with graffiti elements, you can still highlight skills that make you a good match for the job, even if it's not exactly the type of painting you’ve done before. If you are lacking in professional experience, focus on skills, education and certifications to show your credibility as a professional artist.

If you go for a more creative approach regarding the layout and design of your resume, keep in mind that resumes often go through an applicant tracking system (ATS) before they land on the hiring manager's desk. Using two columns for your resume is fine as long your sections are correctly titled and your document is easy to scan. If in any doubt, use our two-column resume templates, which are built to pass ATS.