By: Stephanie Perales



You may have heard of a Curriculum Vitae, or as it’s more commonly known, a CV. But, do you know exactly what it is or when to use it? We're guessing that's a no. So, we're here to make it simple for you! Let's get straight to it! 

CV's are commonly thought of as another term for a resume, with most people assuming the two are interchangeable. But, resumes and CV’s are quite different from one another. Think of one as a biography and one as a trophy case. Resumes typically cover recent work experience, education, and skills; whereas a CV is compiled of much more specific information pertaining to the position you're applying for.



CV’s give artists like you an opportunity to divulge all of your artistic achievements directly related to whatever opportunity you have your eyes set on. If you’re new to this, keep in mind that when it comes to CV’s, less is more. You can skip naming the high school you attended, or the coffee shop you worked at while you were in college. With a CV, you want to get straight to showing off.  

The idea is for the reader to transparently see the accomplishments you’ve made at just a glance. Again, think of a CV as your trophy case—you’re showing off all of your glory right up front!




  • When it comes to gallery or competition applications, CV’s should be no longer than three pages (ideally, one – two pages). Applications for graduate school, grants, or scholarships may be longer.

  •  Make the formatting consistent throughout the document.

  •  Lists should not be bulleted or numbered. This will draw away attention from the information listed.

  • The header should include your name, email address, phone number, website, and mailing address. The more options of contacting you, the better!

  • Make sure your name is the first item seen on the CV (centered or left-aligned. Play around with the font size to draw more attention).

  • Begin with education: any degree or formal training in your art (if you’re self-taught, move on to the next section).

  • List any shows you’ve participated in.

  • Do you have your work exhibited anywhere? List that here!

  • Published anywhere? Add it in!

  • List any art-related awards you’ve received as well as any memberships or organizations you are part of.


And that's it! You're done! That’s a CV. It's that easy. Remember to update it regularly, you know, after every new exhibition, show, or change of contact information. You can find a template for CV’s here!

Good luck!