Surviving your First Curriculum Vitae

Jobs, galleries, residencies and call for entries all want to know one question, Why choose you?

One of the many tools in your arsenal besides your rocking portfolio is a Curriculum Vitae (CV), which is really just latin for a master resume. Whether or not you have your sights set on a current opportunity, or you're just working on your professional practice. You need a CV and you need one NOW.

The difference between a CV and a resume is the content. A CV is an all-inclusive list of your career, and a resume is a shorter tailored version. 

The purpose of having a CV is not to worry about tailoring it to a specific opportunity or worrying about page limits. Having a CV is about keeping all the information about you and your work organized and presentable. Then when you see the perfect call for entry or meet the curator of your dreams you are ready to impress. 


Contact Information:  Who you are and where to find you, it's not an interview or a bio so it's only on a need-to-know basis.

Education: Year, degree, school. In any order, but make sure it stays consistent, if you start with the year here start with it everywhere else too.  Don't list high school or specific course work. 

Exhibitions: Year, title of show, venue, city, state. This is the meat to the perfect CV sandwich. It's not just about quantity but about your trajectory as a whole and if you align with the show and space your applying too. If you have more than 5 solo shows split these categories up into Solo Exhibitions and Group Exhibitions.

Pro Tip: Don't be afraid to edit lesser known venues as your career progresses, letting your CV become the 'best of' list. Editing to present yourself in the best possible light. 

Residencies: Year, Name, Location. That's all you need, if you choose to add further description keep it short and only expand if it is directly related to an opportunity you are applying for. 

Awards, Grants, Fellowships: Year, Name, Description. Explain your accomplishments if it's not in the title but keep it simple.  

Press: Author, title, publication name, city, state, date, pagesBe selective with online publications. Not everyone agrees that online press is "press" but one thing is for sure, your aunts Facebook post does not count.

Collections: Name, city, state. Ignore unless you are in serious collector or museums collection.

Related Experience: Related to your art practice, not your extremely impressive hula hoop abilities (unless of course you're a performance artist)

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