CV or Résumé? What to share & why.

You would like to submit your work to an art gallery, upcoming exhibition, fellowship … the list goes on. GREAT. YOU ROCK!

One part of that application will be preparing a CV to send, and it’s unclear to you what the difference is between a CV and a résumé.

Curriculum vitae (cur·ric·u·lum vi·tae)

Origin: Curriculum Vitae (CV) means course of life in Latin. First Known Use: 1902

: a record of all professional activities

: a summary of one’s education, professional history, and job qualifications, as for a prospective employer

Think of your CV document as a framework to build on….

It will serve as your book, and the résumé will be more like a couple chapters, and will be used to build the best résumé appropriate for the opportunity you are applying for.

Note: A ‘short CV’ highlights your most significant academic achievements on three to four pages.

résumé (ré·su·mé)

: a short document describing your education, work history, etc., that you give an employer when you are applying for a job

: a short description of things that have happened

: no longer than one page

Origin: French résumé, from past participle of résumer to resume, summarize, from Middle French resumer. First Known Use: 1804

Artist résumé: tailored to fit specific expertise

: used when applying for commercial and non-profit galleries, the search for exhibition opportunities, residency and grant applications, public art proposals etc.

: a shortened document about 1–4 pages long.


8 TIPS for success

  1. Common Mistake: over complicated, poor layout design, too fancy.

2. Design tip: use simple fonts, become friendly with white space.

3. Keep a word document for easy updating.

4. Before you send, save and submit as a PDF because spacing, margins and formatting will be retained across computers.

5. Arrangement: play your strengths! List your best looking category first.

6. Go lookup your favorite artists on the interwebs, and gain inspiration from their CVs.

7. If it exceeds four pages, nix the exhibitions that do not apply — this should be tailored to fit whatever it is you are applying for.

8. Keep this up to date! Add everything you are a part of to your master CV document. No show is too small! Galleries want to see that you are an active artist.