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Building A Creative CV

Bio photo of Annie Everill Annie Everill

May 05, 2022

A creative CV is the perfect way to demonstrate art and design skills in a more innovative resume style. This form of CV is ideal for anyone looking to go into a creative industry, ranging from interior design to marketing. Presenting work and skills in such a way is a great technique for differentiating yourself in a crowded market. These CV’s also typically come with a portfolio to follow, however there are endless options depending on how professional or simple you’re wanting to make it. Here’s some key aspects to consider when building a creative CV and all you need to know about when and when not to use one.

What is a creative CV?

A creative CV is typically used to demonstrate skills in roles for design, art, technology, animation and production. However, creative CVs can also benefit roles such as advertising, media and publishing as there is still a creative aspect involved. There are different types of creative CV’s out there and finding the right one is crucial when applying for jobs, placements or internships.

A creative CV can come in the form of :

  • A written document using design elements such as graphics and illustrations

  • Video content

  • Online portfolios

  • Personal websites

  • A classic resume with more colour, font work and layout features

Steps to building a creative CV

Before building your CV, there are a number of things to consider, whilst the actual process of creating it can also bring challenges.

Type of creative CV

The most important part of the creative CV process is doing both industry and employer research. Ensuring that the resume fits into both the industry and company is vital in its success. This will ultimately dictate the type of CV you are wanting to create from the options above. For example, if you are applying for an editor role, you would need to use a written style opposed to any form of graphics or video.

The easiest way to decide how to present your CV is by researching the job responsibilities or even asking the employer if they would accept your type of resume.

Plan and collect your content

With a creative CV, it’s important to not get lost in the design and still remember all the important information needed. The content included in your creative CV will mainly be the same as a standard CV but will of course, be presented a little differently. Write and plan out a list of all the things you want to include on your CV, based on the research you’ve done. The main contents of your CV might include information such as :

  • Contact details

  • Academic history and achievements

  • Work experience

  • Extra-curriculars

  • Technical or industry specific skills

  • Personal statement

Similar to when making a regular resume, make sure to adapt this information to the chosen role or company. Take inspiration from the application form and make sure to highlight any skills they are looking for. Although your creative mind will be appreciated, the experience and knowledge is still what the employer is looking for.

Design and layout

This part of a creative CV will be different for everyone. Whilst some people might opt for a storyboard presentation, others might stick to the typical A4 paper but with added colour and design. Again, this will depend on the role you are applying for. Saying this, the design process will have similar features to consider throughout. These might include : colour, font, graphics, imagery, layout and language use.

When designing your cv, especially for written content, planning how to present this is crucial. It’s recommended that a CV is no longer than 2 pages long, meaning you need to prioritise and organise your details carefully. Using layout features such as bullet points or tables can be a good way to simplify content whilst still keeping it presentable.

The difference between a creative CV and portfolio

When producing a creative CV you might be wondering whether or not you also need a portfolio, or even what’s the difference between the two? The main difference here is that the CV has all the personal parts. This side of your application will include name, details, contact information, work experience, education grades etc, whilst the portfolio is strictly used for presenting physical work examples.

Ultimately, a portfolio and a CV are not the same thing, but the portfolio can be used to support the CV. By including a link to your online portfolio or building a physical one, this compliments all the skills and experience mentioned in your resume.

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