The creative resume is that….creative. Its not your typical job resume format. The problem with the creative aspect is just that, there is no exact format to follow which leaves people who don’t feel confident in building and creating a resume with a sub-par document of their career. With that comes a less than professional look to a talented creative, less opportunities for grants, a pass on an exhibition opportunity from a jury and more.
This blog series will break down options, formats and tips for creating a strong creative resume. This will be tailored towards artists but can be changed and altered to your particular career.
The first part of the blog series is about the seemingly most important yet easiest part of the entire resume, your name. Who you are, is most recognized by the name you are called. For some artists, its just your name. For others, its an artist name. Much like small bands that suddenly find out there is another band with the same name, your artist name on your resume is important. While its perfectly fine to go by your legal name, do some research before you settle. Is there another with the same name?
Some people find out a surprise when they Google their name. A local artist I know, Googled her name and found there is a half naked swimsuit model who pops up on the search engine. Figure out who competes with your name brand. Maybe you need to add your middle initial to your resume to help differentiate yourself, increase your SEO compatibility online or consider an entirely new creative name you are known by.
A few years ago, I decided to change my artist name. While it took sometime to transition, it has been one of the greatest decisions I have made for my career. While my name is my first and middle name, Kate Renee, other artists go by completely different names. Choosing an artist name is beneficial to help ease confusion between people with the same name, or if you have a popular name. On the opposing side, if your name is too difficult to pronounce or two long, then changing it can help as well. HOTTEA for example, the Minneapolis based yarn bomber, is Eric Rieger. If you read about his history on MPR, you can read more about his decision to go by his artist name. There is a fun Wiki article on how other well known artists and pop culture icons changed their name. Having a stage or artist name is found in all sorts of occupations including, journalism and writing, wrestling, artistry, music, comedians and entertainers.
So the moral of the story is, you want the name on your resume to be what you are most proud to be. Whether that’s your legal name, an adaptation or a creative artist name. Figure out what your name is and stick to it. Consistency is key when building your brand and titling your resume.