The Creative Resume Blog Series: CV vs. Resume


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. This post focuses on the difference between a CV and a resume.

CV vs. Resume

A CV and a resume are two different formats of resumes. A CV stands for curriculum vitae. It is a Latin term that can be translated into, “the course of my life.” It is a comprehensive documentation of someone’s career. A CV can have an unlimited number of pages, the space used is to track your career. The longest CV I have seen was 18 pages.

Resume translated means “summary,” and is a shortened, tailored version of your CV. A resume is approximately one or two pages but does not have more pages than two.

Which do I use? If you are applying for a grant, the application will tell you the length restrictions of the resume. For many  applications and opportunities, you will be using your resume. When a page requirement is not listed, go ahead and use your CV. A CV will give a comprehensive look at your career and can provide a better snapshot of your creative capabilities. A CV is also a good document to have on your online portfolio or website.

Revisions and Updates:  Update your resume or CV every month. Every time you have an opportunity,  a show or another type of update, quickly refresh your resume so you do not need to overhaul it. Spend 5 minutes adding a few details and save yourself a whole weekend reworking your CV or resume. Below is a snapshot of my computer files. I change the name of the CV document to the date when I make the revisions.  I save all my old CVs and resumes in a folder that is also out of the way while keeping my active document in an easily accessible location.


When you are applying to a specific opportunity, save the title of the opportunity in the name of the document. Like a job resume, you will often have to make specific alterations to the content and format to showcase your career in a specific way that is asked of you in the opportunity. This allows me to save past CVs so if I ever need to go back and reference what I had or need to resubmit or reprint a version, I have the original document. This tactic will also keep you organized.

Stay tuned for more blog posts in this series for best practices on your CV and resume. We will be going through all the sections of both traditional and non-traditional formats.


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