Crafting Your CV / Resume

As summer approaches, recent graduates and alumni seeking new opportunities should craft a compelling CV/ Resume to make a great first impression on potential employers. Creating a standout CV/ Resume for the art and luxury worlds involves more than just listing your qualifications. It’s about tailoring your experiences to the role, presenting your achievements confidently, and understanding regional differences that may influence your CV/Resume’s reception. Here are some tips to help you create an effective CV/ Resume for the art and luxury industries.

·      Professional and Clean Design: Opt for a straightforward layout with readable fonts and clear headings. A clean design enhances readability and ensures that recruiters can quickly find the information they need. Avoid overly complex layouts that might distract from your content, and consider that digital Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) prefer simpler formats. 

·      Customized Content: Tailor your CV/ Resume for each application by highlighting relevant skills and experiences that align with the specific job description. This way, you show employers that you understand their needs and can meet them effectively.

·      Conciseness is Key: Aim to keep your CV/ Resume concise at 1 or 2 pages, use bullet points to outline responsibilities and achievements clearly, helping recruiters to quickly grasp your qualifications and accomplishments.

·      Achievement-Oriented: Instead of just listing job responsibilities, focus on your achievements and quantify them where possible. For example, quantify the number of attendees at an event you organized or the amount of funding you secured. Concrete examples like these demonstrate your impact in previous roles.

·      Action Verbs: Start bullet points with strong action verbs such as "Curated," "Developed," "Managed," and "Executed." These verbs convey proactivity and leadership, showcasing your dynamic role in past positions and emphasizing your contributions.

·      Avoid Over-Used Phrases: Instead of using generic phrases such as ‘team player’ or ‘hardworking’, provide real-life examples that demonstrate these skills.

·      Proofreading: Ensure your CV/ Resume is error-free by thoroughly proofreading it for grammar and spelling mistakes. A well-polished CV/ Resume reflects your professionalism and attention to detail, which are highly valued traits in the art and luxury industries.

·      Covering Letter: Always include a covering letter unless your employer states otherwise. It will allow you to personalise your application and expand on the skills and experiences you highlighted in your CV/ Resume.

Regional Variations to Consider

Understanding regional differences in CV/ Resume formats can enhance your chances of success in different markets:

·      United States: Focus on a reverse chronological format with detailed education and skills sections. Highlight specific achievements and quantify results where possible.

·      United Kingdom: Include a personal profile summarizing your career goals. UK CVs can extend to two pages, especially for experienced professionals.

·      Europe: Formats can vary widely, often favouring a skills-based layout. Include personal details such as nationality and language proficiency if relevant to the role.

·      Asia: Provide detailed personal information and consider including a professional photo. In some Asian countries, resumes may be longer, to accommodate comprehensive career details.

Highlighting Relevant Skills and Experience

When applying for roles in the art and luxury industries, showcase a blend of academic qualifications and practical experience. Degrees in art history, fine art & design, fashion or arts administration etc. are beneficial, but so is hands-on experience in managing exhibitions, sales, or client relationships.

For those transitioning from other industries, draw parallels between your previous roles and the art and luxury sectors. If you have a background in marketing, for instance, highlight your ability to develop effective campaigns and engage diverse audiences, which are valuable skills in promoting artworks and exhibitions.

Make Connections

Finally, don’t forget that networking is essential in the art and luxury worlds: engage with creative communities and attend industry events to expand your professional network.

Remember that the Careers Services team at Sotheby's Institute of Art is here to support you throughout the summer and that we are regularly posting new opportunities on our jobs board. Whether you're a student refining your first CV/ Resume or an alum seeking career advancement tips, don't hesitate to reach out for guidance!