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Powerful CV Writing Tips for Creative Industries: 5 secrets to application success

Writing A Creative Cv

They may be short in length but there are secrets to writing a good CV and people who’ve mastered them can be pretty cagey. There’s nothing more disheartening than sending out CV after CV without ever hearing back from potential employers. Worse still, the added “creative” element of an application for a creative role means the entire task can feel like a minefield of unknowns.

Yet, limping on in the wrong job can affect every area of your life from your immune system to your productivity levels, mental health, relationships, and quality of sleep. Rather than plugging away with a structure that’s not working, uncover the secrets to what to include in a successful CV here.

Here’s all you need to know about how to write a good CV for a creative profession, in 5 easy steps.

1. Creativity in Context

To get the balance of creativity right when applying for a job in a creative profession, think from the point of view of your potential employer. They want someone who’s enthusiastic about the role, has the skills to do the job and will fit into the company. That means you need to be professional first, show yours is a serious application, and prove you have the level of skill to walk in and do the job. Therefore, any creative skill on display should be relevant to the job you’re applying for. If you’re a graphic designer and an infographic or visual CV suits the company you’re applying for, that will be a great way to show your graphic design skills. If you’re a photographer, you’d want one of your photos on display and probably opt for an online or a video CV. It’s about what’s appropriate.

Whether you choose an online CV, video CV, infographic CV, visual CV, or something else – make sure it’s the best way to reflect who you are professionally and will be well-received by your potential employer whom you want to consider you a serious candidate. Choose a demonstration of professional expertise, directly relevant to the job over an all-out gimmick which has little to do with the knowledge you will be using in the role.

2. Short and Sweet?

CV presentation may have come on in leaps and bounds in terms of interest however some things are still the same. Recruiters still sift quickly through CVs, either by hand or computer, discarding huge wads that don’t match the skills in the job specification, are poorly presented, and don’t stand out. Whatever the format you use, make sure your CV is short, easy to skim read, and stands out from the competition with accurate grammar and punctuation essential. You do want to make an immediate impact so your CV is read, so do consider those first few seconds you have to make an impression.

3. Portfolio

Your portfolio is your greatest opportunity to put your unique creative skills on full display. Ensure you take some time to update your portfolio before you begin constructing your CV because you will often be asked to attach your portfolio and many applicants include a link to their portfolio on their CV. Lots of employers also ask for a link to your LinkedIn profile and website, many applicants place the URLs on their CV. Remember socials can also demonstrate your skill and network connections so consider everything an extension of your portfolio.

4. Evidence of skills

When completing your CV, use sections of information to make it easy to read. Read the job description and specification carefully and ensure the skills included on your CV match those from the job spec. Reflect the ethos and priorities described in the company details whilst conveying passion and enthusiasm. Describe precisely what you achieved using statistics and how the results benefited the company in terms of quantifiable growth. Also include notable clients, the names of where you’ve worked and when any awards received, and don’t forget qualifications.

Remember too, the importance of your opening summary wherein a sentence or two, you need to explain why your achievements and soft skills are a good fit for the job. Don’t forget too, to list your job-specific technical skills, relevant to the role. That’s why infographic CVs are so popular. They purely display stats and charts with factual evidence of skills visible at a glance. 

5.  Would you?

The question is, would you want to employ you? Read your CV as if you were an employer – does it stand out, look professional and reflect your creative abilities in a professional manner? Ask those in your network to honestly peruse your CV with the same outlook and of course, be open to feedback! If you have leaders in our network, that’s a major bonus.

Why not find a brilliant creative role with 24 Seven? We put your needs first and match you with a role we know you’ll love. Call us today on 0207 534 9960 or learn more about our personalised creative recruitment.