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  • Writer's picturekathybeekman

3 Artist Resume Mistakes That May Cost You

Updated: Dec 3, 2019

Does it matter if you make a mistake on your resume? Yes, it does. Many artists are under the impression that properly composing a resume is not important and, if they do have one, they don’t think anyone is truly interested in reading it. This way of thinking will cost you.

Galleries, collectors, art lovers, and businesses looking for art will read resumes. Granted, some look at artist resumes differently from one another and some more seriously than others. Galleries, for example, are keen to read headings on your resume such as “Representation” and “Exhibits”. Collectors may be interested in a heading of “Collections” to see who else is collecting your art, and businesses looking to hang artwork may look at your heading of “Solo Exhibits” to see how many successful solo exhibits you have under your belt. There are so many reasons that you, as an artist, should have a top notch resume. The number one reason is so that it helps in telling your story and selling you as a believable professional artist.

Here are 3 mistakes that might cost you:

1. Giving everyone the same resume.

Your resume is not a one size fits all. Let’s take galleries, for example. No two galleries are alike. Tailor your resume to fit the venue, and take the time to truly understand what each is looking for. If you are approaching a gallery that is interested in who else is representing your artwork, then place this heading at the top. If a venue is more interested in how many invitational exhibits you have participated in, rearrange your headings so that this is placed at the top.

2. Inconsistent format and fonts.

Consistent formatting is key. This allows for easy reading and does not distract the reader from what’s important (how good of a fit you are for the gallery or collector, for example). In particular, pay attention to bullet points and headings. They should be the same shape and size.

3. Not researching other artists resumes.

Don’t know what goes into a resume? Check in on your competitors. What headings are they using? How are they formatting their resume? Taking a peek at other artists’ resumes is bound to inspire you to gather particular information and showcase it wisely on yours.

Don’t think you have any material to develop a resume? Think again. Many of my art career coaching clients, who ask for help in writing a resume, don’t think they have anything to include. They are always pleasantly surprised when we gather enough information to write a 1-3 page killer resume. I bet you can do the same.

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