The graduate’s guide to creative CVs

27 Nov 2023, 10:53

Creative person designing using a pen

What is a creative CV?

A well-put-together creative CV will showcase the skills you have developed in areas such as art, design, fashion and photography. A good CV will grab the employer’s attention, and hopefully land you an interview where you can expand on your skills, experience and ambition. This is particularly important in a competitive job market, and especially if your application is speculative.

The type of role you’re applying for matters. The same company will expect a more creative approach to an application from someone applying for a job in a design team than someone applying for a position as an account manager.

The more creative your approach, the riskier the strategy, so be sure that your CV is appropriate for the role and the organisation, shows off your skills and matches the culture of the company you are applying to.

You should look into submitting a creative CV if you’re interested in the following jobs:

Creative CVs can take different forms such as:

  • written documents with design elements such as infographics and illustrations
  • personal websites
  • video CVs
  • portfolios

What to include

As always, attention should be paid to layout, colour palette, typography and the illustrations or images you use.

The specifics of the materials included will vary according to the creative industry you are in and the job you are applying to, but certain information should always be included:

  • full name
  • contact information
  • education and qualifications
  • any volunteer work or relevant extracurricular activities
  • employment history
  • skills and interests
  • references

Apart from the standard information you’d find in a regular CV, include accomplishments that are relevant to your industry such as:

  • designs you’ve created
  • exhibitions you took part in
  • portfolio links
  • links to personal blogs
  • software you’re proficient in
  • awards you’ve won
  • work samples

Your CV is what gives hiring managers their first impressions of you. Make sure to pay attention to every detail. The information included should be correct and consistent. While a creatively constructed CV will draw attention, make sure that all of the important information is clear and easy to identify. You can display your creativity later. Hiring managers may be sifting through a large number of CVs looking for specific pieces of information, make your CV easy to skim.

Getting an extra pair of eyes on your work always helps. Show your CV to people in the industry and ask for feedback.

gradireland editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the gradireland content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

Related careers advice

undefined background image

We've got you

Get the latest jobs, internships, careers advice, courses and graduate events based on what's important to you. Start connecting directly with top employers today.