Saturday 7 December 2013

Six Rules for a Good CV

Source: Wikipedia
CV stands for Curriculum Vitae - literally the story of your life. In the USA it's known as a résumé. Whatever the name, its purpose is to summarise your education, life history and skills as clearly and concisely as possible, and to put the best possible gloss on your achievements.  Employers will expect one, so it's worth spending some time on it to get it right. Once you've done it, all you need do is edit it regularly and update it.

Below are some rules for putting together a good CV.

Rule 1: Find a good CV that you like, and copy it.

Don't start from scratch. Use someone else's CV - preferably one that you admire - as a template, and adapt it. Don't try to re-invent the wheel. 

Rule 2: Keep it short. 

No-one wants to read anything longer than 2 pages. Employers will probably scan your CV rather than actually read it, so keep it short and punchy.

Rule 3: Edit your CV for each job you apply for.

Just like your animation and visual effects demo reel, your CV should be directly relevant to the job you are applying for.  Edit out anything that doesn't support your job application. Scout merit badges are not relevant for visual effects work.
Rule 4: Add a personal statement at the front

Add a brief statement at the front, saying what your goals are. Again, keep it short.

Rule 5: Add a referee 

At the bottom of your CV, add two references available upon request. These can be course tutors, or former employers - anyone who can vouch for you personally.

Rule 6: Always send in a cover letter.

CVs seldom travel alone. They are usually accompanied by a cover letter, addressed to your (hopefully) future employer, saying what the job is you are applying for and why you think you are suitable for it. Cover letters should short and to the point. Don't gush, grovel, or go on too long.


(Editor's note: For more information on finding work and working as a freelancer, read out our post on Portfolio Careers.  Also, check out our guide to animation careers here, and also take a look at this map of digital studios - a great place to start your search for work in the business. Learn the nuts and bolts of freelance life by reading our guide to invoicing clients.)


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