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Resumes & Cover Letters

Resumes are a critical component of the networking and application process. As such, we recommend having a working resume when beginning your job and / or internship search. While resumes for different industries— and even different positions— will likely vary in terms of both format and content, a few guiding principles remain constant.

Professional Resume

Your professional resume should address skills needed in your desired field and special accomplishments or results-oriented tasks you performed in previous work.  Depending on the specific job function you hope to fulfil, those skills might include:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Creativity
  • Leadership
  • Broad Content Knowledge
  • Ability to Improve with Feedback
  • Savvy with Technology

(SNAAPShot 2013)

When it comes to choosing a format, some arts or media organizations may be more tolerant of design-heavy resumes that use color, graphics, or otherwise veer from the traditional one-page resume.  Keep in mind that, regardless of the field, hiring managers are more interested in quality content (what have you done?) than visual appeal.  In fact, some employers view non-traditional resumes as a tool for masking a lack of experience. Don't let this be you! Use work samples and your online portfolio to show your design skills so you can keep your resume content-focused.  You can also come to CAMD Office Hours or make an appointment at the Career Center to get a second opinion.

Artist Resume

If you are promoting your work to galleries or posting your experience on a website where you are selling work, an artist resume may be a better fit than one that is designed for employment.  Here, you would highlight awards, publications, shows/exhibitions, and competitions you participated in, as well as some statements about your artistic approach. 

Interview Questions & Format 

Most interviews will contain some mixure of questions about your past experiences (resume-based) and your ability to handle typical workplace situations (behavioral).  For full-time positions, depending on the size of the organization, you should expect to start with a 20-30 minute phone or Skype screening interview, then a longer Skype or in-person final interview.  

There are some industries that have particular elements to their interview process, however.  

Media/TV

Many of these companies are moving to using screening tools instead of conducting first-round phone interviews.  This means that you may be asked to complete a short video interview to submit after your resume is received.  Some video interview systems allow you two chances to record and submit your answer, whereas others only give you one chance.  For this reason, we recommend you practice using InterviewStream. Interview Stream is an invaluable tool available to all UVA students that allows you to practice video interviewing and review your responses to improve your answers. You can also submit your interview answers to a counselor for help. Practice makes perfect and this is a great tool to start building your comfort and communication skills. 

Public Relations

Writing is an essential skill in Public Relations.  For that reason, a writing test is a standard part of any PR interview.  Interviewers may ask you to write a press release, create a social media post, or complete a multiple choice grammar/writing exam, all within a specified period of time.  In these cases, details matter, and practice can also help. 

Portfolios & Online Presence

There are a variety of tools to help you promote your personal or artistic brand.  Because they're so readily available, many employers have come to expect applicants to have their work (writing, design work, blog posts) presented somewhere online.  If you take the opportunity to create a portfolio or website before you submit, you won't be defined by what can be found in a Google search.

  • Behance and PortfolioBox host online portfolios in a variety of industries and locations and have interactive community elements
  • LinkedIn provides a platform for presenting your entire work history and allows you to promote your personal website, news articles, images, and slideshows
  • SquareSpace,Wix and Weebly offer free tools to build a custom website
  • Clippings.me (writing)
  • SoundCloud (music/recorded sound)

 

Promoting & Selling Your Work

Producing a creative piece you want to market and / or sell is an incredible accomplishment, and something to celebrate. There are numerous methods of promoting your work, most of which correlate to both your piece and your goal for it. Below are a few ways to publicize you and your product.