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Our Do’s and Don’ts for writing a creative CV

With more and more people coming up with quirky, off the wall ways to get themselves noticed, we’re often asked what kind of CV our clients want for creative and design positions. Here, we cover our do’s and don’ts to ensure your CV and portfolio are ready to land you your next job.


Creative CVs need to showcase your talent and demonstrate that you understand current design trends. However, you need to remember that this is your CV and not your portfolio, so make sure it’s clear what you do at the moment and don’t let the design element take over.

Chrissie, creative recruitment expert at LIVE, explains: ‘In principle a design or creative CV should be like any other CV we receive, in that it needs to include specific information – your personal details, education, work history etc – however, if we received a CV from a creative or designer without any design element, we’d be concerned.

‘We need to be able to read the information, yes, but it’s important to add your own creative spin to the lay out / design / presentation to ensure you stand out from the crowd.’

  • Do get the detail down, then add your creativity.
  • Don’t go over the top. We need to be able to read it, and so does the employer!
  • Do talk about big projects that you played a part in (if part of a team)
  • Don’t lay claim to any creative work that isn’t your original work. But make sure you say what part you played in it.
  • Do play around with the format to showcase your skills.
  • Don’t use unnecessary images or graphics that have no relevance to you or the job you’re applying for.


Your CV needs to be backed up with a portfolio to showcase your work. ‘We can’t tell from your CV alone whether you’re a talented designer so your portfolio needs to show us where your skills lie, to ensure you land that interview.’

  • Do make sure your portfolio is well presented, whatever format it takes.
  • Don’t over do the project descriptions. Keep it brief and be prepared to talk in more detail during your interview.
  • Do include your most relevant work, but hold some back to talk about at the interview.
  • Don’t put every piece of work you have ever done in. Stick to the pieces you’re most proud of.
  • Do ensure your portfolio includes your most recent work. It’s no good having a beautiful portfolio that’s 3 or 4 years out of date. What have you been doing for the last year or so?

‘Your CV and portfolio are our first impression of you and the basis of which we form our opinion of your ability for the role you’re applying for. Stand out by keeping it clear, concise and informative whilst ensuring your flourish and flare shines through.’

If you’re a creative or design professional looking for a new role, register your details and we'll be in touch!