There are no right or wrong ways to write a CV, which is why there are so many different / conflicting pieces of advice out there, but there is a tried and tested format which we have found that is concise, easy to write and will communicate your skills and experience effectively to a potential employer.
So… let’s start at the top.
Don’t try to make it look like a piece of art, 9 times out of ten this just makes it more difficult to read and detracts from your experience. Keep it simple – Arial font at size 10/11 and no pictures. If you want to include some of the projects you have worked on these should be kept within a separate events addendum, which we will talk about later.
The length of a CV is again a much discussed point, but the key to this is relevance. Whilst most Producers have a huge range of experience it doesn’t need to be documented in fine detail, only include what is relevant.
A potential employer wants an overview, not your life story.
So now you’re staring at a blank sheet of paper…
You will need the basics, name, address (and whether you are open to relocation), and contact details at the top of the page – believe it or not people don’t always include these!
Skills overview / summary
Whether this is really needed is debatable, but if you really feel it is important keep it simple, no more than ten bullet points that give a broad overview of your experience, for example;
Wide ranging production experience within corporate / public event
Experienced in managing internal design, video and technical team
Excellent client management skill
UK and overseas event experience
Budget management up to £1m
The important bit - Explaining your experience
Start with you latest position and work backwards from there, you don’t want a potential employer to have to go to the back of your CV to find your (presumably) most recent / relevant experience.
So now you need to explain who you are working for at the moment and the role / responsibilities you have.
One of the biggest mistakes to make is to assume that the person who is reading your CV will know the company you are working for. Even if you are working for a well-known agency, the chances are the reader won’t have a clear understanding of the size of projects, type of clients that you will have been involved in, so you have to make this clear, for example;
2001 – Present, ABC Productions
ABC Productions are a 30 person production agency which deliver a wide range of corporate events, throughout the UK and overseas, for Pharmaceutical, Automotive and FMCG clients, with delegate numbers up to 1000 and budgets in excess of £1m.
As one of five Senior Producers I am responsible for the end-to-end delivery of my own projects, with specific responsibilities as follows;
Taking, interpreting and challenging the client brief
Leading the initial creative
Writing pitch winning proposals
Central point of client contact
Content development with speakers
Overseeing video /presentation production
Supplier selection and management (AV / set staging etc)
On site client management
Now all you have to do is repeat the above for the rest of your positions. If the other positions you held are not relevant to your application then keep them brief, again an employer doesn’t want to know the detail of your non-production roles, just where you were at that time and the basics of what you were doing.
An events addendum
We always recommend that you compile an events addendum to accompany the CV. It’s a great way to give real life examples of the work you have delivered.
You don’t need every project (we’ve seen some that are ten pages long) just a good selection.
An example would be;
Porsche Car Launch 1000 delegates Milan Producer Jan 2008
Nothing says it like pictures, so if you have any for that specific event this is the place to include them.
If you follow the steps above it should be easy to write, easy to read, and above all give you the greatest chance of landing that great next step in your career.