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Cvs & Portfolios

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Hi all! I realise it is a saturday and therefore the majority of us are recovering from work/nights out :blink: but was wondering if anyone had any ideas/tips/advice for CV writing. Its just that I'm just redoing my CV and getting it ready for colleges interviews and theatre work. Also does any one have any ideas/tips/advice for creating a portfolio, I realise theres no set way but I'm just wanting it to look good! thanx in advance!
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I personally would say your cv should be no more than 2 x A4 sheets, with a covering letter - stating why you are best for the job in question!!

Don't just give a list of shows you have worked on - that's boring and tells an employer nothing about you! Say what skills you applied/learnt whilst working on a show e.g. SM on 'Barnum' - learnt about H&S of actors working at height/on trapezes!!


Hope that helps a bit......

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your cv should be no more than 2 x A4 sheets, with a covering letter - stating why you are best for the job in question

Excellent advice. Your covering letter should be tailored for every job you apply for. Read the job ad and make sure you point out each quality you have that matches their needs. If they say they want someone who can swin underwater whilst making a scroller gel string then point out to them that you can do it.


Nothing annoys a potential employer more than someone who applies for a job but it is obvious they haven't read the advert (or is it just me?).

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  • 4 weeks later...

I am going through the process of redundancy in my day job (computer progammer), and have recently had "outplacement training". Here is a distilled from of the 1/2 day on CVs.


The expert opinion on CVs is to emphasise the positives, leave the negatives out where possible and concentrate on "achievements" (e.g. Designed, rigged and operated XXX festival with 200 channels of lights and 50 moving lights)I wish!.


It is also worthwhile listing your skills with an indication of the amount of experience in each and a section stating your career objectives.


As suzette said, 2 A4 pages is a maximum that should not be exceeded except in exceptional circumstances (Most people will not reach the bottom of page 1 before making a decision).


It is also well worth using a heavyweight laid paper in pale cream if you are sending a hard copy (most people use flimsy 60g white copier paper - use the psychlogical advantage). As for typeface, a Serif face such as Times New Roman is easier to read than a sans serif one such as Arial. Never drop below 10pt.


Above all, research the job/course you are applying for and tailor your CV to the particular position (emphasize lx work for an lx job, or sound work for a sound job) and keep a copy of the CV you sent to each company/establishment.


If you have any more questions, I will endeavor to answer them.

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I've been on the recieving end of CV's for more years than I care to remember,

and I endorse everything Ellis has said.


When an employer reads it, he may be looking to interview a handful of applicants, so make your CV stand out. Put your name BIG and BOLD on the front page, and make sure it's on any subsequent pages. If you can afford it, get some

real nice (a bit expensive) A4 vellum weave paper, with a cream or light blue

tinge, AND the biggest bit of all ---- A nice bold statement about you....

Truthful, but ask you're freinds, your parents...... something like


A versatile, enthusiastic, ..... with excellent ........skills in.........


get the drift -


Because you need that piece of paper to make your prospective employer

WANT to see you - and I can guarantee they will only read half the first page, and

put you into a 'definite Interview' category, and an 'others' - and which one do you want to be in?


Hope this helps,



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  • 2 weeks later...

On my CV I have a colour logo to catch a person's eye. It works and I rarely get overlooked for interview as a result. Many people I've worked with or interviewed have said, or as good as said that it made them read my CV more than once.


Trust me, a bit of graphic design goes a long way.


Oh, and use the same logo on everything, covering letters, even cue sheets when working freelance. Its a tip I got from a PE I worked with and it works wonders.


Owen J

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  • 3 weeks later...

Best CV advice I ever got was this:


Put your referees names on the *front* page.


The reasoning I was told was this: you're a busy guy and you've put aside a morning to go through applications for the post you advertised, but there's hundreds of the bleeders!

So, as you'll be spending a few seconds only on each CV if you see a name you recognise you'll phone them and say "is this person any good?" and, chances are if the ref says yes you'll put that person in the interview pile or maybe even just ring them there and then...


So to that end it might be worth thinking of the circles your referees move in and having a few up your sleeve to maximise your chance of a word of mouth recommendation.




For myself I believe that it's possible to get too fancy in presentation, coloured paper etc is a gamble, it might alienate as much as it stands out. You want your skills and experience to do the shouting, not the paper colour.


Put the relevant stuff *first* - don't make them wade through your Standard Grades and Highers before they read you've a Degree or whatever in Stage Management, likewise they don't need to know about your chip shop summer job above your experience in an Edinburgh Festival venue for example.


So, chronological order, sure - but most recent first!


Lastly, why waste a line saying "Curriculum Vitae"... of course it is. Start with your name.


Best of luck



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