How to write a killer CV to kick start your music industry career

Oli Tatler from our Careers and Industry Hub gives us his top tips on making you and your skills stand out...


CVs are essential when applying for most jobs and often the first time a potential employer will come into contact with you.

For this reason, it’s important that your CV makes a good impression!

Your CV allows an employer to see the skills and experience you have which are relevant to the job you are apply​ing for. So you need to adapt your CV for each application to ensure you highlight your most relevant skills and experience - think of it like your own personal marketing tool.

Here, Oli Tatler from our Careers and Industry Hub, gives us his essential advice for coming up with a killer CV which will make you and your skills stand out from the crowd...

There are no official rules on how a CV should look but there is a typical structure you should follow...

Contact details

Start your CV with your name in bold and slightly larger than the font size you use elsewhere in your CV. Your address, contact number and a professional sounding email address come under your name.

TIP: Leave out your date of birth, nationality, marital status or a photograph.

Personal profile

Your personal profile should give a concise overview of your relevant skills and experience. Typically, you should mention the academic level you have reached, the sectors you have worked in and what your career goals are.

You should also use action words to emphasise any key achievements/responsibilities you have had professionally as well and highlight any successes."  

TIP: Some examples of action words include achieved, analysed, coordinated, designed, developed, evaluated, excelled, initiated, led, managed, organised, planned, project managed, researched, succeeded etc.

Employment history

List your previous employers starting with the most recent first. The format for each employer should be 'Job title', 'Company name', 'Location' and 'Employment dates' in a month/year format. If you are still working at the employer, include your start date followed by ‘to present’.

Use bullet points to describe your main responsibilities and remember to make these relevant to the job you are applying for by matching these to the advert and/or job description. You should typically have up to five bullet points for each job and no more than two sentences for each responsibility.

TIP: Paid, unpaid or voluntary experience can be included.

Education history

List your qualifications and places of study from the most recent first. The format for each qualification should be ' Qualification type', 'Institution name', 'Study dates'. If you were awarded a grade, include this. If you haven’t yet been awarded a grade, include your start date and ‘to present’. If you have studied modules relevant to the job you are applying for you can also include a ‘Modules studied’ section. 

TIP: If you don’t have much relevant employment experience, you can move the Education section before the Employment History section."

Additional information

In this section, you should include additional skills such as IT skills, language skills and if you have a valid driver’s license. These should be short sentences listed as bullet points.

Hobbies and interests

It is not essential to include these but if you have any hobbies and interests outside of work and study which are relevant to the job you are applying for and demonstrate passion for the industry, you can include these here as bullet points with a brief description of your responsibilities and achievements.


Don’t include the contact details of any references on your CV. All you need to write in this section is ‘References available on request’. Remember to ask permission from the people you intend to provide as a reference for you too!

NOTE: A CV should typically be no longer than two pages. Use a clear and easy to read font like Arial and the font should ideally be 10 or 11 maximum. Remember to check for spelling mistakes. If you are emailing your CV, always save and send the CV as a PDF.

Oli is ICMP's ​Careers & Employability Manager - find out more and read his previous blogs on how to get a job in the music industry, essential networking tips and how to find internships.  

Photo by Chad Kirchoff from Pexels

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by Oli Tatler
July 26, 2019
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