Prepare Your Resume & Portfolio
Preparing Your Resume
Remember, the evaluators are interested in the whole person, not just the artist.
- Your resume should stand out from the others. Remember that the evaluators have hundreds of resumes to review each year; make yours memorable. We suggest using the sample resumes we have included, browsing the internet for good formats or review some of the ones you may have received at the summer program from your faculty.
- Combine all information to one page. Evaluators rarely read past the first page.
- Easy to read fonts and type sizes (nothing under 10 pt) help facilitate reading. In general, use white space well and do not use colored paper. Do not use headshots, images or colored type.
- Information about both your academic and professional history must be instantly visible.
- List your training, number of years, school(s) attended and person(s) with whom you have studied. Also, be sure to include training or experience in an art form other than your own. Be sure to list your training at GSA (“The Kentucky Center Governor's School for the Arts”).
- Include as many publications, performances and exhibitions as possible within the one-page format.
- Include all awards, scholastic honors, professional experience, community service activities, extracurricular involvement and other related work experience. List the most recent first, following a descending chronological order.
- You must emphasize your academic training. Evaluators are interested in your course of study, grade point average and college entrance exam scores. These elements are as much a part of the evaluation as the audition/review. While individual college and university departments have their own requirements for admission, you must meet the basic academic requirements for admission to any college or university.
- The actual portfolio (the physical one, not your body of work) should be functional and not distract from your presentation. If you have a portfolio, pull it out now and clean it up. Make sure that it’s in working condition and not going to fall apart with your work in it. Make sure your name, phone number, and address are clearly labeled on it.
- If you don’t have a portfolio, check with your high school art teacher. She or he may have one that you can use, they can help direct you to one that you can buy or assist you in making a paper portfolio.
- You may drop off your portfolio at the Manual Visual Art wing before parking. The Visual Art wing of Manual High School is on 2nd street by the Manual parking lot in front of the gym. You can leave your portfolio in the Visual Art Wing during the College Fair.
- There will be someone in the parking lot of Manual who will guide you to the portfolio drop off area and there will be signs directing you to the Visual Art wing.
Here are some important suggestions:
- Make sure that your work is clean and neat. As always, presentation is important!
- Consider matting (if possible) any loose drawings or prints. If not matting, mount each loose work. This will help to present your work neatly and prevent it from getting damaged. A support of contrasting color works best. Some examples of what you might use: recycled cardboard, construction paper, card stock, poster board or foam core.
- If bringing three-dimensional work with you, make sure it is easy to transport. We suggest bringing photographs of large 3D work rather than transporting the pieces themselves. You may also bring a laptop or mobile device to show images of your work.
- Architecture + Design and Film + Photography students will need to use a personal laptop or mobile device to show work in your portfolio that needs to be viewed on a computer. If you plan on using a computer, make sure your work is stored locally on your device and is also backed up on a DVD or flash drive. If showing photos or video, having a menu or playlist of all of your work is recommended. Show work that you would like to highlight or that the college rep requests to see. This will help you lead the interview with the rep.
- Keep the work in your portfolio varied. You will want to show works that polished and finished, but also some that are looser and more expressive, as well as works that are tighter and more rendered. Remember to include works that will show your imagination and ideas, and not just assignments you received at school or GSA. Be prepared to talk about how these works will mature.
- Aim to have between ten and twenty works in your portfolio. You may also want to bring a sketch book or box with you.
- If work is too large or otherwise difficult to transport, please bring photos.
- Manual has asked that parents not be allowed in the Visual Art Wing--even to drop off portfolios. GSA is working on providing volunteers to assist with portfolio drop off, but this has not yet been finalized. Please be prepared to load your portfolio in by yourself. Please bring only what you can carry.
Once you have your portfolio underway, it’s time to start thinking about the interview part of College Day. You will have approximately 10 minutes to share your work.
- Practice showing your portfolio to your art teacher, another teacher, or an adult who is interested in your work. Don’t try to rehearse an interview style or sequence with them, your purpose is to become more at ease showing your work to someone and having them ask questions. Try to relax as much as possible; be at ease with the process. Be natural and speak from your heart! Relay your passion for your art. (A word of explanation here, your friends and parents already know you and your work. You need to practice answering unexpected questions and remarks that come from others who may not know your work as well. Let your parents and friends help you prepare in other ways).
- Listen to feedback you get from these rehearsals – on how you are communicating and presenting your work. Be clear in expressing your ideas and thoughts verbally, and don’t assume (…you know, like) that they know what you’re talking about unless they say so. For example, compare the following two students in an interview session.
Andy: “Ahh, this is a project we did, uh, in my high school class with, uh complimentary colors.”
Andrea: “This is a complimentary color landscape that we did in my art class. Our teacher showed us the work of Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, and how they used complimentary colors. I really liked Van Gogh’s work, so I modeled mine after some of his work.”
Which of the two comes across as more connected to their work? Like Andrea, you’ll want to give a little more insight into your work and be able to respond more in-depth; should the interviewer wants to know more. And while you’ll want to go further if asked, don’t put together a canned, pat presentation for each piece. Be honest, be yourself and be articulate.
- A final word about practicing showing your portfolio: Don’t let yourself become confused by the feedback you get from the people looking at your portfolio – everyone has different tastes and likes/dislikes. Don’t start rearranging your portfolio – choose (and keep in) the work you will want the interviewers to comment on.
- When you interview with a school, you’re looking to find out if the college is a good place for you, find out some information on the school and get specific feedback. While each interviewer will handle the interviews differently, it’s ok for you to ask questions pertinent to where you are in the college process rather than questions you can find out later on. You will have plenty of time to talk to college representatives at the College Fair. You will not have a lot of time with each school during the review, but these are possible questions you might want to ask or model your questions on:
- What should I take out of my portfolio and why?
- What’s missing in my portfolio?
- Is your program a Bachelor of Arts, or a Bachelor of Fine Arts?
- On what basis are applicants accepted? Can denials be appealed?