You are ready for your next move as an art gallery manager. Your eye for quality, combined with retail business and sales savvy, gives you a great advantage when it comes to creating the perfect art gallery manager resume.
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Using this writing guide, backed by an art gallery manager resume example, you will learn how to:
- Assess your strengths in the role of art gallery manager
- Apply the universal framework of resume components
- Choose the best format for your art gallery manager resume
- Optimize the impact of each resume section: header, profile, employment history, education and skills
- Make layout and design choices for a resume that shines.
What does an art gallery manager do?
Art gallery managers are responsible for the proper functioning of an art gallery, which requires a diverse set of skills. Specific roles can vary widely depending upon the size and specific nature of the gallery.
You might be responsible for communicating with artists, planning gallery exhibitions and art fair representation, networking with clients, and working to ensure a pleasant experience for gallery visitors. You will probably manage daily operations and direct other staff members as necessary. In addition, you may provide information to visitors, liaise with artists and clients, and direct press and listings.
According to climbtheladder.com, art gallery director salaries vary depending on education, experience, and gallery size and location. The median annual salary is $70,500, while gallery managers in the top 10% salary range earn $137,000.
Employment growth for art gallery directors is expected to keep pace with the occupational average rate over the next decade.
How to write an art gallery manager resume
An impressive art gallery manager resume should always be geared to the specific position you are seeking. Before elaborating on that later on, let’s first look at what all resumes have in common, across all occupations — the structure. Your art gallery manager resume should include these components, all fitting on a single page:
- Resume header
- Employment history section
- Education section
- Skills section
Choosing the best resume format for art gallery managers
The resume format you choose depends on your background and desired career path as an art gallery manager. If you have worked mostly as an employee — whether in art gallery roles or perhaps in a different field of fine arts, if not in business, sales or marketing — the chronological resume format is recommended. Your professional experience is organized under employer headings in reverse chronological order, from most recent to earliest. This is the most commonly used resume format, and generally preferred by hiring managers.
If you have been self-employed as an artist or in consulting positions, your preference may be to emphasize specialized skills, or even clients or projects, rather than employers. A functional resume format will enable you to do so.
A hybrid (combination) resume format offers even more versatility by including both chronological and functional elements.
A striking header design will help ensure your art gallery manager resume gets more than a passing glance, for all the right reasons. Distinctively original, in a tastefully creative way, is likely the first impression you want to make on employers before they even read a word of your resume. That’s the obvious esthetic reason for putting enough thought and effort into an eye-pleasing header. Ideally, the design should align with your cover letter, so both job application documents look like a matching pair.
The practical purpose of a header is to draw the reader’s eyes to the most easily noticed and remembered information on the page: your name, occupation and contact information. And the surrounding white space makes everything else look more inviting to read.
Art gallery manager profile example
The profile of your art gallery manager resume, also known as a summary or personal statement, offers recruiters a glimpse of your professional personality. Part of your job is sales, and gallery directors will want to know you can sell. Show them you can by selling your candidacy first! Since some gallery managers write press releases and the gallery website and social media presence, it is important that you exhibit your talent for writing. This is the best place within your resume to do so. You may also use this ability in your cover letter.
Here you have about 100 words to showcase your biggest successes. Consider highlighting the gallery sales you have facilitated using relevant sales numbers. The bottom line for this job is sales, although it encompasses much more. Use strong descriptive words to show your communication style as well. Because there are so many different styles and media within the art world, you should call attention to your enthusiasm for the type of art sold in the gallery, as well as your ability to cultivate friendships and partnerships that will benefit the gallery.
Many art gallery positions are in major cities such as New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles, so if you do not live in one of those places and are willing to move, make sure you mention that.
Below is an art gallery resume sample summary you can customize.
Dedicated Art Gallery Manager with 13 years of experience effectively managing galleries and overseeing their day-to-day operations. Adept in networking with artists, planning exhibitions, and organizing social and promotional events. A lifelong passion for art and creative expression drives the delivery of unwavering leadership, organization, and valuable analytical thinking skills necessary to run a successful gallery.
Get inspired by these other retail resume examples:
Employment history sample
Because few art gallery manager positions are exactly the same, you be as specific as possible as you begin your resume writing. You should always personalize your resume based on the individual job for which you are applying. This is partly because it will help you include the keywords and phrases that Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) scan for, but also because it shows gallery directors that you really want the job and understand their requirements.
Your employment history section should be an overview of all you have accomplished and your growth throughout your career. Perhaps you started out as a gallery assistant and have worked your way up or learned higher-level skills while on the job. Make that clear here. If you are looking for a promotion, you must prove you are ready for the added challenge by describing the parts of the job you have already done and emphasizing that you are a quick study.
Touch on as wide a variety of skills as you can without turning this section into a list of responsibilities. Use strong action verbs in each bullet item as you talk about a process you improved and how, a problem you solved and the results you achieved, or an artist acquisition you are proud of. Remember that data such as sales figures strengthen your case.
Below is an art gallery manager employment history resume sample you can modify.
Art Gallery Manager at Little Silver Gallery, Seattle
January 2013 — September 2022
- Promoted the gallery via social media and community outreach platforms, along with website and blog management, contributing to 86% visitor growth increase over eight years.
- Hired and managed gallery staff, and managed payroll and budgets.
- Developed thoughtful exhibition plans congruent with the gallery mission and theme.
- Constantly networked to improve new client growth by 32%, while maintaining relations with former clients helped double retention.
- Educated visitors about gallery works and sold pieces worth over $500k.
- Helped install exhibitions from conception to physical configuration.
Art Gallery Manager at Kai Kayne Gallery, Seattle
April 2009 — December 2012
- Handled all curatorial functions on a day-to-day basis.
- Greeted and assisted visitors and conducted outreach practices to attract new visitors, attaining a 46% increase over three years.
- Handled all gallery inquiries and aimed to educate the public on gallery happenings, boosting awareness by 53% according to poll results.
- Created and distributed detailed exhibition catalogs.
- Maintained a clean and inviting gallery with an excellent atmosphere at all times.
- Created powerful marketing strategies resulting in a 38% sales increase.
Art gallery resume education example
An ideal candidate holds a bachelor of arts degree in fine arts, art history, business, or a related field. In addition to your bachelor’s degree, you may have taken art, business, or even Adobe Photoshop or other software classes to boost your skills. List any classes or certificates you have earned that relate to the position you seek. Any honors or distinctions should be noted here as well. If you hold a degree higher than a bachelor's degree, you may leave out your high school.
Below is the education section from an art gallery resume example you can adapt to your job application.
Bachelor of Fine Art, Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle
August 2005 — May 2009
CV skills example
Because your job requires a wide range of skills and all galleries function a bit differently, you will have to curate this section of your CV carefully for each job. First, analyze the job description. Then, match as best you can the requirements listed with your skillset. Try to include a mix of interpersonal skills, also known as soft skills, and the specific skills necessary for your job, or hard skills. These include office management, art knowledge, and the ability to orchestrate art exhibitions.
Choose five to 10 skills from the job listing. When deciding which skills to pick, always focus on higher-level abilities that will elevate your candidacy.
Check out an art gallery manager CV sample for the skills section below.
- Strong Organizational Skills
- Project Management
- Fine Art Knowledge
Layout, design and formatting
Here is your opportunity to show off your eye for design. Although you are probably an excellent designer, we suggest using one of Resume.io’s field-tested resume templates from the creative category as a starting point. Then when you're ready to customize with your own replacement text, it couldn't be easier using our resume builder tool.
While you are well versed in art, some specific rules apply to resume design. Here are some important tips:
- Find a balance between your creative urge and the reality that recruiters need to scan your resume quickly to find what they are looking for
- Keep all your personal data such as contact information out of headers and footers than ATS may not be able to read correctly
- Ask a friend or colleague to proofread and edit your resume. A second set of eyes is always helpful.
- An outstanding art gallery manager resume is essential to showcase your unique combination of artistic talent and business experience.
- Always custom-tailor your resume specifically to what the job requires and the gallery’s distinctiveness.
- Pay close attention to the posted job ad to determine what should be emphasized in your art gallery manager resume, also being mindful of keywords to avoid ATS rejection.
- A ready-made resume template — just like the one used for our adaptable art gallery manager resume example featured here — eliminates the hassle that comes with layout, design and formatting details, without sacrificing your creativity.
We hope you've found these resume writing tips helpful, on your way to finding the art gallery manager position you are looking for!