Learn what you need to be prepared for internship or job applications, open calls for art, grant or fellowship applications,  artist residency applications, and more. 

The Career Development Process

Often times with career issues, it can be challenging to know where to start and what action to take. So, it can be helpful to have a solid understanding of the career development process, and the steps one can take to make progress towards their goals. This graphic might help you understand the process better.


Suggested Timeline

A common question from students is, “When do I need to have my resume and cover letters ready? My portfolio or demo reel?” While there is no set schedule, the following timing is a good starting point that you can customize to meet your own goals. 

A student shows portfolio at the Design Portfolio Review.

Portfolio / Motion Reel

The most popular type of portfolio is an online website. Demo reels are 1-2 minute movies featuring several short clips hosted on platforms like youtube or vimeo. For both, curating your work is very important to focus on your best quality content that is most relevant to the opportunities you are interested in.

Learn more: Portfolio/Reel

Jennifer Liese of the Center for Arts & Language at the Resume Critique workshop.

Resume / CV 

Resumes are a necessary deliverable for any internship / job application in the United States. A CV (curriculum vitae) is used for teaching positions, or fine art opportunities. Similar to the portfolio, focus on your best credentials that are most relevant to the opportunity at hand.

Learn more: Resume/CV

Featured guest employer participates in the Resume Critique workshop.

Cover Letter

The cover letter works in tandem with your resume and serves as an introduction to a prospective employer. It is a chance to share your interest in joining them and your most compelling stories and experiences in an effort to achieve the next step in the process, a job interview.

Learn more: Cover Letter

Employer networks with students at the Design Portfolio Review, Networking Reception.


Connecting with like-minded professionals, whether students or experienced graduates, is the best way to earn allies within your favorite companies, art organizations, and your professional field. And it’s easier than ever for artists and designers to find connections online through LinkedIn and Instagram.

Learn more: Networking

RISD student presents in a class critique.

Artist Statement 

An artist statement is a document often included with your CV for galleries, museums, grants, residencies and teaching positions. A well-written artist statement will provide background information to enhance a viewer’s appreciation of your artwork. Information can include but is not limited to origin, process, artistic influences, or purpose.

Learn more: Artist Statement

A student is interviewed as part of the Interview in the Hot Seat career program.

Interview Prep

Interviews for creative opportunities in both the fine art and design fields have many traits in common. From making introductions, to answering questions, and negotiating contractual terms to name a few. Keep in mind that with the increasingly competitive talent population, earning an interview is a resounding achievement!

Learn more: Interview Prep

Student interacting in classroom

Applying to Grad School 

Some students seek to pursue advanced education in their field, or even explore a different path via graduate school. Choosing to attend graduate school and preparing your applications effectively requires significant thought and attention. 

Learn more: Grad School