A good graphic design resume can help pique the interest of a potential client or employer, often meaning the difference between getting a job interview or not. Together with your online portfolio, they should demonstrate your excellent graphic and web design skills, while simultaneously conveying your unique personality, range of abilities and work experience. But with so much riding on it, how can you utilize this single page to express yourself in the best way possible? In this article we’ll explore how to craft a successful graphic design resume, both in terms of writing and design. We’ll also take a look at inspiring examples created by four different graphic designers:
Graphic design resume examples
Before we get carried away with lengthy explanations, let’s start with something visual. Here are the expertly-crafted graphic designer resumes of four designers and Wix users: 01. Saloni Joshi
Opting for a clean and simple design, Saloni Joshi has succinctly gathered her skills and experiences to form an impressive graphic design resume. Two separate typefaces have been used to clearly differentiate between headers and body text. The use of color is minimal, but successfully serves to separate the sections and add a touch of vibrancy to the design.
02. Hili Noy
Specializing in illustration, graphic design and motion graphics, Hili Noy’s broad skill set is instantly apparent on her CV. The layout is spot-on, as she’s managed to incorporate a generous amount of white space, while still including all the essential details. There’s also a strong sense of hierarchy, thanks to the different font weights and subtle separation lines. The illustration at the top and the use of icons add a unique, eye-catching touch to the resume.
03. Marcy Monko
Merging an unconventional approach with a high level of professionalism, this resume certainly stands out from the crowd. Illustrator and designer Marcy Monko has conveyed her personality and aesthetic style with the use of bright, playful colors and a unique hand lettered logo. Marcy’s portfolio website adopts a similar look and feel, forming an overall coherent personal brand.
04. Isabella Wood
When creating a resume website, including your CV is a pretty obvious step. However, it can be a useful practice on portfolio websites too. Designer and art director Isabella Wood has included her resume on her portfolio, enabling site visitors to easily access it. The CV’s design is simple and to-the-point, including a short personal statement that introduces Isabella, her professional skills and her individual perspective.
Graphic design resume tips
Include the relevant sections
Tailor your resume to fit the job description
Add a link to your online design portfolio
Craft a simple and inviting design
01. Include the relevant sections
A graphic design resume will generally include your name clearly written at the top of the page, plus the following sections:
Contact information: This small yet crucial part of your resume should consist of your phone number and email address. Stick to one phone number and email address in order to keep things straightforward. Some people also choose to also add their home address, but this isn’t a must.
Personal statement: While you may not find this on every graphic design resume, this section gives you the opportunity to briefly introduce yourself, your area of expertise and your professional vision. It serves as an elevator pitch, grabbing your readers’ attention and encouraging them to get to know you. Keep it short and professional, implementing positive and impressive language.
Education: List your educational background, starting with your highest level of education and when you completed it, then working your way back to college. If you have a bachelor’s degree, there’s generally no need to mention your high school too.
Work experience: List your past jobs and experiences in chronological order, starting with the most recent and working your way down to your first (relevant) job. While there are no strict rules, it’s good practice to include the name of the company you worked for alongside a brief description of what they do. Then, write your job title and the period of time you worked there (including the month and year), plus a few bullet points detailing your role and responsibilities. Be clear and concise, using strong words such as ‘managed,’ ‘led,’ and ‘coordinated.’ However, make sure you’re keeping it down-to-earth and honest. Look at the graphic design resume examples above for inspiration on this.
Skills: Highlight which areas within graphic design you specialize in and show off your wide skill set. For example, depending on your abilities, you could mention web design, branding, illustration, animation, etc. Take into account the role you’re applying for and consider placing the relevant skills for that job first, in order to draw attention to them.
Tools: Include the software programs you’re proficient in, from Microsoft Office to the Adobe Creative Suite and more. You could also choose to merge this part with the ‘Skills’ section.
Awards: This is where you list your certificates or achievements. Don’t worry if you don’t have any (yet!) - you can always leave this section out and get back to it later.
02. Tailor your resume to fit the job description
When writing a resume, there are a few things to take into account. One important factor is to adapt the ‘Work Experience’ section to suit the job you’re applying for. While this may sound like a hassle, these little tweaks are worth spending time on. This doesn’t mean you should lie about your experience, but rather emphasize certain skills and aspects of your past roles that could come in handy in this particular job. For example, does the job description mention cross-team collaborations or the need to work independently? Consider whether you have experience in either, and add a brief sentence to demonstrate this. Perhaps you’ve worked alongside developers or copywriters in the past, or have experience as a freelance graphic designer - something that could indicate your independence.
03. Add a link to your online design portfolio
While your graphic design resume should depict your design skills, prospective clients and employers will want to see much more than that. Include a link to your portfolio website, where you’ll have the creative freedom to express your style and personality even further, showing off your best pieces. In addition, an important graphic design portfolio tip is to add your resume to your website. When making your online design portfolio, it’s recommended to either display your CV on one of your pages (for example on the ‘About’ page), or add a document button that enables site visitors to download your graphic design resume.
04. Craft a simple and inviting design
The same design principles apply here as with any other project, from designing a logo to creating a blog. Take into account your graphic design resume’s color palette, layout, use of typography and more.
However, before you go overboard with elaborate visual details, bear in mind that you don’t want to convolute your message. On a single page, you want to clearly express who you are, what your skills are, and ultimately, why you’re the ideal candidate for the job.
Put function first and remember that HR representatives or design managers are likely to view many graphic design resumes each day. Yours needs to stand out, but without too much fuss.
The overall appearance of your resume should be inviting, with a legible typeface and plenty of white space to make the content more digestible. By including all the relevant sections, your graphic design resume will already be organized into clearly defined chunks.
Once you’ve solidified your textual content, you’ll be able to decide on the layout. Take a look at the graphic design resume examples above, as well as these resume website templates, to see how they utilize hierarchy to differentiate between the sections and convey the information in an organized way. For example, make your headers stand out by playing around with font size, weight and possibly a subtle addition of color.
Text Dana Meir