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How to Become a Graphic Designer

Graphic Designer Resume Examples

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What Are Graphic Designer Resumes?

Graphic Designer resumes outline your skills, experiences, and successes in graphic design. Resumes should be tailored to the specific position you are applying for. Your resume should focus on relevant design projects and the results you achieved. The resume, along with your cover letter and portfolio, shows employers why you would be an asset to their team.

Your resume is also your first chance to show off your design skills, though you shouldn’t go overboard. Instead, include a link to your portfolio so employers can see more of your work.

Graphic Designer Resumes - a Step-by-Step Guide

To craft a standout Graphic Designer resume, follow these steps:

  • Write a compelling Graphic Designer summary or profile

  • Describe your design experience and achievements

  • Add your education

  • List your relevant graphic design skills

  • Mention awards, activities, and interests

  • Include a link to your digital portfolio

You can break down the resume creation process into three phases: planning, writing, and editing. Keep these best practices in mind for each phase.

Planning Your Graphic Designer Resume

  • Do your research: Your resume should be tailored to the company’s needs—this means first understanding their work, mission, values, and challenges. Browse through their website and social media and search for any news or articles about the company.

  • Review the job posting: The job posting has specific information about what the company is looking for in an ideal candidate. Highlight key skills and qualifications in the job posting. You will want to include those in your resume. Remember that some companies use resume-screening software, so make sure you have keywords to get you through that initial screening.

  • Select your most relevant work: You may have an extensive portfolio of designs and a long list of skills, but you’ll need to pare it down to the most relevant details. For example, if the company is looking for someone with experience in branding, highlight your achievements in creating memorable and consistent brand assets.

  • Create a simple and appealing design: As a graphic design job applicant, a generic resume template won’t cut it. While the content is key, Hiring Managers will also be looking at how you present the content. Create a clean but aesthetically pleasing design. Stick to one or two fonts, use color sparingly and make sure there’s plenty of white space to make your resume easy to read. Add in a few creative elements to show your skills, but don’t go overboard.

Writing Your Graphic Designer Resume

  • Customize your resume: Write a new resume for each Graphic Designer job you apply to. An all-purpose resume may seem tempting, but customized resumes help you stand out. Point to specific skills and projects relevant to the position.

  • Be brief: Stick to one page in length. Your resume should be focused, not comprehensive.

  • Stay organized: Readability should be a top priority. Use clear headings, sections, and bullet points to structure your content.

  • Use action verbs: Highlight your accomplishments through impactful action verbs such as spearheaded, advised, conceptualized, enhanced, and shaped.

  • Show evidence of your skills: Don’t tell the employers what you can do—show them. Share examples of past design projects and include links to your work. Use numbers and figures, such as revenue or response rates, to indicate the measurable impact of your work as a Graphic Designer.

  • Craft accomplishment statements: For each professional experience you list, write an accomplishment statement in the form of action verb + task + result. For example, “Designed new print and digital materials for the client, which helped achieve 120% of revenue target.”

Editing Your Graphic Designer Resume

  • Review with fresh eyes: After creating a first draft, set your resume aside for a few hours or a day. Then, read it over and see if there are any changes or edits you want to make.

  • Get a second opinion: Ask a trusted friend, colleague, or mentor to review your resume and check for readability, flow and spelling/grammar errors.

  • Proofread: Run a spelling and grammar check before submitting. Read your resume out loud to catch any awkward phrasing or additional errors. Be diligent about proofreading—resumes with excessive errors may be rejected right away.

Getting Started - What Is the Purpose of the Resume?

A resume is a marketing tool—it pitches your skills and qualifications to an employer and convinces them you are the best candidate. While your portfolio shows off your design skills, your resume explains the impact of your work. Your resume demonstrates that you have the necessary training and experience to deliver results.

Your Graphic Designer resume is not a comprehensive list of everything you have done. Rather, it’s a snapshot of your top achievements. Focus on how your graphic design skills can help the company achieve their goals.

How to Create an Outline for a Graphic Designer Resume

Follow this outline to create a strong and well-structured Graphic Designer resume.

  • Start with a header with your contact information.

  • Write a strong profile/summary that highlights your top skills and accomplishments.

  • Describe your most relevant graphic design experiences and the impact of your work.

  • Add in your education and training.

  • List technical skills that match the job description.

  • Include other awards or activities that help you stand out.

What to Include in Your Graphic Designer Resume?

Your Graphic Designer resume should include a profile, an overview of your design experience, a list of your education/training, a synopsis of your most relevant design skills, and a section for additional activities, awards, or interests. Include a link to your digital portfolio and links to specific projects throughout.

  • Profile: Start off with a compelling profile or summary to grab the Hiring Manager’s attention. In two to four sentences, sum up why you are the best candidate for the position. Include your top skills and achievements and what you can bring to the company.

  • Experience: List your relevant professional experience in a reverse chronological order. Include your job title, employer, start and end date and the location. Write two to three bullet points about each experience.

For your bullet points, focus on your achievements rather than your responsibilities. For example, instead of “Created new branding for client” rewrite it as, “Conceptualized new branding for e-commerce client, which helped grow customer awareness and increase sales by 20%.”

  • Education: Include the name of the institution, the degree or certification, and the start and end date. If you recently graduated from a graphic design program and do not have as much work experience, you can mention your educational achievements and relevant projects.

  • Skills and tools: List your top technical skills along with tools and software you are proficient in. The skills you list should match those included in the job posting.

  • Awards/Activities/Other: Add additional sections as needed to list your awards or activities, such as membership in professional organizations or meetups you attend. This section can help show your passion for design.

What Skills Should You Put on a Graphic Designer Resume?

Simply put, your skills section will depend on the job posting. Overall, Graphic Designers are responsible for conveying messages in a visually appealing manner—but the specifics of what you will be doing can vary depending on the role, the company, and the industry. Refer back to the job posting to see what specific skills are required. Then, match those to your own skillset and list them on your resume.

A few of the top skills that employers look for in Graphic Designers are:

  • Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat, After Effects, Dreamweaver)

  • Logo creation

  • Layout

  • Spacing

  • Storyboard creation

  • Color sense

  • Color theory

  • Composition

  • Illustration

  • Photography

  • Print knowledge/designing for print

  • Marketing and branding

  • HTML and CSS

  • Social media

  • Typography and selecting fonts

  • Design principles

  • Ideation

  • UX/UI design

  • Photo editing

  • Quark

  • QuarkXpress

  • WordPress

Graphic Designer resume template

  • [NAME]

  • [Phone Number]

  • [Email]

  • [LinkedIn]

  • [Portfolio]

PROFILE

Enthusiastic Graphic Designer with experience in [most relevant experiences]. Used expertise in [top skills] to achieve [major graphic design accomplishment or project]. Eager to bring passion and creativity to help [way you could help the company].

EXPERIENCE

[Job title, Company, Location]

[Month, Year – Month, Year]

  • [Action word] [skill/task] [result/impact]

  • [Action word] [skill/task] [result/impact]

  • [Action word] [skill/task] [result/impact]

[Job title, Company, Location]

[Month, Year – Month, Year]

  • [Action word] [skill/task] [result/impact]

  • [Action word] [skill/task] [result/impact]

  • [Action word] [skill/task] [result/impact]

EDUCATION

[Degree earned, School name]

[Graduation date]

  • [Relevant courses]

  • [Academic achievements]

SKILLS

  • [Technical skills]

  • [Software/tools]

AWARDS AND ACTIVITIES

  • [Award]

  • [Award]

  • [Conference]

  • [Meetup group]

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