Graphic Design Resume Example

Writing a terrific graphic design resume doesn’t need to be hard, just follow our guide to writing a great graphic design resume, or take a look at our free graphic design template for inspiration.

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Written by Marc Cenedella
Leading expert on resumes
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Marc Cenedella

Marc Cenedella is a nationally recognized thought leader on careers, resume writing, job search, career management and recruiting, Marc is frequently sought out by national media organizations for his expert commentary on employment, resumes, the job search and the job market.

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Last updated on March 13, 2022
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How to write a great Graphic Design Resume

You’ve got the design chops to create punchy logos and easy-to-understand infographics. You know how to partner with your clients to make their design dream into a graphic design reality.

But when it comes to putting those skills onto your resume, you’re a little stumped.

We get it. Resume writing can be daunting. You need to show off your graphic design prowess while also presenting your career history in a way that a hiring manager can easily understand.

Fortunately for you, we’re here to help. We have a free Graphic Design Resume template that you can borrow, edit, and customize. Feel free to make it your own.

Why is this Graphic Design Resume template so effective? Because it follows the Leet Resume guidelines for writing a killer resume.

We’re going to share those guidelines with you, right now, so you can write your own bulletproof Graphic Design Resume.

How to write an effective graphic design resume

An effective graphic design resume must communicate why an organization wants you on their team.

It’s the first document that a hiring manager or a recruiter will look at during the hiring process. It’s your first impression, and therefore it is the key to landing that interview.

A great resume will get you the interview. A bad resume will get you an automatic reject.

It’s hard to hear, but think about it from a hiring manager’s perspective. For every graphic design job they open, they’ll receive around 118 resumes.

When is the last time you sat through 118 of anything?

To rise above the competition, your graphic design resume must present your entire candidacy – experience, education, keywords – in a standardized format that proves you have the graphic design talent the company needs.

Leet Resumes can create that resume for you – absolutely free! Tips are definitely encouraged for a job well done!

Click here to get started.

How can I format my graphic design resume?

You’re a creative type. You want to create your own resume. I totally get that. I want to help you write that stellar graphic design resume.

Here’s a pitfall that graphic designers get into when making resumes:

They make them too artistic.

That’s right. Graphic Designers want to show off their graphic design skills by presenting a highly curated, colorful, exciting resume.

Here’s why this is not a good idea.

Resumes are usually uploaded to an applicant tracking system. These systems automatically parse your resume, pulling out your contact information, your work experience, your education, and your skills.

They’re helpful. But they’re not smart. They get easily confused by textboxes, images, and unique colors.

So, do yourself a big favor. Save your design work for your portfolio, and keep your resume clean and consistent.

One column, not two. 1 or 2 clean fonts. Consistent headings throughout. Just like our template we have above.

With those design choices made, you’ll want to follow this format:

  • Name and contact
  • Headline
  • Summary
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Key Words

Let’s take a look at each category together.

Name and Contact

Choose a clean, large, easy-to-read font for your name. It’s the first thing that your hiring manager or recruiter will read when they see your resume.

Directly below your name, you’ll need your contact information. At a minimum, you’ll need your phone number and your email address. Add your LinkedIn profile if you use it frequently.

As a Graphic Designer, you likely have a portfolio. If you can squeeze a portfolio link in, this is the place to add it.

Remember, the goal of everything on your resume is to convince a recruiter that you’re the ideal person for the job. If any element of your contact – like an incomplete LinkedIn profile or an unprofessional email – isn’t setting you up for success, then you need to remove it or update it.

Professional Headline

Think of your name as your logo. Your headline is the tagline right beneath.

It’s a single sentence that encapsulates who you are as a professional graphic designer.

With a few words, you’ll communicate your skills, your seniority, and your trajectory. It’s a statement of who you are and where you’re going.

For a Graphic Design Professional, you should think about highlighting your design passion or philosophy as well – ideally through a positive adjective – so that the hiring manager can see if you’re a good creative fit for the industry. Let’s face it, a great graphic designer at Apple may not be a perfect fit for IBM.

Here’s a good example of a Graphic Design Professional Headline: Imaginative Graphic Designer.

Wow! You can have that one for free!

Summary

You got the recruiter hooked with your professional headline, and now you reel them in with your summary. A summary is your 2-4 sentence introduction to the hiring manager. It’s your space to say, “hi, this is the job I’m looking for and these are the skills I have that will help me do the job.” It should be concise and make the hiring manager excited to keep reading.

Here’s what you need to include:

  • One sentence that focuses on the job title you’re targeting (essential)
  • Graphic design skills you bring to the table (essential)
  • Graphic design achievements (optional)
  • Graphic designs awards (optional) As you progress further in your career, you’ll gain further achievements and awards. More senior graphic design resumes can take advantage of that. But if you don’t have any major awards or achievements, don’t worry about it.

And certainly don’t make any up.

Graphic Design Experience

This is the bulk of your resume. You’ll share all of your relevant graphic design experience that you have accrued over your career.

This is the time to brag about yourself.

A resume is a bit like an advertisement. It’s an ad for you as a future employee.

What do ads do?

They focus on the key selling points.

TV ads focus on screen size and picture quality. Computer ads focus on processing speed and battery life.

They don’t focus on the little things – like how much electricity it takes to run your tv.

So your work experience needs to focus on your key selling points too.

Here’s how you’ll do that.

Highlight successes, accomplishments, and achievements

Call out your big wins on every job you’ve completed. Logos, infographics, presentations, design assets: all of these are great accomplishments that you should call out.

It’s not a great idea to focus on daily, routine tasks. You can, however, reframe these tasks by showing how they are part of a greater project you completed.

Instead of, “designs weekly newsletter infographic,” you could transform that to, “created 50+ infographic assets for internal company newsletter…”

Now, you’ve quantified your output and shown how it is part of a large body of work. It’s the same work, but it reads as more impressive.

Use strong verbs

Every bullet point should start with a strong action. “Designed, drew, produced, animated.” The recruiter wants to know that you can create what they need!

Use numbers

Quantify your efforts. As a writer, I know that we artists and creative types aren’t always comfortable putting our work into numbers, but you need to where you can.

Why? Because recruiters and hiring managers want to see the impact you’ve had at your jobs. Numbers show that impact.

Show how many assets you’ve created. If you freelance, highlight how many clients you’ve partnered with. Quantify the work you’ve achieved to show the hiring manager how much they’ll gain by hiring you.

Include promotions

Some graphic design professionals are worried that staying at one company for too long will make them look uncompetitive.

That is not true. Especially if you’ve been promoted.

Highlighting these promotions tells a hiring manager that you have the potential to grow. If they hire you, they’re not just getting your present talents, they’re getting your future talents as well.

Put that promotion. Recruiters will take notice.

Include dates

Even if you have an employment gap, you need to include dates. An employment gap isn’t a red flag. Not including dates is a red flag, because it looks like you’re hiding something.

It’s like when you go to a restaurant and the prices aren’t on the menu. That’s stressful. How much are you going to spend? You have no idea!

Education

Your education section doesn’t need to be very long. Just put the degrees or graphic design certificates you have earned.

Don’t make up any education experiences. Lying about a degree could prove very costly in the long run.

Keywords and skills

A great Graphic Design resume will include all of the skills and awards that show off your graphic design experience.

You can divide these into three categories: hard skills, soft skills, and awards.

Hard Graphic Design skills:

  • InDesign
  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • FinalCut Pro
  • UI/UX
  • Sketch

Soft Graphic Design skills:

  • Creativity
  • Collaboration
  • Ideation
  • Branding

Awards would include any relevant competitions you won for your design work – even in a non-professional capacity.

And that’s it! That’s the guide to writing an elegant graphic design resume. Congrats on making it!

Now start applying to those graphic design jobs!

Can I get someone to write my graphic design resume for me?

Little bit overwhelmed by all of this resume advice? Do you need someone to help you out? Try Leet Resumes. We will write you a personalized graphic design resume for free (tips are appreciated).

You have nothing to lose and a whole career to gain.

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