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Graphic Designer Resume: Examples and Tips

Graphic designers work closely with developers to create visual concepts and designs for digital as well as print media. Graphic designers can work at ad agencies, marketing agencies, magazines and web portals. For this position, you need to have a creative flair and the ability to transform ideas into designs that satisfy company and client requirements. Soft skills such as creativity, the ability to meet deadlines, superior client communication and collaboration are required, along with technical skills such as familiarity with Adobe Photoshop and coding.

Below are some tips and suggested templates that will help you design your own superior graphic designer resume:

Top 4 Characteristics of a Best in Class Graphic Designer Resume

  1. Summary In a few sentences, give a brief overview of your best work experiences and skills to date. Incorporate keywords that match the job description such as “design user experience for marketing and advertising” or “print production processes and procedures.” For example: “Skilled, detail-oriented graphic designer with experience in all aspects of print production as well as design user experience.”
  2. Skills While both technical and intangible skills should be highlighted, technical skills should be your primary focus. Mention your proficiency in applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator and MS PowerPoint. Also include any coding skills you have in areas such as JAVA, CSS, HTML and DHTML and soft skills such as “detail-oriented,” “problem-solving approach” and “team player.”
  3. Work history Instead of listing every single task you had at previous jobs, feature only relevant achievements that show you can handle the job you’re applying for. For example, for a graphic designer position at a magazine, emphasize successful projects for print media, and quantify your achievements. For example, write “Led a team of 13 graphic designers and managed 56 clients simultaneously” instead of using vague statements like “managed a team of designers.” The more specific you get the more recruiters will understand your capabilities.
  4. Education Feature your highest academic credentials — many jobs in this profession will require at least a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. Add any relevant certifications that further showcase your design expertise, such as web design certification, or Adobe Creative Suite certification.

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Find the Right Template for Your Resume

Make sure your resume is a designer’s dream by using these employer-ready, fully customizable  templates.

Artistic

This template features a simple yet bold design with a striking black header and mix of colors for the job applicant’s name. Each section is neatly divided into horizontal panes.

Strong

This layout utilizes simple design elements to differentiate each section, with bold, capitalized section headers making it a breeze for recruiters to scan.

Esteemed

This design features a dual-column design that clearly delineates each section, with a mixture of colors and block elements to increase its visual appeal.

Do’s and Don’ts for Creating Your Resume

  • DO proofread your resume Mistakes on your resume stand out like a sore thumb to recruiters. Double-check your resume for errors before submitting it. Run it through a spell-checker, and make sure you haven’t made any silly grammatical errors. This is also an opportunity to make sure you haven’t missed out on any important details, or didn’t get specific enough with your skills, experiences and credentials.
  • DO use action-based verbs Incorporate action verbs to make your achievements more active. Instead of saying, “Was tasked with marketing material and UI content creation to showcase company brand image,” write “Designed marketing material and UI content to showcase company brand image.”
  • DO mention relevant certifications Adding certification and diploma courses you’ve completed that relate to graphic design show you’ve devoted the time and work into becoming an expert in the field. Include training in areas such as Adobe Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator, PowerPoint, Dreamweaver and HTML, as well any project management training you’ve had.
  • DON’T forget to add soft skills Although graphic design work focuses on technical skills, intangible skills such as being detail-oriented or a team player also play an important role. Add soft skills like these, along with others like excellent communication skills and being organized with workflows.
  • DON’T make the resume too long Employers have enough resumes to read through already — don’t risk them losing interest in yours because it’s packed with too much unnecessary information. Limit your document to a single page, and concentrate on only the most desirable soft and technical skills you have as well as your best job accomplishments rather than a laundry list of work duties.
  • DON’T use the same resume for every job Graphic design work varies greatly, depending on the company’s needs. Tailor your resume for each position and job you are applying for instead of submitting a “one size fits all” document. Always go through the job description to identify each employer’s individual needs and requirements, and customize your resume to best match your skills and experiences with those needs.

Graphic Designer Resume FAQs

1. Should you use a chronological or combination format for your resume?

The resume format you choose depends on the seniority level of the position you are applying for and the amount of work experience you have. The chronological format, which features a sizable work history section, is best if you have more than five years of work experience with graphic design. Choose the combination format if you have between two to five years of work experience. This format blends relevant achievements from previous workplaces with a more robust skills section.

2. What are the skills specific to the role of a graphic designer?

Consider mentioning the following technical and soft skills:

Technical skills:Soft skills:
Excellent photo-editing skillsAbility to work under pressure
Project managementTeam player
Drafting infographicsAdheres to deadlines
Proficiency in various computer languagesFlexibility
Familiarity with imaging software like Adobe PhotoshopDetail-oriented
Designing for different platforms and browsersExcellent communication and interpersonal skills
Knowledge of typographyTime management
Leadership skills
Technical skills:
Excellent photo-editing skills
Project management
Drafting infographics
Proficiency in various computer languages
Familiarity with imaging software like Adobe Photoshop
Designing for different platforms and browsers
Knowledge of typography
Soft skills:
Ability to work under pressure
Team player
Adheres to deadlines
Flexibility
Detail-oriented
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
Creativity and visualization power
Time management
Leadership skills

3. What are keywords? How should they be incorporated?

Keywords are the important phrases and words present in the job description that define major tasks and responsibilities (e.g., “a solid understanding of design principles” or “customer-ready presentation skills”). Getting these keywords into your own resume will help you pass applicant tracking systems (ATS) that recruiters use to scan resumes. Take the time to review the job description and make sure you note skills and work experiences that address these keywords.

4. How should you craft your resume if you are looking to take the next step forward in your career?

To take the next step up to art director or creative director, consider gaining experience and expertise in the following:

  • Roles that allow you to show your leadership skills
  • Projects where you work closely with senior management and clients
  • Creating a wider range of content to suit client requirements
  • Gaining expertise in a wider range of software, such as InDesign

5. How should you tailor your resume for a job?

Don’t just use one generic resume for every job. Every graphic designer job will have different requirements and tasks — customize your resume for each job, finding the right keywords from each job description for work duties and qualifications, and apply them to your resume. For example, if a job description includes “proficiency in using vector graphics” as a requirement, be sure to mention that ability in your skills or summary section.

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