Resume Template: Art Director

by | Resume Templates, Resume Templates: Creative

Your Art Director resume is the first document you need to create to “wow” your hiring managers.

And let’s be honest, you’re used to making us all look good.

Whether we’re talking movies, magazines, websites, marketing/products, or literally anything that requires a visual style, an art director is the person you call.

If there’s a message to convey, and not just with words, you know the kinds of aesthetics to get the job done.

You’ve got an eye for things and an edge for knowing what draws a person’s gaze.

If you’re an art director, your job is to run a team of individuals to success through artistic vision.

Having the correct balance of artistic skills, a business style mind to get things done on a deadline, and a firm hand to lead with is a lot to juggle.

Unfortunately, when it comes to resumes, there aren’t a whole lot of visuals to speak of.

So, if you’re looking for a steady guide in the right direction, you’ve come to the right place.

Summary

  1. Resume Template
  2. Formatting
  3. Writing Your Resume Summary
  4. Areas of Expertise
  5. Writing Your Work Experience
  6. Writing Your Education Section
  7. Additional Sections
  8. Resume Points to Remember
  9. Resume “Don’ts” to Remember
  10. Some Helpful Tools

Let’s begin with a sample art director resume to demonstrate how all the resume pieces fit together. Then we will break each section down to really drill into how to write the best art director resume you possibly can.

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Art Director Resume (Text Version)

Contact Info:

LaTasha French
LFrench@email.com
1 (503) 555-0055
Charlotte, NC 20065
Portfolio: LaTDesign.com

Summary Statement:

Creative/Art Director: Strategic leader in creation, design and launch of international brands with 7+ years of experience in the field of creative art and marketing. Acted as a mentor to numerous young professionals and established a creative agency that continues to thrive 3+ years after inception.

Key Accomplishments/Areas of Expertise

  • Microsoft Office
  • Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator)
  • Google Analytics
  • CRM
  • Hootsuite
  • Marketo
  • Survey Monkey
  • Basecamp
  • Mail Chimp
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Leadership Skills
  • Project Management
  • Advanced Communication Skills
  • Interactive Media

Professional Experience:

LaT Design, New York, NY
FOUNDER | March 2017-Present

  • Hired and coached a team of 3 marketers and 2 interns on design, art, and marketing campaigns
  • Grew client base by 20% in the first 6 months, increasing revenue by 30%
  • Multi-tasked multiple projects with a range of clients who had budgets ranging from $5,000 to $35,000
  • Budget and plan multiple client projects, business overhead, and professional development of employees

Fresh Idea Creative, New York, NY
CREATIVE DIRECTOR | January 2016 – March 2017

  • Led and coached a team of 5 artists and marketing professionals
  • Strategized with multiple departments to present a comprehensive plan for overall company brand
  • Identified and created a more time efficient process to complete campaigns on deadline
  • Utilized market measuring software in post campaign analysis to understand customer engagement with art direction

Your Brand NOW!, St. Louis, MO
ART ASSISTANT | June 2012-December 2015

  • Created art designs for clients based on specifications of needs and project
  • Collaborated with Lead Artist and Creative Director on timeline of projects and deadlines
  • Demonstrated the ability to be a self-starter when traveling on location for projects
  • Supported multiple departments by providing them with final files for art packs

Education/Certifications

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN MARKETING
CONCENTRATION: DESIGN
University of Saratoga, Saratoga, NY
Class of 2012

Formatting

As an art director, you understand the importance of visuals – they make an impact and carry meaning even without containing words.

While a resume is generally just words on the page, there are still decisions to make when it comes to visuals.

Your format and font selection are the first things a hiring manager is going to notice when they look at your resume.

When hiring managers spend, on average only 6-seconds looking at each resume they receive, that makes formatting the key to getting noticed.

This doesn’t mean you should go crazy with outlandish fonts or a complex format; it just means you should be intentional in how things are laid out.

Your main goal is to draw attention to the key points you are trying to make – things like your best skills, accomplishments, and qualifications.

To do this, keeping with a simple, legible font will help the reading go smoothly, and using a straight forward format will help guide the eye down the page.

Utilizing proper spacing and including bullet points to highlight key details will allow what you want to stand out to do so against the straight forward appearance.

Sticking with these basics will permit you to highlight the most important details quickly so that you can land an interview.

Start With Your Resume Summary

To start your art director resume off, you will write a brief summary introducing who you are as a creative in your field.

Your summary should be to the point, only two to three sentences, and it should contain specific details about your art direction abilities.

When selecting what details to include, always reference the job posting to make sure you are incorporating characteristics that they have already stated they are looking for.

Let’s take a look at two examples – one successful and one not so much.

Yes!

Strategic leader in the creation, design, and launch of international brands with 7+ years of experience in the field of creative art and marketing. Acted as a mentor to numerous young professionals and established a creative agency that continues to thrive 3+ years after inception.

No!

A leader in the launch of international brands with years of experience. A mentor to young professionals. Established a creative agency that continues to grow. Ideal candidate.

The first example uses concise wording to paint a full picture of each attribute or accomplishment and quantifies details whenever possible.

The second example remains to the point at the expense of clear details that would set the candidate apart from others.

PRO TIP: When explaining your accomplishments or experience, always try to quantify and qualify details. For example, if you have led “over 20 successful projects,” don’t just say you have lead “many projects.”

Key Accomplishments/ Skills & Qualifications

The second half to this initial introduction portion of your resume is a list of skills and qualifications that benefit you as an art director.

Laying out these specifics in bullet point format allows them to stand out and be easily read in seconds.

Make sure you select only impressive and relevant qualities to include on this list.

Example:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator)
  • Google Analytics
  • CRM
  • Hootsuite
  • Advanced Communication Skills
  • Marketo
  • Survey Monkey
  • Basecamp
  • MailChimp
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Leadership Skills
  • Project Management
  • Interactive Media

As you decide what abilities are necessary to include in this list, you will find that there are two main types of skills – hard skills and soft skills.

Hard skills, or technical skills, are the kind of skills that can be taught and practiced, and they can be quantified – for example, Photoshop.

Soft skills, or people skills, are more subjective and associated more with personality traits – for example, communication skills.

Both skills are essential for all kinds of jobs, and especially important in an art direction role, regardless of industry.

Art directors of all kinds lead teams and are required to have many soft skills in order to promote a productive and functional work environment.

On the flip side of that, all art directors need to have a creative vision and also know how to accomplish it, which takes a mastery of many technical skills.

In essence, a well-rounded resume should include both kinds of skills as they are necessary for the position.

PRO TIP: When you are trying to decide what hard and soft skills to include on your art director resume, always reference the job posting. Most job posts will lay out a list of specified skills they are searching for in a candidate. Wherever you can match up is a plus.

(See below for a helpful table of some suggested hard and soft skills to include in your resume.)

Work Experience

Now that you have laid out a short introduction that includes some eye-catching skills, you will want to back those skills up with a list of your work experience.

Depending on where you are in your career, you may have more or less work experience.

If you fall into the category of someone who has a lot to work with, make sure you are narrowing down your history to only your most recent and related jobs.

You should typically list your job history in reverse chronological order so that your most recent and, therefore, most impressive work can be seen first.

Once you have decided which of your previous jobs makes the cut, you will want to include a brief description of each one.

Each job description should only be about three to five bullet points, and you should try to describe the position in a way that highlights your abilities – especially the ones that relate to the job you are trying to land.

Let’s look at an example.

Yes!

Fresh Idea Creative | New York, NY | Creative Director | January 2016 – March 2017

  • Led and coached a team of 5 artists and marketing professionals
  • Strategized with multiple departments to present a comprehensive plan for overall  brand
  • Identified and created a more time efficient process to complete campaigns on deadline
  • Utilized market measuring software in post campaign analysis to understand customer engagement with art direction

No!

Fresh Idea Creative | New York, NY | Creative Director | January 2016 – March 2017

  • Led a team of artists and marketing professionals
  • Worked with multiple departments
  • Created process to complete campaigns
  • Work with market measuring software

The “Yes!” example lists out job tasks in a way that is specific and focuses on highlighting the candidate’s accomplishments.

The “No!” example lists out job tasks in a way that comes across plainly and includes general job role functions as the primary focus rather than the candidate’s strong abilities.

PRO TIP: When you are having trouble describing a previous position, start by listing out everyday tasks you completed during the job. Then go through and see which tasks are easiest to detail in a way that highlights your skills and accomplishments, or what tasks are most related to the job you are applying to. Basically, start broadly with little detail, then narrow things down and add in the specifics.

(If you lack work experience, see below for a helpful section.)

More About Bots

As if catching the attention of the hiring manager wasn’t challenging enough, now there is another hoop to jump through to land an interview.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), or bots, are designed to sort through resumes before an actual person even lays eyes on them.

These bots are becoming increasingly popular and are used in order to alleviate the amount of time companies spend finding their next employee.

Bots sort through resumes by searching for specific keywords that they associate with “good candidate potential.”

If a resume matches up, then the bot will flag it so that an actual person can take a look – if your art director resume doesn’t get flagged, it is likely not going to be given another chance.

Due to this, some resume experts have recommended writing your work history descriptions in paragraphs as opposed to bullet points.

Let’s take a look at some examples.

Standard bullet point format:

Your Brand NOW! | St. Louis, MO | Art Assistant | June 2012-December 2015

  • Created art designs for clients based on specifications of needs and project
  • Collaborated with Lead Artist and Creative Director on a timeline of projects and deadlines
  • Demonstrated the ability to be a self-starter when traveling on location for projects
  • Supported multiple departments by providing them with final files for art packs

Paragraph format:

Your Brand NOW! | St. Louis, MO | Art Assistant | June 2012-December 2015
Followed recipes accurately to sustain proper food preparation processes. Spoke clearly and listened attentively to guests and other employees while maintaining a professional appearance. Displayed a positive and enthusiastic approach and developed positive working relationships, to thrive as part of a cohesive team

One other option is to lay out your description in paragraph format and then include a few bullet points below.

Your Brand NOW! | St. Louis, MO | Art Assistant | June 2012-December 2015
Created art designs for clients based on specifications of needs and project, and collaborated with Lead Artist and Creative Director on a timeline of projects and deadlines. Demonstrated the ability to be a self-starter when traveling on location for projects. Supported multiple departments by providing them with final files for art packs.

  • Product Marketing
  • Copywriting

Here at Big Interview, we recommend keeping your job description laid out in bullet point format.

This format is excellent at catching the eyes of actual people, and you can still include many details and keywords to attract a bot as well.

Writing Your Education Section

The next section of your art director resume is typically a bit more straight forward.

Your education section is a list of any degrees you have obtained in order of impressiveness (e.g., Master’s, bachelor’s, associates).

Every degree listed should include the title, the school, and the year of completion.

Example:

Bachelor of Arts in Marketing
Concentration: Design

University of Saratoga, Saratoga, NY
Class of 2012

If you have any other workshops or certifications that are also relevant to the job you are applying to, you will want to include a list of those as well.

Example

  • Art Direction Bootcamp – UCLA
  • Illustrator CC 2018 – MasterClass
  • Mark My Work Workshop – TypeED

Possible Sections to Include

Once you have completed all of the above-described sections, you might find you have more space or more details to include that didn’t belong in any of the previous sections.

If this is the case for you, consider including an additional section.

Some sections to consider including are:

  • Awards and honors
  • Publications
  • Noteworthy Projects
  • Social Media Influence
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Hobbies/Interests
  • Volunteer Work

What if You Have no Experience?

If you are new to this field because you either just graduated or you are switching careers, your art director resume is likely to look a bit different.

If you lack experience, it is still possible to create a stellar resume; there are just a few adjustments that need to be made.

One tactic is to move your education section directly below your summary.

Laying out your education section before your work history is helpful when your education is more relevant than your previous work experience.

You can also spice your education section up a bit by including more detail.

If you earned an impressive GPA, graduated with honors, or received awards, these things can help to fill out your education section a bit more.

Another tip to follow if you lack work experience is to include some additional sections.

If you have any internships or even volunteer work that is related to the field, those details can make a significant impact.

Resume Points to Remember

The basics

It can be stressful to write a resume and remember all of the dos and don’ts involved; however, don’t let that distract you from the most basic things to remember. When you are listing a job, make sure you include the company, title you held, location, and when you worked there. Also, always, always, always include your name and contact information.

Look for the answers

Make sure you reference the job posting as you write your resume. Whatever skills and qualifications they are looking for or even words they use to describe the candidate they seek should always be included on your resume whenever possible.

Review it

Before you hand in a resume, make sure that you review and revise it. Don’t just do a quick read through either. Have someone else check your work whenever possible and read it aloud to yourself so that you can hear any mistakes or awkward phrasing.

Try to Avoid

Don’t Repeat yourself

When coming up with keywords to describe yourself, your skills, or a previous job, continually make sure you aren’t reusing any of the same words. You want to sound fresh and versatile, not redundant and basic.

Don’t write two pages

If you follow the rules of being specific but to the point, you should have no trouble keeping your resume to one page. You should almost never hand in a two-page resume (an exception could be if you are applying to a senior level position or are extremely accomplished in your field.) For any hiring manager, a two-page resume looks like a waste of time. If you can’t take the time to narrow things down to only the most important and impressive details, they won’t do it for you.

Don’t overdo it

It might be tempting to select a unique font or do something “interesting” with your format. However, this can just create an awkward and hard to follow resume. Creativity is an important attribute, especially in this job, but always consider the goal of a resume. A resume should draw attention to your words in a way that is legible and easy to follow.

Helpful Tools

Art Director Resume Power Words

  • Administered
  • Founded
  • Adept
  • Formulated
  • Built
  • Implemented
  • Created
  • Improved
  • Consolidated
  • Initiated
  • Coordinated
  • Launched
  • Developed
  • Pioneered
  • Designed
  • Organized

Art Director Resume Skills List

Hard SkillsSoft Skills
Adobe Creative SuiteLeadership Skills
CRMCommunication Skills
MarketoCollaborative
Google AnalyticsCreativity
BasecampDetail Oriented