Resume Template: Graphic Designer

by | Resume Templates, Resume Templates: Creative

Nearly every industry needs the expertise of a skilled graphic designer at some point, and your graphic designer resume should make you stand out from the crowd.

Whether you’re considering books, magazines, websites, or advertising, a graphic designer plays an integral role in putting those things together.

It isn’t enough to just have an eye for art and design, however.

It takes a wide range of technical skills to work in this field and know how to bring what is in your head out onto the page or the screen.

To top it all off, this field is exceptionally competitive.

So, if you are ready to take the first step in either starting your career or moving it forward with a new job, we are ready to help!

It all starts with a resume.

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 graphic designer 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 graphic designer resume you possibly can.

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Graphic Designer Resume (Text Version)

Contact Info:

Benjamin Weir
BWeir@email.com
1 (316) 093-7624
Wichita, KS 67052
linkedin.com/benweir
benweirdesign.com

Summary Statement:

Graphic Designer: Dedicated and skilled graphic designer with an eye for design solutions for print and digital publications. Particularly adept at original logo conception and design, resulting in an increase in exposure and marketing conversions for businesses of all sizes.

Key Accomplishments/Areas of Expertise

  • Creative Thinking
  • Team Management
  • Collaboration
  • Detailing
  • Photoshop
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Logo Design
  • Client Acquisition
  • Illustrator
  • Web Design

Professional Experience:

Plains Design | Wichita, KS
Lead Graphic Designer | March 2017-Present

  • Manage teams of 5 or more designers, while building rapport and utilizing effective leadership
  • Regularly take on large scale projects for corporate clients from early concept phase to completion
  • Create new logos and rework existing designs, increasing sales for businesses by up to 20%
  • Organize individualized marketing packages for clients based on company guidelines and budget

Rad Logos | Wichita, KS
Graphic Designer | January 2015 – January 2017

  • Implemented customer ideas into design concepts
  • Utilized various software to create designs (Photoshop, Adobe Creative Suite)
  • Bid for design jobs and acquired contracts
  • Collaborated with fellow designers to complete projects according to timetable

Imperial Graphics | Wichita, KS
Graphic Designer | June 2012-December 2016

  • Provided website content for clients, including banners and page layouts
  • Produced new logos for local area businesses
  • Worked with auto detailing shop on designs for auto art
  • Increased customer base by 10%

Education/Certifications

Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design

Wichita State University, Wichita, KS,
Class of 2012

Formatting

The first thing to consider when it comes to resume writing is the format.

Formatting is all about grabbing someone’s attention and guiding their eyes to the most important words on the page.

So, graphic designers should have an easy time understanding this aspect of resume writing.

Start by selecting a font that appears professional and straightforward.

When you work on sections concerning work history and various accomplishments, try listing things in reverse chronological order, so that your most current and related topics come first.

When hiring managers only spend about 6 seconds reviewing each resume, it is necessary to make an impact right away.

When selecting a format, choose something that utilizes spacing and bullet points to separate sections and details and draws the eye to your most impressive qualities and achievements.

If you can nail the format, your resume is far more likely to be considered over others.

Start With Your Resume Summary

The summary of your graphic designer resume is made up of a short paragraph (about three sentences) that should describe some of your best skills and qualifications right off the bat.

The goal of this section is to remain brief while still incorporating as many details and descriptors as possible.

Yes!

Dedicated and skilled graphic designer with an eye for design solutions for print and digital publications. Particularly adept at original logo conception and design, resulting in an increase in exposure and marketing conversions for businesses of all sizes.

No!

Graphic designer with an eye for design solutions. Great at logo conception and design that has gone over well with businesses.

The first example uses strong words to describe the candidate as a graphic designer and how their skills have had an impact on businesses.

The second example is too simplistic and doesn’t lend details concerning how they do what they do, or what the outcomes of their talents have been.

PRO TIP: Sometimes, writing a resume summary is a tough way to start things off. If you are having trouble describing yourself, try skipping this section and coming back to it after you have had more time to reflect as you write the other sections of your resume.

Key Accomplishments/ Skills & Qualifications

The most simplistic but possibly the most crucial section of your resume is your list of skills and qualifications.

This section is so vital because it commands the most attention based on its appearance.

A hiring manager will always reference this section right away because it is the quickest way to know whether or not a candidate has what they are looking for.

Key Accomplishments/Areas of Expertise :

  • Creative Thinking
  • Team Management
  • Collaboration
  • Detailing
  • Photoshop
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Logo Design
  • Client Acquisition
  • Illustrator
  • Web Design

This list is made up of both hard skills and soft skills.

Hard skills are known as technical skills because they deal with the kinds of abilities that can be taught and practiced.

Soft skills are known as people skills because they pertain more to personality traits and how you work with others or drive yourself.

When writing a graphic design resume, you should always make sure that your hard skills are noticeable for anyone reviewing your resume.

Even though soft skills are fairly subjective, listing the ones relevant to your industry shows that you value what it means to be a good employee and you are enjoyable to work with.

PRO TIP: Job posts will usually list out the skills they require in the candidate they seek. Make sure that you are always adjusting your resume to match the descriptions of the job posting you are responding to.

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

Writing Your Work Experience

The work experience section is your opportunity to “prove” that the skills and qualifications you have listed are legitimate.

As you are deciding what jobs to include in this section, make sure that you are selective and not including jobs that are either loosely or not at all related to the position to which you are applying.

For example, if you had a job as a retail worker in college, it is probably best to leave that out of your graphic design resume.

Once you have decided what jobs should be included on your resume, list them in reverse chronological order so that hiring managers can see what you have been up to most recently.

Then, for each position you include, write about three to five bullet points describing the various tasks you completed during your time at that job.

Yes!

Plains Design | Wichita, KS | Lead Graphic Designer | March 2017-Present

  • Manage teams of 5 or more designers while building rapport and utilizing effective leadership
  • Regularly take on large scale projects for corporate clients from early concepts to completion
  • Create new logos and rework existing designs, increasing sales for businesses by up to 20%
  • Organize individualized marketing packages for clients based on company guidelines and budget

No!

Plains Design | Wichita, KS | Lead Graphic Designer | March 2017-Present

  • Manage teams of designers
  • Work on projects for corporate clients
  • Make new logos and rework existing designs
  • Make marketing packages for clients

The first example uses specific details and powerful descriptors to explain how the candidate exceptionally completed their job tasks.

The second example reuses weak “power words” and lends little to no detail that would set the candidate apart from others.

PRO TIP: Lend specific detail to quantify and qualify your accomplishments whenever possible. If you managed a team of people, give a specific number of how many people it was, and if you completed over 20 projects, make sure to say they were successful or led to growth.

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

More About Bots

As you work your way through each section of your graphic design resume, there is one new factor to take into consideration.

Application Tracking Systems (ATS), or bots, are computer programs designed to sort through resumes and weed out the good from the bad before a hiring manager reviews them.

If a bot doesn’t select your resume, it will likely end up in the trash.

Bots search resumes for specified keywords to decide whether or not a candidate is a good fit for a position.

This process of reviewing resumes has led to some people using paragraphs as opposed to bullet points when describing their work history.

This concept comes from the idea that if you write your job description in a paragraph, you are likely to use more keywords, and therefore are more likely to write a resume a bot will like.

However, there is some debate about whether this method of resume formatting is necessary; either way, it is an important decision to make.

Standard bullet point format:

Rad Logos | Wichita, KS | Graphic Designer | January 2015 – January 2017

  • Implemented customer ideas into design concepts
  • Utilized various software to create designs (Photoshop, Adobe Creative Suite)
  • Bid for design jobs and acquired contracts
  • Collaborated with fellow designers to complete projects according to a timetable

Paragraph format:

Rad Logos | Wichita, KS | Graphic Designer | January 2015 – January 2017

Implemented customer ideas into design concepts, and utilized various software to create designs including Photoshop among other Adobe Creative Suite programs. Bid for design jobs and acquired contracts. Collaborated with fellow designers to complete projects according to a timetable.

A third option is to write a paragraph and then place selected details in bullet points.

Rad Logos | Wichita, KS | Graphic Designer | January 2015 – January 2017

Implemented customer ideas into design concepts, and utilized various software to create designs. Bid for design jobs and acquired contracts. Collaborated with fellow designers to complete projects according to a timetable.

  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Photoshop

Here at Big Interview, we believe that using bullet points is still the way to go.

Bullet points are more eye-catching and easy to read, and it is still possible to include a high level of detail while using them.

Writing Your Education Section

This section of your graphic designer resume can be quite simple, depending on your background.

Generally speaking, this section includes a list of your relevant schooling and degrees in order of impressiveness (e.g., Master’s, bachelor’s, associates)

Example:

Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design
Wichita State University, Wichita, KS,
Class of 2012

If you have any additional certifications or workshops to include, add them below your degree.

Example:

  • Adobe Illustrator: Mastering the Fundamentals (Udemy)
  • Google AdWords Certified

Possible Sections to Include

In addition to your work experience and your education, you might have more accomplishments to note in your resume.

Some additional 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 have only recently graduated or switched fields, you might find that your work experience section is lacking.

If this is the case for you, there are ways to tailor your resume – you are not on your own.

To start you should move your education section below your resume summary because it is likely more relevant and impressive than your work history.

Once you have moved your education section, determine if any extra details would improve this section a bit.

Did you earn a high GPA?

Did you receive any awards or honors in school related to graphic design?

Make sure that you include as many impressive details as possible.

Outside of your education, you should strongly consider adding a section or two, if possible.

Internships, achievements, and volunteer work all look great on a beginner’s resume and just might make the difference.

Resume Points to Remember

Stand out

Use varied and strong language when you describe your skills and work history. Make sure you aren’t using the same power words more than once.

Fit the mold

While it is important to describe yourself in an individualized way, make sure that you are referencing any job posts you are responding to and including their listed skills and power words in your own resume. You want to make sure that you match up to what they are looking for.

Edit your work

Make sure that you are always reviewing your work so that there are no silly mistakes or confusing sentences. If you can have someone read your resume and give you feedback, that is always a plus.

Try to Avoid

Don’t ignore the “rules”

While some rules are made to be broken, make sure that whatever format you select serves the purpose of making things easy to read and understand. Don’t try to show off with a funny font or a format that is hard to follow.

Two-page resumes

Always keep your resume to just one page. Make sure that you are taking the time to narrow details down and simplify things so that you aren’t taking up more space than necessary.

Don’t forget your name

Make sure that the two most important details of your resume are at the top of the page and easily noticed. Your name and contact information seems so obvious but can be easily forgotten if you get caught up in the more complex details.

(See below for a helpful table of some suggested power words.)

Helpful Tools:

Graphic Designer Resume Power Words

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

Graphic Designer Resume Skills List

Hard Skills Soft Skills
Adobe Creative Suite Collaborative
Logo Design Creative Thinking
Illustrator Project Management
Technical Drawing Leadership
Web Design Detail Oriented