Job seekers have been taught to have two things when trying to acquire a job – a resume and a cover letter. Since our high school years, we’ve been taught how to write a resume complete with an objective, list of relevant experiences, and education. Same is true for a graphic design resume.
A graphic designer, sometimes known as a communication designer, works with producing both visual designs, images, and text. As such, the graphic designer has the opportunity to display their talents and skills on through the resume itself, giving it a unique design and structure that reflects the designer’s personal style.
In other words, the usual rules that apply to resumes for other careers are null and void for the graphic designer. And they should because a designer’s resume needs to be treated as they would a piece for their portfolio.
Because the job seeking graphic designer has to follow different rules when designing and writing their resume, we’ll spend some time letting you know what you will need to make the perfect resume that will impress your potential employer.
Nailing Your Graphic Design Resume
Since the graphic designer’s resume goes beyond what a usual resume requires, we’re going to tackle the different components of the resume one area at a time so you don’t miss a single thing.
1. The Content
When beginning to write your resume do yourself a favor and skip the objective entirely. Objectives have gone out of use and will bore before they’ve started reading the rest of your resume.
In its place use a professional summary of a sentence or two in length that highlights your qualifications and tells the reader who you are. This should succinctly state from the start why they should make you part of their team.
Tailor your resume to each position you apply for highlighting the areas that are most relevant to that individual position.
When choosing how to describe your experience in past jobs show how you impacted those companies by using both qualitative and quantitative proof. Use numbers and power verbs to explain the talents you used and how they measurably contributed to company success.
Take the chance to describe your soft skills, as they are becoming an increasingly important part of the analysis of a potential hire.
And, of course, don’t forget to proofread what you’ve written. Then do it again just in case.
Related Post: 4 Tips For Your Graphic Design Portfolio
2. The Design
Your resume should carry the same personal signature style that will be present in the other components of your application, including your cover letter and portfolio. Treat them as a package deal.
The creative or art director will be expecting to see a sneak peak of your style when looking over your resume. That means being intentional about the typography, use of negative space, and the visual components.
Though you are trying to impress don’t take it too far. Make sure every design choice work together as a whole and maintain the readability of your piece. Don’t let color or complex designs distract from the purpose of your resume. Like your content, keep it simple, even if it’s an infographic.
If the resume is paper rather than digital you’ll need to invest in a high-quality stock.
Note – A designer shouldn’t use a template and should probably avoid using a word processor as it can make designing the resume next to impossible.
3. The Tech
Depending on the employer they may ask you to send a digital version, a paper version, or both! If the former you’ll need to send your resume in high-resolution so the design will look it’s best should the employer decide to print it on their end.
Designing various designs for your resume might be wise. With this in mind, it might be helpful to keep a text-only version of your resume in a separate file so you can just combine text and design when you need it.
Graphic designers need to master a variety of technologies that they need to keep evolving. Demonstrate your adeptness of design software, such as Quark, InDesign, and Adobe.
You should also describe your skills in web design and programming languages, such as HTML and CSS. List your skills in web design content management systems including WordPress.
Here is a video tutorial on how to design an elegant CV/Resume template in Adobe Illustrator:
The Importance of SEO
A big pitfall that graphic designers make is not incorporating SEO into their resume. Identify keywords in the job listing and incorporate it into your resume to show your knowledge of SEO.
The most important part of this is to have fun! You’re are applying for your dream job after all. With this guide in hand, you’ll be able to design your resume knowing that you aren’t missing a single component.
Start designing your resume now!