Graphic Design Resume
"Design is intelligence made visible."
Graphic Design Resume – Samples & How-To Guide
Graphic designers spend their time creating visual concepts by hand or using software to communicate ideas to consumers. These ideas should inform, inspire, or capture their clients’ customers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this job field will experience 3% growth between 2018 and 2028. Even though this is lower than the national average, large and small business owners alike can agree that creative content is the way of the future. In fact, an article in Finances Online stated that 67% of small businesses believe graphic design will be influential in their success, and 71% of businesses created at least 10 times the visual content in 2015 than they had in years previously.
Graphic designers can find employment across the United States, but there are hubs of activity in states like California, New York, Florida, Texas, and Illinois. Many of the people within this field are employed by companies in advertising, marketing, public relations, and publishing or by larger businesses with their own design teams. However, as of late, there is a trend toward freelancing as well.
Get Your Graphic Design Noticed
Breaking into the field of graphic design can be difficult for a new college graduate. After all, many of the college courses focus on design theory, concepts, and fundamentals, but they don’t always teach you how to work the software that is required for a graphic design job. As such, taking additional courses in Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, GIMP, or other design tools is often helpful.
Once you have mastered these tools, it is important to get yourself noticed by your potential employers. Of course, you can always pursue employment in a traditional manner, and this method will be discussed later in the article. However, there are other methods that can be used. For example, pursuing freelance or volunteer work will grow your graphic design network and competing in graphic design competitions can help you accumulate accolades. Also, utilize social media to connect with future employers, websites like Behance to showcase your portfolio, and other online forums like Digg or Design Float to get your work out there.
Create A Stand Out Graphic Designer Resume
Unlike most standard black and white resumes, those in the graphic design field can be more fun, creative, and unique. It is the perfect opportunity for you to show off your brand and give the hiring managers an idea of what you can create. It is still important, however, that your resume remains clear, concise, and readable, and it should be representative of the work you have done in your other positions.
Your Resume Should Include: Within your resume, be sure to have a short three to five sentence professional summary describing yourself and one of your largest professional achievements. Also have headings and information about your skills, professional experience, education, and a link to your portfolio.
Show Off Your Brand: As previously stated, your resume is often the first piece of your work that the hiring manager will see. As such, it needs to be representative of your graphic design style, complete with varying colors, links to your portfolio, and a complementary cover letter. Although, it is also imperative that it remains readable and not too out of the box as the hiring managers are not always designers within the company. Often, having a second person read over the content and look at the formatting to ensure that it is both informative and creative is helpful.
Don’t Shy Away from the Numbers: While crafting your resume, use numbers and statistics to back up your claims. Using sales statistics, response rates, fundraising figures, and other measurable outcomes to back up your portfolio will help your resume stand out from the crowd and showcase what an asset you could be to the potential employer.
How to Prepare for your Graphic Design Interview
As with any other interview, do your research prior to the day of the interview. Try to learn anything you can about the company with whom you are interviewing and get to know their graphic design style. If you can figure out what design tool they use regularly, even better! Also, pay attention to how the current employees dress and to the company culture. The more you can assimilate yourself into the company’s identity, the more likely you are to get a call back. Finally, when you are doing your research, don’t forget to write down any questions you may have – an educated question at the end of an interview speaks volumes about a future employee’s commitment to the job.
On the day of the interview, arrive early and well groomed. As stated previously, try to dress similarly to the current employees of the company so that the hiring manager can envision you in the open role. Generally, smart casual attire is acceptable for graphic designers, but lean on your research to inform this decision – you don’t want to show up in a suit when everyone else is wearing t-shirts!
During the interview, speak enthusiastically and show your excitement about graphic design. Be prepared to walk the hiring manager through your portfolio or simply answer any questions he/she may have about it, as you never know how much the manager will want to discuss. Also, don’t be afraid to be personable and to expand upon relevant traits you possess that aren’t explicitly shown in your portfolio; remember, companies hire the person, not the portfolio. Although, it should be noted that these person traits need to be backed with actual experience.
Technical questions are likely during the interview time. Hiring managers may ask questions about how to use different shortcuts in Photoshop or how you determine whether a piece is successful. When answering questions like these, take a deep breath and walk the hiring manager through your thought process. Even if you aren’t exactly correct, he/she will learn more about you and your style through your reply.
After the hiring manager finishes asking questions, don’t forget to ask the questions you found during your research! Use these questions to reinforce your excitement about the graphic design role and to show that you have really thought through what a position at the company would look like. Once you leave the interview, follow up with an email graciously thanking the hiring manager for spending time getting to know you. Be sure to touch on something unique, relevant, and personal that you talked about during your interview. This will help you to stand out.
- Adobe Dreamweaver
- Adobe Illustrator
- Adobe InDesign
- Adobe Photoshop
- Microsoft Office
- Print Production
- Active Listener
- Ad design
- Color Theory
- Detail Oriented
- Outcome Driven
- Problem Solver
- Strategic Thinking
- Team Oriented
- Time Management
- 3D Modeling
Here’s the text version of the sample resume:
123 Main Street, Chicago, IL 60007
Home: (123) 456-7890 | Cell: (123) 456-7890
Results-oriented Graphic Designer with 9 years of experience and a passion for web ready digital marketing material and motion/video graphics. Enjoys spearheading projects from concept through completion with a focus on A/B testing designs in order to achieve optimal click through rates. In all previous positions, lead generation has increased by 10% within 4 months of my hire. Online Portfolio: www.alexaray.com
- Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign
- Maxon Cinema 4D
- UI/UX Design
- Microsoft Office
- Organized a team of graphic designers to accomplish the creation of digital content for a variety of large brands.
- Collaborated with other Senior Graphic Designers to redesign and rebrand a large Fortune 500 company’s digital content on multiple online platforms, which resulted in an 18% increase in click through rate
- Revamped clients’ logos to introduce motion components
- A/B tested new motion logos against older designs and demonstrated a 20% increase in public opinion
- Spearheaded the production of digital content for a technology company
- A/B tested digital marketing graphics to optimize lead generation and saw an increase of 15% within 3 months
- Assigned team member roles and delegated tasks to Junior Graphic Designers and Interns to ensure the completion of 75 graphics monthly
- Discussed design goals with our marketing team and reworked previous designs that were incompatible with our current branding
- Developed social media graphics, infographics, and GIFs for 3 accounts
- Increased social media engagement by 25% for my accounts
- Worked collaboratively with the marketing team in order to ensure that my digital designs were representative of clients’ brand
Chicago State University
GPA – 3.85