Graphic Design Resume: Hack Your Way into The Dream Job!

Being skilled is not enough in today’s competitive world. If you think “I have all the skills I can get to be called a professional graphic designer and that’s ENOUGH!”, you have got everything wrong. In addition to all the skills, you will need to know how to make a graphic design resume that can stands out.

Are we being too pessimistic?

Well, yes! But you to keep in mind that there are 286,000 others just like you, dreaming of being the next Milton Glaser.

Moreover, if you think about it, a perfect graphic designer would always know to represent an idea with creativity. If you can’t convince the recruiter to hire you with your design (in this case, with your resume), you need to think twice about your career choice!

We know that the reality sounds too harsh, but that’s why we are here, and that’s why are creating this ultimate guide that would help you stand out in the crowd.

You cannot expect to land on the dream job of yours if you don’t have the best graphic design resumes in 2019.

So, put that game face on as we give you the whole idea to master the art of creating the ultimate graphic design resume!

Clearing the Basics: What is a Graphic Design Resume?

You could be wondering, “what is a graphic design resume, and how is it different from any other resumes?”

The answer is quite simple – for a graphic designer, a resume can be a canvas where you can show off your designing skills.

A graphic design resume will have all the elements of a regular resume, but it would be more graphic in an aesthetic sense.

However, you wouldn’t want to be too flashy with your design as NOBODY likes a show-off. So, knowing the limits is essential.

Just remember one thing and one thing only – conveying a message is more important when it comes to resume writing. So, you should create the skeleton of the content (information about yourself) first, and then start designing it.

Do you know the biggest rookie mistake while creating a graphic design resume? Going a bit too far with colors.

Know your mantra – Simplicity is divine!

Following Traditional Formats vs. Breaking the Stereotype

This debate can go on for hours, and still, it would remain an unsolved mystery. As you already know the key difference between a regular and a graphic design resume is the representation.

If you cannot come up with a new way of representing yourself to the recruiters, how can you call yourself creative? And being creative is a must have a skill that graphic designer must have above everything else.

Do you know the average time an art director spends screening a resume? Six seconds!

If you cannot grab the attention within this few seconds, then BAM!! Your resume will find its place in the trash bin.

So, you might be thinking, “I would create the most unique looking resume then.”

Wait, there’s a catch.

Modern offices use different resume screening tools that help the recruiters cut short the number of resumes for human eyes.

A tool, no matter how much sophisticated it is, can never have a sense of aesthetics as good as a human.

What’s the result then? It might reject your resume being too irrelevant for the job post.

The smarter decision would be to go for a mix of the two options. Follow one of the traditional resume formats while keeping the design sophisticated and unique.

Use your creativity to break the stereotypical design aspects, not the traditional formatting.

Here are the safe formatting options for your graphic design resume –

  • Reverse chronological
  • Functional
  • Hybrid or combinational

Resume Template for a Graphic Designer: Sections to Include

No matter the type of job, a resume should have some fundamental sections.

But why? Why can’t you go beyond the template?

The answer lies within the basic human psychology. We have a tendency to favor the options that are known to us. There is a fine line between being unique and being weird.

You should always aim to be unique as well as being disciplined enough for not being considered as weird.

Try to include these must-have sections on your resume so that the recruiter can compare you to the perfect person for a graphic design job position –

  • Contact information
  • A resume summary or a resume objective
  • Experience
  • Educational qualification
  • Skills
  • Portfolio
  • Awards, accolades, and certifications

Professional Services Who Could Help with Graphic Designs for Your Resume

Creating designs for a resume could be tough for a lot of people, even for a graphic designer sometimes. There is nothing to be ashamed of.

Think of it like this; you might be one of the best logo designers there can be. There are a lot of differences between designing a logo and designing a resume.

It would be unwise to think that a logo designer has to have the skills to design a resume.

If you fall into that category who don’t think designing a resume is not bread and butter, you could seek professionals who excel at that.

Things are that simple these days!

There three professional services should help you –

  • DesignCrowd
  • 99designs
  • Resume Planet

DesignCrowd is one of the biggest players in the modern graphic design industry. They have a community of 701,994 freelance designers. The best part is that they have a dedicated resume design service section on their website. If resume design, not your thing, they could be of tremendous help for you.

Talking about the graphic design services, a name sure to come to one’s mind – 99designs. They are one of the top designer service providers you can find online. But you should know that the service will not offer you a ready-made resume. It is a design service provider, not a resume writing company.

We can think of another name when it comes to resume design for graphic designers – Resume Planet. They are basically a resume writing company, but they have a dedicated team of designers also.

Best Graphic Design Resumes 2019: Samples to Get You Started

Just like writers, designers also face “blocks.” It is quite normal for you to be blank about the perfect design despite being a terrific designer.

Finding the perfect resume template for a graphic designer is not that easy as showing creativity is also a key player in this area.

These samples should spark up some witty ideas for your resume designs as well as give you a hint about the good vs. bad graphic design examples.

Graphic Design Skills for Resume: The Game Changer!

Being skilled could be the most valuable trait a designer could have. The more skills have, the more value you can bring to an office.

All the job experiences, educations, certifications make a person more skilled.

In most cases, a company hires people with skills to fulfill a purpose. So, you should put enough amount of time to showcase the skills you have.

One of the biggest mistakes a person can make while creating the resume is using improper keywords to highlight the skills.

Keywords are important!

Let’s talk about a scenario. Let’s say you have found the perfect job, the dream job of your life. After going through the job description, you are more than sure that you are the perfect person for the role.

But there is a strong chance that the recruiter will not even see your resume!

What did you do wrong?

You didn’t use the perfect keywords to showcase your skills. Remember the resume screening tools that we have talked about? It might have overlooked you as it didn’t find the keywords it was looking for.

So, you should see things from the recruiter’s perspective. Read the job description over and over again. Identify the role (read keywords) that the company is seeking to fulfill. Then, portray yourself using those exact keywords.

This trick will work like a charm!

If the job description is kept vague, the following list of graphic design skills for resume should come in handy while portraying yourself.

Tools and Design Skills Professional Skills
Illustrator Problem Solving
Photoshop Pressure Handling
Acrobat Time Management
InDesign Team Player
CorelDraw Leadership
Typography Organizing
Color Theory Communication
Free Hand Drawing Client Management
Pencil Sketching Creativity
Layout Designing Quick Learning
Object Composition Adaptability
Conceptual Designing Inspired

You should always include the skills that you actually have and can back up with practical experience.

If you just randomly include skills from this list to your resume and don’t have any experience backing it up, you will look like a fake who doesn’t have that skill at all.

Having an educational background in graphic design is a huge plus point. It would pump up your skills as well.

Action Words: Making Your Experience Pop Up!

Do you know what makes a resume boring? Using the same words again and again.

For example, when people are describing their past experience, they tend to a few common words like – designed, handled, responsible for, managed, etc.

Using these action words can make you a more eligible candidate if you are aiming at senior graphic designer jobs.

Repetition of such words will make the resume weak and average. Try mixing things up with more unique words. The following list should help you –

Action Words for Graphic Design Resume
Crafted Authorized Advocated
Composed Supervised Directed
Spearheaded Analyzed Oversaw
Collaborated Delegated Organized
Contributed Initiated Drove

Graphic Design Resume FAQ: The Questions that Have Been Bugging You

Q: Is it necessary to have different resumes for different graphic design jobs?
Ans: It’s not mandatory but creating different and targeted resume will obviously increase the chance of getting a knockback for interview. You could even customize your resume by changing the skills according to the needs of the job description.

Q: Is attaching cover letters important?
Ans: Yes, period! The stats show that about 45% of the resumes go to the trash just because the applicant didn’t send any cover letter. Don’t let anyone change your idea of sending a cover letter. It shows both dedication and professionalism. Moreover, it would increase the chance of making a good appeal to the job as you can make a case of why the company should choose you over the others.

Q: Should I use cover letters if I am applying to a job online?
Ans: Again, yes! If you are applying for a job online, you can just attach two files – your resume and the cover letter. At least say a few sentences as you are sending the mail if you are not planning to attach a separate cover letter, it would boost the chance of your resume being read.

Q: Which document format should I choose? PDF or WORD?
Ans: It is always a wise option to send your resume as a PDF file. A PDF file will never change the formatting and design. On the contrary, an MS WORD file might get distorted in other devices.

Q: Which format is best for graphic design resume?
Ans: Any of the popular formatting styles (reverse-chronological, functional, and combinational) are great. However, reverse-chronological formatting is the most popular option and widely accepted.

Q: How can I add my online portfolio to resume?
Ans: If the recruiter plans to go through the hard copies of the resumes of the applicants, adding the link to your online portfolio could be futile. So, you should add a small description or a gist of the portfolio to your resume and mention the URL of the online portfolio too.

Final Words

So, that was our take on the graphic design resume guide to give you an edge in 2019. We hope that it was helpful to you. Please share your thoughts and inquiries in the comment section.

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