As tempting as it is to showcase your graphic design skills by creating an eye-catching, snazzy resume, you should still focus primarily on describing your training, experience and other qualifications. Let your personality and creativity shine through in how you discuss your past career successes and the accomplishments that set you apart from the competition.
Sum up your experience and previous job duties at the beginning of your resume with a qualifications or skills summary. When hiring graphic designers, employers might want candidates with specific knowledge, such as working with photo editing programs, or designing for a certain medium, such as websites. Review the job description, paying close attention to the job requirements and key phrases such as “team player.” In your summary, showcase knowledge, training and experience that most closely match what the employer outlined in the job posting.
Discuss how you contributed to your previous organization’s financial success, reputation or growth. Instead of simply listing every duty assigned to you, describe what you achieved during your time at the company. For example, note that your designs earned top industry awards several years in a row or point out that your concept helped your last firm secure a major client. Also discuss your success within the organization, such as earning a promotion after your first six months with the agency or being selected to lead a team of designers working on an important account.
Highlight skills, knowledge and talent crucial to effective graphic design. For example, point out that you’re proficient in specific graphic design software and discuss how you used it at your previous jobs. Note that you used the program exclusively and describe your expertise, elaborating on specific aspects in which you have in-depth experience or training. You can also list areas in which you have some familiarity but aren’t fluent. Qualify your skill level with terms such as basic or intermediate.
As is common in creative fields, many graphic designers have not only held full-time positions but also several freelance jobs. Highlight all relevant graphic design experience, whether performed for an agency or for a private client, and update your resume whenever you finish a significant freelance assignment. List freelance work the same way you would full-time positions, by listing the date and the name of the client. If you work exclusively on a freelance basis, list your most recent experience as “Freelance Graphic Designer, 2005 to present, San Francisco, Calif.” Include the areas you specialize in and your most notable clients.