Having creativity alone won’t land you a job.
There are over 200,000 thousand graphic designers who need a job just like you. Of course, the most amazing job deals will go to the graphic designer who can present himself best.
In many cases, the graphic design resume is the do or die factor. How you present yourself on paper will help a hiring personnel determine if you’re the right fit for the job.
Many times, an online portfolio will make the difference. If you want to learn how to make your own website now, this blog can teach you how.
Simply creating flashy graphic design resumes won’t do the job. With tons of applications at hand, hiring personnel only takes 6 seconds to give you a shot. In those precious seconds, they should quickly see you’re the one they’re looking for.
It takes skills to get the attention of a sharp eye.
But how do you do that?
Here’s a general guide on how to make the perfect resume 5 minutes.
For graphic designers, here are some factors you should consider in crafting your graphic design resume if you want to avoid the reject pile.
1. Your Graphic Design Resume Must Have a Format
Creating a graphic designer resume is not just about showcasing your design skills. You have to strike the balance between conveying a remarkable design with a proper format.
Again, you have more than 200,000 competitors and only a short window of time to stand out. If the information hiring personnel needs are drowned in your design, you won’t stand a chance.
There are 3 winning formats you can choose from:
• Functional Resume
• Reverse-Chronological Resume
• Combination Resume
For the sake of simplicity, today, we’re going to stick to the best graphic designer resume format, the reverse-chronological resume.
Here’s how an example of a reverse-chronological graphic design resume:
As the name suggests, the information you get from it is formatted in reverse-chronological order. They get to see your latest experience first and orderly moving to your older ones.
If you pay close attention, you’ll see white spaces between elements. This will avoid the sense of being over-crowded and help those reading it gives their eyes rest.
Aside from the white spaces, I know this is quite obvious, but you have to use legible fonts.
You might want to showcase your design style by using intricate fonts, but if the reader finds a hard time understanding it, your graphic design resume will go down the bin.
Here’s an important point to keep in mind:
Substance over form.
Creativity will only be useful IF the employer can easily grasp the facts and figures they need from you. Unless they do so, your design will be useless.
Part of being a great graphic designer is not just showcasing your design, but also incorporating balance when other elements, like information, is added to your graphic designer resume.
The last point for this section is saving your graphic design resume as a pdf file. MS Word is ok, but it risks wrecking your format en route.
However, you also have to consider the company’s preference, if they want it in doc format, so be it. Show you are adaptable so you can put the best foot forward.
While you’re at it, you can also start thinking about a domain name for your portfolio, this will come handy as you follow the steps given here.
2. Always Make Your Contact Information Visible
With a lot of things going on in your graphic design resume, your contact information still needs to be recognized immediately.
It’s best to include your contact information on all pages of your resume because sometimes when the hiring personnel sees you’re a good fit, they won’t bother scrutinizing information on each page.
Your contact information should always include:
• Your name
• Phone number
• Your email address
• Website (if you have one)
• And a link to your cloud-based portfolio
3. Highlight Your Graphic Design Resume Objectives
On your end, the goal is to land a job, right? But on the employer’s end, the goal is to find someone who can do the tasks they need. This is where your experiences come to play.
But not just any experience, the ones tailored to your potential employer’s needs.
Let’s say you’ve been a bank clerk before you chose to focus on graphic design, including that in the experiences section of your graphic designer resume won’t be helpful.
All the experiences you must include should be related to the job position you’re applying for.
How do you format it?
You just don’t say Graphic designer with 5 years of experience. Knows Adobe Illustrator. Looking for a graphic design job. Here is my resume for graphic design.
Here’s how you should do it:
- Integrated photographic and typographic elements
- Responsible for daily design in small high-end graphics
The more specific the better.
You can even add:
- Developed 100+ graphic design outputs (logos, infographics, brochures)
You see, graphic design is a huge industry. There are graphic designers’ experts on website layout, there are those on creating compelling logos and infographics, and so on. The employer must know what you’re good at, so they gauge things better.
Many times, you won’t be given the chance to be interviewed. Your graphic design resume must speak for yourself.
4. Mention Your Graphic Design Education
Granted, not every graphic designer has a degree in education. You could’ve become a graphic designer by talent. But having an education is like a feather in your cap. If you have it, don’t forget to mention it.
You should include:
- The university
- Degree and major
- Awards and honors (if you have)
If you don’t have a university degree for it, you can mention a graphic design online course or seminar you’ve attended. If none, make up for it with your portfolio.
Even if you don’t have formal education in graphic design but still have what it takes to deliver what they need, you’ll have a good chance of landing the job.
5. Add A Link To Your Online Portfolio On Your Graphic Design Resume
I’ve touched on this earlier, but I just wanted to emphasize it a bit more. Sometimes, employers view what you say in your graphic design resume as mere unproven words. Your portfolio is your chance to verify your claims.
In many cases, employers will ask for samples of your work, so you have to have an online portfolio ready.
You can simply upload your graphic design samples in cloud-based storage like Dropbox and give them the link to it. Better yet, if you have the resources, you can create your portfolio website.
A portfolio website will not only showcase your samples but also tell the potential employer you have experience in designing a website which is a big plus factor.
This is not a requirement, but if you can have one, it will be very helpful.
If you want to learn how to make your own website now, this blog can teach you how.
If you’re worried about what color scheme to use, here are some ideas.
6. Mention Awards And Certifications
Again, not a requirement but very helpful. This tells potential employers your designs are the top-of-the-class type.
Basically, mentioning your awards and certifications will make you more credible. It gives you added authority to the trade.
In essence, a job-winning graphic design resume should have:
• A format, in this case, I suggest the reverse-chronological order
• An engaging design that doesn’t drown out the important information written in it
• The objectives clearly conveyed
• Elements proving you’re a good fit
• Tailored qualifications
Generic graphic design resumes rarely work. It always has to be tailor-fit to the needs of the company you’re applying for.
Employers have to be assured you have what it takes to do the job. Your graphic design resume plays a major role in this. As I said earlier, it’s a do or die factor.
It pays to take the effort to craft personalized graphic design resumes. If it increases your chances of getting hired, it’s worth the effort, right?
While you’re pitching yourself to land a graphic design job, your resume’s design alone won’t be your ticket to success.
An experienced graphic designer knows how to fuse the balance between graphics and words. It has to be compelling, but not too flashy. It has to be properly formatted, but not too dull-looking.
Your skills in design will be highlighted in how you strike the balance between the two. Plus having your own website will help a lot.
Your skills in design will be highlighted in how you strike the balance between the two.
Now, if you’ve taken the effort to make a tailor-fit resume for each of the companies you apply for and don’t get the job right there and then. Don’t give up.
Remember, there are 200,000 designers fighting to get that job you’re applying for and only given a 6-second chance.
Don’t think you’re not good enough. Sometimes, someone else just has the experience and skills the employer needs. Maybe you’re good with logos and infographics, but what they’re looking for must be good with website design, of course, they’d opt for the other applicant.
Eventually, you’ll find an employer who needs the skills you have.
In the meantime, you can keep on creating tailor-fit graphic design resumes and apply to every opportunity. This way, you can sharpen your skills while at the same time, putting yourself out there to be noticed.
Speaking of noticed, you can also start thinking about your website’s color scheme too. If you’re worried about what color scheme to use, here are some ideas.
You’ll be striking two birds with one stone if you do this. Isn’t it great?
Just don’t forget, strike the balance and keep your potential employer’s needs in mind. If you apply the steps we discussed earlier, it will only be a matter of time until you get the job that’s right for your skills.