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If you want to know how to write a great graphic design CV, you’ve come to the right place! We’ll share some best practices with you in this guide.
Plus, if you’re looking for a graphic design CV template, we’ve included one towards the end of this article.
Graphic design is a growing and lucrative industry in the UK, according to IBISWorld, who estimated the market size revenue to be £3.6bn in 2022, a 4.2% increase year-on-year.
But as always, there’s plenty of competition for the best roles – it’s crucial to make sure your CV cuts the mustard, so you have the best chance of getting invites to interviews!
Here’s our guidance for a graphic designer CV that does you justice.
In a few key ways, a graphic design CV is no different to any other – you must get the basics right.
Whether you’re putting together a junior graphic designer CV or you’re an experienced pro, there are a few quick wins. Using a clear layout, avoiding complicated formatting and sending it as a PDF, for example.
Create a master CV, then make a copy that’s tailored to the job advert you’re responding to – customise a new version for each role you’re applying to.
Graphic designers need to demonstrate attention to detail and your CV is the first piece of evidence. Check it thoroughly – fix any spelling and grammar mistakes before sending.
All graphic design job descriptions you see on LinkedIn or elsewhere should mention a mix of hard and soft skills. Some will be must-haves while others will be optional nice-to-haves.
Including a key skills section is a quick and easy way to show employers you have what they’re looking for.
For example, graphic design job descriptions may require you to have good experience with some of the following, including a few specific applications and different areas of expertise:
Some of your skills will be more relevant for the role than others, so tailor your CV to the job description.
Remember, never lie on your CV – don’t include any skills you don’t have yet.
It’s not always easy to find statistics for a CV to show your impact in previous graphic design roles or freelance work.
Look for impressive metrics from campaigns or activities you were involved in. For example, after your work, did engagement or sales increase – if so, by how much?
Also mention how many staff you’ve been responsible for, how many client accounts you’ve managed and so on.
The evidence you use to substantiate claims will have more impact in the right context. To explain your best ones, consider using the STAR method to cover the following:
Strong CVs include compelling evidence to back up key claims. Otherwise the achievements can sound too vague or generalised, so employers struggle to see how a candidate stands out.
If you need to give a long or complex STAR example, but there isn’t room on your CV, include it in your cover letter or supporting statement instead.
Factoring in all of the above, here’s a graphic design CV example to help you get started:
[Address] – [Phone number] – [Email address]
Use several lines to promote who you are and what your career aims are. Be concise and personalise it – show how you stand out and what makes you unique, for example:
Results-oriented graphic designer with 8 years’ industry experience. Proven track record of achieving a strong ROI on quick-turnaround graphic design campaigns for major brands…
If your skill section looks strong, include it here – otherwise, put it after your work history section. Relate your skillset to the job description and use bullet points – for example:
List your previous roles or companies worked at, in reverse chronological order, starting with your current or most recent position – also include the dates.
Then, add bullet points, to describe your most relevant achievements and responsibilities – for example:
[Role, company] [Dates]
Qualifications and Education
Start by listing any relevant graphic design qualifications, then your education details:
This section is optional if you’re short of space. Any interests you include should ideally strengthen your overall application in some way – for example:
I run my own photography website, updating it regularly and taking steps to improve traffic and engagement (www.colinfoyle.net).
References available on request
There’s lots of competition for the most attractive roles, so give yourself the best chance possible with an outstanding graphic design CV.
Start with the basics, then focus on including the right mix of your skills based on the job description. Provide strong evidence to back up your achievements.
Remember that hiring managers may have hundreds of good CVs to look through, so make sure you have a strong opening section to pique their interest.
If you find the personal statement part difficult to write, leave it until last, so you can make sure it’s highlighting the very best bits of your CV.