Creative Director Resume—Sample and 25+ Writing Tips

Do you want to be the face that picks the face of the brand? If you have the skills and experience, this creative director resume guide will get you there.

Dave Rygielski
Dave Rygielski
Creative Director Resume—Sample and 25+ Writing Tips

Abstract: Creative directors work closely with advertising agencies’ or companies’ creative teams. They create, plan, and implement campaigns according to clients’ wants and needs. Creative directors inspire, manage, organize, motivate, organize, and market, to name a few. An art director resume has to have the same balance as the range of right- and left-brain functions required to perform the job well. 

 

Have you got the vision, the skills to channel it, and the leadership to rally the creative team behind you?

 

If so, you might just make an incredible creative director. 

 

You were a master of Photoshop before anyone else you knew had a PC— 

 

And you haven’t stopped since. 

 

You’re here, with plenty of experience and skills to make it as a creative director.

 

There is only one more thing you need.

 

A captivating creative director resume.

 

In this guide:

  • A creative director resume sample that gets the interview. 
  • Tips on building your job description for maximum effect.
  • Expert hints to increase the chances of your creative director job application.

 

Let’s get the storyboard out.

 

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Creative Director Resume Sample for You to Make Your Own

 

Tess B. Williams

Creative Director

 

Personal Info

 

3968 Wright Court

Seattle, WA 98101

206-219-0599

tess@williams.com

linkedin.com/tessbwilliams

twitter.com/tesselate

 

Summary

 

Inventive creative director with 9+ years of experience in building new teams of designers, copywriters, and online marketing talent. Developed a team that secured key accounts worth over $25m total, and $6m+ annually, including such brands as Sprint, Honeywell and Clinique. Maintained strong relations and 95% client retention rate since team inception. Best Cross Platform Campaign laureate in 2019 (DDAAUS). Excited to apply proven experience at Zenith-Omega.

 

Experience 

 

Creative Director

Nuvision

2015–2020

  • Built a creative team from scratch, starting with 7, now up to 19 world-class professionals.
  • Responsible for key accounts worth $25m to-date, and $6m+ annually.
  • Managed online, print, TV and multi-platform regional, national and international campaigns for clients such as Sprint, Honeywell, Clinique, Publix, Xfinity, 3M and DirecTV.
  • Expert at maintaining relations with corporate clients, 95% client retention rate since team inception.
  • Saved $150k annually through expert maintenance of relations with contractors, securing favorable rates with several studios and photo/videographers. 
  • Implemented project management tools (FunctionFox) and Agile principles to improve work organization and complete 97% projects within deadline since team inception.

 

Assistant Creative Director

ReadyAd

2011–2015

  • Alongside the creative director, managed a team of 25 design and marketing professionals. 
  • Helped the creative director secure 35 new accounts during tenure, worth $2.8m annually, partly through spearheading intensive social media campaigns.
  • Jointly responsible for accounts worth $4m annually. 
  • Managed multi-platform regional and national campaigns for brands such as GameStop, Carter’s and Express.

 

Key Skills

 

  • FunctionFox
  • Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Bridge, After Effects
  • Art Directors Toolkit 5i, Art Files 3 (Code Line)
  • Client Relationship Management
  • Delegation
  • Creativity
  • Time Management
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Effective Communication

 

Education 

 

BS in Marketing

Boston University

2010

 

Awards

 

  • 2019 — Best Cross Platform Campaign (Clinique) — The Drum Digital Advertising Awards US

 

Certifications

 

  • Project Management Professional (Project Management Institute)
  • SEO Essentials Certificate (Moz)

 

Applying to a range of positions? See our other dedicated guides:

 

Let the juices flow.

 

1. Pick Your Creative Director Resume Format

 

It feels odd to instruct someone who designs everything for a living on how something should look. While you may be able to tell anyone expert things about typography and kerning, I shall relegate myself to the role of the voice of reason. We both know you’re going to do your own thing.

 

Here’s the standard resume format:

 

Creative Director Resume Format

 

 

Including your address on your resume is not necessary, although there are exceptions. For example, the employer may be looking to hire locals. 

 

What would David Ogilvy do?

Expert Hint: One of the worst resume mistakes you can make is to underestimate the importance of studying the job description and getting to know the employer before you send your resume. 

2. Formulate Your Creative Director Resume Summary or Objective

 

Here is the focal point of your resume. Perhaps the only one. If you fail here, nothing else will matter. Brevity is key. Your ideas are cool and all, but remember that this is a capitalist enterprise and the employer would like to be able to estimate what you can handle.

 

Refer to the projects, budgets, and accounts you have dealt with. Focus on the clients and projects that have most in common with your new employer, and write a targeted resume. Cite the numbers, achievements and awards you have in your career summary.

 

Even though the introduction is the first section of your creative director resume, it’s not necessarily the first thing you should write when starting a resume. Writing the resume profile last may save you precious time, by reducing the risk of hitting a writer’s block.

Good Example
Inventive creative director with 9+ years of experience in building new teams of designers, copywriters, and online marketing talent. Developed a team that secured key accounts worth over $25m total, and $6m+ annually, including such brands as Sprint, Honeywell and Clinique. Maintained strong relations and 95% client retention rate since team inception. Best Cross Platform Campaign laureate in 2019 (DDAAUS). Excited to apply proven experience at Zenith-Omega.
Bad Example
Creative Director with 9 years of experience in maintaining relations with corporate clients and satisfying their conceptual briefs and guidelines for print, online, TV, and multiplatform regional and international campaigns. Managing own creative team of 19. Responsible for key corporate accounts for household brands.

The bad example hides behind empty statements and generalizations. As long as you are authorized to disclose who your clients and projects were, you should. Use resume power words like improved, directed, developed, to quantify the presence you can have in a workplace to allow your new employer to imagine it.

 

Your first attempt at holding the creative director title and in need of an entry-level resume?

 

Not a problem. Write a career objective like the one belowor better!

Good Example
Energetic marketing manager with 5+ years of experience in building digital marketing strategies for international corporations. Implemented competitive analysis to boost sales 15% year over year. Looking to utilize market research and forecast skills at Zenith-Omega.
Bad Example
Experienced marketing manager with 5 years of experience. Responsibly and successfully built digital marketing strategies for large corporations. Looking to utilize vast experience as a creative manager.

Expert Hint: If you are applying for these positions, your story might be as long as the one of creativity itself. Focus on the most recent and most quantifiable achievements. In case of past positions, only go into detail if you had any achievements which were really uncommon for someone in your position. If you held positions with different responsibilities, and have a range of different technologies or certifications under your belt, a two-page resume is acceptable.

3. Get Your Job Description and Skills Section Billboard Ready

 

Here’s where you get to shine. Your work experience on a resume must show the wide spectrum of responsibilities you took on, and the measurable impact they made. In other words, you must almost be The Most Interesting Man In The World.

 

Make your resume pass whatever resume ATS software will be used by examining the job posting and finding specific requirements and skills they’re looking for. Once you’ve identified those resume keywords, use and prioritize them throughout your resume.

 

Use powerful resume words and describe your work accomplishments in each facet of creative directorship. Show them you can be as much Hegarty as you can be Jack Welch.

 

Creative Director Resume Job Description

Good Example

Creative Director

Nuvision

2015–2020

  • Built a creative team from scratch, starting with 7, now up to 19 world-class professionals.
  • Responsible for key accounts worth $25m to-date, and $6m+ annually.
  • Managed online, print, TV and multi-platform regional, national and international campaigns for clients such as Sprint, Honeywell, Clinique, Publix, Xfinity, 3M and DirecTV.
  • Expert at maintaining relations with corporate clients, 95% client retention rate since team inception.
  • Saved $150k annually through expert maintenance of relations with contractors, securing favorable rates with several studios and photo/videographers. 
  • Implemented project management tools (FunctionFox) and Agile principles to improve work organization and complete 97% projects within deadline since team inception.

 

Assistant Creative Director

ReadyAd

2011–2015

  • Alongside the creative director, managed a team of 25 design and marketing professionals. 
  • Helped the creative director secure 35 new accounts during tenure, worth $2.8m annually.
  • Jointly responsible for accounts worth $4m annually. 
  • Managed multi-platform regional and national campaigns for brands such as GameStop, Carter’s and Express.
Bad Example

Creative Director

Nuvision

2015–2020

  • Responsible for my own creative team of 19.
  • Responsible for key corporate accounts including household brands.
  • Management and contribution at every phase of the life cycle of online, print, TV, and multi-platform regional, national and international campaigns.
  • Maintaining a network of trusted contractors to save money.
  • Adept at project management using Agile principles and project management software.

Some people think an art director is interchangeable with a creative director. However, as pointed out by an FIU College of Communication article, and as you and I both know there’s a big difference between them. As a creative director, you’re responsible not only for the creative side of project management, but also for the business side of things.

 

The point?

 

Pay special attention to all of those special skills you possess when listing them in your resume.

 

After describing your sizable experience, you may have a lot of things left over that you didn’t get a chance to talk about. Perhaps you have some technologies, mediums, and skills up your sleeve, but they don’t warrant a separate bullet point. 

 

You can list those in a resume skills section, unless you’re a negative-space-loving minimalist.

 

Creative Director Skills for Resume

 

Soft Skills

 

  • Active Listening
  • Problem-Solving
  • Project Management
  • Effective Communication
  • Business Design
  • Conceptual Planning
  • Cost Management
  • Designing Project Scope
  • Managing Multiple Large-Scale Projects
  • Mentorship
  • Negotiating with Vendors
  • Strategy Development
  • Team Management & Delegation
  • Written Communication

 

Hard Skills

 

  • Project Management Software (e.g. FunctionFox)
  • Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Bridge, After Effects, etc.
  • Art Directors Toolkit 5i, Art Files 3
  • Client Relationship Management
  • HTML
  • UX Design
  • Typography
  • Print Design
  • Photography and Branding
  • Copywriting
  • Video Production
  • Computer Skills
  • Budgeting

Expert Hint: A PMP (Project Management Professional) certification is the gold standard in IT projects, but can be translatable to creative projects too, and can help with moving up to higher levels of management. PMI is the body that offers the gold standard PMP certification.

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4. Minimalize Your Education Section Accordingly

 

Unless you’re a David Droga type phenom taking over an agency at 22, chances are, you graduated a very long time ago. I know it seems like it was yesterday. Keep telling yourself that. Don’t waste valuable space, however. Negative space is better than talking about your coursework from 2003.

 

Simply list your major, school name, and graduation date.

 

Creative Director Resume Sample—Education

Good Example

BS in Marketing

Boston University

2010

Expert Hint: Some creative director positions may require more than a bachelor’s degree. List your master’s degree first, keeping the reverse-chronological order, and read more about listing education on your resume.

5. Smooth Out Your Creative Director Resume With Added Sections

 

If you’re a fan of negative space, or your award shelf is empty, you can finish here. If, however, there are some more nuggets of value that you’d like to smuggle through, you can add bonus resume sections.

 

For your field, industry awards would be the most prestigious. 

 

Consider the rest only if it’s something really relevant to the job:

 

Compare these two creative director resume examples:

 

Creative Director Resume—Extra Sections

Good Example

Awards

 

  • 2019 — Best Cross Platform Campaign (Clinique) — The Drum Digital Advertising Awards US

 

Certifications

 

  • Project Management Professional (Project Management Institute)
  • SEO Essentials Certificate (Moz)

 

Key Skills

 

  • FunctionFox
  • Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Bridge, After Effects
  • Art Directors Toolkit 5i, Art Files 3 (Code Line)
  • Client Relationship Management
  • Delegation
  • Problem-Solving
  • Effective Communication
Bad Example

Added Information 

 

  • Best Cross Platform Campaign Award
  • Certified Project Management Professional 
  • Adobe Creative Suite

And that would be the bare sketch of it. Of course, your touch and flair will make it something unique. You can also consider writing a cover letter. It will allow you to talk about work experience and accomplishments in more detail. 

Expert Tip: Don’t write a generic cover letter. A modern cover letter should also be customized to the position you’re applying for.

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Want to try a different look? There’s 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.

 

Key Points

 

Remember the following rules and break them at will:

  • Consider a standard resume format—margins, fonts, 1 page, reverse chronological.
  • Quantify the impact and achievements, instead of just describing work. Think about projects completed, budgets, schedule, improvements. 
  • Limit the length of the education section to make space for experience.
  • Remember to write a striking creative director cover letter.

 

Did you find our creative director resume examples helpful? Did we help you get your creative director resume right? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply.

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Dave Rygielski
Dave Rygielski
Career Expert
Dave is a career expert delivering a wide range of well-researched advice regarding the job hunting and application process. At ResumeLab, his data-driven resume and cover letter guides help readers capitalize on their potential.

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