Graphic Design Resume Example—Samples and 25+ Writing Tips

A graphic design resume template employers fall for. Build your graphic designer resume fast, with expert tips and good and bad examples.

Graphic Design Resume Example—Samples and 25+ Writing Tips

Why’s it hard to write a good graphic design resume?

 

It’s not.

 

But nobody does it.

 

Why not?

 

Poor branding.

 

Fix that, and you’ll get so much work you’ll need a new Wacom in a month.

 

It all comes down to proving you’re no stranger to Photoshop, Illustrator, typography, and print design.

 

But you’ve got to walk a fine line.

 

This guide will show you:

  • A graphic design resume template better than most.
  • How to ace your graphic design job description on a resume.
  • How to write a graphic design agent resume that gets the interview.
  • Why picking the right few design achievements is the #1 key to get hired.

 

graphic designer resume example

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Graphic Design Resume Template

 

Shauna Paiva
Graphic Designer

 

Phone: 501-872-2516
Email: shauna.q.paiva@gmail.com
www.paiva.com
linkedin.com/in/shaunapaiva
twitter.com/shaunapaiva

 

Summary

 

Creative graphic designer with 4+ years' experience. Seeking to deliver design excellence for Erica N. at Google with proven creativity and graphical skills. At KS Inc., developed 350+ projects, slashing costs 20% in 16 months. In team that received 2017 Shopify Design Award.

 

Experience

 

Senior Graphic Designer
Kenna Senno Inc., New York
2016–2018

  • Handled all daily production for high-volume design firm.
  • Led three designers to develop production and graphic materials.
  • Slashed production costs by average of 20% in 16 months.
  • Developed 350+ graphic design projects (catalogs, brochures, presentations).
  • Boosted client transactions by average of 25%.

 

Graphic Designer
Ama Tama Designs, New York
2015–2016

  • In charge of daily design for popular, prolific design firm.
  • Led team project meetings for drive to increase ecommerce client revenue. Project achieved 120% of revenue targets for all client sites.
  • Contributed to design for site that received 2016 Shopify Design award.

 

Graphic Designer
Passalaqua Designs, Inc. New York
2014–2015

  • Created 100+ page designs and 20+ wireframes for several client websites.
  • Used Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, in daily production.
  • Frequently integrated photographic, graphic, and typographic elements.
  • Commended 4x by management for Photoshop skills.

 

Education

 

BA Graphic Design, Broad Hill State University
2010–2014

  • GPA 3.8 (Magna Cum Laude)
  • Accepted to Senior Achiever Program to create own ecommerce site.
  • Worked for student paper weekly articles illustrator.
  • Pursued passion for online layout and product packaging design.

 

Portfolio at www.Paiva.com

 

  • Web Design. Redesigned website for tripswithbikes.com to elevate the brand and produce easy user experience.
  • App Design. Designed flow of Book Pal App to ensure eye-friendly, smooth navigation through multiple screens.
  • Cookbook Design. Created engaging, clean design and layout for “The Ketogenic Companion.”

 

Additional Activities

 

  • Certified in Adobe CS5 & Autodesk
  • Award: D&AD New Blood 2013
  • Volunteer Work: Designed website for animal shelter that raised donations 25%.

 

Hard Skills: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, HTML/CSS, Typography, Layout

 

Soft Skills: Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, Time Management

 

Now, here’s how to write a graphic design resume:

 

1. Use the Right Graphic Design Resume Format

 

Rule #1:

 

Get graphic design resume format right.

 

If you don’t, the manager knows you can’t tell CMS from crop marks.

 

Here’s how to format your resume:

  • Pick the reverse-chronological resume format. It puts your most hi-res achievement first.
  • Use the best resume fonts, 10–14pt, 1-inch margins, big headings, and negative space.
  • Avoid creative graphic design resumes printed on pizza boxes or brochures. Cute won’t get you hired.
  • Write a one page resume. No more, no less.
  • Start with a resume header. Name, phone number, email address. No snail mail or photo.
  • After the header, add a graphic design resume objective, then work experience, then education.
  • Add resume extras like skills, additional activities, and hobbies to make the marketing manager notice you.

Expert Hint: Use a graphic design resume PDF unless the job description says no. They’re noiseless, and in 2019, they’re also machine-readable.

2. Start With a Hero Graphic Design Resume Objective

 

What’s first?

 

Lead off with a resume objective (or resume summary).

 

Make it like a hero graphic, with—

 

1. An adjective (Talented, hard-working, creative)

2. Job title (Graphic Designer)

3. Years of experience (3+, 4+)

4. How you’ll help (provide high-quality design)

5. Flashiest achievements (cut costs by 15%)

 

These two graphic design resume examples are your proof:

Good Example
Creative graphic designer with 4+ years' experience. Seeking to deliver design excellence for Erica N. at Google with proven creativity and graphical skills. At KS Inc., developed 350+ projects, slashing costs 20% in 16 months. In team that received 2017 Shopify Design Award.
Bad Example
Graphic designer with 4 years' experience. Handled all graphic design duties and responsibilities at three different design firms. Extremely skilled in Photoshop and Illustrator, with high-level typographic ability.

Bam. That first graphic design resume sample is responsive. The measurable achievements will make hiring managers ooh and ahh.

 

What if You’ve Got No Experience?

 

You’ve still got achievements. Pack them into your graphic design resume objective.

Good Example
Enthusiastic graphic designer with solid web design skills. Seeking to lower the workload of Sara S. at Marketing Cruller, Inc. Recipient of the D&AD New Blood Award, 2013. Designed 3 full web apps. One was written up favorably in SmashingMagazine.

See? No job, but a great graphic design resume summary.

 

Should you write a graphic design resume objective or a resume summary? An objective used to list your goals. In 2018, it’s more powerful to show how you can help.

Expert Hint: Write your resume objective or summary for graphic design jobs last. That’ll give you a whole palette of great material to pick from.

3. Write Gorgeous Graphic Design Resume Job Description

 

Here’s the magic:

 

Most won’t write a good resume job description.

 

Do it, and you’ll stand out like Paula Scher.

 

Here’s how:

 

1. Read the job ad.

2. Highlight the graphic design resume skills and duties.

3. In your resume bullets, show you bleed those things.

 

Let these graphic design resume examples paint the picture.

 

Good Example

Senior Graphic Designer
Kenna Senno Inc., New York
2016–2018

  • Handled daily production for high-volume design firm.
  • Led three designers to develop production and graphic materials.
  • Slashed production costs by average of 20% in 16 months.
  • Developed 350+ graphic design projects (catalogs, brochures, presentations).
  • Boosted client transactions by average of 25%.
Bad Example

Senior Graphic Designer
Kenna Senno Inc., New York
2016–2018

  • Handled all daily production for high-volume design firm.
  • Developed production and graphic materials.
  • Worked directly with clients.

Why will #1 excite the art director? It’s those juicy measurable resume achievements.

 

Graphic Design Resume Example—No Experience

 

Freelance Graphic Designer
Hartford, Connecticut
2017‒2018

  • Awarded 99 Designs Award for best web & app design, February, 2017.
  • Designed logo for Solomon Grocery and Cafe, Hartford, Connecticut.
  • Designed brochure for Amalfi & Reiger, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana.

 

Even with no job experience, you can write a graphic design resume sample like that.

 

Bonus tip:

 

Don’t copy-paste resume skills from a list.

 

To hiring managers, that looks like forgetting to k e r n.

 

Instead:

 

1. Spot the design skills in the job ad.

2. List them in your resume for graphic design jobs.

3. Inject proof in your resume bullets.

 

Job ad wants: (1) daily design experience (2) leadership skills (3) strong design skills.

Good Example

Graphic Designer
Ama Tama Designs, New York
2015–2016

  • In charge of (1) daily design for popular, prolific design firm.
  • (2) Led team project meetings for drive to increase ecommerce client revenue. Project achieved 120% of revenue targets for all client sites.
  • Contributed to design for site that received (3) 2016 Shopify Design award.

That graphic design resume example fits you to the job like it was sprayed on. Those accomplishments with numbers do the trick.

 

Graphic Design Resume Skills List

 

Remember, Don’t use skills lists.

 

For reference, here are the most important:

 

Graphic Design Resume Skills
Hard SkillsSoft Skills
PhotoshopCommunication
IllustratorCollaboration
AcrobatTime Management
Free HandColor Theory
SketchingPlanning and Organization
Print DesignLeadership
InDesignProblem Solving
HTML/CSSCreativity
Corel DrawTechnology
TypographyResearch
LayoutTaking Criticism

Expert Hint: Got stock imagery skills? Those are in demand. Check out this study by Graphic Design USA.

4. Turn Boring Education to a Reason to Hire You

 

Who cares about education?

 

The sad truth? On graphic design agent resumes: nobody.

 

But—

 

Use your resume education section as a rebrand and you’ll stand nine feet above the rest.

 

These graphic design resumes examples show how:

Good Example

Education

 

BA Graphic Design, Broad Hill State University
2010–2014

  • GPA 3.8 (Magna Cum Laude)
  • Accepted to Senior Achiever Program to create own ecommerce site.
  • Worked for student paper weekly articles illustrator.
  • Pursued passion for online layout and product packaging design.
Bad Example

BA Graphic Design, Broad Hill State University
2010–2014

  • GPA 3.8
  • Received degree.
  • Excelled in accounting classes.

That first graphic design agent sample is a Rembrandt. Those achievements prove your passion. Why?

 

You cared about it way back when.

Expert Hint: Is your graphic design resume experience thinner than a raster layer? Show more resume education achievements like teams, groups, and projects.

5. Beautify Your Graphic Design Resume With These

 

Most graphic design resumes look identical.

 

Like Lorem Ipsum text.

 

Make yours stand out, and you’ll look like David Carson in a world of kitsch.

 

To do it, add resume extra sections that show you love design.

 

These two graphic design resume examples will help:

Good Example

Portfolio at www.paiva.com

 

  • Web Design. Redesigned website for tripswithbikes.com to elevate the brand and produce easy user experience.
  • App Design. Designed flow of Book Pal App to ensure eye-friendly, smooth navigation through multiple screens.
  • Cookbook Design. Created engaging, clean design and layout for “The Ketogenic Companion.”

 

Additional Activities

 

  • Certified in Adobe CS5 & Autodesk.
  • Award: D&AD New Blood 2013.
  • Volunteer Work: Designed website for animal shelter that raised donations by 25%.
Bad Example

See portfolio online at www.paiva.com

 

Additional Activities

 

  • Walking my dog.
  • Collecting vinyls.

Striking.

 

Those first graphic design resume samples stick out like a Banksy. They prove you love your art. That means you’ll self-motivate.

Expert Hint: For rave reviews, add a cover letter to your resume for graphic design jobs. Your job options will fractalize.

Key Points

 

For a great graphic design resume:

  • Use the graphic design resume template up top. It’s got all the elements to get you in the door.
  • Customize your graphic design resume like a Maceala MacKenzie original. Each bullet point should match the job description.
  • Don’t be arbitrary. Even education in a resume for graphic design jobs should show accomplishments that fit.
  • Add aesthetic extras like conventions and pro associations. But—only if they match the job offer.

 

Got questions on how to write a great resume for a graphic designer? Not sure how to show graphic design on a resume? Leave a comment. We’re happy to reply.

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Tom Gerencer
Career Writer at ResumeLab
Tom Gerencer is a career advice writer and a resume expert at ResumeLab. Tom has been featured on BBC News, NBC, The Economist, Business Insider, Fast Company, and dozens of other outlets. His insights, commentary, and articles reach over a million readers every month. With inside knowledge of key industry players and in-depth research, Tom helps job seekers with advice across all professions and career stages. Tom holds a degree in English from Colby College.

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