Art Director CV—Sample and 25+ Writing Tips

You are responsible for the image, the message, and the approach behind your client’s sales. But can you write an art director CV good enough to sell yourself?

Dave Rygielski
Dave Rygielski
Career Expert
Art Director CV—Sample and 25+ Writing Tips

Abstract: Art directors work in various industries that include fashion, film, television, publishing, advertising, and marketing. Their core responsibility is supervising and unifying the overall vision of a product, whether that be a movie, a new line of clothes, cosmetics, or cars. They work closely with creative and accounting teams, and utilise a variety of mediums to present concepts and ideas. A CV for art director jobs should highlight the candidate’s qualifications and experience in a clear and concise way.

 

Ever want to be the face that picks the face of the brand? The authority on which light, angle and colour palettes to use?

 

Have you completed tens of thousands of designs and hundreds of projects across the years? Have you seen it all, and yet endeavour to come up with something new?

 

You might just be the right mix of bitter and excellent to make a world-class art director. All that’s left to do is to convince someone of that with your art director CV. And with employment of art directors set to decline by 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, your CV will in fact need to be convincing.

 

In this guide:

  • An art director CV sample that doesn’t get ignored. 
  • Proven methods to structure your art director job description.
  • Expert advice to polish your CV so that you can be proud of it.

 

Got a pen? Yes, a Staedtler Pigment Liner Pen will do. 

 

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art director CV templates

 

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

  

Art Director CV Sample You Can Trace

 

Timothy Connolly

Art Director

 

Personal Info

 

3340 Kessla Way

Charleston, SC 29403

843-327-9756

tim@connolly.com

linkedin.com/connollyart

twitter.com/connollyart

connollyart.com

 

Summary

 

Forward-looking art director with 17+ years of experience in the clothing industry. For the past 7+ years, solely responsible for the art profile of LookSharp, a menswear brand with 1100+ products in total. During this time, created 100+ original designs used across the product range. Maintained a database of 400+ photographers, stylists and editors, as well as a library of 55,000 art files. Implemented a hiring policy that saved £75k last year. Silver ADDY Award 2011 laureate, Best Video Campaign in 2018 Award (Drum Digital Advertising Awards US). Enthusiastic about applying creative and business experience at Bobby Productions.

 

Experience 

 

Art Director

LookSharp

2013–2020

  • Responsible for the style of external communications and advertising of LookSharp, a menswear brand.
  • Supervising the art direction of new menswear products, now 1100+ products total.
  • Created 100+ original designs and patterns used across the menswear casual and formal ranges.
  • Created 9 product category catalogues for wholesale clients, totaling 750 pages, 2000+ photos. Their introduction saw a 8% wholesale turnover boost in the subsequent year.
  • Directed 150+ photo shoots for the brand, maintaining a database of 400+ photographers, stylists, and editors internationally.
  • Managing and organising the library of 55,000 art files, including photos, video, copy, draughts, mock-ups and concepts.
  • Implemented remote hiring policy based on maximum freedom (100% (9) remote hires in 2019), saving £75k on equipment, employee perk and office costs.

 

Assistant Art Director

Creativ1s

2011–2013

  • Promoted due to outstanding results of prepared campaigns, and receiving the Silver ADDY award from American Advertising Awards.
  • Assigned to clothing industry advertising projects for clients like ASOS and Nordstrom. Developed online, print, video and email campaigns. Campaigns exceeded sales projections by 2 to 18%. 
  • Successfully rolled out over 350 single advertisements in 12 campaigns. Scheduled, supervised, and picked photography for all materials.
  • Saved £250k on unneeded stock photography by hiring prolific stock artists directly.

 

Senior Graphic Designer

Creativ1s

2005–2011

 

Graphic Designer

Creativ1s

2003–2005

 

Key Skills

 

  • Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Bridge, After Effects
  • Art Directors Toolkit 5i, Art Files 3 (Code Line)
  • Client Relationship Management
  • Networking
  • Active Listening
  • Creativity
  • Graphic Design
  • Project Management

 

Education 

 

BS in Fine Art

Columbia University

Graduated: 2003

 

Awards

 

  • 2018 — Best Video Campaign (LookSharp) — The Drum Digital Advertising Awards US
  • 2011 — Silver ADDY Award — American Advertising Awards

 

Certifications

 

  • Project Management Professional (Project Management Institute)

 

I know you can’t wait to do it your own way.

 

1. Set Your Art Director CV Format

 

While you are the authority on what gets through to the audiences and what doesn’t, I’m here to tell you what rules are usually observed. Whether you adhere to the rules or not, only you know, and only you will know whether you should or not.

 

Here’s what you “should do” for your CV format:

 

Art Director CV Format

 

  • List your experience in reverse-chronological CV format.
  • Pick an elegant CV font like Noto or Helvetica in 10–12pt.
  • Use 1-inch CV marginsand negative space between sections.
  • Follow this order of CV sections: Header, Objective, Experience, Education, and “Additional.”
  • Fit on a one-page CV. Cut down on descriptions of your education. A 2-page CV is also allowed, given that you have enough stellar achievements under your belt.
  • Send your CV as a PDF, unless requested to do otherwise. 

 

Now that you’re on your way to a perfect CV, let’s start preparing the hard copy. 

Expert Hint: If you are applying for these positions, your story might be as long as the one of the art itself. Focus on the most recent and most quantifiable achievements. If you held different positions with different responsibilities, the art director CV is one of the ones where a two-page CV is acceptable.

2. Nail Your Art Director CV Summary or Objective

 

Ever start reading an advert and don’t know what it’s about? It’s a 50/50. 50% of the time you get to the big reveal, and deploy a ‘Wow, that’s cool.’ before moving on with your life. 50% of the time you have moved on with your life before the reveal.

 

Your introduction paragraph may be the only thing that gets read, so don’t play games, and state right away the absolute top achievements you have in your field, backed up by client names, numbers, and awards.

 

In other words, write a targeted CV by picking the most relevant experience to include in your CV summary. Scan the job ad for specific skills and experience. These will be your CV keywords, and should be found throughout your art director CV. Not only will they work like subliminal cuts, but will save your CV from oblivion by making it ATS-compliant.

 

Here are some right and wrong examples of a summary of qualifications.

 

Art Director CV Summary—Example

Good Example
Forward-looking art director with 17+ years of experience in the clothing industry. For the past 7+ years, solely responsible for the art profile of LookSharp, a menswear brand with 1100+ products in total. During this time, created 100+ original designs used across the product range. Maintained a database of 400+ photographers, stylists and editors, as well as a library of 55,000 art files. Implemented a hiring policy that saved £75k last year. Silver ADDY Award 2011 laureate, Best Video Campaign in 2018 Award (Drum Digital Advertising Awards US). Enthusiastic about applying creative and business experience at Bobby Productions.
Bad Example
Art Director with 17 years of experience in the fashion industry, satisfying conceptual briefs and guidelines for print, online, TV, and multiplatform regional and international campaigns. Managing own creative team and maintaining a network of professionals.

Show the magnitude of the impact you can make by including key metrics and achievements that you can translate to your new employer’s reality.

 

Are you aiming high and need to write an entry-level CV for an art director job?

 

No sweat.

 

For a CV with no experience, highlight your experience and qualifications in a CV objective.

 

That being said, here’s some motivation for you—art directors’ median annual wage is one of the highest of all occupations, so says the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics.

 

Junior Art Director CV Objective—Example

Good Example
Creative junior designer with 5+ years of experience in designing and marketing products for 25 regular, diverse clients. Led and oversaw over 200 successful projects from start to finish. These included various industries such as automotive, apparel, and cosmetics, to name a few. Eager to apply advanced communication skills and creative abilities as Go For Sam’s art director.
Bad Example
Creative junior designer with 5+ years of experience in design and marketing. Responsible for hundreds of projects in varying industries. Seeking to fulfil the role of art director. Ready to start immediately.

Very good. The good examples, that is. Next, move on to writing a shining work experience section.

 

3. Stand Out With a Clio-Award-Level Job Description 

 

Has enough paper been printed in the world to fit all the experience you have? Probably not. Study your new employer closely, and determine their profile and what they will expect of you. Base the job description on facts that prove you can handle it.

 

Use strong CV words and back your claims up with achievements. Let your portfolio speak for you—don’t describe the work, let them see it. Describe the impact it made, the profits, the awards. That’s how to capture this audience.

 

Were you not working for an extended period of time and not sure if or how to account for it on your CV? It’s always best not to be lying on a CV, and explain employment gapsthe smart way

 

Art Director CV Job Description

Good Example

Art Director

LookSharp

2013–2020

  • Responsible for the style of external communications and advertising of LookSharp, a menswear brand.
  • Supervising the art direction of new menswear products, now 1100+ products total.
  • Created 100+ original designs and patterns used across the menswear casual and formal ranges.
  • Created 9 product category catalogues for wholesale clients, totaling 750 pages, 2000+ photos. Their introduction saw a 8% wholesale turnover boost in the subsequent year.
  • Directed 150+ photo shoots for the brand, maintaining a database of 400+ photographers, stylists, and editors internationally.
  • Managing and organising the library of 55,000 art files, including photos, video, copy, draughts, mock-ups and concepts.
  • Implemented remote hiring policy based on maximum freedom (100% (9) remote hires in 2019), saving £75k on equipment, employee perk and office costs.

 

Assistant Art Director

Creativ1s

2011–2013

  • Promoted due to outstanding results of prepared campaigns, and receiving the Silver ADDY award from American Advertising Awards.
  • Assigned to clothing industry advertising projects for clients like ASOS and Nordstrom. Developed online, print, video and email campaigns. Campaigns exceeded sales projections by 2 to 18%. 
  • Successfully rolled out over 350 single advertisements in 12 campaigns. Scheduled, supervised, and picked photography for all materials.
  • Saved £250k on unneeded stock photography by hiring prolific stock artists directly.
Bad Example
  • An online luxury and casual menswear brand.
  • Responsible for my own creative team of 12.
  • Responsible for style of external advertising and art direction of new menswear products.
  • Direct oversight over all phases of artistic production, from photoshoot to printing.
  • Managing the company library of art files.
  • Proven track record in making savings.

Once you have expanded on some points, you may end up with a long list of things you haven’t had space to talk about. You may have some technologies, mediums, and skills that you want to include, but don’t have space to discuss. You can list those in a CV skills section.

 

Art Director Skills for CV

 

Soft Skills

 

  • Active Listening
  • Budgeting
  • 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

 

The ResumeLab builder is more than looks. Get specific content to boost your chances of getting the job. Add job descriptions, bullet points, and skills. Easy. Improve your CV in our CV builder now.

 

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Nail it all with a splash of colour, choose a clean font, highlight your skills in just a few clicks. You’re the perfect candidate and we’ll prove it. Use the ResumeLab builder now.

 

4. Streamline Your Education Section

 

Those definitely-sober days of plein-air painting and rebelling against the very norms that have now made you so successful, regardless of whether you made it here by obeying or breaking them so far. A pleasant memory, is all it is.

 

You now have so much experience it would crop up as a possible megalomania red flag if you boasted about your GPA from 2001. List your major, school name, and graduation date.

 

Art Director CV Sample—Education

Good Example

BS in Fine Art

Columbia University

2003

Expert Hint: Some art 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 CV.

5. Round Out Your Art Director CV With Added Sections

 

After a career like this, you have some talking pieces. A few awards, a cupboard of very useful diplomas and certifications, and perhaps a language. If you feel it is relevant to your new position, space these out in separate bonus CV sections.

 

Consider these if it’s not too cramped already:

 

Compare these two art director CV examples:

 

Art Director CV—Extra Sections

Good Example

Awards

 

  • 2018 — Best Video Campaign (LookSharp) — The Drum Digital Advertising Awards US
  • 2011 — Silver ADDY Award — American Advertising Awards

 

Certifications

 

  • Project Management Professional (Project Management Institute)

 

Key Skills

 

  • Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Bridge, After Effects
  • Art Directors Toolkit 5i, Art Files 3 (Code Line)
  • Client Relationship Management
  • Networking
  • Active Listening
Bad Example

Added Information 

 

  • Best Video Campaign Award, Silver ADDY laureate
  • Project Management Professional (Project Management Institute)
  • Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Bridge, After Effects
  • Art Directors Toolkit 5i, Art Files 3 (Code Line)

As you well know, negative space is better than redundant information, so exercise caution.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to write a cover letter for your art director job CV. Since nearly half of hiring teams expect one, you don’t want to make the mistake of omitting it. Also, it’s a great way of highlighting your qualifications and of showing genuine interest in the position. 

Double your impact with a matching CV and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.

 

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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 and add your own flair:

  • Start with a professional CV format—margins, fonts, 1 page, reverse chronological.
  • Use ResumeLab’s art director CV sample
  • 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.
  • Write a fine art director cover letter.

 

Did you find our art director CV examples helpful? Are you writing a junior or senior art director CV? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply.

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Dave Rygielski
Dave Rygielski
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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