Your Graphic Design Resume – Should You Take a Creative Approach?

Graphic designers face a conundrum when putting together a resume for a job application: should they bring their creative abilities to bear in the design of the resume itself, or should they leave it to their portfolio to show off their artistic skills?

There’s clearly no right or wrong answer to this question, as opinions are divided. On one hand, surveys such as one conducted by The Design Group, seem to indicate that the look of the resume is as important as its content. But other recruiters may be put off by what may seem to them to be use of gimmicks and visual distractions that make it more difficult to discern essentials at a glance.

One thing is certain: any resume needs to be easy to read, and to present key information in a way that is legible and grabs the reader’s attention in the first few seconds.

Resumes and the Rise of the Infographic

You’d have to have been living under a rock not to notice the soaring popularity of sites such as Pinterest recently, where entertaining and informative infographics are often shared between users to the point where they go viral.

There’s no doubt such a piece of work can be a great way to showcase a graphic design skills. Thinking outside the box may be fine (witness the popularity of recent resumes that have been made to look like an Amazon shopping page or a Facebook profile, for example.) But it can also be a problem when a designer falls head over heels in love with a concept to the point where they fail to see that their creative ideas are getting in the way of what they are trying to tell a hiring manager. One solution to the dilemma may be to produce two versions – one that illustrates your artistic prowess, and a more traditional version that can be easily pasted into the body of a plain-text email.

Template for a Graphic Designer’s Resume

Whether you decide to try and make your resume into a piece of artwork in its own right is up to you! Here we are going to concentrate on the content of the document and how you can use bullet points, concise descriptions, and powerful language to create a profile that directly addresses the wants of the employer.

It’s a good idea to tailor your resume or CV each time to reflect the specifics of the position. This may not require much more than re-ordering your information so that key elements stand out near the top of the page – and recruitment experts agree that it’s a better approach than simply sending out the same document each time you apply for a job.

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Passionate, self-motivated, original-thinking designer. Seasoned professional experienced in creating graphics for business, promotional, and decorative projects in a variety of media. Proven track record in establishing and maintaining productive client relationships and communicating an overall creative vision and direction to a team.

• Comprehensive portfolio • Strong visual sense, understanding of color / typography
• Technical plans, models, blueprints • Strong analytical skills
• Digital advertising, social content • Close attention to detail
• Excellent computer skills • Multitasking, time management
• Marketing strategy / sales techniques • Proficient in HTML, CSS, Javascript
• Print production / desktop publishing • Innovative, enterprising, adaptable


Phoenix Services – Graphic Designer (2008 – present)

  • Responsible for the creative / design support on a wide range of products marketed in the US and overseas
  • Participate in defining and disseminating the creative department’s vision
  • Liaise with Creative/Design/Art/Marketing directors and work in close co-operation with copywriters and production teams
  • Consult on website UX standards, information architecture, conversion metrics, and graphic communication standards
  • Help communicate creative concepts to department members, develop sample layouts, and advise on arrangement of graphics and copy
  • Use wide range of software programs to create illustrations, client layouts, charts, graphs and other artwork
  • Envision and realize responsive and adaptive web experiences using front-end frameworks such as HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery
  • Manage all aspects of design process and work-flow to production
  • Collaborate with outside vendors to obtain quotes and estimates for print jobs
  • Develop and maintain in-house image database and photo archives
  • Lead photo-shoot sessions on and off site
  • Support and follow company policies and practices, including adherence to Quality, Health, Safety and Environmental initiatives
  • Other duties as required


  • Fulborough College, MN: B.F.A Graphic Design
  • St Augustus College Prep., Rochester, MN: High School Diploma


  • Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks, Flash, and Acrobat. MS Office.
  • Digital video editing
  • Fluent in Spanish

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