Make Your Graphic Designer CV Stand Out: Examples and Tips

Create a graphic designer CV that shows off your design skills and creative strengths using these expert resume examples and tips.

Table of Contents

  1. Why create a new graphic designer CV?
  2. How to write a graphic design CV
  3. How to format your graphic designer CV
  4. More CV suggestions and examples
  5. Write a graphic designer cover letter to accompany your CV
  6. 5 tips for presenting a graphic designer portfolio
  7. The big takeaways
  8. FAQ: Graphic Design CV

Why create a new graphic designer CV?

Graphic designers are talented professionals that not only produce show stopping masterpieces, but when combined with a long list of marketable skills are integral parts of most companies. Graphic designers produce a large number of visuals that when featured in a professional portfolio can catch the attention of hiring managers, recruiters and employers. Equally important during the job search is to create a graphic designer curriculum vitae (CV) that shows you are the ideal candidate for the job.

This article offers you a comprehensive guide to exactly what you need to feature in your graphic design CV including: 

  • How to build a professional graphic designer CV by using our resume example as a foundation.
  • Step-by-step expert advice to write and structure your own graphic designer CV.
  • What to include on your graphic designer cover letter to build a strong job application.

How to write a graphic design CV

Your graphic designer CV summarizes your work history, academic background and credentials in more detail. With that being said, unlike a single page resume, CVs can be up to 10 pages with the right experience length. The length will also depend on what the recruiting company is looking for and the type of document they would like.

To help you structure the most powerful CV, ResumeHelp CV templates give you the foundation to creating the most professional appearance. Here are the common CV sections you need to write your curriculum vitae and highlight your best qualifications for the job position for which you’re submitting an application.

Contact information

Your graphic designer CV header should include contact information such as your full name, phone number, general location and links to your graphic designer portfolio and social networking profiles such as LinkedIn and Bold.pro. This information must stand out for the potential employer to locate should you land a job interview.

Objective statement

Your graphic designer CV objective statement should clearly outline your best career highlights to date. You want to select accomplishments that are relevant to the job role that you are applying to. An objective statement is necessary whether you are an entry level job seeker or you have many years of experience.

In your objective statement, focus on featuring the following:

  • Key skills
  • Relevant attributes 
  • Key achievements 
  • Professional specializations
  • Academic specializations

Summary of qualifications

While you may think that your summary of qualifications is simply about how you fit in the job role that you are applying for, it’s a bit more than that. You want to tailor this graphic designer CV section to demonstrate to the hiring manager or employer just how the company will benefit from your graphic design expertise. What makes you unique, special and more qualified than other job applicants?

Remember to:

  • Include keywords from the job description to push your application through to a hiring manager. The more keywords the applicant tracking system (ATS) can detect, the better the chances of your CV being seen by the employer.
  • Highlight your graphic-design related affiliations with professional organizations or relevant industry-related groups.

Core qualifications/key skills

For your core qualifications and key skills section, have your most graphic design relevant skills near the top of your document. Include technical skills, programming languages or specific design software in addition to showcasing your soft skills. Read the job description carefully and incorporate the skills and requirements that the employer is looking for. List between 8-12 relevant skills. When describing important skills, like your knowledge about design elements, provide a short description of those skills in action for a big project in your work history.

Graphic design skills may include:

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe AfterEffects
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Motion graphics
  • Typography
  • Google Suite programs (e.g., Google Slides)
  • Acrobat
  • Photoshop
  • Web design
  • Indesign
  • Social media
  • Creativity
  • Organization
  • Communication skills
  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Client management

Education

The education section of your graphic designer CV should feature your academia in reverse-chronological order. List your top academic achievements such as your college or more advanced school degrees with your most recent credential first and any relevant training programs you’ve completed. A master’s degree would come before a bachelor’s degree. Exclude your GPA. To stand out in a competitive job market, list specific graphic design projects and other academic contributions in this section.

Graphic design work experience

Present your graphic design work experience in reverse-chronological order similar to how a chronological resume is formatted. Since most job applicants will have similar job roles, you want to feature your most impressive achievements and professional skills rather than the daily required graphic design tasks like everyone else. Make sure to use examples, utilize quantifiable metrics to showcase the results of your biggest work accomplishments.

Professional or academic awards

Your graphic designer curriculum vitae allows you to highlight your most impressive career highlights including academic and professional awards. The fact that you received these awards and special distinctions will be a huge catapult to getting your graphic designer job applications put at the top of the pile of candidates to be invited for a job interview.

Graphic designer certifications

In the certifications section of your CV, include credentials earned through training, online certification sites, evening classes or graphic design conferences. With the large number of job applicants for every graphic designer job posting, you want to include data that will get you remembered by prospective employers.

Professional publications

In this section of your graphic designer curriculum vitae, present any research papers, articles, projects or other published works that are directly relevant to your field and the job position that you are applying for.

Grants and fellowships

To stand out among the competition, highlight financial grants or admittance into fellowships. This impressive information will make you memorable among hiring managers and recruiters. It shows that you’ve proven yourself to influential people in the graphic design industry.

Graphic designer conferences

Attending graphic designer industry conferences shows your passion and commitment to the field and your craft. It demonstrates that you take initiative and you are willing to expand your interests through professional networking, learning new design techniques and connecting with industry mentors.

Graphic designer affiliations

In this CV section, present graphic designer industry-relevant associations you’re a member of or have worked with directly. Showcase certifications or relevant affiliations, as well as any examples of recognition of your work.


How to format your graphic designer CV

A graphic designer CV will feature various sections that will need to provide the big picture of why you are the ideal job candidate. A curriculum vitae is different from a typical resume format. Here are some CV formatting tips to remember when writing your graphic designer CV:

Use a professional CV font

While it may seem tempting to use a fancy font to show your graphic designer expertise and unique sense of style, you want to refrain and stick to a professional font. It’s important to select fonts that will easily be read by the ATS. Busy hiring managers use ATS software to scan for specific keywords. Fancy fonts will not be readable and could jeopardize your application. Simple, easy-to-read fonts include Times New Roman, Ariel, Helvetica and Calibri.

H3: Select ideal template for a graphic design CV

Your graphic designer CV should be presented as a neat and professional template that highlights your most impressive graphic design accomplishments. On your curriculum vitae template, pay close attention to the structure of headings and the accompanying content. The potential employer will appreciate the presentation of your information.

Present adequate white space

When it comes to a graphic designer CV, you should have the artistic know-how and visual design expertise to make it look presentable. A curriculum vitae with too little white space will make the information look crowded and unpleasant to read. A CV with too much white space will look unfinished and not very interesting. Present even white space all around your CV and take special attention to page breaks that cut into vital information.

Use even line spacing

Nothing turns a hiring manager off more than inconsistent line spacing. Headings that are not consistent will look sloppy especially on a creative graphic designer CV. Experts suggest that job candidates present adequate spacing between sections with margins of at least 1” and spacing between lines of at least 1-1.15”.

Highlight your accomplishments with bullet points

To make your graphic designer CV easier to read, present your accomplishments in bullet points with short sentences. Bullets ensure that the hiring manager will find your CV easier to read and see your most impressive achievements, each read individually. This is your opportunity to show an employer how the company can benefit from your experience.

Section headings for a graphic designer CV

The key point of setting up your CV is to label each section with clear bolded headings. As with design principles that you know, section headings allow for adequate separation of your information in a clear, readable format. Busy employers can take a quick glance at your CV to look for pertinent information.

Suggested graphic designer CV length

If you possess many years of graphic designer experience, your CV will be longer than the typical single page resume. In fact, presenting your most impressive career and academic history accurately and effectively can make it two to three pages long. A senior graphic designer candidate with decades of experience could draft a CV that is upwards of 10 pages. A junior graphic designer would have a shorter CV.

More CV suggestions and examples

To make the best impression with your graphic designer resume and stand out among the competition, ResumeHelp offers career advice and more CV writing tips, as well as CV samples for other job positions.

How to Write a CV

What is a CV?

CV examples

CV formats

CV maker 

CV templates

CV vs. Resume


Write a graphic designer cover letter to accompany your CV

A cover letter is a great way to strengthen your graphic designer job application by giving the hiring manager, recruiter and employer a glimpse into your personality. Here are some cover letter writing resources to write a winning cover letter:

  • Cover Letter Builder: Quick and easy tool to help you create a powerful cover letter that will help you stand out from other graphic designers.
  • Cover Letter Templates: Benefit from reviewing dozens of cover letter templates to get a quick start to writing your cover letter.
  • Cover Letter Format: Format your professional cover letter effectively with tips, tricks and expert advice.
  • Cover Letter Examples: Inspiration will be overflowing with hundreds of cover letter samples for all industries.

5 tips for presenting a graphic designer portfolio

Presenting a strong graphic design portfolio as part of your job application is a must these days. In fact, most hiring managers and employers will not even consider a graphic design applicant that does not show work samples. 

Here are some expert tips to presenting your best work in a graphic design portfolio: 

  1. Make sure your samples represent a wide range of styles, products and audiences but be cognizant that each is relevant to the job you are applying for.

  2. Label each sample with an understandable title that explains at-a-glance what the reader is seeing. This helps to be memorable among hiring managers.

  3. Present your portfolio on your professional personally designed website or select an online platform.

  4. Keep your portfolio simple by not including too much content that is better left to explain in your graphic designer CV or cover letter.

Update your portfolio often and remove outdated samples.


The big takeaways

Here are quick takeaways of what was covered on this page:

  1. Present your most notable graphic design accomplishments throughout your career. 
  2. Highlight your contact information so a hiring manager can clearly see it.
  3. Read the job posting and tailor your CV to include between 8-12 relevant skills. 
  4. Combine a mix of technical skills and specialty skills to show off your creativity.
  5. Feature your best graphic design accomplishments not just a list of mundane tasks.
  6. Use quantifiable metrics to better demonstrate your work achievements.
  7. Begin each statement with an action verb like planned, organized and coordinated.
  8. Include a link to your online portfolio of your best graphic design samples.
  9. Re-read your CV before submitting it to ensure no grammatical errors.
  10. Include a graphic designer cover letter to complete the job application.

FAQ: Graphic Design CV

Q: How do I write a CV for graphic design?

While it’s apparent that your portfolio will attest to your graphic design expertise, your curriculum vitae must be equally strong. Write an impressive CV summary. Explain your graphic design experience through measurable achievements. Include your education degrees in addition to certifications and other relevant training.

In addition to specific graphic design technical type skills, be sure to include soft skills, to show a glimpse of your personality and work ethic. To stand out among other job candidates, mention awards that you may have received both as part of academia and in your professional career.

Be sure to include a link to your digital portfolio in your contact information.

Q: What is a professional summary for CV of graphic designer?

Your CV professional summary, also known as a personal statement, will be your first introduction to the hiring manager, recruiter or employer. In less than five impressive sentences, get to the point quickly to grab attention. Include your professional achievements, worthy accomplishments, proficient skills and your years of experience in the graphic design industry.

Q: How do I write a graphic design CV with no experience?

If you don’t have much graphic design experience or no experience at all, you can focus your curriculum vitae on your most impressive accomplishments and projects that you worked on during college including internships and volunteer work.

Your CV can include every element of your work history, academia and other relevant background information. If required, be sure to include your photo, hobbies, interests and necessary background details to fill up your CV.

Q: What should I include in my graphic design CV?

In addition to work experience, soft skills, hard skills and academia, you want to provide the extra highlights of your career that will make you stand out among the other candidates.

As a graphic designer, you don’t want to go overboard making your CV look too flashy. Remember, a graphic designer CV should still look professional. It must appear easy-to-read, clean and formal. ResumeHelp CV templates and CV examples can help you create the perfect graphic designer CV quickly and easily.

Q: What skills should I put on my CV?

The main reason that you list skills on your CV is to show the potential employer that you have the right know-how to perform effectively in graphic design. However, there is another important reason to include the right skills — applicant tracking systems. 

Busy hiring managers and recruiters rely on an applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan incoming job applications, CVs, resumes and cover letters to pick out the most qualified job candidates. It’s programmed to pick out specific keywords found in their job description of the graphic design role for which you are applying. Before you begin writing your skills, read the job ad carefully and tailor your resume to include those keywords. 

In addition to typical graphic design skills some roles may require these specific skills:

  • Designing of marketing materials
  • Print design
  • Web development
  • Website design
  • UX/UI
  • Html
  • CSS

Q: What is the purpose of a graphic designer CV?

A strong graphic design CV will be the difference between being invited to interview for your dream job or not. This professional document will highlight your qualifications for the role and show a hiring manager that you are the ideal job candidate.

Your relevant skills will show that you have what it takes to get the job done and get the job completed successfully. Your work experience, education and design-related certifications will provide a bit of dazzle to what makes you special and better than the rest.

Make sure to read the job role carefully to be sure your experience and talent match the specific requirements of the job title for which you are applying.

Q: What are the qualifications for a graphic design CV example?

Anyone applying for a graphic designer position will typically hold a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or another related fine arts degree.

However, professionals looking to change careers can also seek technical training in graphic design to learn the necessary applications and programs to meet job role hiring qualifications. A junior designer job role will require less qualifications as the company will typically provide lots of on-the-job training.

Q: What are some good examples of graphic design CV?

There is no reason to write a graphic designer CV from scratch. With an abundance of CV samples from your industry, you can gain inspiration along with wording and formatting tips. If you’re brand new to CV writing and need a powerful graphic designer CV fast, our CV Builder is a great way to get a professional CV written fast. It’s important that your CV includes links to your portfolio samples or portfolio website.

If you decide to write a graphic designer professional resume, ResumeHelp provides valuable resume writing and formatting tips including help with your resume summary or resume objective. Even better, you can look at a graphic designer resume example to follow for inspiration. You can also use our state-of-the-art Resume Builder and resume templates to help you create a quick, professional resume in minutes.

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