An art director is someone who keeps an eye on graphic design projects, which requires project management expertise along with design knowledge. While this position might have less hands-on involvement with creating art for specific projects, art directors’ creative vision is what ends up shining through in the end. If you’re looking to create the best resume for an art director position, here are some tips.
When you’re applying to be any kind of creative director, you want to tell recruiters that you understand how to work with creative teams and production teams. You need to be able to work with colleagues in many different fields, which can include copywriters, web developers, e-commerce managers, and design teams. On top of that, you need to have your own eye for creative design. The perfect resume will show off your ability to understand design and your ability to bring together people from many different fields to turn out a successful final project.
The structure of your resume may vary slightly depending on the type of resume format that you end up choosing. This may include a chronological resume, which prioritizes work experience, a functional resume, which prioritizes skills, and a combination resume, which provides a balance of both. All these resume formats will have the same sections; they just might be moved around a bit.
Your header includes your full name and your contact information, including links to any portfolio sites you have. It may also include a resume headline, which is a one-line description of who you are and how many years of experience you have.
Resume Summary/Resume Objective
Next is your resume summary or resume objective. Whereas the resume headline is a single line, the resume summary or objective is instead typically three to five lines long and showcases your initiatives, key achievements, certifications, and top skills. This is your first chance to show hiring managers that you fit the job description and have the work experience necessary to thrive. A resume summary is meant for people with more experience and summarizes top previous design projects and skills. A resume objective is meant for people with less experience and centers on career goals as well as your current knowledge and experience.
Your skill set needs to include both hard skills and soft skills. Always tailor your skill set to the specific job you’re hoping to get, based on the skills mentioned in the job description. Here’s a few skills commonly related to art direction:
In general, you should think about which skills will best help you develop whatever campaigns the company is pursuing. From digital media to photo shoots to marketing campaigns, read the job description multiple times, then adapt your existing skill set to fit that specific job description.
Art direction is quite a broad field, which means that when applying for an art director job, you can include a significant amount of work history that may not seem relevant at first glance. Include jobs that involve marketing collateral, brainstorming for design, and other project-oriented work. All of these things can help you succeed in art direction, and unorthodox work experience that relates to the job can be counted as relevant work experience.
Last is your education section. Typically, art directors are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in fine arts or a design subject, although your options are varied in this field. Include your degree and any other academic experience here; you may also include certifications and related extracurricular activities.
Yes. It’s important to include a cover letter for basically any job application, as a cover letter gives more insight into who you are and why you think you’re perfect for this job. Make sure you use ResumeHelp to get writing tips for your cover letter and determine the right cover letter format before you write it.
If you’re looking for an entry-level art director job, then highlight the experience you have in the field already. For entry-level jobs, hiring managers know that you’re relying largely on the experience you have working underneath other art directors. Showcase how you’ve contributed to projects, and that you’ve learned the necessary skills to succeed.
You should be reading every job posting for keywords related to skills and experiences that you can apply to your resume. A professional resume that reflects keywords in the job description will help you pass applicant tracking system (ATS) scans that hiring managers often use to review resumes.