Graphic Designer Résumés: The Guide to Creating the Perfect Résumé

Graphic designers have a unique and creative skill set that is incredibly valuable to businesses across multiple industries. Graphic design can greatly enhance a business's efforts in marketing and advertising, which makes the need for graphic designers relevant across industries, from small local businesses to large corporations. Whether you're a designer looking to join a company's team full-time, gain employment with an agency, or secure your own clients for your freelance business, it's necessary to build a good résumé to showcase your skills, education, and overall expertise.

What makes a good graphic design résumé?

Potential employers or future clients will want to see a well-rounded set of skills and expertise to convince them that you're the perfect designer for their needs. Here are a few things to consider:

Highlight your education history

Whether you studied graphic design at a college or university and earned a formal degree, or you've earned certifications via online courses and training, you'll want to list those qualifications on your résumé. Not all potential clients or employers will consider a degree a deal-breaker, as most will care more about the actual quality and style of your work—but it's always a good idea to include your education history on your résumé.

Showcase your special skills

Special skills can include particular design styles or techniques you specialize in, as well as the various software programs you are proficient with. Potential employers or clients may be interested in knowing whether you work with a particular program that they use or prefer, so listing software you are familiar with is typically a good idea. Many designers will also study the ins and outs of web design as well, and if you have coding knowledge on top of your design skills, list the coding languages you have experience with to further boost your résumé.

List your previous work experience

If you are just getting started with graphic design, you may not have any formal graphic design work to list in this section. However, if you haven't yet landed your first graphic design gig, there are other ways to showcase your experience. Have you volunteered your skills to non-profit organizations or startup businesses? This can be an excellent way to gain a bit of experience for your résumé and some designs you can add to your portfolio.

List any other past jobs in this section that have relevant qualities for you to showcase, even if the jobs were not necessarily graphic design-related. For example, if you had a past job that required great attention to detail and consistent communication with customers, those qualities will be seen as positives for a potential employer or client.

How to create your résumé

When it's time to get to work with actually creating your résumé, there are couple extra things you can do as a graphic designer to further showcase your skills. First, make sure you create a stunning design for your résumé. The document should be clear and easy to read with easily scannable sections, legible typeface, and clever use of white space. In addition to creating a clean and functional résumé, you should customize it to show off your personal style and talent. Make use of bold colors and typography, or a decorative graphic to add your unique touch to the document and help it stand out from other applicants.

Another excellent way to strengthen your résumé as a designer is to include your portfolio to provide examples of your past work. If you have designed your own website to host your portfolio, you can either include the web address on your résumé, or attach your business card with the web link displayed. If you prefer a physical portfolio, be sure the designs are all printed with high quality to ensure they appear as intended.


When you're ready to begin looking for work in the field of graphic design, there are many opportunities for employment with businesses of all kinds, or in searching for new clients for your own graphic design business. No matter which form of work you're looking for, creating a professional résumé that showcases your talent and personal style will help you secure the new career opportunities you're searching for.

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