While your portfolio is key when applying for graphic design jobs, your CV is also pretty important because that’s what essentially gives the employer an insight into your background – so it’s important to get it right.
*On this page you can find our top tips for your graphic design CV – and don’t forget; once you’ve got that perfected, you can find our latest graphic design jobs on our job board here.*
Show Off Your Skills
It goes without saying that with graphic design jobs, creativity is key so it’s a good idea to show off your creativity and design skills in your CV – a standard Word Doc just won’t cut it. Be sure to use a high quality software package such as InDesign or Illustrator – and try and use as many techniques as possible to show off your skill set – this is especially important if you’re applying for graduate/entry-level graphic design jobs and don’t yet have a strong portfolio.
Keep It Clean & Accurate
Following on from the last point, while it’s important to show off your skills on your graphic design CV, you also need to be careful to keep it fairly clean and accurate. Remember, the employer is considering taking you on as their next graphic designer so they want to be able to see that you’re capable of creating clean, crisp graphics which are visually appealing and deliver a clear brand message.
Use The Space Wisely
When it comes to your CV, you only have a maximum of two sides of A4 so you need to use the space wisely. Study the job description/advert and if you’ve got the skills they’re looking for, make sure they’re listed on your CV (remember, the employer isn’t psychic!). That said; employers want to see that their graphic designers have a broad skill set so if you’ve got lots of experience designing for a range of platforms and materials, such as banners, pop-up stands and leaflets, be sure to include that too if you’ve got the space!
Not sure what to include and cut out of your CV? Be cut-throat. If you don’t think it’s going to help you get the job (eg. your love of running or your Duke of Edinburgh Award), leave it out!
Get Creative If Appropriate
In the digital industry, there’s a lot of hype about creative CVs – and we think they’re a great idea for graphic design jobs – but only if the situation calls for it! For example, if you’re applying for a job with a trendy digital agency who’s known for being a bit controversial, it’s definitely worth taking a chance and creating a bespoke graphic design CV which will appeal to them. On the other hand, if you’re applying for a job with a straight-laced government organisation, a more conservative approach to your CV is probably called for. At the end of the day, it’s all about judging the situation and choosing the path which feels right for you.
Forget To Send In A Readable Version Too
While it’s great to be creative with your CV, it’s also worth remembering that a lot of employers and hiring managers use ATS platforms and CV parsing tools to quickly screen candidates initially – and a lot of these won’t work with PDF documents. With that in mind; it can be worth creating and sending in two versions of your CV to ensure your CV doesn’t get overlooked if employers do use these kinds of tools.
Demonstrate Skills You Don’t Have
While you obviously want to impress a potential employer, it’s important not to show off any skills or techniques on your CV which you don’t actually have. Why? Because it’s a bit like false advertising – and should you be offered the job, the employer will soon realise you don’t have the techniques which you demonstrated on your CV.
Copy Anyone Else
While it can be hard to come up with something 100% unique when it comes to your graphic design CV, you need to make sure you don’t obviously copy someone else’s idea. Why? Because there’s a chance you could be found out – and when that happens, the employer will think that you’re not capable of coming up with your own unique, creative ideas – an essential trait in any graphic designer. If you do spot another CV which is really effective, think about how you could tailor it and change it up so that it’s unique and perfectly demonstrates your skills and experience as a talented graphic designer.