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Q: What sections does my graphic design CV example need?
The standard sections for your CV are:
- Personal details
- Name, address and phone number(s)
- Email address
- Optionally, Twitter and/or LinkedIn handle where these show that you’re up-to-date with and sharing industry knowledge (read more about creating a LinkedIn profile to complement your CV here).
- Optionally, your Instagram account if this has examples of your design work
- Optionally, personal website address where this provides more of your portfolio and/or shows you’re sharing industry knowledge, demonstrates some other key skill or provides a more comprehensive online CV in an attractive format
- Introduction (called ‘Objective’ or ‘Personal Statement’)
- Work experience (most recent first), giving for each:
- Job title
- Company name
- From and to date (month & year)
- Optionally, achievements if any of your work has performed especially well. Otherwise, this is covered by attaching samples and signposting employers to where they can find more of your work (e.g LinkedIn, your website)
- Education (most recent first), giving the name of the qualification, the awarding institution where it was studied and the year awarded
- If you have any certification (such as ACA or ACE), you may choose to include this here
- Skills (relevant to the job – optionally, give proficiency levels e.g. basic, intermediate or advanced)
- Hobbies & interests
- References (this can say ‘available on request’ or it can be left off altogether as they will be requested anyway if you’re offered the job)
Optionally, you might also include (where relevant):
- Professional memberships
- Key achievements – if you have any particularly successful pieces of work that you want to highlight
- Projects – again, if you’ve worked on relevant projects whilst employed in a position or whilst at college/university, these should be included alongside the relevant position or qualification – but if they don’t relate, you could include them in a separate section
Since actual ability triumphs everything else when it comes to graphic design, we recommend attaching a variety of samples of your work (created for digital and print media) to your CV, and signposting employers to your website or Instagram account where you should create a portfolio of further work.
Completing your graphic design CV
When filling in this graphic design CV example, particular attention should be given to the job advert, so any particular skills that you have which the employer is looking for specifically should be highlighted. Typically for these posts, employers will be looking for competence in a range of software packages.
- Essentials: One or more of Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator
- Depending on the job: Premiere Pro, After Effects
When you’re writing your CV, ensure it focuses on the most relevant experience and relevant qualifications. For example, if the role is very much graphic design without any video work, don’t go into a lot of detail about video experience (although do mention it briefly, as it may be a bonus to employers). Employers spend just a few seconds looking through applications and have very little time to filter through pages to find what they are looking for. Ensure the key skills take a front seat on your CV.
If you’re short on work experience, you may also like to consider volunteering whilst you’re hunting for a job – this is a valuable way to increase your experience and avoid gaps on your CV. It can also make you more attractive to some employers – according to MCCS Forward, a 2011 survey conducted by LinkedIn revealed that one out of every five hiring managers in the U.S. has hired a candidate because of their volunteer work experience. Here’s a helpful video on making the most of volunteering:
Freelancing is another good way for graphic designs to build their work experience and portfolio. You can pick up freelancing work on sites such as: