Graphic design is a highly attractive career that offers chances for advancement. Here’s how to write a professional CV and land a new job in the field.
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If you want to work in graphic design, an effective CV is one of the most important tools to have at your disposal. While using CV templates can be helpful with maintaining proper formatting and introducing design elements, it’s also important that you also know what information to include in a graphic design CV to make a real impact.
The CV header should include your full name, up-to-date contact details with your phone number and email address, and your professional social media links, like your LinkedIn profile.
Depending on your experience level, you should include either a CV summary or a CV objective statement. A CV summary is a sum-up of the best skills and qualifications that make you right for the role, which is why it is best for those with a lot of work experience. If you have a short work history, a CV objective statement will be better, as it focuses on your job-ready skills, career goals and intentions.
The CV skills section should contain bullet points detailing 8 to 12 key graphic design skills that make you right for the role. You should include both hard and soft skills. Examples of the soft and hard skills that are commonly included in graphic design CVs are:
Your work experience section should be presented in reverse-chronological order and contain up to 10 years of experience (unless the job posting states a need for more). Remember that your work history section is not just a list of previous roles to show you are qualified for the next job. It is also a chance to prove your skill set by discussing your achievements and roles in previous design projects. When you list a previous job, you should include the job title, employment dates and company name as well as an overview of your responsibilities and achievements.
Your education section should contain your most advanced and recent qualifications. Don’t list less relevant or advanced qualifications and certifications unless they offer a distinct value. For example, if you have specific qualifications for programming as well as a design degree, mentioning both could be helpful for a graphic design job that also involves web programming.
If you want to make the process of creating your CV as easy as possible, you can use a CV builder, such as the one offered by CV Help.
There are three different CV formats that you can use. While the chronological CV format is traditional, a hybrid or functional format can be more useful for those who lack work experience, or want to highlight skills.
Passive language is very counterproductive. While a statement like “Was responsible for” might seem professional, it is also passive and listless. If you instead say “managed” or “developed” you will show that you are in charge of your career and progress.
Asking someone that you trust to read and evaluate your CV is a great way to find weak spots and issues. Even if the person is not directly involved in graphic design, a family member with experience in undertaking job searches and applications can offer sound advice.
Though it can be tempting to be humble when writing a CV, this will get you nowhere. Be your own biggest fan and be upfront about your skills and strengths to catch a recruiter’s eye.
Using an unprofessional email address is a simple mistake that could cost you a great job. It is best to create a simple, professional email address using your name for inclusion on your CV if you don’t already have one.
The standard CV formatting requirements are in place for a reason. While it can be tempting to use smaller margins to get more space, you should resist this urge. Margins of 0.5 to 1 inch and font sizing of 10 to 12pt are best because they make a CV easy to scan. Messing with these formatting guidelines and reducing white space could lead to your CV being rejected because applicant tracking systems (ATS) employers use to scan resumes might find it unreadable.
You should write a cover letter to support your next graphic design job application. A cover letter is a useful document that can help you to stand out from the crowd of other job applicants by letting you address the hiring manager directly and providing extra information about your background to support your case.
If you have recently graduated from university or college but have no direct professional experience in graphic design, there are some steps you can take to help your CV stand out. Showcase any relevant experience you have, such as freelance projects, relevant coursework, volunteer work, and internship experience. Remember that entry-level roles will not expect a huge amount of work experience, so you focus on the skills and qualifications you already have.
If you want to modify your old graphic design CV to help you get a new job or facilitate a career change, there are a few steps you can take. Firstly, you should remember that your design skills may still be relevant. Creativity is a sought-after soft skill! However, you should start by reading the job description and highlighting the skills that are classed as necessary, and include any you have in your CV. This will help you to pass ATS.
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