The graphic design world is projected to grow by 3% between 2021 and 2031. As an artistic whiz, you have what it takes to create a career that works for you. While employed graphic designers can expect to make an average of $50,710 each year, the scope for freelancers is far broader. Becoming self-employed is the answer if you want to make big bucks and dictate your own role. So, how can you land your next project?
As a Freelance Graphic Designer, you have a lot of skills and probably aren't sure where exactly you should put them on the resume. This type of resume is particularly hard to create effectively, as graphic designers are tempted to show off their design skills. Resist that urge! You must keep things simple for the reader and not overcomplicate the document. Check out the format below for an example of how a freelance resume should be laid out.
How to write a resume
Looking for some tips to get things started? When you’re making a Graphic Designer resume, there are many things that you need to keep in mind. Making small errors could cost you that all-important interview. Follow these tricks to make writing it a breeze.
Perfect the summary first
The resume summary replaces the out-of-date resume objective. A summary outlines the most impressive parts of your resume, the things that will stand out to prospective employers while also serving to fill in personal qualities that have become so important in today’s diverse employment universe. Summaries are short and should consist of pithy sentences written in the first person. When writing a Graphic Designer resume, aim to highlight your talents and quantifiable experience. The hiring manager is looking for someone with a proven track record of results.
Make your resume easy to read
Hiring managers don’t have time to waste. These professionals must quickly see your latest experience to decide whether you fit the role or project well. Always start with your most recent positions and qualifications at the top of your Graphic Designer resume. This approach is known as using the reverse-chronological format. It ensures that your most relevant information is easy for the reader to review.
Additionally, you need to make use of white space. Trying to cram too much onto this single- or two-page document is a mistake. The hiring manager will take one look at it and decide it’s too “busy.” To avoid that problem, you should ensure the sections are spaced out well. You can also make use of bullet points where appropriate. These small resume tips and tricks will ensure that the document is not overwhelming for the hiring manager.
Pick a solid resume format
Not sure which format to use? Our experts recommend you start your resume with a Summary. You should also include Work Experience, Education, and either Skills or Core Competencies. Here are some guides from our blog to help you write these sections:
Of course, there are exceptions to these rules. Some resumes will include other sections, such as Volunteer Experience or Technical Skills. When it comes to what sections you need to include on your resume, you will know best. Additional sections to consider will include foreign language skills, awards and honors, certifications, and speaking engagements. These could all be relevant sections for your resume.
Highlight your valuable experience
Your Work Experience section should make up the bulk of your Freelance Graphic Designer resume. This section should include your relevant job titles, companies that employed you, and the dates you were employed. Of course, when you are a freelancer, the lines are more blurred.
Chances are, you have not worked with a sole employer for any length of time. It’s far more likely that you have taken on single, ad-hoc projects from a range of companies and agencies. If that is the case, select some of your most impressive projects to include on your resume. You can simply put the name of the business, the date of the project, and the name of the project. Use the lines below that to explain the nature of this position or gig.
You should highlight your accomplishments and key skills within this section. When you have included the basic details, it’s time to get down to the meat of your experience. You can use bullet points here. Consider your most valuable feats and accomplishments in each role or project. These are the nuggets of information that you should highlight.
Never use a creative resume
Many job seekers think that an eye-catching resume template will help them stand out to hiring managers and increase their chances of landing an interview. This is a myth put out by resume builders that value design over content.
The truth is that most hiring managers prefer a traditional resume format.
Creative resume templates can harm your chances of landing an interview. Instead, you should use a basic resume format that quickly communicates your basic information and qualifications — like the one included below. Instead of using your professional resume as an example of your work, include a link to a curated online portfolio.
Freelance Graphic Designer resume example
How confident do you feel about your resume? If you need more help, you can always refer to the following resume sample for inspiration. As you can see here, your graphic designer resume doesn’t have to be complicated. Outline the most important information for a hiring manager and make sure that it’s easy to read. Take a look below:
City, State or Country if international
Phone | Email
FREELANCE GRAPHIC DESIGNER PROFESSIONAL
A creative, innovative, bilingual/multilingual Web Graphic Designer with extensive experience in multimedia, graphic design, social media campaigns and the unique ability to set trends that revolutionize business’ brands. Exceptional collaborative and interpersonal skills, with the ability to examine and understand client needs and deliver products that exceed all original expectations. Passionate and inventive creator of innovative marketing strategies and campaigns developing an award-winning portfolio. Accustomed to performing in deadline-driven, fast paced environments with an emphasis on ensuring projects are completed within budget.
Promotional Material Design
Web Graphic Designer
City of San Bernardino Emergency Services, San Bernardino, CA | mm/yyyy to mm/yyyy
Provided effective and functional web designs to company that met their specific business/personal needs.
Developed graphic images and effects to achieve design goals
Worked directly with client to establish project scope, interaction guidelines, and project time lines
Provided competitive market analysis on the e-commerce site and proposed suggestions to the design and available functionality
Performed routine updates, upgrades and overall maintenance of website
Ensured accuracy of website content by thoroughly editing and cross-checking
Freelance Graphic Designer
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN | mm/yyyy to Present
Redesigned and created web design standards for Greyhound.com, Greyhound.ca and ShipGreyhound.com to comply with corporate visual identity guidelines and usability best practices.
Proposed and implemented new site content architecture and navigation scheme for company website redesign.
Designed web interface for "Ticket Center", an ecommerce application that allowed consumers to lookup fares, schedules and purchase bus tickets. In 2002 Ticket center generated $30 million dollars in online sales, becoming the company's third largest ticket agency.
Provided UI design solutions to the ecommerce project manager and data mining specialist to increase conversion rates on "Ticket Center".
Provided art direction for various online business development projects including "Vacation Center", an online search travel application on Greyhoundtravel.com and Greyhound.ca.
Designed and developed the Greyhound Package Express and "Quick Quotes" web interface, an online application on ShipGreyhound.com that allowed consumers and small businesses to lookup bus schedules and shipping quotes.
Complete School Name, City, St/Country: List Graduation Years If Within the Last Ten Years
Complete Degree Name (Candidate) – Major (GPA: List if over 3.3)
Relevant Coursework: List coursework taken (even include those you are planning on taking)
Awards/Honors: List any awards, honors or big achievements
Clubs/Activities: List clubs and activities in which you participated
Relevant Projects: List 2-3 projects you have worked on
Key hard & soft skills for a Freelance Graphic Designer
No graphic designer resume would be complete without a skills section. This is arguably one of the most important parts of any creative application. It matters. Here, you get the opportunity to show off the unique talents that you are bringing to the table.
Creating a convincing skills section is all about balance — you need both hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills apply directly to the job at hand. These are the competencies that make you a pro when it comes to design. Soft skills, on the other hand, allow you to work well with others and get the job done.
Hard skills you could use include:
Promotional Material Design
Budgeting and Cost Control
Scope and Requirements
Adobe Suite Proficiency
Soft skills you could include:
When the time comes to create your graphic designer resume, you need to ensure that you include a mixture of both hard and soft skills. That way, you let the hiring manager know that you have what it takes to work well with their team and carry out the project.
Summary & last words
Standout resumes will include a resume summary, work experience using a traditional reverse-chronological layout, and the skills and education relevant to your job target. Our featured Freelance Graphic Designer resume example shows how to include those elements on a page.
Keep your resume format easy to scan by both humans and computers. Our resume template is designed by our experts to satisfy both audiences. And be sure to include your own skills, achievements, and experiences. Interview-winning resumes are ones that successfully market you, leading recruiters and hiring managers to want to learn more.
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