Should a Graphic Designer Use a Creative Resume

Should a Graphic Designer Use a Creative Resume

Should a Graphic Designer Have a Creative Resume? – ZipJob

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Those in graphic design and other creative fields often put together creative resumes in hopes of “standing out” – but it usually works against them. Many others in the creative field  also often submit creative resumes (UX Designers, photographers, interior designers).

Remember that the hiring manager is not hiring you based on the aesthetics of your resume. They’re looking at your experience, education, skills and other relevant information.

Here is an example of a creative resume:

Creative Resume Graphic Design

Here are other reasons you shouldn’t use a creative resume along with the type of resume format a graphic designer should use.

4 Reasons Graphic Designers Should Never Use a Creative Resume

1. Hiring Managers Prefer a Traditional Resume Format

Most hiring managers prefer a traditional resume format. When they’re looking at hundreds of resumes per day – the last thing they want to come across is something that looks like an art project. It’s often hard for a hiring manager to look at a creative resume and quickly find the information they need and when that happens, the resume is often rejected.

2. It’s Hard to Tailor a Creative Resume

You should be slightly tailoring your resume to each position you apply to and that is really difficult to do with a creative resume. Editing graphics, images or even just text is usually a hassle with a creative resume.

3. Getting Past Applicant Tracking Systems

Most companies today use what’s called an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). These systems automatically scan your resume to determine if you’re a good match for the position. It does this by scanning your resume for keywords, experience, education and other important factors.

You can see more information here on how to see if your resume is ATS friendly.

Creative resumes with fancy designs, colors, graphics and fonts have a difficult time getting read by an ATS. When that happens – the resume is automatically rejected.

4. Unprofessional

Whether or not you’re targeting a job in graphic design, you need to make a professional first impression. Although a creative resume could look pretty awesome – it just doesn’t have a professional feel to it.

What Type of Resume Should a Graphic Designer Use?

A graphic design should use a traditional resume format just like everyone else.

You would of course want to include links that showcase some of your work but the “creative design” should be left off of your resume. Stick to a traditional chronological or functional resume format.

Here is a good example of a resume for a graphic designer:


Even a graphic designer should use a traditional format as it’s what both hiring managers and ATS systems prefer. The aesthetics of your resume have no effect on the hiring managers decision. Using a creative or infographic resume with colors, designs, fancy fonts and graphics will only do more than good.

The only time you should use a creative resume is if you are certain that the employer prefers one.  There are many resume builders that can help you put together a creative resume.

Good luck with your job search!


  1. june parker says:

    I have an alternative view to that, graphic designers can create amazing CV’s that are still in word format that applicant tracking systems can pick up, that show case their skills. A boring CV like the one above will not get them the job in todays employment market.

    • Hi June,

      It’s often hard for the average graphic designer to create a creative resume or CV that gets past an ATS. Most hiring managers also prefer a traditional resume format.

  2. liz says:

    You are right, June. If an employer is truly looking for a talented individual, they will not feed a CV through an ATS, combing for key words (IMO.) A creative resume is part of the synergy of the applicant, and one that looks as though it was created in Word will speak volumes about an apparent lack of creativity. It might even plant a seed in the mind of the hiring manager that the applicant lacks an ability to use graphics standards software. Better yet, avoid seeking a job in the field this way (mass mailings), and identify and target an employer one wishes to work for.

  3. niki roberts says:

    I am a graphic designer and feel like I should have a well-designed resume. A traditional 🤢shutter🤢 resume that would stand out in most industries would probably get tossed in a creative job application.
    What I want to know is, do ATS scan the online application, which is all text, or do they scan the attached resume?
    If this is the case, do the online application in all text, attach a traditional resume (with a few creative touches like your name in a creative but readable font, just in case, and THEN if you get an interview, bring your aesthetically pleasing resume with you and hand them out.

  4. Tiffany says:

    As a graphic designer, I’ve made several creative resumes, and I have my traditional resume. However, my traditional resume has a bit of flare to it. My titles and subtitles are in Magenta while my content text is in charcoal. I like to use gorgeous, clean fonts that most ordinary applicants wouldn’t find in Word. I created my resume in InDesign or Illustrator so I can add my personalized logo and block and kern my text how I see fit. I think it’s true that a creative resume can be a bit confusing for a hiring manager, so I think its good to find a happy medium that shows professionalism and adds pop. I have had more success with my traditional resume (with flare) than my creative ones.

    • tiffany pipipn says:

      Also wanted to add that creative resumes can sometimes look a bit too busy. Remember the eyes move from left to right in a “Z” formation when reading. People don’t want to skip all over the page to find what they’re looking for. Think about how you create marketing materials for clientele and apply the same guidelines to your resume.

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