Are You a Graphic Designer? Here are 7 Tips to Boost your CV
The Pixels love a good graphic designer - someone who can utilise their keen eye for detail into creating beautiful and engaging artwork that’s more enticing than a Ryan Gosling colouring book.
That’s why we’re currently looking for a new graphic designer to join our friendly team.
But that’s enough about us for now.
There’s a lot of information out there about what makes a great graphic designer CV. Some of it is great (‘No comic sans!’) and some of it is just extraordinary… milk carton CV, anyone?
So, we thought we’d take away some of the guesswork. Here are some hints and tips that branding agencies love when they receive a graphic designer’s CV in the digital post.
Work those creative muscles
You’re a graphic designer.
That means you’re probably a Photoshop wizard. A DTP veteran. An Adobe King (or Queen, but let’s not get feudal here).
So have fun with your CV and create something that reflects not only your supreme design skills, but your personality too.
A stunning and memorable résumé will do wonders for showcasing exactly what you can bring to a new team. After all, you won’t just be working to a detailed brief - although that’s inevitable sometimes. You will also be responsible for idea generation, coming up with the best and most innovative ideas to really sell your client’s brand.
So put Microsoft Word to one side. A CV is like your calling card. And it’s the thing that encourages your potential employer to open your portfolio in the first place.
If you’re in need of some artistic inspiration, have a look at this incredible blog post from howdesign.com. You won’t be sorry.
Think content first, then design
As a creator of all things bright and beautiful, you’re probably used to thinking with your eyes first.
But a CV that seals the deal has to be more than pretty. What you say, and how you say it, is invaluable in helping the interviewer to position your unique skills and personality within a business context.
To write a wonderful CV, you need to communicate:
How your knowledge and skills relate to the position
Why your employment history is useful and relevant
What makes you better than the competition
For most people the art of creating a CV comes with time and practice. Before then, you might find the following tips helpful:
Ensure your content includes the ‘buzzwords’ and key competencies required in the job description
Be careful with your font choice and make sure it’s legible
If you’re struggling to set the writing tone, just think of your CV as a regular conversation. Write in the same way you would speak!
Lastly, it’s probably a good idea to stick to a one-page A4 for your CV. Otherwise you risk rambling. And losing your reader’s attention. Or boring them. Or making them wonder what you were on about in the first place.
See my point?
Be economic with your words like you were being charged by the line.
Include samples of your work
So you probably know about this already.
Along with your cover letter, lots of agencies will ask that you include examples of previous work with the CV.
The immediate reasons are obvious: a portfolio demonstrates your key skills, how much responsibility you’ve had, and your range of sector/industry experience.
However, there’s lots of other reasons that employers ask for previous examples of work:
To examine your attention to detail
To gauge how well-rounded a person you are
To see how much you really want the job
The last point might seem strange (you have applied for the job, after all) but one of the best ways to determine an applicant’s hunger is to see how much effort they go to.
Maybe you want to hand-type your cover letter. Or encase your portfolio in a custom-wrapped binder.
Regardless, this is your chance to shine. And your potential employer will definitely appreciate any extra steps you take to impress them.
So have fun!
You don’t need to list every job
This one doesn’t really need much explanation, so we’ll keep things short and sweet.
Your ‘employment history’ doesn’t necessarily need to include every position you’ve ever held. That paper-round at 14 can probably be left to the side.
Instead, only mention job positions that have direct relevance to this particular job.
If ever in doubt, ask yourself the following questions:
Did I learn any valuable skills that are useful to this application?
Would my interviewer find this information interesting?
Could I apply my knowledge/experience from this role into my new position?
Did you answer ‘yes’?
Then go wild and get it in the CV.
Get jazzy with LinkedIn
If you’re applying for an agency job, then your future team members will probably have a good hang of social media.
And they’ll probably do some gentle snooping of you online before inviting you in for an interview.
This is the perfect opportunity to spruce up your LinkedIn and add some weight to your CV and application.
To get the most from LinkedIn, include all relevant professional and educational information on your profile. You could also (kindly) ask for endorsements from colleagues and willing friends who know you best.
The benefit of doing so is two-fold: it’ll look good to your potential employer, but it’ll also help get your name out there and generate some buzz around your career.
A friendly and engaging Twitter account doesn’t hurt either.
Keep a hard copy for the interview
Your interviewer will probably print out a copy of your CV before the interview.
But it might only be in black and white - something which could be problematic if you’ve used lots of colour. Or perhaps there won’t be enough to go around the table.
So, bring along a few hard copies to your interview. A tablet device might also be useful.
This will demonstrate that you are prepared, organised, and ready for any eventuality - something which is catnip to agency paws.
Big yourself up
Looking for a new job is always difficult. And sometimes, when you’re down in the dumps about your prospects (it happens to us all), the last thing you want to do is boast on your application.
But here’s the truth: if you don’t big yourself up, no one else will.
If you want to get a better understanding of what makes you great, think about this:
What makes you happiest?
What can you offer that no-one else can?
What have you been praised for in the past?
Once you’ve done this, you’ll be in the best possible position to offer an honest and meaningful description about why you deserve the job.
And that’s something that will stick in an employer’s mind more than any soundbite or empty boast ever could.
We love graphic designers
If you’re a talented, enthusiastic, and easygoing graphic designer with a passion for great branding, apply for our new position.
Alternatively, send us a tweet @Pixel8ltd and introduce yourself.
We can’t wait to hear from you.
Our creative designer and cake baking extraordinaire, Jon Massey, is leaving the building! Although we’re sorry to see our Jon leave, we’re over the moon for his exciting new opportunity at the Beeb where he’ll be looking after the design for BBC Sport. Jon has been an absolute joy to have ...