You’re a visual storyteller with a portfolio to show off your talents, so what’s the point of a 3D animator resume? Even creative types have to get past the initial screening and that may mean a quick look at your experience on a job application.
Whether you work on a project basis or have your heart set on a workstation at Pixar, you will need to grab the attention of the person in charge. So do you need a thousand words to paint a picture of your skills?
Let Resume.io’s powerful resources help you get there. We have all the tools a job seeker needs, including guides and resume examples for 300+ professions, backed up by an easy-to-use resume builder.
This guide, along with the corresponding 3D animator resume example will cover the following topics:
- What are the responsibilities of a 3D animator?
- How to animate your work experience to gain the interest of hiring managers
- Choose a format that allows you to draw out the best of your career
- Catch an employer’s attention by showing off your work style and creativity.
What does a 3D animator do?
3D animators have Incredible jobs where they get to design Fantastic Beasts, tell Toy Stories and try to find Nemo. That’s the very pinnacle of success for a 3D animator and the first thing people think of, but there are many other avenues for this talent.
Of course, animation plays a role in video games, but it is also used in education, medicine, architecture and advertising. 3D animators try to render characters and objects realistically within scenes or they may highly stylize their creations.
The process of 3D animation begins with modeling of characters and then takes the step of making those characters move. Then, the animation is rendered, or finalized and exported, Infographicworld describes.
The job market and salary for 3D animators
The news is good for job seekers in the 3D animation space. A global rise in demand for high definition content is driving an 11.8% projected growth in the market overall, Data Bridge, a market research firm, predicts.
Some of this market growth comes from the adoption of visual effects software to animate commercial logos, 3D videos to demonstrate products, virtual reality 3D environments, Grand View Research reported.
Along with that global increase, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the need for special effects artists and animators will increase 16% by 2030. Professionals in these fields can expect to earn a median income of $77,700.
How to write a 3D animator resume
You start designing your characters with a skeleton that you then layer creativity onto. Before you begin, you need to know what structure to hang your words on. Your CV should contain the following elements:
- The resume header
- The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The resume skills section
- The education section
Although this is strictly formatted, you have a lot of leeway within that structure to show off your style. Begin by researching the project, the company and the personnel already in place. That information will help you decide on the tone and exact message you need to deliver to get the interview.
Target the ATS
You want the recruiter to take a look at your portfolio, but to get there you may have to make it past the Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
Make sure you optimize for each position by analyzing the job listing and comparing keywords and phrases to your resume. There are no guarantees, but this step, along with using a standard format, can help you avoid having your resume filtered out by the ATS so that it reaches the hands of someone who will be impressed by your talent.
Choosing the best resume format for 3D animators
Since your goal is to get the interview, your best bet is to stick with the tried-and-true reverse chronological order resume format. This structure makes it easy for recruiters to see what you have done most recently and to track the history of your career. It is also the preferred format of the ATS.
If you’re new to the job market or have had a more winding career path, you can check out the resume formats we suggest as chronological alternatives or hybrids.
Resume summary example: add color here
Your 3D resume summary (also known as a profile) is your opportunity to draw on your talents to describe your career highlights and let your personality shine through. While your work may speak for itself, it doesn’t tell hiring managers how you function as part of a team or share your ideas with others.
Within this 3-4 lines, you should pat yourself on the back for your proudest animation achievement. Use strong creative words to illustrate who you are as an artist and your process. While this may not be the first section a recruiter glances at, if they like what they read, this more personal prose could make all the difference in whether you make the cut.
You can find a resume example for your summary section below.
Passionate and experienced 3D animator with extensive experience in 3D animations for film, television, and other electronic media. Adept in creating hand-drawn illustrations and character creations prior to utilizing animation technologies. Experienced in storyboarding, and collaborating with other creative professionals to achieve animation goals. Bringing forth the ability to effectively manipulate light, color, texture, shadow, and transparency to create the illusion of motion. Driven with a passion for delivering impressive and powerful 3D animations.
Employment history sample: storyboard your career
Whether you are a contractor or have been a full-time employee, you have artistic successes to focus on here. In fact, while this is called the employment history section of your 3D animator resume, you really want it to be a tale of success.
That means instead of listing every detail of each job, you choose three or four tasks that had stunning results and explain how you achieved those results. Did you find a way to animate difficult movement? Suggest a color palette that worked very well? Get a project done with a tight deadline? Communicate so well with a client that they used the firm again? These are the achievements you want to highlight.
Use the STAR format to structure your bullet points in this section.
- Start by describing the situation
- Tell what your task was
- Explain the action you took
- Show off your results
Below you will find an adaptable employment history resume sample.
- Worked with directors and creative professionals to storyboard prior to creating animations.
- Carefully applied story developments and directions in the creation of animations.
- Utilized both drawing skills and computer software to create designs.
- Manipulated light, color, texture, shadow, and transparency to convey motion.
- Worked under tight deadlines, and delivered pleasing work consistently.
CV skills example: your attribute gallery
Yes, you must be expert at 3D programs and an excellent artist as well, but those hard skills/ technical skills are only part of what you need to present here. The skills section of your 3D animator CV is one of the first places a recruiter will look. They want to know that your abilities mesh with the job, but also what you think are the most important of all your professional attributes.
Here are some of the soft skills you should consider, according to Robert Half, the employment agency:
- Communication with clients and other key stakeholders
- Researching subjects to ensure the movement is natural
- Integrating feedback into the final design
Remember to review the job listing to see what your prospective employer mentions and optimize for the ATS. Then, choose your top 4-7 attributes. Add any specific software such as Maya, MotionBuilder, Mudbox, FBX, 3ds Max, ZBrush, Premiere and After Effects with your experience level as well.
Below you will find an adaptable skills resume sample.
- Complex Graphics and Animation Skills
- Technical Drawing Skills
- Project Management Skills
- Excellent Communication Skills
- Character Development Skills
3D animator resume education example
The education section of your 3D animator resume is a listing of your academic and career learning. Many 3D animators have earned a bachelor’s degree in animation and design, computer graphics or a related field, but a degree may not be required. Some animators may have program certificates and most have at least a few certifications in different software tools.
List any and all of the educational qualifications you have here. Any honors or distinctions should be noted here as well.
You are in a creative field that often rewards its practitioners, so if you have received any awards, you may list them here or create a separate section to further emphasize them.
Below you will find an education resume example as a formatting guide.
- 2004-2008 Hunter College, Bachelor of Graphic Design NY, NY
- 2000-2004 Astoria High School, High School Diploma NY, NY
Resume layout and design: post-production
You are a designer, so you have license to show off a bit here. You have your text down and now you are putting the finishing touches on with your presentation. Typically, a resume should avoid overdoing color and graphic elements and we will caution you that your main goal here is to provide an easily readable document. That being said, you should be demonstrating your talent as well. Also keep in mind that resume.io allows you to link directly from your 3D animator resume to your portfolio, so there’s no need to go overboard.
Some principles to keep in mind as you create:
- Leave ample white space
- Avoid fonts that look great but are difficult to read
- Draw the eye toward your contact information for ease of scheduling your interview!
- Use spellcheck, grammar check and proofread. Yes, you’re a visual person but these errors may signal to a recruiter that you don’t pay attention to detail.
A creative resume template can give you a head start when it comes to perfect formatting.
Key takeaways for a 3D animator resume
- Your talents are in demand in a wider variety of industries than you may have imagined.
- Allow yourself creativity within your summary to illustrate your professional personality.
- Link your portfolio to your resume to make it easy for recruiters to view all your talents.
- Make a colorful, but readable, first impression with your resume design.
- Check out our adaptable 3D animator resume sample for more ideas on creating a great page layout.