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  2. Creative Designer
Written by Anna MuckermanAnna Muckerman

Creative Designer CV Examples & UK Templates

If you’re ready to highlight your creativity and problem-solving skills on your CV, look no further than this creative designer CV sample and guide complete with adaptable examples.
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Creative Designer CV Examples & UK Templates
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Creative designers are big-picture thinkers responsible for the conception and creation of marketing, advertising, and branded material for a wide variety of industries. No two creative design jobs are alike, so it’s important to create a CV that conveys your unique skill set and potential when it comes to achieving business objectives through creative work.

While you’ll need a strong portfolio to serve as the backbone of your application, you’ll also want to pay attention to your CV. This is the best place to explain how you’ve made an impact in previous positions and why you’re the right choice for the job you’re applying to.

Luckily, Resume.io is here to walk you through each step of the process. This CV guide, along with the corresponding creative designer CV example will cover the following topics:

  • What does a creative designer do?
  • How to write a creative designer CV (tips and tricks)
  • The best format for a creative designer CV
  • Advice on each section of your CV (summary, work history, education, skills)
  • Professional CV layout and design hints.
Expert tip

For even more CV and job search advice, check out Resume.io’s 65+ CV examples and writing guides for a variety of creative occupations.

What does a creative designer do?

Creative designer is a broad term for creative professionals who most often work in marketing, advertising, communications, film and television, and sometimes UX design. Creative designer jobs may be similar to graphic design jobs or they can encompass a broader scope including ideation, marketing goals, planning, and project management.

Duties of a creative designer can vary widely but may include:

  • Brainstorming and collaboration: Working closely with clients, marketing teams, and other professionals to understand design requirements and deliver projects that meet their needs.
  • Graphic design: Designing imagery for various purposes, including marketing materials, social media posts, brochures, flyers, posters, and more.
  • Web design: Creating visually appealing and user-friendly website designs that align with the brand's identity and purpose.
  • Creating branding guidelines: Deciding how the company should effectively communicate information and messages to a target audience. This can involve using typography, images, colours, and other design elements.
  • Keeping an eye on trends: Staying updated on design trends, techniques, and technologies to ensure that designs remain fresh and relevant.

Creative designer job market and outlook

Since creative designer jobs can fall under a variety of titles, it can be hard to get a clear picture of the job outlook. Narrowing in on graphic design roles shows that the market for creative professionals is tough. If you’ve been working in the field for a while, this likely comes as no surprise. As the number of creative professionals grows, competition for a shrinking number of positions will be fierce. However, there are several steps you can take to set yourself apart from the crowd on your CV.

  1. Define your niche: Evaluate your skills and the type of projects you have experience in. Use your CV summary to concisely state your best attributes and the type of roles you excel in.
  2. Learn new skills: The market has exploded with a variety of new tools and platforms in the past few years. Keep yourself relevant by reading up on the trends and investing in your professional development so that you can add these skills to your CV.
  3. Craft a CV that complements your portfolio: While your portfolio might be the star of your application, don’t assume an employer will learn everything about you from your visual work. Use your CV to explain and expand on your most impressive achievements and give context that the employer might otherwise miss.

How to write a creative designer CV

The very first step in writing your creative designer CV is understanding what sections to include. Your CV should contain the following elements:

  • The CV header
  • The CV summary (aka profile or personal statement)
  • The employment history section
  • The CV skills section
  • The education section

While you are likely accustomed to expressing yourself through visual mediums, the challenge of a creative designer CV is to convey how your artistic vision will benefit the company’s marketing objectives and bottom line. 

Before you begin to write, it’s a good idea to closely read the job description and make note of any specific duties or skills the employer is looking for, along with any mention of their goals for the creative designer role. In such a varied industry, adapting your CV for the specific company and job title is a must. As you begin to adjust your CV to fit the job description, make sure to use the employer’s exact language. This will increase your chances of getting past the automated CV scanners known as ATS in use at many large and medium-sized companies.

Expert tip

Beat the ATS

Applicant tracking systems, also known as ATS, are CV-scanning algorithms built into virtually every online application portal. Unless you send your CV directly to the hiring manager’s email, it’s likely it will be read by an ATS before a human ever lays eyes on it. Here are a few tips to keep that from happening to you:

  • Tailor your CV using the employer’s language from the job description
  • Create a format that’s ATS friendly without over-the-top design flourishes
  • Use standard section headings like “Employment History” or “Education” instead of more creative ones like “Professional Story”

Choosing the best CV format for an creative designer

Creative designers have more options for CV formats than other professionals and can modify the layout of their CV depending on their career journey. If you’ve worked as an employee for most of your career, you may still find the reverse chronological structure to be the best choice. The format focuses on the employment history section where you can list your roles from most recent to oldest. This is the traditional format that most hiring managers for large companies expect to see. It also gives you the best chances of getting past the ATS CV scanners.

However, if you’ve worked in a freelance or independent capacity for some portion of your career, you may opt for a functional or hybrid CV format. The functional structure focuses on your skills right from the start and helps an employer quickly evaluate your areas of expertise. A functional CV may omit the employment history section entirely. Generally speaking, a hybrid model of the functional and reverse chronological format is the best choice for independent professionals since it allows you to both emphasise your special skills while also showing how you’ve applied them in previous jobs.

CV header

The header of your CV is the essential section right at the top of the page. The header labels your document and makes it easy for the hiring manager to get in touch if they’d like to set up an interview. The basic information to include here is your full name, telephone number, and email address, but creative designers should also link to their portfolios, LinkedIn pages, or professional social media accounts. The header is also the place to add a touch of creative flair to your CV by including an accent colour and increasing the font size of your name.

Expert tip

While many professionals are advised not to include a professional headshot on their CVs, creative designers are an exception. Since this job is often based on the character and vision of the individual, a headshot or attractive, professional photo can help the employer connect with the applicant and help the candidate build a stronger personal brand within their application.

CV summary example

The CV summary is the more modern version of a CV objective. The summary serves to call the hiring manager’s attention to your strengths and accomplishments while also adding a touch of personality and creative vision that’s important in this field. These 3-5 sentences should be succinct and offer only the details most relevant to the role you’re applying to. The goal is to encourage the hiring manager to continue reading your CV where they’ll find more details about your previous employment and project outcomes. Check out our adaptable CV example summary below for more ideas on how to get started.

Adaptable summary CV sample

Dynamic, uniquely creative design professional with broad experience spanning design management, visual communications, website development, and print/promotion design. Skilfully translate vision and goals into powerful and attractive designs. 

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The summary is the most freeform part of the CV, so if you need a little inspiration before you start writing, check out our related CV samples including:

Employment history sample

The employment history section of your CV may look different than your peers in other industries, but it’s still an essential component of your CV. If you have previous employment to show, you’ll want to create subheadings with the company name, job title, dates worked and location. Then create 4-5 bullet points that explain your duties, skills, and accomplishments in the role.

If you’ve worked independently for many years, you may choose to organise this section by project. As you create your subheadings, swap out the company name with the project name. Make sure to work the client name into the first bullet point of your entry.

When writing your employment history section, it’s important to begin each bullet point with an action verb that shows how you took initiative and invested yourself in the project. Don’t forget to include numbers, statistics, and other concrete data points to illustrate how your creative direction influenced the company’s goals and bottom line. Check out our employment history CV sample below.

Adaptable employment history CV example

Senior Graphic Designer at Bright Collie, Cardiff, UK 
May 2017 - Present 

  • Employ creativity and technical skills to envision, design, and support launch of high-impact, graphics-driven websites.
  • Supervise and train teams of graphic designers and web developers.

 

Creative Designer at Pureprint Group, Cardiff, UK 
October 2014 - May 2017 

  • Worked with in-house design team to plan and deliver engaging, visually distinctive marketing campaigns.
  • Interfaced with marketing department to gather requirements for campaigns and report on creative project progress.

 

Graphic Designer at Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK 
June 2011 - October 2014 

  • Liaised with design and marketing teams in designing materials for brand revamp, including graphics and logos.
  • Communicated daily with cross-functional departments to ensure brand continuity across all print and digital communications.
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CV skills example

The skills section of your CV is especially important as a creative designer. Whether you choose to place this section first, as a sidebar, or at the bottom of your CV, you’ll want to pay extra attention to the abilities you choose to highlight. Refer to the job description once more and check for any technical abilities (hard skills) the employer is looking for. This could be anything from knowledge of a particular software to budget or project management strategies. 

Then pull out any soft skills (personal qualities) that the employer refers to. Examples include time management, leadership, organisation, and creative vision. Make sure to use the employer’s exact language from the job description as the CV skills section is one of the ATS’ favourite places to look for keywords. Check out our adaptable skills section CV example below.

Adaptable skills section CV example
  • Graphic Design
  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Email Marketing
  • Team Leadership
  • Visual Communications
  • Photo Manipulation
  • Illustration
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Expert tip

Resist the temptation of keyword stuffing

As more job seekers become aware of the capacity of ATS systems to filter out their CVs based on keywords programmed in from the job description, they become tempted to try to “beat the system” by stuffing their CVs with keywords either where they don’t make sense, or as white text in the margins of the CV, not visible to the human eye.

While keyword stuffing might have worked in the past, it only got you as far as the hiring manager who would notice your tricks and immediately move you to the bottom of the pile. Nowadays, ATS algorithms have been designed either to not scan white text or to filter out CVs that are clearly engaging in keyword stuffing. Bottom line? The best option is to create a clean and effective CV drawing from your real experience.

Creative designer CV education example

While creative designers can come from a variety of educational backgrounds, the education section is still an essential component of your CV. Make sure to list your education in reverse chronological order as you did for your work experience. For each subheading, include the degree name, school, dates attended, and location. You can also add in one or two bullet points describing any relevant coursework or academic achievements. This information is particularly relevant for those within their first few years out of university, but as you progress in your career you may choose to omit this information to allow more room for your work experience.

The education section is also a great place to include any information about memberships, professional organisations, leadership roles, or training you’ve completed. You can also mention publications and awards here, or you may create a separate section for this information if you have a lot to show. Below you’ll find our adaptable education CV sample.

Adaptable education CV example

MA, Graphic Communication, University of South Wales, Pontypridd, Wales 
November 2014 - November 2015 

 

BA (Hons), Graphic Communication, Cardiff School of Art & Design, Cardiff, Wales 
September 2007 - May 2011

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CV layout and design

As a creative designer, the layout and design of your CV takes on extra importance as your first visual impression, possibly before the employer even reviews your portfolio. Your header should reflect a balance between your personal style and the look and feel of the company. While you may want to design your CV layout yourself, you should still take care to ensure it is readable and professional. Oftentimes, hiring managers prefer clean and organised CVs to overly flashy or colourful ones. Keeping a balance of white space to text also helps hold the reader’s attention as they evaluate your experience.

Expert tip

Consider using matching cover letter and CV templates to create a cohesive look across your application.

Key takeaways for a creative designer CV

  1. Creative design is a wide-ranging role so it’s important that your CV clarify your exact competences and areas of expertise.
  2. Your professional summary is the place to draw the employer into your CV and encourage them to read the rest of your application.
  3. Make sure to use numbers, statistics, and concrete data to highlight your positive impact on the employer.
  4. Our adaptable creative designer CV sample can help you get started with writing about your experience.
  5. The look and feel of your CV are extra important in the role, but sometimes more is less when it comes to good design for your application.
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