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Written by Emily StokerEmily Stoker

Illustrator CV Examples & UK Templates

As an illustrator, you’re used to packing complex concepts into an easily digestible image. Resume.io is here to help you to harness those skills and turn your expertise into a job-winning CV for your next illustrator job application!
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Illustrator CV Examples & UK Templates
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As an illustrator, you have an innate ability to convey stories, emotions, and ideas through our visual creations. So, if your next project is securing a new gig as an illustrator, it’s time to take those skills and put them towards your next masterpiece: a job-winning illustrator CV.

Luckily for you, Resume.io is here to help. As a top resource for job seekers, our library of CV examples covers dozens of professions including creative careers like yours. So, we know something about communicating your professional worth through your writing.

Expert tip

If you are just starting out as an illustrator, the Association of Illustrators may provide more resources and advice to help you to get your footing in your new career.

This CV guide, along with the corresponding CV example will cover the following topics:

  • What does an illustrator do?
  • How to write an illustrator CV (tips and tricks)
  • The best format for an illustrator CV
  • Advice on each section of your CV (summary, work history, education, skills)
  • Professional CV layout and design hints.
Frame with woman and resume
Frame with woman and resume

What does an illustrator do?

As an illustrator, you play an important part in informing people’s lives. The visuals you create to accompany texts could be for children’s books, articles or textbooks, or even important reports. There are many sectors that need concepts made more accessible or entertaining through illustrations.

While opportunities might be most obvious in publishing, illustrators also work in marketing and entertainment. The skills of an illustrator could come in handy for anything from advertising campaigns to storyboards and concept designs for visual media like films. There are other opportunities that fall outside these broad areas, such as fashion illustration, greeting card illustration, and courtroom sketching.

Statistical insight

How much do illustrators earn?

According to the National Careers Service, beginner illustrators could be looking at a modest salary of £18,000. However, this could increase to around £40,000 depending on your sector and level of experience.

Many illustrators possess skills in a range of creative pursuits. If you need to communicate more than one skill-set for the job that you are applying for, consider checking out our:

How to write an illustrator CV

Before anything else, make sure your illustrator CV contains 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

The rest of this guide will focus on how to fill out each section, depending on what the role you’re applying for requires.

Expert tip

Employee vs freelance?

You may be writing your CV for a potential employer or for a potential client. However, if you do want to try out your hand at that freelance life, Writers and Artists is another resource that helps artists, including illustrators, to get started in their freelance career. 

Choosing the best CV format for an illustrator

The best CV format for a creative professional such as an illustrator is usually the reverse chronological format. This prioritises the employment history section. Here you can prove that you have experience in the type of work your client or prospect employer is looking for. 

Functional CV samples are also an option. This CV format prioritises the skills format and is often chosen by entry-level candidates. However, most hiring managers would prefer to see a portfolio which shows your skills in action accompanied by a traditional CV.

If you are new to the workforce, remember to milk any bits of previous professional experience you have and always relate it to the job you are applying for. The CV sample below will give you a starting point that you can adapt based on where you are in your illustrator career.

CV summary example: outline your best bits

A picture is worth a thousand words, but in your CV summary you have just three or four sentences to capture the hiring manager’s attention. Prioritise your most impressive and relevant achievements that make you qualified for this role in particular.

Our CV sample summary below  will give you a starting point to craft your own. This is just one way you can communicate your best bits in such a short space. 

Adaptable summary CV sample

Highly-creative and skilled Illustrator with advanced expertise in various digital and hand illustration tools. Wide-ranging background in creating illustrations for multimedia, web and print design. Experience designing and coordinating presentations containing audience-appropriate illustrations. 


Employment history sample: illustrate your experience

Your illustrator CV should include a list of your most recently held job positions with the most recent at the top. Create a subheading for each role containing your position, the organisation you worked at, dates of employment, and location.

Underneath this subheading include several bullet points highlighting your key achievements and responsibilities during your time in the role.

Adaptable employment history CV example

Lead Artist at Sonic Mobile, Harrow 
July 2018 - Present 

  • Oversee small, agile art team in creating game art for popular mobile games.
  • Work closely with art, design and code teams in planning designs for game characters, environments and visual features.
  • Develop high-quality art for games.


Senior Character Artist at FusePump, Liverpool 
August 2014 - July 2018 

  • Led world-class team of illustrators in producing high-quality character models for long-running independent game studio.
  • Consistently delivered the highest quality work possible, often surpassing limitations set by time and technical constraints.
  • Swiftly troubleshot any creative or technical art issues.


Presentation Designer at Career Legal Ltd, London 
March 2011 - May 2014 

  • Designed and developed legal briefs and high-impact presentations consisting of illustrations, graphs, charts/tables and scanned images.
  • Provided support to graphic design team on various design projects.
  • Coordinated setup and delivery of presentations including installation and maintenance of audiovisual equipment.
Expert tip

To portfolio or not to portfolio?

If your illustrator CV is the written narrative of your job application, your portfolio is quite literally the illustration of your skills and experience.

A portfolio is a must-have for illustrators at any level. So, consider including an easy-to-find link to an online portfolio at the top of your CV. Online platforms like Wix or Notion are great places to create a free visual portfolio.

CV skills example: the finishing touch

Your ability to illustrate is a given. However, you should still list the most relevant skills for the job in this section in order of importance. Read the job description for inspiration and mimic the keywords you see written there. 

For instance, the names of illustrator software you are proficient in. See our CV sample content below for ideas.

Adaptable skills section CV example
  • Digital Illustration
  • Hand Drawing / Illustration
  • Graphic Design
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • 2D Art / 3D Art
  • Video Game Illustration
  • Creative Team Leadership
  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Presentation Design
  • Client Relations
Expert tip

Soft skills vs hard skills

While your technical skills (also known as hard skills) as an illustrator might help you to get the job, your soft skills will help you to keep it. Make sure you highlight and show your soft skills such as communication capabilities and problem-solving skills in your CV, too.

Illustrator CV education example

Perhaps you have an art foundation degree, a bachelor’s in illustration. Or perhaps you learnt your craft from the school of hard knocks. Regardless, this section should include your most recent education. 

List the name of the qualification, the institution you studied at, dates attended, and location. The CV sample content below will show you how it’s done.

Adaptable education CV example

MA Illustration at Design School, London College of Communication, London 
November 2008 - November 2010


BA Graphic Design at Design School, London College of Communication, London 
September 2007 - May 2011


CV layout and design: you know the drill

As if you needed reminding, visual communication counts. On your CV it’s twice as important. Make sure the document  is laid out clearly with a legible font and simple colour scheme. 

You may be a creative, but even for the most creative of jobs your CV is still a professional document. As an illustrator you might be susceptible to perfectionism on this point. To avoid that perfectionist procrastination, consider using one of our field-tested CV templates and take off some of the pressure.

Key takeaways for an illustrator CV

  1. Even for creatives such as an illustrator, the best CV format is reverse chronological.
  2. Your illustrator portfolio is non-negotiable: make sure you link it at the top of your CV!
  3. Make sure your CV is laid out clearly with a legible font and simple colour scheme for optimum visual communication.
  4. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to design, go ahead and use a template! That way, you can focus on the content of your CV.
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