If you seek a creative role, your resume should provide an overview of your job history and key qualifications, such as proficiency in certain design software, graphic design, digital media, content writing, marketing, or other related skills. Review our list of strategies and examples to create an effective resume that will get you noticed.
Before you begin working on your creative resume, read through some job descriptions to get a sense of the qualifications and skills employers want candidates to have. That will help you as you brainstorm which achievements from past jobs will be the most impactful to include.
Once you’re ready to start writing, make sure your creative resume has the following sections:
Provide your full name, phone number, email address, city/state, and a link to your online professional profile and website (if applicable). Be sure your contact information is correct so you can be reached for an interview.
LinkedIn | Portfolio
City, State Abbreviation Zip Code
Start your resume off with two to three sentences that summarize your job history, key qualifications, and top creative projects. The idea is to engage the resume reader and capture their attention. It’s also a good strategy to incorporate key phrases from the job description to illustrate you’re a good fit for the role.
A digital creative director with six years of experience specializing in UX design, brand graphics, and social media asset creation. A proven track record of designing engaging newsletters, social graphics, and other brand assets for health care clients to increase user engagement. Adept at collaborating with key organization stakeholders in marketing, sales, site development, and leading large-scale branding initiatives.
Including a key skills section allows recruiters who may be quickly scanning resumes to see what you have to offer. Listing relevant skills for creative roles can also help your resume get past Applicant Tracking Systems and onto human reviewers. Include both hard skills, such as proficiency with design software, as well as soft skills, like communication and attention to detail.
|User experience (UX) design
Be strategic when choosing the words you use in the professional experience section of your creative resume. Descriptive action verbs can help enhance the job duties and career accomplishments you’ve achieved and help your resume pop. Inject some imaginative content into your creative resume with words like:
A professional experience section should include your recent job history. For each job entry, list the job title, employer, and dates of employment, followed by bullet points that describe your contributions to the organization. For creative roles, you may also have done freelance work, so you can list some of your major clients and projects. Or if you worked for just one or two clients, you could treat them like job entries (just noting you were freelance).
Digital Creative Director, Enterprise Healthcare, Atlanta, GA
August 2021 – present
Associate Creative Director, Blue Eagle Marketing, Atlanta, GA
February 2017 – June 2021
Organizations are interested in the results and value your work can provide, but it’s not always easy to quantify creative work. You could think about your productivity and output, but even better, did your creative asset increase traffic? Was it shared on social media platforms? Did it help generate more clicks from an email? Was your design recognized with an industry award?
As a creative person, you likely have design templates that you use and change as needed according to project specifications. That’s the same way to think of your resume. Carefully read each job posting and then tweak your resume so that it aligns with each specific role. You can even use some of the key phrases used in the job description to capture the hiring manager’s attention.
If you’re transitioning into a new industry or entering the workforce for the first time, a combination format may be the more appropriate option. This format allows you to feature pertinent skills, certifications, and academic achievements above your professional experience, which can help you stand out even if you lack a robust work history.
Knowing what to put in your resume can be challenging if you are seeking your first job in the creative field. However, you may have valuable skills and knowledge from your education and other projects you’ve worked on.
Some things you can include to showcase your creative skills include internships, volunteer work, or academic portfolios and projects. If you did odd jobs, you can also include those since some soft skills are transferable and universally sought after, such as working within teams, communication, and others.
With creative jobs, it’s often your portfolio rather than your educational attainment that will get you noticed. However, always list your relevant degrees or certifications to show you have a strong foundation in your creative craft. Include the degree or certificate name, the name of the school, and the dates of completion.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Marketing, August 2012 – May 2016
Emory University, Atlanta, GA