Working as a freelancer can provide many benefits, but with the number of individuals hopping into the industry today, it’s vital that you exert effort to make your resume stand out. This remains true for graphic designers as the nature of their jobs allows and encourages creativity in their work.
The quality of the resume you submit to potential clients can make or break your chances of securing a freelance job as a graphic designer as it plays a vital role in your employment in the design industry. Essentially, your resume gives employers an idea of what your skills are and how these can contribute to their companies.
For you to impress potential employers, and finally enter the freelancing industry as a graphic designer, improve your resume by following these tips:
1. Don’t Go Overboard
Naturally, graphic designers are creative individuals who are expected to think out of the box to provide their clients with great concepts and outputs. Creativity is also essential to ensure that their works are original.
But regardless of how creative you are as a designer, you shouldn’t go overboard when it comes to crafting your resume. Regardless of how tempting it is, you shouldn’t heavily design your resume with colourful fonts and cursive texts, as this will only make the document look cluttered. The appearance of your resume can affect an employer’s decision to hire you—and if it looks cluttered, they’ll likely move on to another applicant who submits a clearer, more streamlined resume.
Instead of using your resume to impress employers, keep it simple and informative. A clean resume can leave a lasting impression among employers, increasing your chances of becoming a freelancer. Utilize clear, readable fonts and avoid placing too many unnecessary elements. If you can’t help but put colours into your resume, choose only two, at best three, that is not too vibrant and are easy on the eyes.
2. Link an Online Portfolio Your Work
The content of your resume plays a vital role in your chances of landing freelance work, but this doesn’t mean that you should incorporate your work in this document and submit a ten-page long resume to employers.
If you want to show off your skills as a graphic designer, link to an online portfolio when submitting resumes online. Doing this is the best way to prove to employers that you’re capable of doing whatever skills you’ve indicated in your resume.
When linking an online portfolio or attaching samples of your work as a graphic designer, only include those that are related to the position you’re applying for and make sure they’re updated. Sending samples that are irrelevant to the position you’re applying for will only discourage employers from hiring you.
3. Use the Right Keywords
Employers who are looking for freelancers will maximize applicant tracking systems to make it easier for them to scan resumes and narrow down their options. This is one of the reasons why you should pay attention to the keywords you use in your resume because this can impact your visibility in these tracking systems.
To determine which keywords to include in your resume, look at the job posting published by employers and take note of what they’re looking for. Are they looking forward to adding a graphic designer who has experience in using Adobe and After Effects? Then add these keywords to your resume. Adding your skills in branding, colour theory, typography, and user interface on your resume will also make your application stand out in these tracking systems.
There are countless keywords pertaining to graphic design, but keep in mind that you shouldn’t stuff your resume with all of these. Only include keywords that are relevant to your skills that also match what the employer is looking for.
4. Highlight Relevant Technical Skills
Employers who have been recruiting graphic designers for years will likely know what to expect the moment they see resumes from applicants. More often than not, they already know that most applicants will indicate their experience in InDesign or Illustrator. There’s nothing wrong if you include these in yours too, but you shouldn’t stop there.
Another way to improve your resume when looking for freelance work is to highlight your relevant technical skills. Aside from including your experience and skills in using countless design tools, show your employer that you’re also knowledgeable in marketing tools. Other skills, like video editing and animation, should also be included in your resume as these can increase your value as a graphic designer.
To make it easier for employers to assess your technical skills, categorize this section into several buckets, such as marketing, coding languages, and design. You can also indicate your level of expertise for these skills to make it easier for employers to gauge your suitability for the job.
5. Master the Fundamentals of Resume Writing
Regardless of the position and employer, you’re eyeing to apply to, graphic designers still have to follow the fundamentals of resume writing. These are essential to ensure that you’ll end up submitting a document that highlights your skills in the most professional way possible.
For you to improve your resume when applying for freelance work as a graphic designer, take note of the following:
- Condense Your Resume into One Page
Employers don’t have the luxury of time, which is why you should, as much as possible, submit a one-page resume. Remember, your resume should be a snapshot of your skills and experience as a graphic designer and not a detailed list of everything you’ve accomplished in life.
- Double-check Your Work
Proofread and edit your resume at least twice to ensure that you’ll submit a document free from misspelt words and vague employment dates.
- Organize Chronologically
When including your history of graphic design works, it’s better to list them down from the most recent to the oldest. Don’t forget to include the names of the companies you worked for, the dates or durations of those jobs, as well as a short description of the scope of your job.
It’ll be Worth it
Your resume is important for many different reasons, but keep in mind that this isn’t your portfolio. Your resume isn’t a means to showcase your works (that’s what your portfolio is for); instead, it’s meant to highlight the experience and skills you can bring to the company.
Although it can be tedious to improve your resume, the efforts you’ll put into the process will be worth it as this document can become your ticket to finally land a job in the freelancing industry as a graphic designer!