Writing a Freelance Graphic Designer Resume (With Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 6 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A graphic designer is responsible for blending their artistic skills with computer software skills to create designs for a wide range of audiences. While some graphic designers work in-house in full-time employment, others work in a freelance capacity for many clients. If you're considering moving into a freelance position, understanding how to write a graphic designer resume can help you apply for projects and client work. In this article, we explain why a freelance resume is important, list steps for writing your resume, share some tips to consider and provide a sample resume to help you create your own.

Why is a freelance graphic designer resume important?

A freelance graphic designer resume is a chance to sell yourself, showcasing your qualifications and skills to a potential client or hiring manager. In addition, your resume is an opportunity to show a company how they could benefit from working with you as a graphic designer. Because graphic designers play a creative role, it's essential to consider the design of your resume, incorporating visuals or fonts that can also demonstrate your design skills.

Related: What is a Graphic Designer? Definition and Requirements

6 steps for writing your resume

Consider following these steps when writing your freelance resume:

1. Begin with your contact details

Creating a heading at the top of your resume to include your contact details is an excellent way to begin your resume. Include your first and last name and key contact details, such as your phone number and email address. You can also include your city and state, but it's unnecessary to include your full address. In addition to your contact details, you can also include links to any online portfolios. Linking to additional information can allow a potential client or hiring manager to explore your capabilities and understand your specialisation as a graphic designer.

2. Write your professional summary

Writing a concise, professional summary at the beginning of your resume can be an excellent way to introduce yourself and your skills and qualifications to a prospective client. Aim for around two to three sentences and consider including the essential skills or qualifications the hiring manager is looking for based on the job description provided. In addition, a well-written professional summary can encourage a hiring manager to keep reading your resume to learn more about your experience.

3. Include your work experience

Listing all of your relevant work experience allows you to demonstrate your key strengths, responsibilities and achievements. Start with your current or most recent professional experience when listing details and use reverse chronological order to work your way back. Depending on your experience, it's unnecessary to go back any further than 10 years to ensure your experience is current and relevant. When listing your experience, start with the job title, name of your employer or client and employment dates.

Adding a bullet list of your primary responsibilities or achievements can allow a hiring manager to see if you're capable of fulfilling the role. Consider using quantifiable data in your achievements to demonstrate your value. For example, for a graphic designer, this may include a statement like developing the artwork for a new brand campaign that resulted in a 10% uplift in brand recognition with non-clients.

4. Highlight your skills

Creating a separate list that includes soft and hard skills can make it easy for a hiring manager to see if you've got the skills they're looking for. Some soft skills for a freelance graphic designer include communication or attention to detail. Hard skills apply to the specific software or programs you regularly use as part of your role. So, if the job description asks you to know how to use a particular program, aim to include this within your skills section.

5. Add your education or qualifications

Your education or qualifications can show a hiring manager you have the necessary training and knowledge for the role. Like your work experience section, list the details in reverse chronological order. Start with your most recent education, naming the course and the institution you attended. Also, include the date you completed the course and use bullet points if you think it's beneficial to list any critical skills or knowledge gained.

In addition to your education, if you've undertaken any specific software training, you can also include this here. Like your education, list the certification details in reverse chronological order. You can either include these with your education based on completion date or create a sub-section of your education focusing on certifications or 'other qualifications'.

Related: Essential Certificates in Graphic Design for Career Growth

6. Consider featuring your achievements separately

If you've worked on any significant campaigns that demonstrate your skills or creativity, consider including a separate achievements section on your resume. You could also include any awards you may have won. If you've received any positive testimonials from clients, you could also consider incorporating these here.

Related: How to List Achievements on Your Resume (With Examples and Tips)

Tips for writing your resume

Here are some tips to consider when writing your resume:

Review the job post

Make sure you thoroughly read the job posting. Check the description to ensure you have the skills for the role. Look out for any qualifications the employer is looking for and highlight these on your resume. If the client is looking for a specific turnaround time for their work, ensure you can meet this and include these details in your application. It's also important to check if there are any directions or steps to complete when applying for the post, for example, converting your resume to PDF before sending. This is a great way to demonstrate your attention to detail.

Related: Digital Design Job Description And Related Jobs

Consider your format

While there are many free online resume templates, as a graphic designer, you may wish to design your own to showcase your design skills. You can use your resume design to demonstrate your abilities, including incorporating different design elements such as colour, graphs or symbols where appropriate. This can be a great way to create a unique resume that gets a hiring manager's attention. Just remember, your resume is also a professional document, so being easy to read and well organised is important.

Research the client

Doing your research on a potential client is essential to help understand the company culture, expectations of freelance employees and what it's like to work there. Contact your network to see if anyone can share any information or offer any guidance. Searching online can also be worthwhile. Visit the company website to uncover its mission and goals and explore customer feedback to understand any challenges it has in engaging with its customers. Knowing this information can be helpful when writing your resume and cover letter to help tailor your response.

Proofread your resume

Once you write your resume, it's essential to review your work just like you would for any other project. Check the formatting is consistent and that there are no typos or spelling mistakes. Taking a break and then reading through your resume can be an excellent way to ensure your resume reads well. You can also ask someone you trust to proofread it for you to get a second opinion.

Related: How to Write a Graphic Design Cover Letter (With Example)

Freelance graphic designer resume example

Here's an example that could be helpful when you're writing your own freelance graphic designer resume:

Sarah Jennings
Geelong, Vic | 317-555-7777 | sjennings@emailaddress.com | www.meetsarahjennings.com

Professional Summary
Experienced graphic designer with over eight years of corporate experience seeking additional freelance projects. Passionate about creating powerful brand stories that meet clients' targets and inspire customers to take action. Areas of specialisation include brand refreshes and redesign, brand campaigns, social media graphics and direct mail campaigns (digital and print).

Professional Experience
Senior graphic designer
Goodrum Marketing Group, Geelong, Vic, March 2017–current

  • work with 15 ongoing clients and regularly meet with each to understand design goals, scopes of work, budgets and time frames

  • lead a team of six graphic designers to develop engaging designs for brand logos, social media, flyers, posters and web page layouts, guiding various large-scale projects

  • design new visual elements for three national brands as part of their brand refresh

  • train junior graphic designers on various creative suites and programs

  • regularly pitch design concepts to new and potential clients, identifying their needs and making recommendations aligned to their business goals

Graphic designer
Collingwood Insurance, Melbourne, Vic, July 2015–February 2017

  • designed insurance benefit guides for insurance products based on client feedback to ensure guides were engaging and guarantee information was easy to find. Updated guides received an increased positivity rating of 15% over three months

  • updated website graphics to incorporate more infographics, allowing prospective clients to interact with the site better

  • developed a new brand for the group, resulting in a 10% awareness increase with non-members over six months

Graphic designer
Geelong Council, Geelong, Vic, May 2014–June 2015

  • overhauled social media graphics increasing engagement by 15% over six months

  • collaboratively worked on a redesign of the brand, including creating a new logo and updating all changes across online and offline channels

  • designed monthly newsletters distributed to residents of the Greater Geelong area

Skills

Various creative suites | Project management | Client relations | Attention to detail | Communication | Animation | Proofreading | Customer service

Education
Bachelor of Creative and Interactive Media
East Geelong University, 2014

Key achievements

  • Goodrum Marketing Group's Employee of the Year 2019

  • Collingwood Insurance Best Brand Redesign 2016

  • Victorian Advertising Awards' Best Branding Campaign 2015


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