5 steps for creating the perfect design CV

Landing a design job is about so much more than fitting the job description. You need to be able to succinctly present your experience, show your ability, charm your interviewers and highlight your potential.

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The first step in this process is creating a CV that captures the attention of prospective employers and puts your best foot forward in the process. Bear in mind that it won’t always be just the creative director or design lead that’s reviewing your CV but a member of the HR team too.

So what do you need to do?

Sell yourself

Your CV or online application is not the place to be modest. You need to talk up your achievements in a way that’s impressive while still being accurate. Don’t misrepresent your role in projects or teams in an attempt to sound more authoritative but don’t underplay your value either. If you single handedly developed the concept for a new brand logo, shout about it. Led your team to a fruitful and exciting new account? Let your future employers know!

Watch the details

Be meticulous. All dates, company names, project titles and referees need to be correct and verifiable. Consider your kerning and use of fonts and colour too. You want the information to be as legible and well presented as possible.

In addition, ensure you’re not including unnecessary or dull detail in your CV. Unless it’s of some significance that you worked in retail for 6 months or that you were awarded ‘most promising dancer’ at your college society awards in 2010, leave it out.

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Stand out

Despite working in such a creative industry it can be difficult to stand out when it comes to crafting your CV. You need to inject some personality into your application and set yourself apart from candidates with similar qualifications and experience. This might be by focusing on one particularly interesting project you were a part of where you really challenged convention, it might be by adding a memorable (but still relevant) hobby to your CV, or it might be by adding bold and arresting colours and design elements that are reflective of your style.

On that note, avoid using set CV templates, you want to show potential employers that you’re creative, you won’t achieve that by using someone else’s design.

Always link to your portfolio

This is a no-brainer but be sure that you have links to your online portfolio and that it’s up-to-date. Double check all the details and ensure that your portfolio highlights a consistent quality throughout. In your CV highlight specific sections of your portfolio that you feel best represent your ability to do the job or best fit with the company ethos to which you’re applying.

Focus on your software skills

Highlighting your tech skills and preferences is an important element of your CV. Include the software packages you most commonly use (or prefer to use) and your level of experience with each. Don’t be afraid to show your passion - as difficult as that can be to get across on a piece of paper - hiring managers want to see you’re excited by your work and that you’re capable of bringing a new energy to the role.

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