Resume examples can serve as road maps for job seekers, giving them insight into how close they are to their desired next step–and where they stand compared to the competition. Looking at the resumes of others in the same field can clarify which skills and technologies are needed to be considered current, and which sorts of accomplishments are needed to reach the next level. Still, job seekers should remember that targeted resumes are based on individual job postings. Resume examples can be good for inspiration and insight, but job seekers shouldn’t base their resumes on them.

The right resume keywords are crucial to getting a resume noticed–by an applicant tracking system and by a human. Companies hire when they have needs to fill, and job seekers can demonstrate their capability of fulfilling those needs by echoing relevant keywords from the job listing.

The word cloud above was generated using the text from a dozen job postings for graphic designers. The larger the word, the more times it appeared.

Graphic design resume keywords

  • Adobe
  • Agency
  • Artist
  • Brand
  • Client
  • Color
  • Concepts
  • Creative
  • Design
  • Detail
  • Digital
  • Graphic
  • Illustrator
  • InDesign
  • Layout
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Photoshop
  • Portfolio
  • Print
  • Production
  • Strategy
  • Typography
  • Visual
  • Web

Graphic design portfolio

Graphic design requires talent not just with design but with a range of tools and technologies. Even gifted artists have to stay up-to-date on software, trends, and marketing and advertising practices.

Having a strong portfolio is critical. There are a number of free portfolio sites available online where you can display your work. (Creative staffing agency Vitamin T has some recommendations here.) You can also make your own site, of course. And don’t forget that you can add work samples to your LinkedIn profile.

Tailoring your resume

Tailoring your resume for each individual job application isn’t as time-consuming process as it might seem–especially since it pays off with far better results than submitting the same generic resume everywhere. To speed up the resume targeting process, try using a career management document.

To see how well you’ve targeted your resume for a particular job, try Jobscan. Simply paste in the text of your resume and the job description, and Jobscan will give you feedback about what you’ve done well and where you can improve. (For example: How is your resume’s word count?) Resume examples can be great for inspiration, but they don’t compare to personalized feedback.

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Trista Winnie

Trista Winnie has been writing and editing professionally for nearly a decade, primarily covering the job search, investing, engineering, and health.

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