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Illustrator Resume: Examples and Guide [10+ Tips]

Illustrator Resume: Examples and Guide [10+ Tips]

Your skill with a tablet is beyond compare, and you’d give Maurice Sendak a run for their money. Now prove it with a clean illustrator resume that beautifies your job search.

Thousands of illustrators are looking for work right now. That means your illustrator resume has to dazzle like H. R. Geiger.

 

But—

 

You can’t do it with a colorfully-designed resume. So how will you show your illustrator skills could rival Kara Walker’s or Arthur Jafa’s?

 

Let me sketch the answer.

 

It’s all about your illustrator achievements. What have you done right? Have you worked with big-name clients? Won a World Illustration Award? Created original art for six children’s books or four medical manuals? List the right artwork accomplishments in the right order and you’ll be in the black soon.

 

Ready? Let’s get you a gorgeous resume for illustrator jobs.

 

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

 

illustrator resume templates

Illustrator resume made with our builder—See more templates and create your resume here.

 

Want more creative resume examples? Here you go:

 

Sample Illustrator Resume Template

 

Meg Gregg

megzgregg@gmail.com

916-524-6833

linkedin.com/in/megzgregg

megzgregg.com

 

Resume Summary

 

Accomplished illustrator with 4+ years of experience creating intuitive designs for medical manuals. Seeking to delight clients at the Glaring Beagle Agency. At 17 Pork Chops Inc., created 1,000+ medical manual illustrations and received the internal Creative Juices Award 2 years in a row.

 

Work Experience

 

Illustrator

17 Pork Chops, Inc., Sacramento, CA

May 2017 – June 2020

  • Developed over 1,000 insightful illustrations for medical manuals.
  • Built relationships with 10+ stakeholders at clients like Merck, Medtronic, and Siemens to plan and execute on high-volume projects.
  • Received the internal Creative Juices award in 2018 and 2019.
  • Created illustrations and graphic designs for 30+ cross-platform client campaigns, including TV, web, and print.
  • Illustrated an educational poster for the American Heart Association that was shortlisted for a GOV Design Award.

 

Graphic Designer

D.P. Rice Agency, Sacramento, CA

June 2016 – March 2017

  • Illustrated a 10-page educational comic book for The American Lung Association.
  • Developed 250+ graphic design projects, including catalogues and brochures.
  • Contributed ideas that slashed client costs by 17% in 14 months.
  • Developed images for a client site that helped win a 2017 Shopify Design Award.

 

Education

 

Sacramento City College

Bachelor of Science in Illustration and Design

Graduated: June 2015

  • Member, Student Design Association
  • Received the Charles L. Barstow Scholarship for Artistic Excellence

 

Awards

 

  • Recipient, 2019 American Graphic Design Award
  • Recipient, 2018 99Designs Graphic Design Award

 

Core Skills

 

  • Hard Skills: Adobe Illustrator and CS, InDesign, Acrobat, HTML/CSS
  • Soft Skills: interpersonal skills, collaboration, communication, efficiency

 

Additional Achievements

 

  • Adobe Certified Expert
  • Member, Society of Illustrators

 

Here’s how to write your own job-winning illustrator resume:

 

1. Format Your Illustrator Resume Correctly

 

You already know how to make things stand out visually. To stand out in your job search, pay attention to resume layouts. Your outline matters, but so do your margins, fonts, line-spacing, and all the other fine details. A clean resume format is a clue to the hiring manager that you’re no scribbler.

 

For a Klimt-level resume:

  • Start your reverse-chronological resume by listing the last place you worked. Then work your way back to your earliest job. If you’re writing a freelance illustrator resume, you might want to try a skills-based resume instead.
  • Add a header up top with your contact info. Resume headers don’t need a physical address, so don’t write an address on your resume.
  • Do list your city, email address, phone number, and LinkedIn handle. Add a link to your online portfolio if you have one—and have one!
  • The right font size for resumes is 10 to 12 points, and choose one that’s easily readable like Arial, Cambria, or Calibri. Don’t get fancy!
  • Looking at resume templates is a great way to get inspiration. Start with a creative resume template, then modify it to suit your style to save time.
  • How long should your resume be for illustrator jobs? One page is perfect. Can’t fit all your accomplishments? Just be representative.
  • The best name for a resume file is a simple “Name - Job Title - Resume.pdf”
  • Save the file as a resume PDF. PDFs are ATS-readable and their layouts stay perfect.

Read more: Best Resume Types

2. Drop Jaws with a Resume Profile Statement

 

Why do you need a resume profile? Because you want to get hired. See, hiring pros won’t carefully read every word you write. They’ll glance around like an adolescent at a Banksy show. To slow their roll, write an introduction for your resume that gets them interested in your skills.

 

It’s a one-paragraph elevator pitch for a job that summarizes your best lines.

 

If you’re making a resume for your first job, make it an objective for a resume. Those focus on what you want to help your next employer do.

 

Did you get your start before lithography? If so, write a summary for your resume. Add the years you’ve been an illustrator and the best parts of your resume.

Read more: How to Make a Resume Stand Out

3. Tailor-fit Your Illustrator Job Description

 

This is going to help you get so many more job offers. Don’t write a vanilla illustrator resume with bland accomplishments. Knowing how to tailor your resume sounds daunting, but it’s easy, fun, and soooo worth it.

 

To customize the work experience description on your resume:

  • Use the job titles in the job ad. (If they’re looking for a medical manual illustrator, don’t say you were a medical publication illustrator.)
  • Add your former employer’s business name, where they’re located and your working years and months.
  • The magic happens in your bullet points. Write 3 to 6 of them and don’t just state your job duties. That’s dull and won’t get job offers.
  • List achievements for a resume that show how you pushed company metrics in the right direction.
  • Tip: “responsible for” and “handled” are terrible words to use on a resume. Better ones are developed, created, and collaborated with.

Job gap? See our guide: Is It OK Not to Include Dates on Your Resume? Date Format

4. Ink In Your Illustrator Resume Education Section 

 

Can you list education on a resume the way it will get you hired? Yes, but only if you do it the right way. You could just list your school, degree, and graduation date. Or you could go the extra millimeter and add proof of your art and soft skills. Guess which method gets more jobs?

 

Follow these resume tips:

Read more: How to List a Minor and Major on a Resume

5. Prove the Right Illustrator Skills

 

I know you’re itching to show your skill set on your resume, but pump the brakes. Too many job seekers fudge this one. You can’t just add a fat list of illustrator skills and expect to get hired. For a recruiter- and ATS-friendly resume you need the key skills from the job ad as resume keywords. Then go back and prove them in your work history.

 

Here's how to add illustrator skills to a resume:

  • Seek the right skills in the job posting.
  • Know the difference between hard skills vs soft skills and make sure to list both.
  • Circle back to your work history and prove you’ve used the skills you list. How? With statements like, “Used Adobe Illustrator to create 500+ client designs.”

 

Illustrator Resume Skills

 

Pro Tip: There are less than 50,000 illustrator jobs in the U.S. and they’re not making any new ones. Spend the time to target your resume even if it feels slow.

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

6. Add Highlights to Your Illustrator Resume

 

Even if you’ve got the right illustrator skills and you’ve proven them, you’re not guaranteed a job. Show the employer who you really are with added sections in your resume.

 

Here’s how to make your resume magnetic:

Read more: What Are the Important Sections in a Resume?

7. Write a Cover Letter for Your Illustrator Resume

 

Is a cover letter important for illustrator resumes? Always. Resume cover pages can show things that aren’t on your resume. More importantly, they prove you’re not just using LinkedIn’s auto-apply feature to spray resumes at job openings you don’t fit.

 

But—

 

Make your cover letter structure count:

  • How to start a cover letter. Get attention quick with a grabby opening line. In your first or second sentence, mention their job opening by name.
  • Highlight a couple of your best illustrator achievements in paragraph two.
  • How to end a cover letter: Ask if they’d like to meet. Sound too bold? Not if you suggest discussing how your specific illustrator skills can help them.

 

How long must a cover letter be? Stick to a 3 paragraph minimum and a max of 5 paragraphs. A single page is best.

Read more: Short Cover Letter Examples

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

 

matching set of resume and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

That’s it!

 

That’s everything you need to write a crisply-drawn illustrator resume!

 

Thanks for reading! Do you have nagging questions on how to write an illustrator resume that holds the eye? Give us a shout in the comments section!

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Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Tom Gerencer, a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), is a career expert who has published over 200 in-depth articles on Zety. Since 2016, he has been sharing advice on all things recruitment from writing winning resumes and cover letters to getting a promotion.
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