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Interior Design Resume: Sample and Complete Guide [+20 Examples]

Tom Gerencer
Career Writer
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Let me help you write that job-winning interior design resume. Before we start though—

 

Picture this:

 

You just landed a fat job with an interior design firm.

 

It's got great pay. High-profile work. Contacts with some of the top designers in the world.

 

It'll launch your career into the stratosphere.

 

And you owe it to an interior design resume that stood out like a living space by Kelly Wearstler.

 

How can you make this dream come true?

 

Start by showing that fabulous company you're indispensable.

 

This guide will show you:

 

  • An interior design resume example better than 9 out of 10 other resumes.
  • How to write a resume for interior designers that will land more interviews.
  • Tips and examples of how to put skills and achievements on an interior designer resume.
  • How to describe your experience on a resume for interior design to get any job you want.

 

Here's a sample resume for an interior designer made using our resume builder.

 

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 tips and right vs. wrong examples while writing your resume. See +20 resume templates and create your resume here.

 

interior design resume sample

Interior Design Resume Example - See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

  

 

1

What's the Best Resume Format for Interior Design?

 

Interior design is all about aesthetics.

 

Is it a shock then that your interior design resume must have good design?

 

That doesn't mean using flashy fonts or printing it on geometric-patterned paper.

 

It means making it clean and clear, so your best achievements pop like champagne corks.

 

To do that, use the reverse-chronological format. It shows your most recent experience first.

 

Employ professional fonts like Arial and Cambria. Use big headings and negative space to backlight your best features.

 

As a finishing touch, save your interior design resume as a PDF. MS Word file resumes can turn to kitsch in transit. 

 

Pro Tip: Double check the job offer to make sure it doesn't reject interior designer resume PDFs. Some do.

 

Need other ideas to elevate your resume? Check out the template for an interior designer resume up top. Then, see this guide: "3 Resume Formats: How to Choose the Best One [Examples]"

 

Want to make sure your resume will hook every recruiter and get you that interview? Get our free checklist and learn what makes a job-winning resume: 46 Things You Need To Do Before You Send Your Resume.

 

2

How to Write a Resume Summary or Resume Objective

 

The hiring manager at that top design firm? We'll call her Kate.

 

She's got a stack of interior design resumes up to the crown molding.

 

How do you get her to read yours carefully?

 

With a resume objective or a resume summary.

 

A resume summary proves you're capable of Kelly-Hoppen-level feats by showing your experience.

 

A resume objective shows passion instead. Use it if your work history is like a freshly demoed living room.

 

Let's start with resume summaries. Look at these two senior interior design resume samples.

 

Senior Interior Design Resume Examples [Resume Summaries]

 

One of these senior interior designer resume examples works. The other, not so much.

 

wrong

Enthusiastic interior designer with 10+ years experience, seeking new position. Highly skilled in AutoCAD and interior design, plus listening and communication. CIDQ certified.

  

That's not horrible, but can you imagine hiring "not horrible" to design your kitchen space?

 

To wow the hiring manager, do it more like this:

 

right

Award-winning, CIDQ certified interior designer with 10+ years of experience creating crisp interiors for residential and commercial use. Seeking position as lead designer for Diversi-Whitmore. Have created 100+ compelling interiors and won the coveted re-compete for the Radisson Hotels project for Renée Doherty Designs. Excellent listener and communicator, skilled in AutoCAD and the Adobe Suite.

  

Pow. As eye-catching as a den designed by Peter Marino or Philippe Starck.

 

 

If you don't have that much experience, don't worry. Just look at the two entry-level interior designer resume objective examples below.

 

Two Entry-Level Interior Design Resume Objectives

 

The first of these two interior design assistant resume examples doesn't please the eye.

 

wrong

Brand new interior design job candidate. No experience designing professionally yet but my professors said I'm very talented.

 

Ew. Like Otho in Beetlejuice.

 

It's not exactly wrong, because it shows the passion needed in an interior designer resume for freshers.

 

But layer in a few details, and look:

 

right

Interior designer with 2 years of freelancing experience. Created 10 compelling interiors for commercial and residential projects. Completed all projects according to specified time and budget. Winner of the ASID Student Portfolio Award for 2016.

 

Wow. That job candidate is ready to design for Apple or Google. Yet it wasn't hard to build that much experience.

 

She cited school projects and jobs for neighbors and friends, plus volunteer work. That all counts as job experience on an interior designer resume.

 

She also gave a plug to an award she won. If she had publications in design blogs or magazines she could add those too.

 

Pro Tip: Need more detail on how to get experience on an entry-level resume for interior design? You'll strike gold in the next section.

 

Our resume builder (you can create your resume here) will give you tips and examples on how to write your resume professional summary section. Or any section for that matter. You can copy the examples to your resume, customize, and save a lot of time.

 

Inside our resume builder, you’ll find expert tips and examples for your resume summary.

 

Want to write the best interior design resume summary or resume objective you can? See these guides: "How To Write A Resume Summary: 21 Best Examples You Will See" and "+20 Resume Objective Examples - Use Them on Your Resume (Tips)"

  

3

How to Describe Your Interior Design Experience

 

Catastrophe!

 

You didn't get that fantastic interior design job with the Gensler-type company and the Rockwell-Group pay.

 

The worst part? The job went to someone with less experience than you.

 

She just showed it better on her interior designer resume.

 

Don't fall into that trap.

 

Your interior designer resume needs to wow like a SoHo apartment by Victoria Hagan.

 

Add bullet points to each job that fit the job description like tongue in groove.

 

The creative interior design resume examples below will show you how.

 

Senior Interior Design Resume Examples [Experience]

 

These two senior interior designer resume job description samples show the right and wrong way to list experience.

 

right

Renée Doherty Designs

Lead Interior Designer

2012-2017

 

  • Delivered inspired, efficient interior designs for commercial and residential markets. Exceeded specs for hundreds of satisfied clients.
  • Scored the re-compete contract for Radisson Hotels.
  • Eleven of my projects written up favorably in Dezeen Magazine.
  • Created high-quality designs efficiently in a fast-paced environment.

 

Now there's a well-appointed experience section. The hiring manager just gripped the corners of her escritoire.

 

But lose the details, and we're down in the plaid-and-taxidermy zone:

 

wrong

Renée Doherty Designs

Lead Interior Designer

2012-2017

 

  • Delivered multiple interior designs for both commercial and residential markets.
  • Delivered projects to specs.
  • Worked in a fast-paced environment.

 

Yeesh, right? Who put shag carpets on the walls?

 

As with interior design, resume magic happens in the details.

 

But what if you're just starting out and you don't have details?

 

These two entry-level interior designer resume examples will help.

 

How to Write an Entry-Level Resume for Interior Design

 

There are two ways to write an entry-level interior design resume.

 

The first is to say you've got no experience.

 

The second is to do some small, free (or cheap) jobs, and list them on your resume.

 

Then, make them stand out like a set design from Mad Men.

 

Learn how from these two interior design student resume examples.

 

Two Interior Design Resume Samples [No Experience]

 

What's the problem with this first sample interior designer resume?

 

wrong

Student Interior Design Experience: None yet, but I'm very enthusiastic and creative.

  

That's as generic as a Motel 6 room. Everyone will say they're enthusiastic and creative.

 

So, revitalize it with some volunteer work and projects for friends and family. That's what this next entry-level interior design resume does:

 

right

Freelance Interior Designer

2016 - 2017

 

  • Created 10 exciting residential and commercial interiors for clients.
  • Received commendations from every client for professionalism and creativity.
  • Kept all projects under budget and on time.

 

Suddenly you've got a nice patina on your student interior designer resume. And all it took was a few days of pro bono work.

 

You can do a CAD project for a friend in a few hours. Or take on larger volunteer jobs for nonprofits, or cheap work for local residents or businesses.

 

You can even put your own home in your interior design portfolio.

 

Pro Tip: Writing an interior design intern resume? Freelance work and education accomplishments are your best friend. Even a compliment from a professor looks good on an intern resume.

 

Don't bore the manager with cookie cutter language in your interior designer resume. Keep her on the edge of her seat with action words. See our guide: "+80 Examples of Resume Action Words for Every Profession."

 

4

How to Show Certifications on a Resume

 

Without a certification, an interior designer is just a decorator in most states.

 

You worked hard for that title, so make sure they see it on your interior design resume.

 

If you've got a CIDQ certification, put it right after your name, like this:

  

Stephanie Molina, CIDQ

 

Also, add it to the beginning of your resume summary. Then, so it really pops, put it in a special certifications section.

  

Certifications

 

  • CIDQ Interior Design Certification
  • LEED Certification
  • NARI Kitchen and Bath Remodeling Certification

 

Now your certifications are striking and neat, and can't be overlooked.

 

You might have any of these on an interior designer resume:

 

  • CIDQ – The big one. From the Council for Interior Design Qualification. Requires two years of on-the-job training.
  • RIDQC – From the Designer Society of America (DSA)
  • CCIDC – California Council for Interior Design Certification.
  • AAHID – Certified Healthcare Interior Designer
  • LEED – Certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

 

Pro Tip: Don't have a certification yet? Consider getting one. Most require two years of related experience. If you don't have it, seek an interior design apprenticeship or internship.

 

Want to know what else to put on a resume for an interior designer? See this guide: “What To Put On A Resume To Make It Perfect [Tips & Examples]

 

5

Is Your Education Section Outdated? It Might Be

 

A bachelor's degree is all the education needed to be an interior designer.

 

But if you only list it, it's like leaving a big foyer with bare walls and no furniture.

 

Start with:

 

  • College Name and Location.
  • Years in School.
  • Degree.

 

But then add bullet points that fit the job description.

 

Look at the interior designer resume examples below.

 

Interior Design Resume Examples [Education]

 

Here are two creative interior design resume examples. They're for a job description that wants 1. home design, 2. leadership experience, and 3. proven talent.

 

right

BFA in Interior Design

New York Institute of Technology, 2005-2009

 

Excelled in (1) home design coursework.

Winner, (3) ASID Student Portfolio Award 2009.

(2) Student Director, Freedom by Design program, 2008 - 2009.

 

Who's that, Marmol Radziner before he got his first job? It fits the job offer like you mortised it.

 

Now look what happens when we remodel it without details.

 

wrong

BFA in Interior Design

New York Institute of Technology, 2005-2009

 

  • Graduated with a BFA in interior design
  • Completed core interior design coursework.
  • GPA 3.2

 

OK, so it's not all mirrored furniture and wolf skins. That said, our first interior design resume example beats it by a mile of advancing colors.

 

But add the details, and you're back in the Stantec/Callison zone.

 

Pro Tip: Education accomplishments don't have to come from coursework. Even an article in the school paper can invigorate an interior design internship resume.

 

Make your interior design resume education section glow like bollard lights. See our guide: "How to Put Your Education on a Resume [Tips & Examples]"

 

6

How to Put Skills on a Resume for an Interior Design

 

Here's the hiring manager's office.

 

Very chic.

 

In it, amid crisp, tailored office furniture, the manager sits reading a stack of interior design resumes.

 

Why does she keep sighing?

 

Because they all list the same design skills. Like a broken record or a string of prefab kitchens.

 

Then she gets to your designer resume.

 

"Finally," she says.

 

What did you do right?

 

You picked the right professional interior design resume skills. Then you proved them, like this:

 

Interior Design Resume Examples [Skills]

 

The job description calls for skills in residential and commercial design. It also wants AutoCAD skills, and vendor management.

 

So, you put those in your interior designer resume. Plus, you don't bury them in a million unrelated skills.

 

Then you prove them in your bullet points, like this:

  

  • Designed awe-inspiring interiors for residential and commercial clients.
  • Used AutoCAD to create 40+ high-end, compelling interiors.
  • Received 99% positive client feedback in exit interviews.
  • Managed vendors, reps, and subcontractors for 98% on-time delivery.

 

Wow! Your skills tie into your experience like a rabbet joint.

 

Need an interior design resume skills list to get started? Use the one below.

 

List of Skills to Put on an Interior Design Resume

 

Let's get you underway with a list of interior designing skills you can use.

 

Add to it by looking at interior designer job descriptions online.

 

Interior Design Resume Skills

Soft Skills

Hard Skills

Creativity

Color Sense

Communication

Technical Drawing

Listening

Project Management

Detail-Oriented

CAD

Time Management

AutoCAD

Problem Solving

Budgeting

Artistic Eye

Sketching

Interpersonal Skills

Adobe Suite

Adaptability

On-Site Consultations

 

Take the steps above, and your interior designer resume will make you look like Marcel Wanders or Jean-Louis Deniot.

 

Pro Tip: Avoid making a massive word art project out of your skills list. Only list the ones shown in the job description, plus a few more for effect.

 

Need to reimagine your interior designer skills section? See our guide: "+30 Best Examples of What Skills to Put on a Resume (Proven Tips)"

 

7

How to Add Other Sections for an Effective Resume

 

Let's get back to our design firm hiring manager, Kate.

 

She's dredged through 200+ interior designer resumes today. Her eye bags have eye bags.

 

All the resumes show some experience. They all list at least a bachelor's degree.

 

Not all of them show passion.

 

That's where you can stand out.

 

Add special "other" sections to make your resume get oohs and ahs like an investment piece.

 

List conferences, awards, customer kudos, and professional association memberships. You can also throw in volunteer work and publications.

 

These two interior designer examples show how to do it right:

 

Interior Design Resume Examples [Other Sections]

 

This first professional interior design resume sample clashes horribly.

 

wrong
  • I adore French foreign film.
  • I love udon bowls.
  • I'm concerned about the environment.

  

That's the resume equivalent of hound's tooth and doilies.

 

Yes, they're interests, but they don't show a passion for design.

 

Contrast them with this aspirational interior designer resume example:

 

right

Testimonials

 

  • "Stephanie is a joy to work with. Her designs transformed our SoHo apartment from an outdated mess to an utter dream." -Bill and Kathy Kurtz
  • "Radisson is over-the-top happy with the work Stephanie has done for us."

 

Additional Activities

 

  • Scored in the top 1% on the NCIDQ exam.
  • Active member, American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).
  • Panelist, Kitchen & Bath Industry Show 2017.
  • One of my SoHo apartment designs was written up in "Old Brand New."
  • Winner, Contract Magazine 38th Annual Interiors Award.

 

Wow. Timeless. You've just given your resume an Extreme Home Makeover.

 

Testimonials complement a resume for an interior designer. However, since most experts say to leave them off, think hard before you add them.

 

The test score, professional membership, and other details show you've got the qualifications needed to be an interior designer at a high-end firm.

 

Pro Tip: Consider joining the ASID, IIDA, or IDS. They look great on an interior designer resume. The networking opportunities can refresh your career too.

 

Need more tips for "other" sections in a creative interior design resume? See this guide: "+20 Best Examples of Hobbies & Interests To Put on a Resume (5 Tips)"

 

8

Here's the Most Common Myth About Cover Letters

 

"Nobody reads interior design cover letters."

 

That's only true if they're generic.

 

Make yours sit up and get attention. Make it passionate and personal.

 

Use the hiring manager's name.

 

Share a fact that's guaranteed to wow the manager like David Collins. To do that, read the job description and research the company.

 

Last, close it with a call to action.

 

Dear Nancy,

 

I was thrilled to win Contract Magazine's 38th Annual Interiors Award.

 

I've followed your write-ups for years in "Apartment 34," "Wit + Delight," and other publications. In fact, some of your ideas have helped me develop my own style, which served me greatly during the award selection process.

 

I think my 100+ compelling interiors designed for Renée Doherty Designs and other clients also owe a debt to your theories. Likewise my commitment to delivering on time and under budget.

 

The opportunity to work closely with you to wow your clients would be a dream job. Can we schedule a call to discuss creating future award-winning designs for Diversi-Whitmore?

 

Thank you for your time.

 

Best regards,

Stephanie Molina

 

With that interior design covering letter, you could get a job creating the interiors for Karl Lagerfeld's apartment. 

 

Don't have that much history? Are you writing a cover letter for an entry-level interior designer?

 

See if the hiring manager has published articles you can learn from. If she's got a podcast, listen to it. Then, cite it in your cover letter.

 

Pro Tip: After you deliver your interior designer resume and cover letter, follow up. A follow-up email in three days gives your application a second chance to get the interview.

  

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

 

matching set of resume and cover letter

See more templates and create your resume and cover letter here.

  

Want more specific help to write a textured cover letter for your interior design resume? Check out our guide: "How To Write A Cover Letter [Complete Guide With Examples]"

 

9

How to Add Contact Info to Your Resume

 

Here's the single biggest mistake interior designers make on their resumes:

 

They bungle their contact info.

 

Of course they add:

 

  • Full Name
  • Updated Phone Number
  • Professional Email Address

 

Like so:

 

Stephanie Molina, CIDQ, stephaniegmolina@gmail.com, 917-749-5567

 

But for an interior designer, an online portfolio is almost as important as the resume itself.

 

You should at least have a LinkedIn portfolio. A personal website is even better.

 

Need ideas? Search Pinterest for "Interior Design Portfolios." You'll get hundreds of beautiful results.

 

Pro Tip: Your Facebook profile doesn't belong on a resume for interior design. Clean it up anyway, since some employers seek it out. See our guide to cleaning up your online presence for some valuable tips.

 

Want to explore more ideas to make a creative interior design resume that doesn't skimp? See our guide: "How to Make a Resume: A Step-by-Step Guide (+30 Examples)"

 

Key Takeaway

 

This guide shows how to write a resume for interior design that gets the interview. Follow these tips to do it perfectly:

 

  • Tailor every resume you send to match the job description.
  • Don't just list experience and education. Add details to make your interior design resume stand out like a 50/150 paint job.
  • Highlight your CIDQ or other key certification. Put it by your name, in your resume summary, and in a special section on your interior designer resume.
  • Add other sections that list conferences, memberships, and publications. Those things show your passion for interior design.

 

Do you have questions on how to write a great resume for an interior designer? Not sure how to describe your skills or achievements? Give us a shout in the comments! We love to help!

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Author
Tom Gerencer
Tom Gerencer is a full-time writer in the fields of personal finance and careers. He's been sharing expert advice on all stages of the recruitment process at the Zety career website for more than two years.