Build Your Personal Brand With a Creative Director Resume
The time has come to start looking for your next creative director job. To land interviews, you'll need a polished creative director resume. In this article, we’ll show you exactly how to build a resume that will earn you countless interviews with your most sought after companies.
Resume writing may seem intimidating, but we’ll give you a step-by-step process you can follow to create a resume that hiring managers will love. Our resume builder has helped more than 100,000 people land jobs at companies like Google, Dropbox, and Square.
Now, let's start building a resume that will help you stand out from every other candidate.
What Your Creative Director Resume Should Communicate
Hiring managers want a creative director they can trust to bring ideas to life. Your resume needs to convey you’re an innovative designer, an organized project manager, and someone who can effectively manage client relationships.
1. You’re an Innovative Designer
This may be the single most important criteria a hiring manager is looking for in a creative director. They want to know if you’re an innovative designer who can create high-quality work and lead the creative direction of their brand.
The role of your resume is to explain your responsibilities and achievements throughout your career. It tells your professional story and builds trust with hiring managers. However, your resume is only one piece of the puzzle.
You’ll need to supplement your resume with a polished portfolio that shows your work in action. Your creative output is incredibly important to recruiters. Your resume needs to engage hiring managers and encourage them to look at your creative portfolio.
2. You’re an Organized Project Manager
You can be a creative visionary who produces award-winning work, but you won’t grab the attention of hiring managers unless you can effectively manage projects and lead creative teams.
Your resume needs to convey you can successfully produce deliverables on schedule and per the client’s requests. Hiring managers will want to know if you can lead projects, overcome roadblocks, and optimize creative workflows.
You must also show you can lead and work with cross-functional teams. Include work experiences that highlight your leadership skills and scenarios when you collaborated with other teams — like copywriters, graphic designers, and developers.
3. You Can Build and Maintain Positive Client Relationships
Managing client relationships is a valuable skill hiring managers love to see. It shows you have the interpersonal skills to build a positive rapport with clients.
This includes being able to effectively sell your creative ideas to clients through meetings and presentations. Hiring managers want a creative director who is confident in their work and knows how to navigate client negotiations. Your resume should show you can take direction from clients and know when to push back. You’re sure to stand out from other candidates if you can incorporate these elements into your resume.
Now that you know how to stand out from other candidates, let’s take a look at how you should structure your resume.
Creative Director Resume Sections
A creative director's resume consists of five sections — contact information, resume summary, work experience, skills, and education. Before reading on, look through some creative director resume samples.
The contact information section of your resume is relatively straightforward. It includes basic personal information and is a way for hiring managers to reach out for an interview.
There is one unique aspect with creative director resumes. As mentioned above, you will need a portfolio that hiring managers can use to see your work. Include a link to your Behance, Adobe Portfolio, or another digital portfolio.
What to include:
- Job title
- City and state
- Phone number
- Link to your portfolio
- Hovin Wang | Creative Director | Los Angeles, California
- Hwang@gmail.com | 888-431-2368 | Behance portfolio
The resume summary is a quick way for hiring managers to understand who you are, your work experience, and why you’re the perfect fit for the job opening.
Hiring managers don’t spend that much time skimming your resume, so you’ll need to impress them right away. You should include your most important career highlights, years of experience, and specialties. You can even mention specific brands you worked with — especially if they are well-known companies.
It will also be more impactful if you can attach tangible metrics to your achievements. This can consist of mentioning the size of budgets you managed, the success of your campaigns, or the impact your creative work had on the company.
- Innovative creative director with more than 10 years of experience building brands for Fortune 500 companies. Extensive experience leading the creative direction and implementation of design initiatives in the SaaS, consumer product, and automotive industries. Winner of the 2017 Cannes Lions Award for design.
Once the resume summary has enticed the hiring manager to read more, it’s time to go into detail on your work experience.
Hiring managers seek a well-rounded creative director with a proven track record. They want someone who has worked with brands across multiple industries and delivered creative assets of all sorts. This can include leading the production of social media campaigns, website design, online ads, or brand style guides.
You should mention specific brands you worked with, the type of creative assets you produced, and the success of each campaign. Keep in mind hiring managers care most about the results of your work. Be sure to plug as many metrics as possible and explain the impact your work had on the brand.
What to include:
- Job title
- Dates employed
- 3-4 bullet points highlighting your contributions
SaaS Company | Art Director | April 2018 – May 2020
- Successfully pitched a branding vision that secured a multi-year contract worth more than $1 million by leveraging qualitative market analysis
- Built and designed a social media campaign from scratch that garnered more than 2 million impressions in one week
- Led a complete rebranding, including a new color scheme, logo, and additional brand assets
Creative and Technical Skills
The skills section is an all-in-one place to showcase your capabilities. This is where you can list your most important and relevant skills for hiring managers.
You should incorporate a balance of creative, technical, and project management skills. This can include things like the Adobe Creative Suite, specific media platforms you’ve worked with, or familiarity with coding languages.
Look through the job description to see which skills are most relevant, and incorporate as many as you have in the resume. This will also help optimize your resume for an applicant tracking system.
- Adobe Illustrator
- Adobe Photoshop
- Concept development
- Experience design
- Digital marketing
- Microsoft Office
- Web design
- Business development
- HTML and CSS
Hiring managers are more concerned with your creative output and proven track record than they are with your education. However, this doesn’t mean you should discount this section.
A college degree is a prerequisite for most companies. Your college education simply supports your professional experience and achievements in the field.
What to include:
- Name of institution
- Degree obtained
- Dates attended
- The University of Michigan | Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts | 2010 – 2014
As a creative director, resume formatting should come easy to you. However, there are a few things to consider when formatting your resume.
Here are some areas to focus on:
- Resume style: We recommend using a reverse chronological resume format. This format walks through your work experience, starting with your most recent job — it’s the most effective format for creative directors.
- Margins: Make sure your margins are large enough you can print a copy of your resume but small enough to ensure your resume isn’t too long.
- Font: Choose a font that is modern and easy to read. Legibility is key.
- Font size: Readability is crucial. You don’t want hiring managers to strain to read your resume because your font size is too small.
- Spacing: Ensure your line spacing is large enough, so your text doesn’t feel too crowded.
- White space: The proper use of whitespace will enable hiring managers to easily scan your resume.
- Color: You can incorporate one or two colors on your resume, but avoid using too many distracting colors.
- Resume length: Hiring managers will expect you to have extensive experience to be eligible for a creative director role. If needed, your resume can be two pages long.
You can check out some of our creative resume templates to give you some ideas of what your resume should look like. Once you’ve properly formatted your resume, it’s time to start applying for the creative director job you've always dreamed of.
Designing the Perfect Resume
Resume writing doesn’t have to be complicated. Highlight your relevant experience, support it with tangible metrics, and explain the impact it had on your company. Follow our suggestions, and you'll have no problem securing an interview.
Take a look at our resume builder if you'd like to speed up your job hunt and create a hiring manager-approved creative director resume.