12 Essential Skills for a Graphic Design Resume (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 8, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Graphic design is a creative field that requires professionals to apply various soft and technical skills to visualize ideas. If you're preparing for a graphic design role, consider reviewing the best skills to include on your resume. Understanding the relevant skills to feature on your graphic design resume can significantly increase your chances of getting the job. In this article, we discuss why you might explore skills for a graphic design resume, describe 12 essential skills to include, and present valuable tips for demonstrating your graphic design skills on a resume.

Why explore skills for a graphic design resume?

Consider exploring the essential skills for a graphic design resume to impress and meet potential employers' requirements. Graphic design skills are the knowledge and abilities that graphic designers use in developing ideas and converting them into appropriate images. These skills enable you to effectively interpret a client's design requirements and use different artistic elements to create them.

As a graphic designer, it's important to possess soft skills, such as interpersonal and communication skills, to communicate and clients and colleagues effectively. Technical skills are also crucial to developing effective designs and improving client satisfaction. When writing your resume, consider including relevant skills that demonstrate your proficiency in various aspects of graphic design.

Related: How to Write a Graphic Designer Resume (Tips and Example)

12 essential skills for a graphic design resume

An effective graphic design resume usually contains details reflecting your skills, qualifications, and expertise that help you complete tasks successfully. Here's a list of graphic design resume skills prospective employers often search for in an ideal candidate:

1. Marketing

Marketing and advertising knowledge can be highly beneficial for a graphic designer. Even if you aren't creating promotional images, marketing skills can reflect your ability to create appealing designs that attract an audience's attention. Potential employers often search for candidates with marketing skills to promote their products or services to a specific target audience or to increase brand awareness and maximize conversion rates. A graphic designer who can create captivating images and contribute to the company's marketing efforts can be more desirable to hiring managers. Here are a few skills you can highlight when discussing your marketing skills:

  • digital analytics

  • web advertisements

  • branding

  • search engine optimization (SEO)

Related: What Is Digital Designing? (Plus Careers in Digital Design)

2. Typography

Typography entails using letters, characters, numbers, and other text to create a design. Effective graphic designers know how to incorporate several design elements into a work. The professionalism of a design often depends on your ability to make subtle changes to the size, shape, colour, and placement of text on a page. Prospective employers usually seek graphic designers with typography skills to ensure the readability of text in designs. You can include the following elements of typography on your resume to showcase your talent:

  • logo creation

  • storyboard creation

  • design modification

  • font selection

  • spacing

  • layout

3. Graphic design software

A good graphic designer can proficiently use drawing, designing, and editing software. Employers often want to hire candidates with sufficient experience using the company's preferred software, so consider sharing your experience with multiple arts and design software. Adding your frequently used tools and software can show prospective employers you understand standard industry tools and their functions.

Related: 15 Software for Infographics (With Reasons to Explore)

4. Web design

While this isn't a required skill for all graphic design roles, it's a desirable skill that can attract tech-savvy employers' attention to your application. The ability to design web pages is also essential, as it incorporates art with technology. While many graphic design roles often involve web design responsibilities, some may only require you to adjust a few lines of code to improve your design's aesthetics on web browsers.

When creating your resume, consider including your ability to program digital layouts and design web pages to impress a potential employer further. Here are a few web design skills you can include on your resume:

  • responsive design

  • interactive design

  • user experience (UX) design

  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

  • HyperText Markup Language (HTML)

Related: What Does a Web Designer Do? (With Requirements and FAQs)

5. Communication

Effective communication can significantly impact completing your duties as a graphic designer. Your job can involve actively listening to clients' demands, discussing your work with the design team, advocating for your ideas, and sharing feedback throughout the entire design process. Prospective employers usually prefer to work with a designer that can communicate their ideas effectively, understand client requirements, and work to ensure clients' satisfaction.

Communication also helps you verbally explain design ideas, contact and update clients and members about possible production delays, and get meaningful feedback after producing a design. Essential resume communication skills can include:

  • interpersonal skills

  • customer service skills

  • empathy

  • respect

  • presentation skills

  • proposal writing

  • public speaking

  • active listening

6. Collaboration

Efficient graphic designers are often team players who understand their required contributions to the team, department, or organization. Potential employers often consider a candidate's ability to collaborate with writers, marketers, product developers, and other designers to complete projects and accomplish company goals. Try to let your resume reflect that you can work independently or in a team efficiently, as the situation demands. Consider describing how you can apply individual talent to support a team project and ensure successful project completion. You can demonstrate teamwork by highlighting the following skills:

  • motivation

  • leadership

  • team building

  • coordination

  • decision making

7. Adaptability

Adapting to project changes and applying feedback to improve designs is vital in a graphic designer's job. You may want to submit multiple versions of work to see which one a client prefers and make the necessary adjustments to match their preferences. Adaptability skills can help you adjust to client needs even if it contradicts your design style. Consider showing adaptability skills on your resume as it shows prospective employers your dedication to ensuring customer satisfaction. It also demonstrates your willingness to accept constructive criticism to improve your work. Adaptability skills you may feature on your resume include:

  • receptiveness

  • resilience

  • open-mindedness

  • determination

  • optimism

8. Time management

Graphic designers often strive to meet deadlines and deliver completed designs to clients on time. You can interpret project guidelines to predict the entire project duration and plan your schedule accordingly. Time management skills are essential for managing multiple projects or clients effectively while maintaining consistent work quality. Employers typically search for graphic designers with time management skills who can prioritize tasks and complete designs quickly and efficiently. Time management skills may include:

  • organization

  • coordination

  • reliability

  • planning

  • multitasking

9. Problem-solving

Balancing the functionality and aesthetics of a design is important when creating a design. While the design can be visually pleasing, consider making it solve the client's problem. Potential employers usually want graphic designers with excellent problem-solving skills to ensure they can deliver designs that solve specific problems based on the intended purpose. You can express your problem-solving skills in the following ways on your resume:

  • negotiation skills

  • critical thinking

  • research skills

  • conflict resolution

10. Creativity

Because graphic design is a creative field, you can let your resume showcase your creative thinking and innovative process. When potential employers assess your creativity, they can determine whether they can trust you to generate great ideas and develop creative interpretations for assignments. The following keywords can showcase creativity on a resume:

  • attention to detail

  • analytical thinking

  • originality

  • strategic planning

Related: What Does a Creative Designer Do? (With Average Salary)

11. Flexibility

Flexibility is an excellent skill that can help potential employers consider your candidacy more seriously. Many employers search for graphic designers with flexible skills who can perform various tasks to ensure the completion of effective designs. You can add the following skills on your resume to indicate your design skills extend beyond creating images:

  • freehand drawing

  • UI/UX design

  • video editing

  • animation

  • writing

12. Social media management

Graphic designers often create images and similar visual content for client social media pages. Social media skills on a resume can showcase your ability to create shareable designs for a potential employer. It also allows them to assess how you use digital channels to promote your designs. Hiring companies may want a graphic designer with excellent social media management skills to maintain the company's social media designs and develop a visual brand image.

Tips for demonstrating graphic design skills on a resume

You can adopt the following tips to demonstrate relevant skills on your resume effectively:

  • Be brief and concise. If you don't have significant experience working as a graphic designer, consider using a one-page resume to focus on relevant strengths. You can also clear headings, sections, and bullet points to structure your resume content.

  • Add the link to your portfolio. You can include your website or portfolio link to show prospective employers examples of your previous projects. If your resume interests an employer, they can quickly access the portfolio link to better understand your design experience and style.

  • Use action verbs to describe your impact. When describing your skills and experience, consider using strong action verbs to describe your work results. For each skill you describe, you can mention how you used it at work and the positive impact you created.

  • Tailor your resume to the job description. Carefully review job postings and notice the keywords the employer wants in their ideal candidate. You can have a better chance of getting hired if you customize your resume to the job requirements and use those specific keywords to describe your skills throughout the resume.

Explore more articles