10+ Illustrator Resume Examples and Actionable Tips [2019 edition]

Volen Vulkov Avatar
Volen Vulkov
8 minute read
Updated on 2019-11-18

A dream job opened up at Pixar.

You sent them your Illustrator resume packed with every single one of your artworks.

You know you’re better than the rest of the candidates, but…

They sent you the “We’re sorry…” email.

What happened?

Open the recruiter’s door, and you’ll see him swamped with hundreds of Illustrator resumes to review.

He never saw your experience, because your intro was vague and all over the place.

No worries. Round two is on its way, but this time we are in your corner.

Grab a pencil and get ready to draft the best version of your Illustrator resume.

Insights from our Illustrator Resume example guide:

  • 10 do’s and don’ts to guide you on the road to a great illustrator resume
  • How to prepare an artist resume header and summary that grab the attention
  • What skills and experience should the ideal candidate have
  • How to present your art education and style development
  • Creative graphic designer resume samples to spark your muse

Illustrator resume examples

Want to explore additional resume samples from the design industry?

How to write an Illustrator Resume recruiters will notice

Whether you are an Art Director or a freelance Illustrator, you know that a picture is worth a thousand words.

So before starting with your illustrator resume, make sure that you have an outstanding portfolio. Without a showcase of your best work, even the carefully tailored resume won’t do you any good.

Gather your most appreciated projects in one place, categorize them and let the head hunters know which is your preferred medium: 2D or 3D illustration, photorealistic or comic ones, etc.

If you are just starting your career as an illustrator, select several design briefs from the Internet and work on them. Prepare a comic strip, illustrations for a mobile app or a character design for a children’s book.

You are a part of the art and design world, so the hiring manager will have high expectations for the overall look of your resume.

Be mindful of the color palette and typography you choose. Recruiters should fall in love at first sight with your creative Illustrator resume.

What template should you pick for an Illustration resume

Once you’ve chosen the typography and colors, it’s time to select the most suitable layout for your concept artist Illustrator resume.

Opt for a visually appealing layout that isn’t too cluttered and allows an easy scan.

illustrator resume templates

Consider the following Enhancv templates to present your accomplishments:

  • Single column resume layout - it’s ideal for people who are now starting their illustrator career and are looking for junior positions.
  • Double-column resume layout - if you are an artist with years of experience behind your back and numerous successful projects, then this template is for you. It also has a condensed version to fit everything on one page.
  • Creative resume layout - given the nature of your work, you might prefer this template with a more modern touch. Use the personal sections to tell your story.

Here’s what a recruiter wants to see in an Illustrator resume

  • A portfolio of illustrations that you are most proud of and have brought actionable results for your clients
  • What drawing techniques and software you are proficient in?
  • What types of projects you are interested in: ads, books, magazines, brochures, websites, apps? Be specific.
  • Are you capable of prioritizing projects and meeting deadlines?
  • Are you good at communicating with clients and cross-functional teams?

Here are 6 Illustrator resume sections to make use of

  1. Resume header containing a link to your illustrations portfolio
  2. Non-vague summary specifically tailored for the position
  3. Experience section where you list results not just responsibilities
  4. Soft and hard skills
  5. Art education and certificates
  6. Side projects, exhibitions or awards (if applicable to you)

How to create the perfect Illustrator resume header

Even if you think the word “Illustrator” describes your career well enough, go the extra mile and explain a bit more about yourself.

Take advantage of the header section and give valuable details about your work experience.

Mention if you are a freelancer or in-house illustrator. Or if you have worked for agencies and animation studios.

  • Do you have experience in a certain business sector?
  • Do you prefer 3D over 2D illustrations?
  • Do you enjoy creating art for print or digital media?

Choose what is the one thing which describes you best and add it to your resume header.

Take a look yourself and see that it truly makes a difference.

2 Illustration resume header examples

Lina Davis
Illustrator
help@enhancv.com
Cincinnati, OH
WRONG
Lina Davis
Illustrator
help@enhancv.com
linadavis.com
Cincinnati, OH
RIGHT

Don’t forget to add a link to your illustrations portfolio in the header. Recruiters will be curious to see what you have to offer them.

The most common options for showcasing your creative work are:

  • Personal gallery website;
  • Dribbble, Deviant Art, Behance or another professional design community;
  • Social media account focused on your projects, e.g. Instagram or Pinterest;

Other elements to feature in the header resume are:

  • First and last name;
  • Contact details - email, Skype and/or phone number;
  • Current location;
  • Personal photo;

Design your Illustrator summary with recruiters in mind

In this section, outline some of your best achievements along with details about your experience. Don’t oversell yourself, be confident but avoid bragging too much.

Give on-point details about your creative career. Include information such as:

  • For how many years you’ve been an illustrator
  • What kind of drawing software or tools you use
  • Do you work for an agency or are you self-employed
  • Are you focused on character design, sketches, print media, comics, etc.

3 Illustrator resume summary examples

The best way to learn is through example. So let’s take a look at several summaries and analyze them together.

Summary
Innovative, detail-oriented, and self-motivated Freelance Illustrator with passion for 2D and 3D projects. Very experienced in Adobe Illustrator and Maya but eager to learn new technologies.
WRONG

This resume isn’t actually that bad but it can be improved in your favor. It provides a good intro about your soft skills and field of expertise. But it lacks info about your actual experience.

Switch the word “very” for the real number of years you’ve been working with that software. Also, mention a successful project you’re really proud of or an award you’ve received.

Use the opportunity to tailor your summary to the position and the company you apply for.

Summary
Concept Artist and Illustrator with 7 years of experience in design agencies and animation studios. Co-created a short animated movie that won 12 awards, including a BAFTA Student Film Award. Adobe Certified Expert in Illustrator and After Effects.
RIGHT
Summary
Medical Illustrator with 4 years of experience in international research facilities seeks to become part of Divine Health Group. Proficient in creating artwork and photography using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for audiovisual lecture material, posters, leaflets, and digital media.
RIGHT

These two resume summary examples give more in-depth information about who you are and what you have accomplished so far. They show focus.

Hiring managers will get the idea that you have a preferred field of expertise and are dedicated to excel in it. You’re not just the next illustrator who takes whatever project comes her way.

Highlight other important achievements that will spark the interest of recruiters:

  • Published projects
  • High-profile clients
  • Gallery exhibitions
  • Design or art awards
  • Personal side projects
  • Design conference speaker

How to put your experience on an Illustrator resume

This is your time to shine. Don’t be shy about your successful projects.

Imagine that your resume is like an illustration. If you only list your completed tasks, the resume will remain in the sketch phase.

That’s why you should ink and colorize it by answering the following questions:

  • What kind of digital art software you’ve mastered
  • What is the one achievement in your last job that you’re most proud of
  • Which of your responsibilities made you an invaluable part of the design team
  • How well do you deal with deadlines and collaboration

Illustrator resume experience examples

Experience
Character Designer & IllustratorOctopus Studio
11/2014 - 04/2018
Cincinnati, OH
Co-created regular issues of comic books
Used digital along with traditional techniques to complete entire projects from scratch
Worked with strict deadlines
Won several illustration awards
WRONG
Experience
Character Designer & IllustratorOctopus Studio
11/2014 - 04/2018
Cincinnati, OH
Co-created the monthly issues for 4 comic books simultaneously in close collaboration with the teams responsible for sketching, illustrating and publication. The comics are published in over 20 countries.
Used Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign together with traditional techniques such as pencil and charcoal for the whole process - from concept to book.
Finished projects within the given deadlines and provided revisions if needed.
Received the 2017 World Gallery Of Cartoons Award and 2018 Glyph Comics Awards.
RIGHT

You see the difference a few important details can make. Implement as many relevant facts as applicable to you and your field of expertise.

Recruiters will appreciate it when you go the extra mile and provide specific information about your work.

Show that you are not only a master of the pencil but a master of the words as well. Prove that you are a reputable and recognized illustrator.

Tips on positioning skills in Illustration resumes

Being proficient in certain design software isn’t enough to score that interview. You need the perfect combo of soft and hard skills to catch the eye of hiring managers.

Mention them actively throughout the whole resume but also add a special skills section to highlight your personal strengths.

Have in mind that some companies utilize ATS (applicant tracking software) to scan if relevant keywords are present in the candidates’ resumes.

How to position soft skills on Illustrator resumes

Soft skills are often underestimated and lots of candidates don’t even include them in their resumes.

Don’t make the same mistake. Get noticed by explaining in detail your personal strengths.

Analyze the job offer of interest, mark the top 2 or 3 soft skills required by the company. Tailor your illustrator resume to them.

It’s better to choose fewer skills but provide more thorough information about them.

We’ll show you how to adjust this section to make the best of it in an appealing way.

Strengths
Creativity
Participated in numerous design challenges on a monthly basis, such as Inktober, to practice new trends and improve my style.
Team collaboration
Worked closely with a team of 30 graphic artists, editors, and publishers to deliver an outstanding comic book from concept to final execution.
RIGHT

Top 19 soft skills for Illustrator resume

  1. Creativity
  2. Originality
  3. Drawing skills
  4. Color theory
  5. Sketching techniques
  6. Understanding of typography
  7. Conceptualization
  8. Storyboarding
  9. Team collaboration
  10. Ability to meet deadlines
  11. Ability to work under pressure
  12. Detail-oriented
  13. Communication
  14. Problem-solving
  15. Prioritization
  16. Time management
  17. Adaptiveness
  18. Enthusiasm
  19. Self-motivation

How to position hard skills on Illustrator resumes

Remember that hiring managers may run your resume through a scanning program in the search for specific terms.

Your Graphic Artist resume might not receive the attention it deserves just because you missed the opportunity to include a keyword.

List all 2D and 3D design software you have worked with.

This section doesn’t need to be stuffed with additional information. If the recruiters want to find out more, they can ask clarifying questions when they interview you.

Technologies
Technologies
IllustratorPhotoshopInDesignProcreateMaya
RIGHT

These are the most wanted Illustrator resume hard skills

  1. Adobe Illustrator
  2. Adobe Photoshop
  3. Adobe InDesign
  4. Adobe AfterEffects
  5. Affinity Designer
  6. Inkscape
  7. Procreate
  8. Sketch
  9. Corel Painter
  10. Corel Draw
  11. GIMP
  12. Lottie
  13. Microsoft Office
  14. SharePoint
  15. Data Visualization tools - Processing, R, Tableau, Power BI
  16. 3D Software - Maya, Vray, Zbrush, 3D Studio Max

Can an education section help my resume?

Most job offers for illustrators require the candidates to have relevant education.

The following degrees will give you a competitive edge and increase your chances:

  • Illustration
  • Fine Arts
  • Visual Arts
  • Commercial and Advertising Art
  • Design Media Arts
  • Graphic Design
  • Interaction Design
  • Visual Studies

But don’t worry if you are self-taught. It doesn’t mean that your application will be declined based on the lack of a design diploma.

Backup your resume with an outstanding portfolio, amaze the headhunters with your work and your education won’t be in the spotlight.

Education
BA in Commercial and Advertising ArtColumbus College of Art & Design
09/2008 - 06/2012
Columbus, OH
GPA
3.9 / 4
RIGHT

Should I add certificates to my Illustrator resume?

We’ve already emphasized that your portfolio and experience are more important than your education.

However, if you’ve taken part in a live or online art academy, add it to your resume.

Do you have only one significant certificate? Then add it in the header or summary section.

In this case, there’s no need to have a dedicated certificates segment.

Adobe related certifications will give you a competitive advantage.

Top 4 Illustrator certificates for your resume

  1. Adobe Certified Expert - Adobe Illustrator CC
  2. Adobe Certified Expert - Adobe Photoshop CC
  3. Adobe Certified Expert - Adobe InDesign CC
  4. Corel Training Partner

Some graphic artists look for professional development opportunities through industry websites and associations. If you are also a member, don’t forget to mention it.

Recruiters will be impressed that you are proactive about your career and seek recognition beyond your studio or agency.

Top 7 illustration and design organizations to join

  1. Graphic Artists Guild
  2. Association of Illustrators
  3. American Society of Illustrators Partnership
  4. Society of Illustrators
  5. American Institute of Graphic Arts
  6. Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
  7. Association of Medical Illustrators

Best practices when writing a job-winning Illustrator resume

  • Choose a resume template with a clean design that will represent you in the best way possible
  • Gather your published projects in one place and add a link in the header section
  • Use every opportunity to mention your top personal strengths throughout different sections of your illustrator resume
  • List all types of drawing mediums and software that you have mastered in case the recruiters use an ATS system
  • Brag about design and art awards, personal exhibitions, conference presentations, illustrators association membership, design certificates, side projects

Looking to build your own Illustrator resume?

Enhancv is a simple tool for building eye-catching resumes that stand out and get results.
Variety of custom sections
Hassle-free templates
Easy edits
Memorable design
Content suggestions
Try free for 7 days
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