Design Manager CV Examples & Guide for 2024

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Design Manager CV

Your design manager CV must highlight your robust experience in leading creative projects. Show evidence of your ability to collaborate with cross-functional teams to achieve exceptional design outcomes. Don't forget to include quantifiable achievements that reflect your impact on design efficiencies and project successes. These will underscore your qualifications and set your design manager CV apart.

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Crafting a CV that effectively showcases your creative leadership and project management skills can be a daunting challenge for any design manager. Our guide provides you with targeted advice to articulate your design vision and managerial accomplishments, ensuring your CV stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Structure, write, and edit your design manager CV to land the role of your dreams with our exclusive guide on how to:

  • Create an attention-grabbing header that integrates keywords and includes all vital information;
  • Add strong action verbs and skills in your experience section, and get inspired by real-world professionals;
  • List your education and relevant certification to fill in the gaps in your career history;
  • Integrate both hard and soft skills all through your CV.

Discover more industry-specific guides to help you apply for any role in the links below:

Formatting your design manager CV to meet the role expectations

Staring at the blank page for hours on end, you still have no idea how you should start your professional design manager CV. Should you include more colours, two columns, and which sections? What you should remember about your CV format is this - ensure it's minimalistic and doesn't go over the top with fancy fonts and many colours. Instead, focus on writing consistent content that actually answers the job requirements. But, how about the design itself :

  • Use the reverse chronological order to showcase your experience, starting with your most recent role;
  • Include your contact details (email address, phone number, and location) - and potentially your professional photo - in the header;
  • Must-have CV sections include summary or objective, experience, education, and skills: curate the ones that fit your profile;
  • Your professional design manager CV should be between one-to-two pages long: select the longer format if you have more experience.

A little bit more about your actual CV design, ensure you're using:

When submitting your CV, are you still not sure what format it should be? Despite the myth that has been circling around, most modern ATS systems are perfectly capable of reading PDFs. This format is an excellent choice as it keeps all of your information intact.

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Use bold or italics sparingly to draw attention to key points, such as job titles, company names, or significant achievements. Overusing these formatting options can dilute their impact.

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The top sections on a design manager CV

  • Professional Summary showcases leadership in design strategy, vital for a manager.

  • Design Project Portfolio illustrates the range and depth of design projects overseen.

  • Management & Leadership Experience highlights capabilities in leading design teams.

  • Technical Skills in Design Software demonstrates competence with industry tools.

  • Awards & Recognitions in Design validate expertise and accomplishments in the field.

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What recruiters value on your CV:
  • Highlight your leadership experience in design by detailing successful projects you've supervised, ensuring to include the size of teams you've managed and the scope of the projects.
  • Emphasise your understanding of design principles and tools, but also demonstrate your ability to manage budgets, timelines, and cross-functional communication to deliver designs that meet business objectives.
  • Showcase your portfolio of design work alongside metrics that illustrate the impact of your leadership, such as increased user engagement, enhanced brand consistency, or improved design processes.
  • Include any relevant certifications or training in design thinking, agile methodologies, or project management that underscore your capabilities as a manager in the design field.
  • Detail instances where you've facilitated collaboration between designers, developers, and stakeholders to highlight your skill in navigating and integrating diverse perspectives and expertise in your team's work.

Making a good first impression with your design manager CV header

Your typical CV header consists of Your typical CV header consists of contact details and a headline. Make sure to list your professional phone number, email address, and a link to your professional portfolio (or, alternatively, your LinkedIn profile). When writing your CV headline , ensure it's:

  • tailored to the job you're applying for;
  • highlights your unique value as a professional;
  • concise, yet matches relevant job ad keywords.

You can, for examples, list your current job title or a particular skill as part of your headline. Now, if you decide on including your photo in your CV header, ensure it's a professional one, rather than one from your graduation or night out. You may happen to have plenty more questions on how to make best the use of your CV headline. We'll help you with some real-world examples, below.

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Examples of good CV headlines for design manager:

  1. Senior Design Manager | UX/UI Focus | Agile Methodologies | PMP Certified | 12+ Years of Experience
  2. Creative Design Leader | Brand Development Expert | MA in Design Innovation | 8 Years in Field
  3. Lead Industrial Designer | CAD Mastery | Product Lifecycle Management | Six Sigma Black Belt | 10+ Years
  4. Digital Design Manager | E-commerce Specialist | SEO Savvy | Adobe Creative Suite Pro | 7 Years’ Experience
  5. Principal Graphic Design Manager | Visual Storytelling | Typography Expert | BA Honours Graphic Design | 15 Years
  6. Chief Design Officer | Strategic Planning | User-Centric Design | Design Thinking Workshops | 20 Years Leadership

What's the difference between a design manager CV summary and objective

Why should it matter to you?

  • Your design manager CV summary is a showcasing your career ambitions and your unique value. Use the objective to answer why your potential employers should hire you based on goals and ambitions. The objective is the ideal choice for candidates who happen to have less professional experience, but still meet some of the job requirements.

Before you select which one will be more relevant to your experience, have a look at some industry-leading CV summaries and objectives.

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CV summaries for a design manager job:

  • Seasoned Design Manager with over 12 years of experience leading cross-functional teams for international high-street fashion brands. Specialised in brand revitalisation through innovative design solutions, resulting in a 45% increase in annual revenue. Proficient in Adobe Creative Suite and 3D modelling software.
  • Motivated former Marketing Executive with 8 years of award-winning campaign experience transitioning to Design Management. Extensive background in consumer psychology and market trends analysis, seeking to leverage project management skills to foster creative environments and drive product innovation in a new discipline.
  • Driven Architectural Designer seeking to pivot into Design Management, bringing forth a rich portfolio of commercial and residential projects completed over a decade. Adept in sustainable design principles and advanced CAD tools, aiming to blend technical expertise with strategic leadership in a vibrant design-oriented setting.
  • Experienced Design Manager with 15 years steering multidisciplinary teams in the automotive industry. Renowned for initiating agile methodologies that led to a 30% reduction in time-to-market for new vehicle models. Mastery of SolidWorks and a track record of patent innovations in vehicle design.
  • Aspiring to commence a career in Design Management, armed with a First-Class Honours degree in Industrial Design and a passion for user-centred design frameworks. Eager to develop strategic management capabilities while contributing fresh perspectives to create products that resonate with the contemporary market.
  • Recently graduated Graphic Designer with freelance experience, targeting an entry-level Design Management role to utilise strong conceptual skills and knowledge in visual communication. Committed to learning collaborative leadership techniques to guide design projects that align with market needs and consumer expectations.

The best formula for your design manager CV experience section

The CV experience section is the space where many candidates go wrong by merely listing their work history and duties. Don't do that. Instead, use the job description to better understand what matters most for the role and integrate these keywords across your CV. Thus, you should focus on:

  • showcasing your accomplishments to hint that you're results-oriented;
  • highlighting your skill set by integrating job keywords, technologies, and transferrable skills in your experience bullets;
  • listing your roles in reverse chronological order, starting with the latest and most senior, to hint at how you have grown your career;
  • featuring metrics, in the form of percentage, numbers, etc. to make your success more tangible.

When writing each experience bullet, start with a strong, actionable verb, then follow it up with a skill, accomplishment, or metric. Use these professional examples to perfect your CV experience section:

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Best practices for your CV's work experience section
  • Directed a team of designers in the conceptualisation and execution of diverse projects, ensuring design quality and brand consistency across all platforms.
  • Collaborated closely with cross-functional teams, including marketing and product development, to align design strategies with business objectives.
  • Managed the design process from ideation to deployment, incorporating user feedback and analytics to inform design decisions and iterate effectively.
  • Mentored junior designers, providing guidance on design principles and professional growth, while fostering a creative and collaborative team environment.
  • Implemented workflow improvements and adopted new technologies to increase efficiency and stay ahead in a rapidly changing design landscape.
  • Developed and managed the design budget, ensuring projects were delivered on time and within financial constraints without compromising on quality.
  • Led branding initiatives, overseeing the creation and maintenance of style guides and ensuring cohesive brand experiences across multiple touchpoints.
  • Presented design concepts and strategies to stakeholders and executive teams, articulating design choices and their impact on user experience and business goals.
  • Championed user-centred design principles, incorporating user research and testing into the design process to enhance the end-user experience.
Work Experience
Senior Design Manager
Intel Corporation
  • Led a team of 8 designers to conceptualise and execute a cross-platform rebranding for a global technology firm, which increased user engagement by 30%.
  • Managed the design process of innovative product features, resulting in a 40% reduction in customer service inquiries due to improved UX.
  • Implemented data-driven design strategies through A/B testing, improving conversion rates by 25%.
Work Experience
Creative Design Lead
Adobe Systems Inc.
  • Directed the visual branding overhaul of the company’s flagship product, successfully unifying the visual identity across multiple platforms.
  • Cultivated a culture of continuous improvement in design quality, leading to a 20% increase in client satisfaction scores.
  • Managed the end-to-end user experience design for a new SaaS product, contributing to a first-year revenue increase of £2 million.
Work Experience
Design Project Manager
Autodesk Inc.
  • Oversaw the integration of user-centric design principles which propelled the website's user time-on-site by 15%.
  • Navigated cross-functional teams in high-pressure scenarios to deliver a critically acclaimed mobile application.
  • Implemented innovative design solutions to complex user flows, increasing customer retention rates by 10% within the first six months.
Work Experience
Head of Design and User Experience
  • Developed and executed a comprehensive design strategy for a series of successful product launches, contributing to a 35% increase in market share.
  • Fostered a collaborative design environment that enhanced team productivity and cut project completion times by 20%.
  • Orchestrated the UX/UI design for a major e-commerce platform remodel, boosting average order value by 15%.
Work Experience
Design Team Leader
Microsoft Corporation
  • Spearheaded a design team in developing an award-winning mobile application, elevating the company's profile within the industry.
  • Revamped the user interface of the core software suite, enhancing customer satisfaction and operational efficiency by streamlining workflows.
  • Established a scalable design framework that supported the company’s expansion into three new international markets.
Work Experience
Principal Design Strategist
Oracle Corporation
  • Innovated a design-thinking approach to product development that reduced time to market by 25% for key products.
  • Championed the adoption of responsive design techniques that resulted in a 40% uptick in mobile conversions.
  • Steered the visual aspects of a merger and acquisition project, ensuring brand cohesion and maintaining a strong visual presence in the sector.
Work Experience
Lead Design Innovator
Samsung Electronics
  • Accelerated the adoption of cutting-edge virtual reality interfaces within the product portfolio, generating a 50% increase in user engagement.
  • Drove a complete redesign of the corporate website, resulting in a 60% improvement in bounce rates.
  • Pioneered the implementation of a user-centered design philosophy, leading the industry trend towards more intuitive product interfaces.
Work Experience
Chief Design Officer
Lenovo Group Limited
  • Directed the evolution of the design department, by introducing agile methodologies, and shortening the average project lifecycle by 30%.
  • Managed the company-wide implementation of design systems, leading to increased consistency across products and a 15% reduction in design debt.
  • Partnered with the marketing department to align design and branding efforts across campaigns, contributing to a consistent year-on-year revenue growth of 10%.

Lacking professional expertise: how to write your CV to highlight your best talents

Don't count on your lucky stars when you're applying for a role, where you happen to have less (or almost none) professional experience. Recruiters sometimes do hire inexperienced candidates if they're able to present their unique value from the get-go. So, instead of opting for the traditional, CV experience section:

  • List any applicable expertise you happen to have - no matter if it's a part-time job, internship, or volunteer work. This would hint to recruiters that your profile is relevant;
  • Focus your CV on your transferrable skills or talents you've obtained thanks to your whole life and work experience. In effect, you'll be spotlighting your value as a candidate;
  • Separate more space for your applicable academic background and certificates to show you have the technical know-how;
  • Ensure that within your objective, you've defined why you'll like the job and how you'll be the perfect match for it. Always ensure you've tailored your CV to individual applications.

Looking for more good examples for your first job? We'll show you how other candidates, with less professional experience, have created their job-winning CVs.

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Include examples of how you adapted to new tools, environments, or work cultures, showing your flexibility.

Hard skills and soft skills to showcase your unique skill set on your design manager CV

Did you know that your CV will mostly likely be assessed by recruiters based on skill alignment? And that means that the way you feature your key skills across different CV sections will play a crucial role in landing you that first interview. We recommend you add your:

  • technical capabilities or hard skills in your CV experience, certificates, projects, etc. Use your past accomplishments to prove your technical capabilities. List up to a dozen different software or hardware in your dedicated skills section to match the job keywords;
  • personal and communication skills or soft skills in your CV strengths, achievements, summary/ objective, etc. Soft skills are a bit more difficult to prove. How do you define your aptitude in active listening? So, instead of just listing the skill name, include a tangible metric to show your success.

On a final note, when you're in a hurry to create your profile, you may misspell a particular technology or soft skill. That's why we suggest you copy and paste the particular skill name (or keyword), directly from the job advert. This would also help you to pass any initial Applicant Tracker System (ATS) tests.

Top skills for your design manager CV:

Graphic Design

UX/UI Principles

Project Management

CAD Software Proficiency

Adobe Creative Suite Expertise

Web Design Proficiency

Typography Knowledge

Branding and Identity

Design Strategy Development

Budget Management







Attention to Detail


Time Management

Client Relations

Decision Making

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Order your skills based on the relevance to the role you're applying for, ensuring the most pertinent skills catch the employer's attention first.

CV education and certificates: your academic background as proof of your skill set

A common misconception about your design manager CV education is that you only need it, if you have less professional experience. That is completely false. The CV education section serves to back up your technical (and sometimes personal) capabilities, fill in gaps in your work history, and show you have the initial industry background and know-how. When creating your education section:

  • List your degrees in the reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent (and relevant) ones first;
  • Include your degree and university names, start and graduation dates. It's optional to also denote you received a "First-Class Honours" for diplomas that are more relevant to the role;
  • Curate your relevant university coursework, projects, or thesis work if you happen to have less professional expertise and need to integrate more job keywords and skills.

Your professional qualifications don't need to stop at your academic background. It's advisable to also select up to three of your most noteworthy (and relevant) industry certificates and feature them in a dedicated section. Once more, include the certificate name, the institution that issued it out, and the date you obtained it on. You could feature both hard skills and soft skills certificates, as in the examples below:

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If you have received professional endorsements or recommendations for certain skills, especially on platforms like LinkedIn, mention these to add credibility.

Key takeaways

Your successful job application depends on how you well you have aligned your design manager CV to the job description and portrayed your best skills and traits. Make sure to:

  • Select your CV format, so that it ensures your experience is easy to read and understand;
  • Include your professional contact details and a link to your portfolio, so that recruiters can easily get in touch with you and preview your work;
  • Write a CV summary if you happen to have more relevant professional experience. Meanwhile, use the objective to showcase your career dreams and ambitions;
  • In your CV experience section bullets, back up your individual skills and responsibilities with tangible achievements;
  • Have a healthy balance between hard and soft skills to answer the job requirements and hint at your unique professional value.

Looking to build your own Design Manager CV?

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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about a career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.