Effective Resume Writing Tips for Creatives
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 8 min read


  1. Highlight your creative skills
  2. Showcase your portfolio
  3. Use action verbs
  4. Customise your resume for each job application
  5. Keep it professional
  6. Use quantifiable achievements
  7. Include relevant keywords
  8. Proofread your resume
  9. Ask for feedback
  10. Stay updated with industry trends

Did you know that the average recruiter spends only six seconds reviewing a resume? For creatives, those six seconds are crucial for making a lasting impression. That's where effective resume writing for creatives comes in. It's not just about showcasing your skills and experiences; it's also about presenting them in a way that stands out and tells your unique story. In this blog, we'll walk you through some top-notch tips to help you craft a compelling creative resume that captures attention and lands you that dream job.

Highlight Your Creative Skills

First things first: let's talk about your creative skills. This is the heart and soul of your resume—it's where you get to shine. But how do you highlight these skills in a way that's both effective and engaging? Here are some tips:

  • Show, don't just tell: Anyone can say they're "creative," but can you prove it? Instead of just listing your skills, provide specific examples of how you've used them in past projects. Did you come up with a new design concept? Did you find an innovative solution to a problem? These are the stories that will make your resume stand out.
  • Focus on what's relevant: Not all creative skills are created equal—at least, not when it comes to the job you're applying for. Make sure to highlight the skills that are most relevant to the position. For example, if you're applying for a graphic design job, your proficiency in Photoshop is probably more important than your ability to play the ukulele.
  • Keep it concise: While it's important to be thorough, you also don't want to overwhelm the reader with too much information. Try to keep your skills section concise and to the point. Remember: quality over quantity.

Remember, effective resume writing for creatives is all about showcasing your unique skills and experiences in a way that captures attention and tells a compelling story. So don't be afraid to get creative and show off what makes you, you.

Showcase Your Portfolio

Creatives, it's your time to shine. Your portfolio is where you can truly let your creativity take center stage. It's your visual proof of talent and skill. So, how can you showcase this effectively on your resume?

  • Have a separate portfolio section: Include a dedicated section on your resume for your portfolio. Here, list your best and most relevant work. Remember to keep it curated and targeted to the job you're applying for.
  • Give context: Don't just list your projects—give them context. What was the objective of the project? What challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them? What was the impact of your work? This will give potential employers a deeper insight into your creative process.
  • Make it accessible: While it's great to mention your portfolio on your resume, it's even better if recruiters can see your work with just a click. Consider creating an online portfolio and including the link on your resume. This way, recruiters can easily see your work in action.

Remember, your portfolio is a visual representation of your skills and experiences. It's your chance to show, not just tell, potential employers what you're capable of. So take advantage of this opportunity and use your portfolio to make a strong impression.

Use Action Verbs

Never underestimate the power of a good action verb. In the world of effective resume writing for creatives, the right verb can be a game-changer. It can transform your resume from a boring list of job responsibilities into a captivating story of your professional achievements. Here's how you can do it:

  • Choose powerful action verbs: Don’t settle for overused words like "did" or "made". Instead, choose action verbs that accurately describe your responsibilities and accomplishments. For instance, words like "designed", "illustrated", "crafted", "conceptualized", or "innovated" can make your accomplishments more striking.
  • Align with job requirements: Make sure to match the action verbs you use with the skills and responsibilities required in the job description. If the job ad mentions "collaborating", show how you've "collaborated" on projects or teams in the past.
  • Be consistent: Consistency in your verb tenses is key. If you're describing a past job, stick with past tense verbs. If you're talking about your current job, use the present tense.

By using strong, relevant action verbs, you can paint a vivid picture of your abilities and experiences. And, in turn, you'll help potential employers see exactly how you could fit into and enrich their team.

Customise your Resume for Each Job Application

When you're knee-deep in job applications, it's tempting to use the same resume for every position. But effective resume writing for creatives involves tailoring your resume to each specific role. Here's how you can make your resume a bespoke fit for every job:

  • Understand the job description: It's not just about reading the job description; it's about understanding it. Identify the main responsibilities, required skills, and desired qualifications. Then, use this information to craft a resume that aligns with these specifics.
  • Highlight relevant skills: While it's great that you're a jack of all trades, remember that employers are interested in specific skills that match their needs. So, make sure to highlight the skills that are most relevant to the job you're applying for.
  • Match keywords: Many companies use resume scanning software that looks for specific keywords. Make sure your resume includes keywords from the job description. This not only shows you're a good fit but also increases your chances of getting past these automated systems.

Customising your resume might mean a little more work, but it's worth it. It shows potential employers that you're not just looking for any job, but you're interested in their job. And that could be the difference between landing an interview or being passed over.

Keep it Professional

When it comes to effective resume writing for creatives, maintaining a professional tone is paramount. You're a creative, but don't forget that you're also a professional. Here are ways you can ensure your resume reflects this balance:

  • Stick to a standard format: While a splash of creativity can set you apart, steer clear of overly experimental formats. Stick to a clean, professional layout that makes your resume easy to read and navigate.
  • Use professional language: Keep your language clear, concise, and professional. Avoid jargon, slang, or overly technical language. Remember, your resume is your first introduction to a potential employer, so make it count.
  • Keep personal information minimal: While it's important to let your personality shine through, avoid sharing too much personal information. Stick to sharing details relevant to your profession and the role you're applying for.

Remember, your resume should reflect your professional identity. While it's great to let your creative side show, make sure it doesn't overshadow your professional skills and qualifications.

Use Quantifiable Achievements

For effective resume writing for creatives, it's not enough to simply list your skills and experiences. You have to show potential employers that you can deliver results. How do you do this? By using quantifiable achievements.

  • Use numbers: Did you increase website traffic by 30% in your last job? Did your design win an award? Did you manage a team of five designers? Numbers paint a vivid picture of your accomplishments.
  • Highlight impact: Don't just say you designed a website. Explain how your design improved user experience, increased engagement, or boosted sales. Show that your work has a real, tangible impact.
  • Don't be vague: Avoid phrases like "worked on a project" or "helped with a campaign." Be specific about your role and contributions. The more concrete details you provide, the better.

By presenting your achievements in quantifiable terms, you give potential employers a clear picture of what you bring to the table. It's one of the most powerful strategies in effective resume writing for creatives.

Include Relevant Keywords

Another key aspect of effective resume writing for creatives is the inclusion of relevant keywords. These are the words and phrases that potential employers use to search for candidates. By incorporating these keywords into your resume, you increase your chances of being noticed.

  • Job descriptions are your best friend: These are a goldmine for keywords. Look at the skills and qualifications sections. Are they looking for a "Creative Director with UX Design skills"? Make sure those exact words appear in your resume.
  • Don't force it: It's important to include keywords, but they need to feel natural. Don't overstuff your resume with keywords to the point where it reads awkwardly.
  • Be specific: "Design" is a broad keyword. "UX Design," "Graphic Design," or "Interior Design" are specific keywords. The more specific, the better.

Remember, including relevant keywords is not about gaming the system. It's about speaking the same language as your potential employer and showcasing that your skills are a match for what they are looking for. And that's a crucial part of effective resume writing for creatives.

Proofread Your Resume

Now, let's talk about a step in effective resume writing for creatives that often gets overlooked — proofreading. Sure, you're a creative, not a copy editor. But trust me, a resume filled with typos and grammatical errors can quickly find its way into the 'no' pile.

  • Spell check isn't enough: While spell check is great, it doesn't catch everything. For instance, it won't know if you've used "there" when you meant "their".
  • Read it out loud: This might feel a bit weird, but it really works. You'll hear things your eyes might miss when reading.
  • Get a second pair of eyes: Ask a friend or family member to review your resume. They might spot errors you've overlooked or suggest improvements.

Remember, your resume is a reflection of your professionalism. Make sure it's polished and error-free. This simple step can make a huge difference in your job search and is an important part of effective resume writing for creatives.

Ask for Feedback

Asking for feedback is a crucial step in effective resume writing for creatives. It's like drawing a sketch and stepping back to see the whole picture — sometimes, it helps to have another set of eyes look at your work.

  • Reach out to your network: Don't be shy about asking for help. Chances are, your friends, family, or former coworkers will be happy to give your resume a once-over.
  • Consider professional feedback: If possible, get feedback from someone in your field. They'll have insight into what hiring managers are looking for and can provide valuable direction.
  • Take it with a grain of salt: Remember, feedback is just that — someone else's opinion. You know your skills and experiences best. Use the feedback as a guide, but don't lose your voice in the process.

A fresh perspective can highlight areas for improvement and help you create a more impactful resume. So, don't hesitate to ask for feedback - it's an essential part of effective resume writing for creatives.

Staying on top of industry trends is a game-changer in effective resume writing for creatives. Think about it: how can you stand out if you're not in tune with the latest developments? Let's explore this further.

  • Follow thought leaders: They're called leaders for a reason. They're ahead of the curve, and keeping an eye on their work can give you insights into where your industry is heading.
  • Attend webinars and workshops: These events are goldmines of information. Plus, they're often interactive, so you can ask questions and get direct answers.
  • Read industry publications: Magazines, journals, blogs — they're all filled with the latest news and trends. Dedicate a chunk of your day to reading these resources.

Staying updated with industry trends not only allows you to tailor your resume to the needs of the industry but also equips you with knowledge that might come handy during an interview. Remember, effective resume writing for creatives is not just about showcasing your skills, but also demonstrating your commitment to staying relevant in your field.

If you enjoyed our blog on effective resume writing tips for creatives, you'll definitely want to check out Natalie's workshop, 'The Art of Running a Creative Business'. This workshop will not only help you create an impressive resume, but also provide you with valuable insights on how to successfully manage and grow your creative business. Don't miss out on this opportunity to enhance your career!