Creative Director Resume & Guide

Creative Director

When hunting for your new Creative director job, looking through some top-tier Creative Director resume samples is crucial. Our guide below is just what you need to create a banging resume step by step! 

This write-up on How to make a Creative Director Resume would help you to uncover your distinctive portfolio of skills, proficiencies, and experiences to show the recruiters your true value for their business if they hired you. 

Creative Director Resume Examples

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(Free sample downloads are at the bottom of this page)

Creative Director Resume Writing Guide

Resume Sections

  1. Contact information
  2. Profile Summary
  3. Work History 
  4. Achievements
  5. Education 
  6. Skill Section
  7. Certification & licensing
  8. Extras: Languages/Awards/Publications/Volunteering/hobbies

What to Highlight in a Creative Director Resume

In the end, your resume should leave recruiters wanting to see more of you and set up an interview. Obviously, your resume needs to make it to their desktop first, and if you do not tailor your resume to use the specific keywords stated in the job ad, the automated system that tracks the applications will not choose your resume. Some say even up to 80% of resumes are ignored by the ATS because they didn’t use the correct words, so please make sure you tailor your resume. For example, if your resume contains the phrase “banner ads,” the resume bot won’t pick it up if it is programmed to accept the phrase “banner advertisements.” 

Besides beating the bots with resume SEO, you have to highlight your work experience's specific features to impress the recruiters. Creativity with skills for visual aesthetics will only do so much for you. Be precise about what you put in your resume. It must all be relevant:

First things first, the work environment that you’re in. Creative directors are typically found in the film, graphic design, music, fashion, video game, media, advertising, or entertainment industries. They are also found in other creative organizations like web and software development companies. Creative Directors also work for advertising agencies and marketing departments of corporate businesses. They can freelance, consulting many clients, or have completed fixed-term contracts and projects. 

Next up, your position in the “Hierarchy’’ of the agency. A creative director is an essential job in all the arts and entertainment industries and is considered as another important element in product development processes. Creative directors can adopt an art director, copywriter, or lead designer's responsibilities if they must. A creative director's duties incorporate leading the communication design, interactive design, and concept forward in any work appointed. 

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Then it’s time to Lure the recruiters in with your main proficiencies. We have put a detailed skills section further on in this guide to show you how best to display your core proficiencies. The Creative Director guides a team with skills and experience regarding fine arts, graphic design, motion graphics, and other creative industry fields. Some examples can include visual brainstorming, layout, and copywriting.

Also, remember that Creative Directors work in a multitude of different mediums. You will need to highlight your areas of expertise. Think about what can be shown or displayed here. The list may be extensive in potential expertise, so you should categorize your projects into a number of main themes and then give one or two examples of each.  

Don’t forget to mention other employment experience. Typical length of resumes today are 1-2 pages, meaning you have to be stingy with space in your resume. Only list other employment experiences if you’re an entry/ junior level Creative Directive to beef up your resume. If you’re making a career change, then you must also put in prior work experiences here. Also, you didn’t just wake up and say, “Hey, I want to be a Creative Director,” right? Recruiters are also keen to see all your informal and part-time gigs. 

Finally, something about listing contact information: You wouldn’t believe people could mess this up, but they do… so make sure you have: Name, Address, Phone, Email. Don’t forget to include an alternative contact channel such as your LinkedIn profile or Facebook URL details. As a bonus for the recruiters, add in portfolio or website URL's if you have these.

Career Summary & Objectives Examples

Ladies and gents, we can’t stress enough how important it is that you mold each career summary or career objective to every job you apply for. This sounds like more effort, and it sort of is, but the rewards will make sense if you think of it as quality over quantity. Tailoring your career summary may result in fewer application attempts from your side due to the way your resume is written up, ending in more interviews. 

The thing that distinguishes a Career Summary from a Career Objective is TIME. 

The summary highlights what you have already done. Objectives Explain what you intend to do.  

The summary format should look something like this:

  • First sentence should have a commanding adjective used to describe yourself regarding your current position and experience level. 
  • Next, have two or three dominant technical proficiencies and the industry section where you’ve received a majority of your experience. 
  • Finish up with a sentence about your qualifications/ credentials. 

Note: your career summary, and resume, must be written in the third person. Forego the me, me, and Is. 

Career objectives must have your ambitions and goals. Why do you want to work for that specific company, and how do you plan to add value to their team? When you answer these questions, put in any core skills or experiences that highlight why you’ll be invaluable in that particular job.  

Three Examples

Summary example 1

“Professional creative director with 9+ years of experience. Proficient in relationship-building and team concept development. Looking for a position with Strong 50 Agency. At (Insert Company Name), formed an in-house graphic design department, saving clients $720K annually and increasing client base by 17% in 11 months. Landed accounts with Amazon, Comcast, and Ford Motor Company combined worth of $13.7M annually.”

Summary example 2

“Modern and enthusiastic mid-level creative director to head our team of graphic and web designers. Accountable for developing and continuing the branding and vision for an array of print and digital products. Worked intimately with editors, the marketing manager, and advertising staff to design formats and designs that express a clear message. Outstanding communication and leadership skills, plus a robust portfolio that demonstrates ability to design for various platforms.”

Summary example 3

“Remarkably talented designer with 7+ years’ experience in branding, web, and print design in two agencies. Looking for the position of Associate Creative Director in a fast-growing company, to deliver exceptional quality projects based on current trends in designs and standards.”

Creative Director Employment History Examples 

This section may very well make or break your application. You can show some freedom creatively with images, infographics, and URLs regarding your cloud portfolios anywhere else in your resume, but not here. Here you must stick to frank sentences and descriptions when detailing your daily job responsibilities. 

This section may seem daunting to write, but that’s what we are here for! Arguably the best format to use is reverse chronological order. It would help if you listed the length of your employment, the title of the job, the company's name, and then a bulleted list of job obligations. For example:

Creative Director at Amazon, New York

January 2011 – December 2017

Working with project managers, creating production schedules for all productions – Video, infographics, text – in a 5000sqm studio setting housing 6 different daily shows..

  • Constructing an environment in which creative teams can work and oversee their ideas and projects.
  • Responsible for the creative philosophy and the quality of output across the agency.
  • Creating advertisement ideas or promotional campaigns.
  • Selling ideas to clients (agency work) or presenting to directors (in-house work). 

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Assistant Creative Director at Facebook, Nashville

January 2014 – December 2017

Responsible for working with the Director, developing and implementing operating objectives designed to improve safety, quality, and production performance qualifications.

  • Managing numerous projects from start to finish, sticking to deadlines, and signing off on the finished projects before they are presented.
  • Communicating with clients, keeping them informed, and highlighting any problems.
  • Knowing the commercial features of the agency/ marketing department.
  • Hiring and overseeing the creative team.

Job Description Examples & Duty Samples

A Creative Director (under five years’ experience) may be:

  • Filling a crucial role in helping the Creative Director in all areas, offering a brilliant opportunity to refine your skills, lead, and learn.
  • Helping develop marketing creativity for corporate, consumer, and B2B campaigns.
  • Working on different projects, from digital videos and adverts to corporate communication reels and international campaigns, on all platforms (digital/social, cinema and television, press, posters, internal, etc.)
  • Overseeing training and development of partners who are directly and indirectly managed 
  • Making efficient staffing decisions.
  • Working with the Director, developing and implementing operating objectives designed to improve safety, quality, and production performance qualifications.

A Creative Director at mid-career stage (5-10 years’ experience) may:

  • Decide how to develop ideas and messages into visuals.
  • Choose and approve photographs, graphics, artwork, and designs.
  • Create and execute a publication, campaign, or product style guide.
  • Meet with and create designs for clients/ marketing and advertising departments.
  • Present work to clients and make adjustments to a project’s direction as necessary.
  • Manage and inspire a team of graphic designers, web designers, and artists.
  • Keep projects on budget and within the deadlines.

A Senior Creative Director at experienced/advanced stage (10-15 years’ experience):

  • Organizing and managing the department's workflow to guarantee day-to-day tactical items are performed, and strategic high- impact work is established.
  • Assisting with digital asset management processes and work with the Asset Management team to confirm assets are evaluated, stored, and managed well. 
  • Working with teams, providing job assignment/scope, and balancing workload to guarantee all project objectives, budgets, and timelines can be achieved. 
  • Identifying products' performance through winners, losers, and sell-through and providing applicable feedback to help the licensees’ development.
  • Working with project managers, creating production schedules for all productions – Video, infographics, text, etc. 
  • Working with project managers, creating a production budget, and guaranteeing the content is provided within budget restrictions and clients’ briefs. 
  • Managing and developing talent, processes, and systems, resulting in world-class creative work against clients’ expectations, timelines, and budgets.

Highlight Your Accomplishments

Creative Directors understand the term “proof of concept.” The accomplishment section of your resume is very similar to this concept. Take all the skills you have and explain them using power verbs and numerical values that link to your statements about the awards and achievements/ projects you’re most proud of.

Creative brains don’t always do facts and figures, but the accomplishment section needs accurate data for the recruiters to look at regarding your career achievements. QUANTIFICATION IS YOUR FRIEND

This is your self-promotion section where you sell yourself as a unique brand. Add a little oomph by including links to your website, Instagram, and/or Pinterest. 

The temptation to skimp on this section is real, but please don’t. Being able to quantify your achievements is critical. 

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So, let’s first have a look at what NOT to do. 

Any flat statements simply rephrasing your job responsibilities or using words like increased, excellent, delivered, and reduced don’t mean jack if you don’t put in some metrics to back it up. For example:

  • Acted as creative director for a busy company with many employees.
  • Increased income through winning and building unbreakable relationships with new clients.
  • Won Comcast account and led their rebranding, causing profit growth.
  • Saved clients much money by developing a client base of smaller, affordable third-party suppliers.

You didn’t exactly enjoy reading those, did you? Now let’s quantify them, and you make the decision: These pack a punch!

  • Acted as creative director for an eventful agency with a $6.7M annual income and 115 employees.
  • Increased income by 48% in 18 months through pleasing and developing unbreakable relationships with 18 new key clients.
  • Landed Comcast account and spearheaded their full rebranding, supervising over a period of 19% income growth annually.
  • Saved clients a total of $620,000 annually by developing a client base by 23% in 13 months.

Creative Director Education Section & Example

Regardless of how incredible your creative side is or the number of awesome projects you’ve done, the education section is still critical. Your resume should include any and all post-school education such as degrees, certificates, diplomas, or online courses. This is to show that your theoretical foundation is well-developed with a knack for continuous skills development. 

Normally, you’d need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, art, marketing, graphic design, or another design-related field to be a Creative Director. It is not uncommon for some people to get the jump on other Creative Directors by furthering their education with master’s degrees in applicable fields. 

  • You must be explicit and give the full details of the institution's qualification, location, and completion date in one line. 
  • If you achieved results like honors or cum laude and if your GPA score is pretty great (above 3.4), then definitely add it in. Any new graduates with little to no work experience should include the major subjects/ course curriculum topics.

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Examples of educational listings

2020 – Current Master’s Degree in Cinematography, Julliard University, Boston, MA

2019 – Advanced Course in Digital Graphic Design, University of Delaware, Newark, DE

2018 – Hootsuite Certified Professional, Hootsuite Media, Manhattan, NY

2017 – Advanced Cinema 4D Master, ADMEC Multimedia Institute, Online

2014 – Bachelor of Arts in Creative Design, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

2013 – Storytelling for Business, Udemy, Online

2013 – Adobe Certified Expert, Adobe, Online 

Course Topics: Illustrator & Photoshop

The Resume Skills Section

Guys, please, change it up a little bit here. There’s nothing more boring than a long bullet list. We present the skills matrix! 

The technical skills matrix has two crucial goals. 

  1. Defeating the resume bots and tracking systems for applicants as the key proficiencies in your resume are phrased exactly like those stated in the job ad. 
  2. Provides recruiters with a tidy layout to look at your main technical skills.

Keep in mind you have already proven your software skills earlier, so there’s no need to repeat the names and skills, etc. 

Technical Skills Matrix 

Core SkillExperience Level (1-Expert, 2-Skilled, 3-Novice)
Product Packaging Design1
Esthetic Design Concepts1
Visual Literacy2
Video Production2
Layout Principles1
Motion Graphics3
Graphic Intervention2
Exhibition Design1
Editorial Design2
Conceptual Development1

Creative Directors must also possess certain interpersonal skills to work together with colleagues, communicate with clients, and assist the design process with internal and external stakeholders. Normally, these “soft” skills are out at the end of the job ad. Use the same words as listed on the ad in your matrix if you have those skills. 

Soft Skills Matrix

ArtisticTeam Player
Detail OrientatedDeadline Driven
Strong CommunicatorAccountable

Creative Director Resume Hack

As with any job, keeping up to date with all the latest trends and programs is essential, and this job is no exception. Highlight your understanding of the latest design tools, software, technology, and devices with a skills matrix: 

DeviantARTIcon FinderPageCrush
ProcreateMyfonts.comClip Studio Paint’
Ron’s BrushesAstute PhantasmHTML
InDesignUI/UX DesignTypography
Adobe CSPhotoshopDreamweaver
Java ScriptPixlrWacom Bamboo
Adobe Creative SuiteVisual CSS ToolsPicMarkr
InDesign SecretsPantone Color GuideAdobe Illustrator

Qualifications & Certifications associated with Creative Directors

Bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Design ApplicationsAssociates Degree in Digital PhotographyGoogleAds Search Certification
Growth Marketing Mini degree – CXL InstituteProject Management DiplomaAdobe InDesign Course
Facebook BlueprintAdvanced Graphic Design Expert CourseEnvato Tuts+ Illustration & Graphic Design Courses
Photoshop Essential C6 ToolsAssociate of Arts in Graphic DesignPython for Marketers

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Optional Extras for Your Resume

This is one of those jobs where the recruiters are actually interested in learning about who you are as a person. 

For example, what hobbies tickle your fancy? Have you done any volunteer work in the past? 

Or even conferences you’ve been to or published work on respectable media platforms.

Creative directors don’t necessarily need a certificate or license to work for firms, publications, or media companies. 

They have other means to show their dedication to the industry and the continuation of their education by becoming members of professional organizations such as:

  • The American Institute of Graphic Arts
  • Graphic Arts Guild
  • The International Council of Design
  • The Society of Illustrators, Artists, and Designers

Professional Information on Creative Directors

Sectors: Advertising, Fashion, Publishing, Online Media, Marketing, Design, Consulting, Corporate, Film, Entertainment
Career Type: Design, Directing, Production, Content, Photography, Animation, Videography, Cinematography, Art, Graphics
Person type:  Designer, Manager, Creator, Leader, Visualizer, Maker, Producer, Creator, Developer
Education levels: From Post School Qualifications and upwards
Salary indication: Average salary of $ 111 177 per annum (Glassdoor)
Labor market: Projected growth decline of -1.7% from 2019 – 2029 (BLS)
Organizations: Various

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