Illustrator Resume Examples

Your illustrator resume can be a work of art with the help of our professional resume examples

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Professional Resume Samples for a Illustrator

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Illustrator Resume Tips and Ideas

Illustrators are required in a wide variety of fields. Some illustrate informative texts, such as medical textbooks or field guides. Others provide artwork for newspapers, magazines, advertisements, album covers, or children’s books. Others may create product prototype drawings or illustrate complex processes for internal business documents. The list goes on and on.

Illustrators may work with different media. Today, many illustrators render their artwork through the use of computer software or technology such as digitizers, graphics tablets, and digital artboards. Others still employ paper, canvas, pen, pencil, and paint to create their illustrations. Some illustrators use photographic images, either for inherent illustrative value or in the creation of digital works.

All illustrators have a few things in common, however. They require a mastery of their preferred medium, as well as creativity, communication skills, time management, and attention to detail. With the help of our expert tips and professional resume samples, your resume can well illustrate your top skills.

Top Tips

  • A chronological resume format is recommended. Combination resumes may be used in some cases.
  • When designing your illustrator resume, consider:
  • A professional appearance
  • Neat and orderly
  • Creativity




  • Contact information
  • Objective statement
  • Skills
  • Work experience
  • Education


  • Portfolio
  • Personal interests
  • Awards
Resume Length

One page, 8.5 by 11-inch letter size


A chronological resume format is the most widely accepted across all industries, and therefore it is recommended for your illustrator resume. Chronological resumes begin with your contact information and objective statement, followed by a reverse-chronological listing of your work experience and educational background. Your skills list can precede the work history or be placed in a separate column alongside it.

Alternatively, you can give more emphasis to your skills by using a combination resume format. This format differs in that the skills list becomes a qualifications or skills summary. This summary details each skill, highlighting specific accomplishments or quantifying the use of the skill where applicable.

Functional resume formats may be used, especially if the applicant is re-entering the workforce after a long hiatus, but this format is not generally recommended.


The design of your illustrator resume should reflect both your professionalism and your creativity. Marrying these two concepts can prove to be a challenge.

Especially if your artistic skills involve digital art, you may consider designing your own unique resume template. Otherwise, you can customize an online template.

Your resume should be neat and orderly, with text organized into clearly headed sections. Leave plenty of white space around each block of text.

When deciding just how creative your resume should be, consider the nature of the company to which you are applying. Corporations will generally look for more traditional resume designs, while a unique resume may appeal to creative or art-based firms.

You may decide to modestly employ some colors or images, but avoid “fancy” or unusual fonts, as these can be difficult to read. Serif fonts like Arial and Calibri are recommended for printed resumes, and sans serif fonts for digitally submitted resumes.


In the United States, submitting a photo along with your resume is not recommended. Due to the country’s anti-discrimination laws, unsolicited photos may result in the rejection of your resume.

Sections of a Resume

A number of sections are essential to every resume, including your illustrator resume, such as:

  • Contact information
  • Objective statement
  • Skills
  • Work experience
  • Education

The aforementioned sections will give your hiring manager a good idea of your background, abilities, and goals for the future. You can also enhance your resume with additional sections, which include but are not limited to:

  • Portfolio
  • Personal interests
  • Awards

A brief portfolio of your best work allows your employer to sample your artistic style. Rather than including the images on your resume itself, you can list your projects with links to where they can be viewed. Alternatively, you can include a link to your online portfolio.

Personal interests, projects, or hobbies relevant to your artistic prowess can increase your overall level of experience. You may also list personal interests that relate to the products or field of the company itself. Finally, the inclusion of awards that you have received bodes well for the quality of your work, proving that it is already admired by others.

Resume Length

Generally, your resume should be limited to one page in length. If including a portfolio, you may choose to extend it to two pages, but do not exceed this length.

Your resume should fit well on letter sized 8.5 by 11-inch paper.

Illustrator Resume Section Headings

Each section of your resume lends itself to your status as an illustrator. However, your skills, work experience, and education sections are the most likely to get you hired.


Artistic abilities are by far the most important skills you will need to succeed as an illustrator. The necessary skills vary by the type of illustration you plan to do. Computer skills are essential for graphic designers and photographers. They may also need to be familiar with photographic equipment, digital artboards, and computer programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Non-digital artists may require skills in sketching, pastels, watercolors, painting with oils or acrylics, mixed media, or other forms.

Your resume should also display a number of soft skills, including creativity, good communication, time management, self-motivation, and attention to detail.


Many illustrator positions do not require specific degrees, but these can enhance the appeal of an applicant. Illustrators commonly hold a degree in fine arts, graphic design, or a related field. Some may hold degrees in the field for which they are illustrating. For example, a medical illustrator may have a degree in medicine or biology.

List your educational background even if unrelated to the field. Earning a degree illustrates qualities such as perseverance and determination.

Work experience

Use your job descriptions to highlight your skills. This section can in some ways serve as a portfolio as well, as you will mention major projects on which you have worked.

Include all work experience, even if unrelated to the arts. Here, you will strive to highlight transferable skills such as communication or computer competencies.

Illustrator Resume Vocabulary & Writing Tips

Using appropriate keywords in your resume is essential to navigating the computerized vetting process which most resumes undergo.

Consider the type of illustrator position to which you are applying. For example, the hiring manager for a medical text company would likely look for different keywords than would someone looking for a storyboard artist for children’s films. We’ve also compiled the following list of terms common to various types of illustrator resumes.

Words to Use

  • Printed material
  • Digital media
  • Advertising
  • Editorial
  • Fashion
  • Merchandising
  • Multimedia
  • Creativity
  • Artist
  • Concept art
  • Layout
  • PNG
  • Vector
  • Graphics
  • Line art
  • Prototype

Action Verbs

  • Produce
  • Draw
  • Print
  • Network
  • Discuss
  • Animate
  • Create
  • Illustrate
  • Design
  • Collaborate
  • Prepare
  • Render
  • Photograph
  • Reprocess
  • Convert
  • Generate

Resume Samples

1. Candidate seeking illustrator position

Experienced illustrator capable of rendering your greatest ideas in pencil, paint, or through graphic design.

  • Created computer-generated illustrations for a 16-page children’s book published by Penguin.
  • Designed logos for companies, illustrations that are now in use online and on product packaging.
  • Created an email newsletter layout for a boutique hotel chain.
  • Sold over $1,000 worth of illustrated products last quarter.
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  • Bachelor’s degree
    in computer science
  • Certificate in
    graphic design
  • 3
    art awards
  • 32
    published illustrations

2. Candidate seeking medical illustrator position

When details matter most, this illustrator comes through with highly realistic renderings of biological structures.

  • Graduated with honors.
  • Created illustrations for a medical handbook and a field guide to insects of North America.
  • Five years of experience as a freelance illustrator with more than 40 satisfied clients.
  • Artwork displayed in a nationally recognized art show.
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  • Bachelor's degree
    in biology
  • Master's degree
    in fine art
  • 5 years
    of work experience
  • 2
    published works