10 CV tips for ‘Junior’ Graphic Designers

Stephen McCarthy
2 min readNov 23, 2015


I’ve sifted through many CVs and see common mistakes occur time and again. I thought I’d share some tips based on this experience.

A CV should give a concise overview of your competencies and experience. It validates the work you stated you have done and education level you have reached. It’s a doorway to your portfolio, not a portfolio piece in itself.

1. Your CV will probably be the first point of contact with a potential employer. Clearly link to your work, including your portfolio, Tumblr’s, blogs or any other sites that may help potential employers understand your design output and thinking.

2. Don’t use meaningless buzz words to describe yourself, eg ‘highly creative’ or ‘imaginative’.

3. Explain your past job roles concisely and truthfully. It’s a small industry so don’t lie.

4. A well designed CV is nicely typeset, has good hierarchy and is easy to read. Don’t overdo it. Keep icons and infographics to a minimum and don’t use garish typefaces.

5. On that note don’t use top trump style graphics to say you are 65% proficient at HTML or 9/10 at Adobe illustrator.

6. No typos or spelling errors. You can’t expect anyone to bother reading your CV if you can’t be bothered to use the spell check tools available.

7. No typographic errors either (show you have some attention to detail).

8. You don’t need to state your GCSE or A-level results or that you won a regional poster competition when you were 12.

9. The ‘I’m good at making tea’ joke should be put to bed.

10. Don’t make it too long. 1 or 2 pages is enough.



Stephen McCarthy

Head of Product Design at Which? - Ex Head of Design for Government Digital Service and GOV.UK