As a Design Director, your visionary approach and leadership in design set the standard.
Your CV should be a portfolio of your creativity and your ability to guide successful projects.
Our guide, with a Design Director CV example, will help you sketch out a career path as impressive as your designs.
Design Director CV example
This CV example demonstrates the type of info you should be including within your Design Director CV, as well as how to format and layout the content in a way which looks professional and is easy for time-strapped recruiters to read.
This is the look and feel you should be aiming for, so remember to refer back to it throughout your CV writing process.
Design Director CV format and structure
Your CV is the first impression you’ll make on anybody who reads it.
A disorganised, cluttered and barely-readable CV could seriously decrease your chances of landing interviews, so it’s essential to make sure yours is slick, professional and easy to navigate.
Tips for formatting your Design Director CV
- Length: If you want to hold the reader’s attention and ensure your CV isn’t yawn-worthy, it’s best to stick to two sides of A4 or less. This is more than enough room to highlight why you’re a good match for the role – anything more can quickly become tedious!
- Readability: By formatting your section headings with bold or a different colour font and using bullet points to break up large blocks of text, you can help busy recruiters quickly scan through your CV. This makes it easier for them to find important details without wasting time.
- Design & format: While it’s okay to add your own spin to your CV, avoid overdoing the design. If you go for something elaborate, you might end up frustrating recruiters who, above anything, value simplicity and clarity.
- Photos: Don’t add profile photos to your CV unless you work in an industry or region which prefers to see them. Most employers in the UK will not need to see one.
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As you write your CV, divide and sub-head into the following sections:
- Name and contact details – Always start with these, so employers know exactly how to get in touch with you.
- CV profile – Add a short summary of your relevant experience, skills and achievements, which highlights your suitability.
- Core skills section – A 2-3 columned list of your key skills.
- Work experience – A detailed list of any relevant work experience, whether paid or voluntary.
- Education – An overview of your academic background and any training you may have completed.
- Hobbies and interests – A brief overview of your hobbies and interests, if they’re relevant (optional).
Now you understand the basic layout of a CV, here’s what you should include in each section of yours.
Start off your CV with a basic list of your contact details.
Here’s what you should include:
- Mobile number
- Email address – It’s often helpful to make a new email address, specifically for your job applications.
- Location – Share your town or city; there’s no need for a full address.
- LinkedIn profile or portfolio URL – Make sure the information on them is coherent with your CV, and that they’re up-to-date
Quick tip: Delete excessive details, such as your date of birth or marital status. Recruiters don’t need to know this much about you, so it’s best to save the space for your other CV sections.
Design Director CV Profile
Your CV profile is basically a short introductory paragraph, which summarises your key selling points and highlights why you’d make a good hire.
So, write a well-rounded summary of what you do, what your key skills are, and what relevant experience you have.
It needs to be short, snappy and punchy and, ultimately, entice the reader to read the rest of your CV.
How to write a good CV profile:
- Make it short and sharp: Recruiters have piles of CVs to read through and limited time to dedicate to each, so it pays to showcase your abilities in as few words as possible. 3-4 lines is ideal.
- Tailor it: The biggest CV mistake? A generic, mass-produced document which is sent out to tens of employers. If you want to land an interview, you need to tailor your CV profile (and your application as a whole) to the specific roles you’re applying for. So, before you start writing, remember to read over those job descriptions and make a list of the skills, knowledge and experience the employers are looking for.
- Don’t add an objective: You only have a small space for your CV profile, so avoid writing down your career goals or objectives. If you think these will help your application, incorporate them into your cover letter instead.
- Avoid generic phrases: Cheesy clichès and generic phrases won’t impress recruiters, who read the same statements several times per day. Impress them with your skill-set, experience and accomplishments instead!
Example CV profile for Design Director
Visionary Design Director with a varied 25 year career designing and developing cutting-edge consumer hardware and white goods for leading engineering innovators. Adept at translating conceptual ideas into tangible, market-leading products using extensive market research and sustainable practices. Holds a Master’s in Industrial Design from the University of Arts London with demonstrated success in reducing labour costs and driving manufacturing efficiency.
What to include in your Design Director CV profile?
- Experience overview: Recruiters will want to know what type of companies you’ve worked for, industries you have knowledge of, and the type of work you’ve carried out in the past, so give them a summary of this in your profile.
- Targeted skills: Make your most relevant Design Director key skills clear in your profile. These should be tailored to the specific role you’re applying for – so make sure to check the job description first, and aim to match their requirements as closely as you can.
- Important qualifications: Be sure to outline your relevant Design Director qualifications, so that anyone reading the CV can instantly see you are qualified for the jobs you are applying to.
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Core skills section
Next, you should create a bullet pointed list of your core skills, formatted into 2-3 columns.
Here, you should focus on including the most important skills or knowledge listed in the job advertisement.
This will instantly prove that you’re an ideal candidate, even if a recruiter only has time to briefly scan your CV.
Important skills for your Design Director CV
Product Innovation Strategy – Develops and executes visionary design strategies, leveraging years of experience to lead the conceptualisation and creation of cutting-edge consumer hardware and white goods.
Consumer-Centric Design – Demonstrates a deep understanding of consumer needs and preferences, translating conceptual ideas into tangible, market-leading products that resonate with the target audience.
Market Research – Utilises extensive market research to identify trends, opportunities, and gaps in the consumer goods industry, ensuring that design concepts align with market demands and preferences.
Sustainable Design Practices – Integrates sustainable design practices into product development, contributing to environmentally conscious solutions and aligning with global sustainability goals.
Manufacturing Efficiency – Proven success in driving manufacturing efficiency by implementing streamlined processes and innovative design solutions, resulting in cost reductions and improved production workflows.
Industrial Design Expertise – Holds a Master’s in Industrial Design from the University of Arts London, bringing a comprehensive understanding of design principles, aesthetics, and functionality to the development of consumer products.
Cost Reduction Strategies – Implements effective cost reduction strategies while maintaining high-quality design standards, contributing to improved profit margins and competitiveness in the market.
Cross-Functional Collaboration – Collaborates seamlessly with cross-functional teams, including engineers, marketers, and manufacturing professionals, to ensure a holistic approach to product development and successful project outcomes.
Prototyping and Testing – Proficient in overseeing the prototyping and testing phases of product development, ensuring that design concepts meet quality standards, functionality requirements, and user expectations.
Design Leadership – Provides visionary leadership to design teams, fostering creativity, innovation, and a culture of excellence, resulting in consistently successful product launches.
Trend Analysis – Stays on top of design trends, technological advancements, and consumer preferences, integrating relevant insights into the design process to create products that resonate with the target market.
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Now that recruiters have a good overview of your skills and abilities, you need to jump into the detail of your career history.
Give them a more thorough insight into what you can do by creating a detailed list of your relevant experience.
Start with your current role, and work backwards through all the relevant positions you’ve held.
This could be freelance, contract or voluntary work too; as long as it’s related to the role you’re applying for.
Structuring each job
The structure of your work experience section can seriously affect its impact.
This is generally the biggest section of a CV, and with no thought to structure, it can look bulky and important information can get lost.
Use my 3-step structure below to allow for easy navigation, so employers can find what they are looking for:
Start with a brief summary of your role as a whole, as well as the type of company you worked for.
Follow with a snappy list of bullet points, detailing your daily duties and responsibilities.
Tailor it to the role you’re applying for by mentioning how you put the target employer’s desired hard skills and knowledge to use in this role.
Finish off by showcasing 1-3 key achievements made within the role.
This could be anything that had a positive effect on your company, clients or customers, such as saving time or money, receiving exemplary feedback or receiving an award.
Sample job description for Design Director CV
Lead the design team at ParaTools, a market-leading tool manufacturing company, conceptualising and developing user-centric and sustainable tools for the commercial engineering and construction sectors.
- Develop and execute a comprehensive design strategy, leveraging tools like Adobe Creative Suite and KeyShot, ensuring alignment with market trends and user expectations
- Direct the entire product development lifecycle, from initial ideation to manufacturing, utilising Rhino and SolidWorks for detailed CAD modelling and simulation.
- Implement nanomaterials integration, additive manufacturing, and biomimicry materials engineering
- Oversee prototyping and testing processes, validating design concepts using Gazebo and LabVIEW
Quick tip: Create impressive job descriptions easily in our quick-and-easy CV Builder by adding pre-written job phrases for every industry and career stage.
After your work experience, your education section should provide a detailed view of your academic background.
Begin with those most relevant to Design Director jobs, such as vocational training or degrees.
If you have space, you can also mention your academic qualifications, such as A-Levels and GCSEs.
Focus on the qualifications that are most relevant to the jobs you are applying for.
Hobbies and interests
The hobbies and interests CV section isn’t mandatory, so don’t worry if you’re out of room by this point.
However, if you have an interesting hobby, or an interest that could make you seem more suitable for the role, then certainly think about adding.
Be careful what you include though… Only consider hobbies that exhibit skills that are required for roles as a Design Director, or transferable workplace skills.
There is never any need to tell employers that you like to watch TV and eat out.
When putting together your Design Director CV, there are a few key points to remember.
Always tailor your CV to the target role, even if it means creating several versions for different roles.
Additionally, remember that the structure and format of your CV needs just as much attention as the content.
Good luck with your job search!