Great Graphic Resume Tips

Since moving out of my place, I've been working hard core on my resume (it all started with this post). Seriously. I should add "working my ass off on InDesign" on my resume because I have been. So, instead of letting it all go, glutinously into my own bank of smart ass knowledge, I decided to share it with you. Now, I know there are real professionals out there that might tear this thing apart, but I'm pretty proud of myself. I am not a Graphic Designer (although I would love to take some classes!), I just worked really hard to create something that I loved. Don't take my words as strict gospel.

In FIVE (5) key steps, you can transform your resume from chaotic and hard to read into a well-thought-out machine. I used Adobe Indesign CS3 to create my new resume, however, I have a little tip for you... Use Microsoft POWERPOINT! :)  A lot of people don't think about using it for anything other than a powerpoint, but hey, get in there, change the Page Setup to portrait and there you go. You can set up all sorts of beautiful things, just like on InDesign, without spending a ton of money for the program. Jeez. I'm a nerd. Now. Onto the good stuff! 

1. Create a Hierarchy. The more important the information, the higher it goes. Name, contact information, etc. should always go at the top. You can have an objective, personal statement, education, skills, etc. I've chosen to focus on my previous experience and the skills I've gained there instead of separating it all out... In fact, I've always had a running list in a word document of all the things I've done, so that when I update my resume I don't ever have to try and go back and remember all the things I've done. I pull up the list, take the things that apply to the job that I'm going for, and plug them in or change the layout to better apply to the job. Easy peasy.

2. Pick a color scheme that's easy on the eyes. According to a graphic designer friend of mine, don't ever use straight black on a resume. That's what everyone else uses; even just by lightening it to a 90% gray, it'll make your resume pop because it's easier on the eyes and it's out of the norm. I picked a lighter color (easier on the eyes again and creates a little comfort, but energizes the page) to bring attention to the top half of the page with my name and contact info.

3. Alignment is key. Don't hodge podge it together, or it's gonna look a little crazy. Balance everything out by aligning it. On my resume, I chose to center align it because it felt more balanced with my turquoise ribbon across the top. You can use shapes and colors to your advantage to balance the page and help convey your personality, but don't take it too far... They could cause a train wreck.

4. Don't be afraid to leave a little white space. It also creates the comfortable setting for the potential employer reading it. If you have so much crammed onto one page (mine is pretty borderline. I've actually strung mine out into a front and back layout and have a shortened resume specifically for emails and such) potential employers won't know where to start. Give them space to know what's the most important. I added a border on my resume to keep the eye on the middle of the page, where the info is.

5. Think back to the heirarchy and follow through with it in your fonts. Never use more than three (3) types of fonts on the same page, and beware of using overly decorative fonts. I took a risk using this deco font, however, it is clearly easy to read. No problem. To balance the Sans Serif used for my name and titles (It's called Mouse Deco), I used a simple Serif font (don't know the difference? Check this out) called Georgia for the body/detail information on my resume.

A Bonus Tip: Get your resume printed on a thick, professional paper. Don't chinz out on it. Your future could be hanging on that paper choice, so make it a good one. Most bond water-marked ones are wonderful. I love them. 

***Disclaimer: I am not a professional Graphic Designer. I simply love design and do a lot of research and interviewing and searching to find the answers that best suit me. I'm not claiming to know all the answers and whatever. Please, don't sue me. I'm not worth much.***

Here are some other resume examples to check out

UPDATE! Big news! I'm now offering Custom Resume Designs! Check out my Etsy shop for more details.


Jessica {The Aestate} said...

Love this! Pinning!!

Nicole said...

It's beautiful. I'd hire you!

drollgirl said...

welllll i am in the process of re-doing my resume, and BOY does it need work! i wish i knew InDesign! and i know a tiny bit of Photoshop, but i sure wish i knew more. Hell, a LOT of me wishes i was a designer! sometimes i think i have good ideas and a good aesthetic, but i do not always know how to MAKE IT HAPPEN with software. d'oh! but there is nothing stopping me from learning it! well, maybe my laziness and bad attitude, but i should be able to overcome that. in theory, at least!

anyway! it looks great! congratulations!!! and good paper goes a LONG way in standing out, as does a nicely formatted resume! :)

Renee said...

This is interesting, and is probably good for an informal setting. I remember hearing years ago while preparing my own resume that big companies go through and immediately toss resumes on colored paper, in folders, with stuff attached to them, etc. I wonder if that would apply to something like this as well. (and again... that is how they do the initial sorting at really big companies... I would not worry about it in a smaller or informal setting). Just food for thought. Not sure if that has changed.

Julie said...

I'd LOVE to do something like this with my resume, however, the biggest drawback is that 99% of the submission of my resume is done online and by an agency (they take the text of my resume and add it to their headers). So, even if I did a lot of work to it, it would be lost when it got munched by my agency. Also, choice of paper and font color would be lost as well. It would be nice when I got on interviews though and carry it with me, make a nice impression (if they don't already have a printed copy).

Also, my experience goes back almost three decades and there is so no way that it can be done on even three pages or even two... I wouldn't even think about how I would fit it on ONE! I suppose it is possible to carry the formatting on to second, third and fourth pages.

But love it all the same! Thanks for the tips!

Stacy Krolczyk said...

Looks great, and I'm using your example for my teaching resume - it is so fresh! However - you might want to fix the spelling - you say "preformed" rather than "performed" under your first job entry. Good luck!!

Laura said...

This is a nice idea, if you are applying for anything design related I would suggest not centre aligning all your text.

One way you could avoid this would be to draw a line down the left side of the page - right align your titles (to the left of the line) and left align you text (to the right of the line).

Good luck

Lanetra said...

Do you create resumes for others? I would love to have one could you please quote me a price.

Amy said...

I work in the pharmaceutical industry, and have had lots of opportunity to review resumes for entry to mid level jobs. While this is a pretty resume, I would counsel job seekers to know the culture of their field BEFORE deciding on a resume format.

Correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation should be your primary focus, followed by a clean, easy to read format. I do not disagree that an attractive resume is an asset, but one person's "attractive" can look ridiculous to a hiring manager who doesn't get what you're trying to do.

aliya seen said...

For me professional resume layout means a lot because it just have lot of variations and that's why i need it.

Himanshu Grewal said...

free online resume builders is one of the best way to creat my own resume