In this tutorial we’re going to be learning how to use InDesign to create a clean and structured CV/Resumé design. We will be using basic tools and techniques (but ever so important ones!) to create the design. If you haven’t already, you should check out our “Getting To Grips With InDesign” series to brush up on your InDesign skills.
As with all designs, we need something to refer to when designing. Grab a piece of paper and sketch out a couple of ideas for your CV’s structure. The CV I’m designing is going to be double-sided – yes, it costs a little more to produce, but it gives you a little bit of space to showcase some of your work and ultimately “wow’s” your hopefully future employer even more!
It pays to get resumés professionally printed – if it lands you a well-paid job that you love it is well worth it!
Sketches don’t have to take long – I spent just a couple of minutes on mine. It just helps avoid that “what do I do?” phrase when you open up a blank screen in InDesign or any other application!
It’s now time to open up InDesign and set up a document. When InDesign is open, go to File > New > Document. Select A4 as your page size, and change the number of pages to two, making sure Facing Pages is unchecked. Change your margins down to 5mm and your bleed up to 3mm. Click OK.
You’ll see that we have three different lines, a red one (which is our bleed line – any artwork that meets the edge of the page should meet this red line), the black line (this is our actual page) and our purple/pink line which is our margin line (all content such as text etc should be inside this line).
The next step is to start putting together some of our structure, which is possibly the hardest thing to do as we don’t actually know how much space we need for our different sections until it’s all written up.
However, it’s still a good idea to get some of the structure sorted. Grab the Text Tool and drag out a selection in the top left corner of your page. This will be our text box for our “CV/Resumé” title.
You’ll notice when you drag out a new text box it will automatically snap to the alignment of other objects and/or important areas, such as the center of the page. Drag out another text box for your first header and your basic information section, such as your name and contact details.
Keep on dragging out text boxes, making sure they’re well aligned.
It’s now time to do the same but with image placeholders rather than text boxes. Select the Rectangle Frame Tool, and repeat the steps again in places we want images. I’m going to have a profile image next to my profile text, and some icon images in the bottom left hand corner for my skills.
Repeat the same steps again on our second page, where we will display some of our work.
It’s time to start filling in our content! Lets start with out main header, “CV/Resumé“. Double-click in header box and type in your words. Select a suitable typeface of your choice – I’m using Blue Highway Bold as it is the font used in my logo, and I want to keep my identity going throughout my brand.
Go through your two pages filling in all the header titles. For this I have again used the typeface Blue Highway, set to 21pt.
Start filling in your profile section, including your name, email address, contact number, postal address and anything else you feel is necessary, such as your websites URL. I used Arial at 12pt for this section, and will do for all other sections of my text.
Select all of the text you just inserted and change the Leading to 16pt – the leading is the space in between each line of text. This makes it much easier to read.
Insert the rest of your profile information – this should include information such as how old you are, your ambitions, goals, and hobbies.
To add some “oomph” to our profile, we’re going to make certain words bold and italic. Go through your profile text and change some words to Arial Bold or Italic. I also lowered the size of the typeface to 11pt and the Leading to 14pt.
To finish off our profile section we’re going to add a portrait picture of yourself. For this tutorial, I’m going to use a photo of myself. Click on your image placeholder in your profile section and then go to File > Place. Select your image and click OK.
The chances are the image you have inserted is a lot bigger than your image placeholder. No worries though, this is super easy to fix. Select your Direct Selection Tool and click on the image you have inserted into your placeholder. You will notice that this has selected the image inside the placeholder rather than the placeholder itself.
Still with the Direct Selection Tool selected, whilst holding the Shift-Key to keep the image in proportion, scale the image down.
If you’re image seems blurry or pixelated at all, this is most probably caused by InDesign’s default display performance, which is mixed between speed and quality. For a small document like this with barely any images, you’re best off using the highest quality setting. You can change this by going to View > Display Performance > High Quality Display.
Finish the rest of the text-based tasks off using techniques we have already used. Areas we need to fill include the qualifications, education/employment and achievements areas.
As you can see I have used the same typeface through all of the text, with bold titles and italic used for things such as the dates at the end of each achievement. Fill in the final piece of text on the back of your CV/Resumé and then we can move on!
Our next step is to find a good set of icons, for which we’re going to be using in our skills section of our CV. We have space for 8 icons – we could of course design our own, but for this tutorial I’m going to outsource to ‘freebies’ to save us some time. Decide which 8 skills you’d like to include.
In my case, I’m going to use: OS X, Windows, Email (Communication), Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, TextWrangler and Microsoft Office. Below is a list of where I got my icons…
- Mac Finder Icon
- Windows Icon
- Apple Mail Icon
- Office Icon
- TextWrangler Icon
- Photoshop Icon
- Illustrator Icon
- InDesign Icon
With that done, open all of your icons up in Photoshop and resize them to exactly 100×100 pixels. Once done, save all of your files as JPGs.
With your icons done, start placing them into your icon/image placeholders that we created earlier. You can do this the same way we inserted our profile picture; by clicking on the placeholder and then going to File > Place, selecting your file and then resizing it within the image placeholder using the Direct Selection Tool.
Our next step is to make some blocks for our ‘meter readings’ to show our skill level of the different applications. Select the Rectangle Tool and drag out a shape with the same height as your icons. Copy and paste the shape several times, and set them an equal space apart from each other as seen below.
Remove the stroke of all the shapes, and color them all grey.
Copy and paste all of the shapes seven times, placing them in the correct position next to your other icons.
Fill in your skill level for each application – be honest here, there’s no point in lying, they will find you out!
The next stage is to add your portfolio of work into the image placeholders on our back page. To do this, select the image placeholder and the go to File > Place to locate your image. Resize the placeholders using the Selection Tool, and the placeholders contents using the Direct Selection Tool.
With that done, so is our CV/Resumé! The next step is to export our document as a PDF for easy printing and sending digitally via email. Having a PDF version of your CV is also great for showing it off on shiny gadgets such as your iPad! Go to File > Export and save as a PDF.
Select “Smallest File Size” from the PDF settings. As our CV is made up of just text and few images, the smallest file size quality should be fine for both on-screen and sending. The biggest bonus is that it should end up being a tiny file to send over email. And that’s it, we’re done!
Just remember that it’s worth spending a little bit of quality time when putting your CV together; it should not only show off your creative ideas and skills, but also give away a clue or two into your personality and the person you are, leaving the viewer wanting to find out more about you, hopefully leading to an interview, or at least a phone call!
Time To Share!
We’d love to see your CV and Resumé designs, so why not share a link to your work in the comments?