Redesign Your Resume: Designing Professional Documents

Anne Ditmeyer, design + communication

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
16 Lessons (2h 32m)
    • 1. Welcome and Getting Started

    • 2. Case Study: Résumé

    • 3. Inspiration: Résumés + CVs

    • 4. Inspiration: general documents

    • 5. Think Like an Editor

    • 6. Thinking about layouts + InDesign

    • 7. Working with text boxes + linked text in InDesign

    • 8. Master Pages

    • 9. Design terms + concepts

    • 10. Key design concepts applied in InDesign

    • 11. Tips for working with fonts + type

    • 12. Working with type in InDesign

    • 13. Adding the details in InDesign

    • 14. Pulling it all together

    • 15. Finalizing Your Document

    • 16. Closing Words

52 students are watching this class

Project Description

Design a personalized and professional résumé.

What Makes a Professional Document

  1. Start your project board

    Share a copy of your existing résumé on your project board so we can see a before/after.

    Visit the Q&A Inspiration thread to share links for any beautifully designed documents you find.


  2. Print your résumé

    We may live in a digital world, but printing documents is the best way to edit them. Make sure that the content is up to date. Start looking critically at the information. Scribble notes on it as you go through the course videos (it's ok to be messy in this phase).

  3. Download InDesign (optional)

    InDesign is a proprietary software that requires a license. A 30-day trial is available for download at Adobe. 

    Warning: if you are working on your résumé you will need an active version of InDesign in order to make edits. You can open an InDesign CS3 file in CS6, but not vice versa. Just be prepared if you ever need to make edits.

Thinking Critically About Content

  1. Get feedback on your résumé/CV

    Ask at least 2 people to read over your résumé and get their feedback. This could be friends, family, or a Skillshare classmate. Try to cut any excess "fluff" and irrelevant information and make sure you've included any key updates. Sometimes it's easy to forget the obvious information, hence making it helpful to have other sets of eyes to look over it.

    Thinking critically about the content of any document in the early design phases will save you a lot of time in the long run.

Structuring Your Document: Layouts

  1. Bring your résumé into InDesign

    Either bring all the text into InDesign at once, or treat each section as its own text box.


Key Design Concepts

  1. Sketch your ideas

    Annotate your existing résumé to note problem areas.

    Take a piece of paper and make a quick sketch or two of a layout you'd like for your résumé. Realize it's normal for preliminary sketches to change by final designs, but it's nice to have a starting point. 

Type Selection

  1. Select a font family

    Chose a font where you have at least 3 weights for variation. Decide if you're a serif or sans serif.



  2. Test paragraphs

    Take sample text from your résumé and try it in a dozen different variations, changing the font, font weight, size, leading, etc. Print out your test page when you're done.


Details + Finishing Touches

  1. Create a type treatment for your name and contact

    Think about creating a letterhead for yourself that can be used across several professional documents.


  2. Add extra touches

    Where in your document can you add simple touches? Bullet points? Glyphs? Section headers?


Exporting Final Files

  1. Save your document

    Save your document regularly while you are working on it. The worst is losing your work.

    If you are exploring a few ideas you can "duplicate page" with the arrow toggle in the pages palette. This way you will have another "backup" of your work to refer back to.

    Make sure you save your final document with your name in it.

  2. Run spell check

    Many employers won't consider a résumé with a typo in it. Spell check is very important. 

  3. Have someone else proof your document

    The more you look at a document the easier it will be for you to miss errors. Print a copy and ask at least one other person to read over it. 

    You may have to go back and tweak the design based on some feedback you receive. It may feel like a pain at the time, but will pay off in the long run.

  4. Add hyperlinks

    Be sure that any websites listed in your résumé are clickable by making them hyperlinks.

  5. Export your document as a pdf

    Ideally your file should be smaller than 100kb. A text only document should not be a very heavy file (images will make files bigger).

  6. Print your résumé on nice paper

    A paper with a nice weight and finish adds a professional touch. The paper marketed for résumés at office supply stores is not necessarily the best paper for this project.

Additional Resources

Student Projects

project card
Audrey Bee
project card
project card
Angelea S.
project card
Janice Barber
project card
Megan Doty
project card
Erin McDonough
project card
1 comment
project card
project card
André Caetano
project card
Rachel Jamison
project card
project card
Julia B.
1 comment
project card
Damian Flores
project card
project card
Kitty C