Professional Resume Design for Non-Designers

Writing a good resume can get you the job…or at least will put you on top of the pile.

But professional resume design is a skill not everyone has. No worries though, there is help out there. Here is how to create a resume format that will make your skills  stand out. Design is important next to content. The grouping, highlighting and placement of the text can help your resume stand out.

Here  is a quick outline of the resume created in Word7.


I have outlined 7 Steps that are important to a resume. Let’s talk a little bit more about them.

Step 1

Your contact information needs to be there, visible at first glance. It should always include your name, address, phone number and email address.  In this example, I put placed it like a business card in the header of the document. Your name is big and bold, your title is easy noticeable and all contact information stands out.


Step 2

Your resume should rarely be more than one page. Most HR departments (or whoever is hiring) will appreciate having all of your information presented on one page.


Step 3

The first paragraph should include a brief description of your current qualifications. Talk about your key capabilities and experiences in a few sentences.  I set the title (Career Objective) as  Small Caps and much bigger than the body text. You can save this style easily as a Quick Style, so you can apply it to the rest of the resume headers.


Step 4

Let’s add the Work Experience or Employment History. I added  three simple text boxes and placed them next to each other. List the company`s name and time period of work, then add a quick sentence what you did and if you`d like, name a few key responsibilities in list form.


Step 5

Next step is to add the education. There is no need to list every single school you attended, just keep the most important levels achieved. I added this information with tabs, highlighted the level of education title and gave it a different color. This will make it stand out right away.


Step 6

The last step is to add your skills. I always like to add them in list form with bullets. That keeps them to the point and easily legible. Since you might have a ton of skills, you can tailor this list to fit the needs of the job you are applying for. Make sure you have enough space between the paragraphs.


Step 7

I like to add the contact information again at the bottom, smaller but noticeable. Place it in the footer of your document. I repeated the same color style as for the header.


Now you have a resume that should stand out among the rest. There is a simple formula that you can remember to make a good layout. It is called CRAP, which stands for:

  • Contrast
  • Repetition
  • Alignment
  • Proximity

In this specific example, we applied this formula. We have contrast with the color scheme, small caps, bold font, repetition in style elements (and colors), alignment with the information and proximity regarding the text elements.

Lastly, proofread everything until your resume has no mistakes and you should be good to go.

Please remember that you are not locked into one design or layout – and it also helps to adjust a resume according to position offered.


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  1. Salman, Khwaja on the 16th August

    Nice layout. Could you share the sample template document as well.?

  2. Eshban Bahadur on the 16th August

    Superb. Can you please provide the source file?

  3. Brandon Martinez on the 16th August

    The only question I have is how is this going to print? Not every printer supports borderless printing, and if you take it somewhere to get a 100 or so copies made (like a small quick printer), they’re going to want a bleed around the edge.

    Otherwise, great tutorial!

  4. Luce on the 16th August

    Great layout! I really never thought of going «out of the tradtionnal way».

  5. Justin on the 16th August

    Great Post. Resume writing is something often overlooked. I would also be interested in getting the sample template. Making the sample work for tutorials available is something that adds great value to posts in my opinion as I am a hands on type of person.

  6. naomi on the 16th August


  7. mike on the 16th August

    This looks awesome. I am going home now to clean up my old boring notepad resume.

  8. orks on the 16th August

    Cool! Thanks for the hints.
    Would you share the MS Word template to facilitate my work?

  9. Arm on the 16th August

    nice articles!! just like what I’m looking for…

  10. Lynn on the 17th August

    While we LOVE creative designs and approaches, and use many ourselves, Hiring and Recruiting managers warn us against this because they can’t be scanned by ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems). We advise if you’re going to go with a more creative, graphic approach, that you also have a more standard one when uploading to an ATS.

    Overall however, very attractive design.

    The Team at

  11. colin on the 18th August

    looks great, but “Here is how to create a resume” is a little misleading. you don’t actually say how to create the resume, but instead provide screenshots of microsoft word at various stages of the resume creation.

  12. Iris Van Kerckhove on the 20th August

    Thanks for posting this, we non-designers definitely need the help!

  13. R on the 8th September

    how to make this??

    i’m hoping a step by step tutorial please..,

  14. Liam on the 3rd February

    It would be great to get the source file

  15. kfh on the 6th February

    This is a good tutorial on how to design a CV; thank you. Another crucial tip is to make sure that you spell everything correctly – especially common words like, um, say, for example, “company”…

  16. Dann on the 4th March

    Conslut. Great design gets completely undermined by a classic typo.

  17. Admit on the 11th March

    I must confess that I haven’t really used the perspective tool much. So far I’ve never needed it but at least there’s some good tutorials out there for when I do! Thanks.

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