Adobe InDesign CC

How to create a resume

Learn how to create an attractive and easy-to-read resume you'll be proud to hand out at your next career event. (Try it, 10 min)

What do I need?

Get files Sample files to practice with (ZIP, 850 KB)

Get PDF InDesign cheat sheet

To view the completed resume and Typography Guide, open final-resume-guide.pdf. Open resume.indd to follow along with this tutorial.

Tips: Choose View > Grids & Guides > Show Guides to display ruler guides that will help you to position artwork more precisely. Press W to toggle between Normal mode (with guides) and Preview mode (without).

Choose View > Display performance > High Quality Display to display artwork at the highest resolution.

 

Open the work file and type guide
Open the work file and type guide

Step 1 of 9

Use high-quality typefaces to set your resume apart

To start, you’ll download some typefaces from the Adobe TypeKit service directly into InDesign. Choose Type > Add fonts from Typekit.

Click Desktop Use, and type Lato in the Search field above. Click +Use fonts, and select Light, Italic, Bold, and Heavy. Then click Sync selected fonts to install this font automatically. Repeat this step to install League Gothic.

Add fonts from TypeKit
Add fonts from TypeKit

Use Lato fonts
Use Lato fonts

Sync selected fonts
Sync selected fonts

Step 2 of 9

Our logo uses two components: A circle, and a pair of initials. To draw a circle, press L or select the Ellipse Tool from the Tool panel; then Shift + drag to draw a constrained circle in the area marked by the guides. To resize the circle, press V to switch to the selection tool, then press Shift + drag the corners of the bounding box.

Create a logo
Create a logo

Next, you’ll colorize the circle. With the circle still selected, click the Fill pop-up menu in the Control Panel and choose Paper in the Swatches panel to color it white. Now click the Stroke pop-up menu and select None.

Colorize the circle
Colorize the circle

Click outside the sidebar to deselect the circle, and then press T to select the Type tool. Click + drag a text box in a blank area of the page and type your initials.

Select the Type tool
Select the Type tool

To format the text, drag across to highlight it, and click the Font menu to view your choices. Click Apply Typekit Filter and select League Gothic. Type 60 pt in the Font Size field, and click away from the text box to deselect it. Now type V to switch to the Selection Tool and drag the initials to position in the center of the circle using the automatic guides to position it.

Tip: Press the Up/Down arrow keys to nudge a selected object in small increments.

Format text
Format text

Step 3 of 9

Flesh out your resume

To add details to the Work Experience section, you’ll need to first create a text frame to hold the text. Press T and drag a text frame using the ruler guides to assist you. Choose File > Place > work-experience. All the text in the document appears in the text frame, and it is ready to be formatted.

Add details
Add details

Step 4 of 9

Format your text so it’s readable and attractive

You’ll format each part of the Education section. To format the heading, press T to select the Type Tool, highlight the text and choose League Gothic from the Font menu in the Control panel, and 18 pt in the Font Size menu. Continue to format the remaining as shown below:

  • Lato Heavy, 11 pt for academic/job title/“Bachelor of Fine Art, Communication Design”
  • Lato Italic, 11 pt for the college/company/“Pacific Northwest College of Art”
  • Lato Light, 8 pt for the time period/“Sept 2010 - May 2013”
  • Lato Italic, 11 pt for the description 
Format text sections separately
Format text sections separately

Step 5 of 9

Use a shortcut to format text

The Eyedropper Tool can be used to copy text formatting. Click outside the textbox, and Type I to select the Eyedropper tool. Click “Bachelor of Fine Art, Communication Design” in the Education section. The tool icon changes to display a loaded cursor.

Use the Eyedropper tool to copy text formatting
Use the Eyedropper tool to copy text formatting

Drag to highlight, “User Experience Designer,” in Work Experience to apply the same formatting. As long as the Eyedropper Tool icon is loaded you can format other text, so keep going. Drag across “Content Designer,” "Digital Media Intern," and “Tutor and Professional Image Assistant” to apply the same formatting.

Use this technique to format the rest of the text using the Typography Guide included in final-resume-guide.pdf.

Apply the same formatting
Apply the same formatting

Step 6 of 9

Add some eye-catching illustrations

Next you’ll add vector icons to draw attention to the contact information.

Press Z or click the Zoom Tool and drag a marquee around the dark panel to enlarge it. Choose File > Place > Icons . Press Shift + click on files 1 - 4 to select them all and click Open. The cursor is now loaded with the icons; you’ll click in the white margin to the left of the dark panel to drop each icon next to its corresponding text. Click, first, to the left of the email address, followed by the phone number, website link, and address respectively.

Add illustrations
Add illustrations

To reposition an icon, press V to switch to the Selection Tool, and then click to select the icon. Use the arrow keys to nudge each icon in small increments.

Tip: If you want to use more graphics in your resume, try using the Market in Creative Cloud Assets, available free to Creative Cloud subscribers.

Reposition icons as needed
Reposition icons as needed

Step 7 of 9

Add hyperlinks in case you email or upload your resume.

Press T and drag to select address@mail.com. Press Control + click, or right-click and choose Hyperlinks > New Hyperlink from the pop-up menu. Select Link To: Email; type your email address below. To keep the same appearance, select Same style, and click OK.

Add hyperlinks
Add hyperlinks

To link your website, replace the text with your website URL. Drag to select the URL and press Control + click, or right-click, and choose Hyperlinks > New Hyperlink from URL.

Add a website URL
Add a website URL

Step 8 of 9

Add a pop of color

Personalize your resume easily with the help of a color theme. Choose Window > Color > Adobe Color Themes. Click Explore to browse thousands of color themes created by the Adobe Color Community. To apply a color theme from this list, you’ll have to install it first. Click the Actions menu below a theme and choose Add to Swatches panel.

Add color
Add color

Click the Swatches panel in the panel dock to view the color theme folder you just installed. Click the drop-down menu to view the swatches. 

Tip: You may have to scroll to view the color theme folder.

View the color swatches
View the color swatches

Now you’re ready to apply colors to parts of your resume. Press V and select an area such as the tall panel on the left, and then click a swatch from the Swatches panel to apply it. Press Shift + click to select more than one object to colorize at once. To colorize text, press T and highlight the text; then click a color swatch in the Swatches panel.

Tip: Drag a marquee around several objects to select them at once.

Add color to specific sections
Add color to specific sections

Step 9 of 9

Prepare to print or email your resume

It’s just as convenient to use the PDF format to print your resume in color as it is to save a version for email.

To save the file for handoff to a print service, choose File > Export. Select Adobe PDF (Print), and choose the High Quality Print Preset at the top; then click Export.

Print or email your resume
Print or email your resume

To save a version that can be emailed, choose File > Export. Select Adobe PDF (Interactive). Click Export to create a small document with hyperlinks that you email or upload in no time.

Export a version of your resume
Export a version of your resume

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