How to Write a Resume

Ok everybody, just chill. This isn’t rocket science. For your field it’s not even the biggest deal. Your portfolio is much bigger. Ok, ok, chill, chill, chill some more. We’ll get to that too.

A resume is a one page summary of your skills and experience.

Make your resume one page. Period. If you need more pages you will need to make a different kind of document, a curriculum vita (CV) letter. These are used primarily in Europe. You can find an example here: (click me). A resume is one page. Period.

Be sure to always tailor your resume to the audience.

e.g.: A graphic designers resume should be designed. Set it in Illustrator or InDesign and save as a PDF file. Your resume design should be a choice typographic example that matches your other promotional collateral such as your web site. Pay special attention to hierarchy, typography and kerning.

e.g.: If you are going out for a fashion job you want to be up front with your related (un)paid experience even if it jumps chronological order or omits that crap job you had bussing tables at Denny’s.

Use technical terms in your descriptions.

These get picked up by HR folks and machine scanners. e.g.: Don’t just say you did “imposition”, use the program name and beef it up to say “created PREPS imposition templates.”

Create clear outlines of information.

e.g.: Use bold, italics, color, indentation and different size fonts to convey your most important points. That said, DO NOT use not more than 2 colors, 2 typefaces and 3 type sizes. It confuses things.

Spell check before sending.

It matters.

Example Graphic Design Resumes

Below are some example resumes posted online. Check them out and be inspired.

Templates For Non-Graphic Design Resumes

Below are some downloadable files to get you started on your resume journey to excellence. For the love of mercy, DO NOT use these Microsoft Word Templates if you are a graphic designer. Everybody else, have at the Word templates. It’s standard.

What Other Folks Say

You know what they say about free advice, right? Below are some good and varied opinions about resume writing for the creative professions.


A typographic, designological, visulicious extravaganza!

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