Use the power of grid based designs to create a structured and professional page layout in InDesign, which can then be populated with a range of information to produce a polished CV or Resume. I was recently invited to participate in the Steven Stevenson challenge over at Smashing Magazine.
Let’s go back through the process of creating the document, and see how the initial grid layout was produced. Being a design aimed more towards print, and one that concentrates on the fine grid details, we’ll use Adobe InDesign as the application of choice. Use the Rectangle Frame Tool to draw a box in the top right corner, with the option to Snap to Grid active the shape should fit exactly to the gridlines. With the title being large in size, any slight inaccuracies will be much more visible, spend a few moments to kern the letters. Repeat the process with the second line of text, but this time make the type smaller in size. Edit the text by setting in the appropriate font, set the size to 10pt and leading to 13pt to match the baseline grid. Change the colour of the text to white and align it to the center of the rectangles, as opposed to the baseline itself.
Select the bunch of list items and go to Type > Bulleted & Numbered Lists > Apply Bullets. With the list still selected, go to Type > Bulleted & Numbered Lists > Convert Bullets to Text. We can now go through and select each bullet point, and change the text colour to Cyan, adding a little visual tweak to the page design. When viewed without the guides the design holds itself together well with neatly aligned content and a clean, structured appearance. Access All Areas members gain instant access to 100s of premium design resources & source files.
Unless you are applying to agencies and know in advance that they will accept PDFs and use a color printer to print out your resume, this wouldn’t work, however great-looking it is.


I also recommend having a basic, Microsoft Word version of your resume for less tech-savvy companies who might not have that latest, up-to-date version of Acrobat Reader.
Been using grids in Illustrator for some time now and makes life a bit easier when you get to grips with it. Nice write-up, though I do wonder why you chose to redefine everything individually, rather than just setting paragraph styles for everything. For example, I’d think that creating a ‘List’ style where you define the form, size, shape, and colour of the bullet to use and simply apply that style to all the list items you have on the page would be much easier than manually selecting and changing the colour of each bullet—no?
Or were you perhaps just trying to avoid making a simple tutorial too long by working around the Paragraph Styles palette? I know a lot of time and effort goes into producing any tut, which is why I feel bad for mentioning anything negative. I think a better layout and hierarchy would go a long way toward making this an even better CV. The goal was to produce a CV or Resume layout for a fictional character using the details supplied. Being a desktop publishing package InDesign has a bunch of useful tools for creating complex layouts.
With the planned design using a lot of Cyan, it would be handy to change the colour of the gridlines from blue.
Our page is now ready to place elements accurately in relation to the structured gridlines. Using variations in size and colour gives prominence to these elements, and helps display the various sections of information clearly. The main titles at the top of the page stand out the most with their size and vibrant background colour.
Draw a blue rectangle behind the text, but shorten it in size to just under the height of the baseline. Make any final checks to the page elements and ensure all items are aligned to the underlying grid.


Unless you are applying to a creative agency, you’re going to want to go black and white and allow a healthy margin for inkjet printers.
Many of them still detect keywords in PDF documents, but any special characters in your document can really screw things up. If you look closely you will see that there is only one line gap before the heading Computer Skills and the rest have two. I work in InDesign daily and know a lot of the ins and outs, but it’s still nice to see this program get some props.
The secondary information is displayed under medium sized titles, which are also displayed in blue. This is where the design skills come handy: designing around limits that are set by HR and corporations and still be able to stand out is a real challenge. We’re not planning on mass-producing the document so no bleed is necessary, but it could be handy if you’re planning on trimming down the final page if doubled up on an A3 printer. Also change the start to 0mm from the Top Margin, Increment them to every 13pt and untick the Grids in Back option. The next level of information is set is a stronger weight font, but is toned back slightly with an 80% black, and finally the body text uses the standard 10pt black styling. It also means that your typographic variations for headers and subheads be defined in ways other than color (i.e. As it stands, my eye goes down the right column first without ever looking at the left column.



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