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How To Create A Great Web Designer Résumé and CV?

The economy is bad. No one’s job is really 100% safe, so it’s time we all bucked up and got our recession bags packed (just in case!). Your portfolio is already gorgeous, but have you created a drool-worthy web résumé or design CV? [Content Care Dec/21/2016]

This flimsy one-page document is more important than many people think: the web résumé is the first portfolio piece that potential employers see, and if they’re not impressed, chances are they won’t look at the rest of your portfolio. “But I’m not a print designer!” you moan. It doesn’t matter, and I don’t want to hear your excuses! You need to conquer this, because if you’re a great Web designer, you don’t want your first impression to be mediocre.

Further Reading on SmashingMag: Link

The Steve Stevenson Web Designer Résumé Challenge Link

Everyone likes a competition. How about one in which ten good Web designers have to design the same résumé in only a few hours? Meet Steven Stevenson.

Steven Stevenson, a fictional Web designer, doesn’t have a résumé. The competition: each designer must translate his work experience, education and interests into their own unique style. Watch and learn, people. At the end is a summary of good tips for Web designer résumés. (If you’re interested in taking the challenge yourself, check out misterstevenson5 for all the rules these designers followed, Steven Stevenson’s raw data and the chance to add your own entry.)

And in no particular order, here are the contestants’ entries!

Contest Entries Link

Sam Brown6 made a real effort to distinguish between the three main components of Steve Stevenson’s life and adds a touch of personality with some handwritten text and highlighting. He shows he isn’t afraid to mix media but manages to do so in an elegant, fun way.
Download the PDF7 | Download the source file (.ai)8

Web Designer Résumé9

Ali Felski’s design is beautiful and simple, but manages to convey Steve Stevenson’s strong design skills. Her usage of colour is muted, but appropriate, and she’s left out a lot of extra information that could clutter up this one page document. Ali is also aware of the boundaries of the medium. She says, “A résumé should be designed well, but just like the Web, it has constraints, and even as designers, we should respect them.”
Download the PDF10 | Download the source file (.eps)11

Web Résumé12

Chris Spooner13 opts for a purely typographic, clean design that showcases his ability to display information without the need for adornment. Clean design is a skill that Steve Stevenson may possibly need should he be looking for a corporate Web design job, in which case he’d need to present something simple and professional.
Download the PDF14


Niamh Redmond makes Steve Stevenson’s résumé stand out by choosing a landscape-style document with well-divided content and good branding. Niamh says about her design: “My aim was to design something in which each element served a function. Every shape and line, the colors and their use, the font variations and text sizes were chosen to communicate something to the reader.”
Download the PDF16 | Download the source file (.eps)17


Eva-Lotta Lamm19 chose to keep her résumé simple and typographic: “The only illustrative element is Steve’s little logo (playing with the nice alliteration of his first and last name). It is repeated as a small blue dot to separate different section sin the résumé.” The result is a beautiful, yet simple piece, which is easy to follow.
Download the PDF20


Sarah Parmenter22 goes with a solid yellow background and a very prominent photo of Steven Stevenson (who is quite cute!). She breaks up the copy and puts emphasis on his freelance work.
Download the PDF23 | Download the source file (.ai)24


Wez Maynard has simplified the information and given it lots of room to breath. His design could easily be used as a Web design. He’s also given a lot of space and prominence to branding and has effectively separated the freelance work from the work experience.
Download the PDF26


Luc Pestille28 has added some great imagery without making it unprintable. He’s allowed spaces for a photo and company logos, and he brings in arty spray-painting. While most likely inappropriate for a corporate work environment, it is playfully suited to a funkier job opportunity.
Download the PDF29 | Download the source file (.ai)30


Ollie Kav32 chose to use Steve Stevenson’s love of Japanese culture to organize his résumé. These personal touches give the CV a huge dose of personality, which would give employers something interesting to speak with him about in the interview. “I’ve based the design on the signage in the Tokyo subway stations, which has bright bold colors,” Ollie says. This boldness makes for a resume that shows Steve Stevenson’s confidence and passion.
Download the PDF33 | Download the source file (.indd)34


Albert Lo36 has broken an important rule by making his résumé virtually unprintable. But he has also organized the information very differently: chronologically, with awards, skills and work all intertwined, just as they would be in real life. Albert says his inspiration came from listening to house and trance; his colors and illustration really communicate the type of designer he is.
Download the PDF37


You can download all of these entries in a handy ZIP file39 (5 Mb). Thanks to all designers for their participation!

10 Useful Tips For A Great Résumé Design Link

Let’s now take a look at some useful ideas and guidelines that – in our humble opinion – may help you to achieve a great, compact and beautiful CV.

1. Make It a Summary Link

Your résumé needs to tell an employer (at a quick glance) the details most relevant to him or her. This means the whole thing should fit on one page! If you’re a Web designer, keeping it short and punchy is even more important. Sure, writing for Web is different than writing for print, but by showing your potential employer that you can keep things concise, you are actually showcasing an important Web skill. Besides, you need to leave something to talk about in the interview!

2. Keep It Simple and Understandable Link

When designing a CV, remember first and foremost that you are a designer, but don’t go overboard. Many people over-design their résumé. It’s a chronic problem: they’ll add so many fancy bits that the actual content gets lost. Most design jobs are all about your ability to organize content, so simplify, simplify, simplify!

But that doesn’t mean boring either. “Simple doesn’t mean simplistic; simple is hard to achieve,” says Niamh. Remember that you are applying for a design job, not to become a managerial assistant or to compete in an art college creativity competition.

3. Leave Some Details Out Link

Some people include their entire life history and every personal detail on their résumé. Your job as a clerk at the corner store 10 years ago won’t ever get you a job in Web design. Mentioning it only takes focus away from your relevant work experience. Keep your marital status, age and grades off, too. What if a potential employer wants to see your grades? Wez Maynard offers some great advice about this: “If the employer wants to judge you on your grades and not your portfolio, believe me, you do not want to work for them.”

4. Make It Perfect Link

You are a professional, so attention to detail is critical. Everything on your CV should line up, every pixel should be absolutely perfect. And even though the job is not to be a writer, a large proportion of employers throw away résumés with spelling or grammatical mistakes in them. By making it perfect, you are showing potential employers that you aren’t sloppy and that you will care about every detail of their projects. Get 10 people who can spell to look it over. Just do it.

5. Use a Grid Link

Over and over, Web designers scream about “the grid.” Why is the grid so important for a Web designer’s résumé? If you’re applying for a design job, the employer will most likely have an understanding of grids and baseline grids. “If you’re not using a grid, you run the risk of giving the impression that you don’t have an understanding of basic design principles,” Olliekav warns us. For those employers with no design background, grids make your résumé look cleaner and more organized.

6. Make It Printable Link

When working on designs for websites, you are allowed to have dark, moody and texture-heavy backgrounds. They look fantastic on your browser, but they are simply inappropriate for web résumés. Most CVs are printed out and given to hiring managers in batches, but not everyone has a photo-quality color printer; and, without contrast, your background-heavy résumé will become illegible.

So make sure your résumé

  1. matches the paper size for your country (letter size for the US and A4 for the UK, for example), so that employers don’t have to make any adjustments before printing,
  2. has a white background,
  3. looks okay in black and white,
  4. will print well at 300 dpi. The best way to avoid a pixelated result is to create a PDF with embedded fonts.

Displaying URLs for your projects is crucial. If the employer will be viewing the résumé as a PDF, link the URLs back to your portfolio (using anchors if it is very long) or the projects themselves. Here’s how to create links in a PDF document.

(Many of the designers in the Steve Stevenson challenge noted that they would have done this, but because the applicant is fictional, the links wouldn’t have gone anywhere!)

Once your résumé is printed out, it should serve as a quick reference for potential employers to check out your projects. So, spell out the URLs alongside your project descriptions. You don’t need the http://www at the beginning of each URL, though.

8. Don’t Use a Template Link

A little inspiration here and there never hurt anyone. But imagine you submitted a web résumé and it was the exact same as someone else’s? Gosh, would your face be red. If you are a Web designer, you probably wouldn’t want to use a template for your portfolio website either. Take some time and think about the impression you want to make: I bet it isn’t that you can enter data into a template.

9. Update it often Link

Résumés are an often neglected aspect of a web designer’s portfolio. Make sure you update it every time you update your portfolio and make it accessible from your portfolio.

10. Show Your Personality Link

You are a designer, so I hope you have your own style. Steve Stevenson, from his interests, sounds like an interesting guy. Olliekav used his love of Japanese culture to give his résumé a personal touch without going overboard. If the job you’re applying for requires a lot of creative thinking, the employer wants to know you’re not a pixel pusher or a drone. Let them know you have personality, a sense of humor and a sense of style.

Bonus: If You’re Going to Break the Rules, Do It Well Link

Albert’s resume is completely unprintable, but it’s also absolutely beautiful. If you’re going to take risks like this, make sure you’re willing to alienate a few haters en route to more creative employers who will appreciate your ability to think outside of the box. Always make sure you’re aware of the rules, and break them cautiously. Done right, you’ll shine from the crowd.

The web résumé is an oft-neglected piece of the Web designer’s portfolio. Make sure you update yours every time you update your portfolio, and make it accessible from your portfolio.


Footnotes Link

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Kat Neville is a freelance Canadian web designer (living in the UK) who is constantly coming up with too many ideas for new websites. She also loves arts and crafts, gardening and going on adventures. You can find her design work at

  1. 1

    Krisdat Kutayiah

    April 1, 2009 6:57 am

    Excellent Resource!!!!

  2. 2


    April 1, 2009 7:02 am

    great stuff. i just happen to be in the process of creating a new resume.

  3. 3

    Dieter Mueller

    April 1, 2009 7:29 am

    When I hire (web) designers for a project I want to see at least some thumbnails of their designs. Overall most web designers CVs look too much the same or tell the same story: yes you did some CSS – but so did everybody else …

    I want some more details about the person and your experience levels.

    How good are you with CSS, Photoshop and other stuff (beginner, good, excellent, god)? I don’t expect from designer to be brilliant in every field. For some projects / budgets it’s oke to hire a generalist and sometimes I am looking for specific skills. If you list for example your Photoskills divide them into fields of expertise like photo retouching etc.

    What was the size and duration f the projects you participated? Usually I prefer people who have experience working nerve wrecking (big) projects. Whipping up a small blog template for a small firm is one thing, working on a big ass shopping website with a couple of thousand products, sections and languages a whole different story.

    Do you have any international experience? For example menu items in French and German are usually much longer than in English. A good designer leaves extra space for longer words & phrases. Also colours and styles have often very different cultural meaning and impact.

    Do you have experience working with project management tools and methods (very important these days)? Being able to read and understand concepts and wireframes is important, also to follow project plans. Forget all grand delusions about being arty farty – you need to play your part in a serious production now – and project managers needs to know upfront if you can follow typical project management processes – or even organize some basic stuff yourself?!

    Have you produced any style guides? Can you do good presentations? How do you communicate and document your ideas, work and code? Most designers are terrible communicating their visuals (or code) to clients or even co-workers. They hate documentation, but it’s very important for the team and the client. Undocumented code or design decisions will cause problems, misunderstandings and unnecessary questions later.

    Which kind of sites / businesses do you have experience designing for (shopping, communities, news & corporate websites) and understand their business relevant mechanisms and target groups? Designing a site for elders and their pets is a completely different ball game than doing a World of Warcraft fan page. I want to hire a designer who familiar with the visuals, needs and lingo of a certain industry or target group. I don’t want to spend too much time explaining what’s important or not. That also means they do their homework and research that industry before doing any designs …

    • 4

      Great comment, very helpful, thanks!

    • 5

      Very helpful. Thanks a ton!

    • 6


      Thanks for your post too. I am in the process of my resume and you really answered the questions I had in my head on how to write it.


    • 7

      your comment is worth a post.

    • 8

      Rakesh Kumar

      June 15, 2010 12:50 am

      Thanks for this post…

      this is really useful and helpful for me in my professional life.

    • 9

      Don’t forget it is supposed to be a summary of what you do – not everything, otherwise you’ll end up with 37 pages CV. In my opinion, on-line portfolio site is what is needed here.

    • 10

      The guy that doesnt do that, targeting audience, knowing concepts, wireframes… well, he can´t really call himself a designer.

      He knows how to do graphics in Photoshop, ok! cool… he´s graphic worker!

  4. 11

    Also, for great design jobs, look through twitter… for example, check out the great jobs currently available:


  5. 12

    Wicked article!

    I will say that your CV should ALWAYS be on white, practically must rule here. These CV’s will more often than not be printed – is saturating the page in ink the best way to impress your potential employer?

    Are the designers going to make the source files available to…. ahem….. borrow?

  6. 13

    kat neville

    April 1, 2009 7:48 am

    Hi guys, I’m the author of the article… thanks for your lovely feedback :). There’s so many things you can say about a resume (and I’m sure there’s been books written about them too!). At least one of the designers said they’d give it up as open source. I will ask the others and post em all on

  7. 14

    Right, the contest expects PDF’s, which I guess certainly explains the no images rule. So are PDF’s standard for CV’s? To be honest I’ve never heard that.

  8. 15

    Chris Raymond

    April 1, 2009 8:06 am

    Great article, and some fantastic designs. However, this fictional job applicant has only a modest number of years of experience in one field of design. Wonder how the designs might have changed for someone like me, with 10+ years of work in both print and web design, plus sometimes relevant work experience as a writer and editor? (I actually tweak the content of my resume depending on the employer…)

    I also have read from many resume-writing gurus that it is important not to just list job duties, but to offer a nugget of what you accomplished in a particular job: for example, “developed web production project checklist” or “turned around campaign design on 2-week deadline”–you get the idea.

    Curious to know what Kat thinks about this?
    my online portfolio
    my personal blog

  9. 16

    I agree that the best way to save your CV is as a PDF with embedded fonts but nearly every recruiter out there will want it in word format which can be a huge pain.

  10. 17

    Wez Maynard

    April 1, 2009 8:19 am

    Nice to see the comments roll in on this one! :)

    I, through personal experience and having worked alongside allot of agencies, would suggest that PDF is by far the most common form for submitting your cv.

    If you’ve allot to say, i dont think theres anything wrong with having 2, but certainly no more than three pages.

    Certainly in the creative industries – more often than not because employers (general sweeping statement forthcoming) understand what a pdf is, and that they CAN open/print it.

    If someone applying for a designers vacancy sent me their cv in word, they would be heading to the bottom of the pile. Your a designer, design your damn cv!

  11. 18

    In Response to “Dieter Mueller”‘s comment, all those questions are asked at the interview.

  12. 19

    Another tip – if you’re going to use words in another language, use them correctly. Ollie Kav’s has a few upside-down Kanji characters (next to Employment).

  13. 20

    kat neville

    April 1, 2009 8:35 am

    @chris it’s hard to choose what kind of character Steven Stevenson would be… in the end, I didn’t want to make the thing too long. Your stuff is lovely; you’re a very talented lady!

    Also sad that not ONE of the designers picked up on his love of watch making. I thought someone could have done something really cool with that!

  14. 21

    Lukasz Bachur

    April 1, 2009 8:40 am

    So creative topic! Good job.

  15. 22

    This is just what I need. Thanks!

  16. 23

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Thank you SM, I love you!

  17. 24


    Rule 8: Don’t Use a Template
    Yeah, but the artworks above look like templates. Many of them are templates without any doubt. It’s also a template if you copy it from your memory. Especially, Albert Lo seems to have a hyperthymestic memory :)

    Rule 10: Show Your Personality
    I studied all artworks above and do not know anything about Steven’s personality. He’s a webdesigner, right?
    Luc Prestille’s attempt is worst. Looks like the WordPress default theme :)

  18. 25

    Wow, this article goes against everything I’ve learned about creating a resume. HR departments routinely “file 90” fancy resumes and recruiters/consultants even go so far as to strip style out so it’s purely a typed up document.

  19. 26

    Sean McArthur

    April 1, 2009 10:01 am

    The picture of Ali Felski’s attempt links to Ollie Kav’s instead!

  20. 27



  21. 28

    One of the biggest rules I was taught was: “Don’t put your picture into your design much less your resume”. We aren’t real estate brokers! Unfortunately people judge on first impressions and yes many won’t read a book because the cover sucks.

  22. 29

    Lovely work and some great ideas to go against the conventional thinking. Useful to note, many placement agencies/large companies/headhunters request a MS Word version and / or scan the document in. Though I like the multi-column layouts and the landscape option offered, I worry how the content might be mangled once scanned.

    studio holling

  23. 30

    I think the cleaner the better. Some of these are just visual masturbation.

  24. 31

    Niamh Redmond

    April 1, 2009 11:20 am

    Excellent article Kat and thanks for the opportunity to feature my design. I enjoyed seeing how the other designers interpreted the brief also, quite a bit of variety!

    I wrote (quite a long) methodology about my design and the reasons behind each of my design choices on my blog. I’ve also made the original source file available for download there under a Creative Commons licence for those that requested it or anyone else that wants it.

    – Niamh.

  25. 32

    Since I’m not old enaugh to work yet, I’ll save this article on my HDD. It may become handy in the future.

  26. 33

    Serhat Sine -

    April 1, 2009 12:45 pm

    Nice article/Thnx

    BTW, here it is mine resume:

  27. 34

    Mads Rasmussen

    April 1, 2009 12:46 pm

    Love this one! Just what i needed..

  28. 35

    some were really clean and nice, while others looked a little much, and distracting. if i were to interview someone that put that much effort into their “splatter” marks, i would not be wondering why they were out of a job…no offense to the splatter or specific design elements, but i mean, you can really only arrive at one of two conclusions: A) they are talented, and can turn quality designs around on a dime, or B) they have been out of work for so long the only thing that could occupy their time was tweaking their resume.

    definitely got me to want to touch mine up a bit though. much appreciated!

  29. 36

    Great Tips! Thankyou so much for this

  30. 37

    Fantastic article! Great for inspiration. Makes me want to overhaul mine.

  31. 38

    Brian Temecula

    April 1, 2009 3:41 pm

    I’ve always felt that a resume shouldn’t include any special formatting. If your education, work experience, and other personal details don’t speak for themselves, then a fancy resume is certainly not going to get you the job. The examples of resumes in this article are way too wild for my taste, and being a business owner myself, I’d be very reluctant to take a look at a resume that seemed so unprofessional. This is only my opinion, but I wonder if others feel the same way.

  32. 39

    Great Article

    • 40

      I’m commenting here becaue mine shows up at the bottom haha and I have a question. I’m not a creative person but I want one like these, this site does it for people who aren’t creative (it’s not templates) should I do it? or is it too much for the non creative professionals?

  33. 41

    I was going to make one of these tonight! I’m applying for a new job tomorrow! with me luck

  34. 42

    Mohamed Azazy

    April 1, 2009 7:01 am

    I LIKE it… special topic

  35. 43

    thanks for the tips!

  36. 44

    Love the Sarah Parmenter version.

  37. 45

    Sander van de Staay

    April 1, 2009 7:21 am

    Great post!
    really usefull!

  38. 46

    I’m going to agree strongly with Brian Temecula here. A CV/resume is a practical, functional document, even for this sort of job, and the design should reflect that.

    You have seconds to make a good first impression with a CV. If the reader can’t put you in the “reasonable candidate” pile that fast, then you lose by default. That means your key skills and general experience level must be immediately obvious, along with any major accomplishments that will set you apart from the dozens of other CVs the same person is reading.

    After that, you get two minutes, if you’re lucky, of closer reading to explore your background and supporting skills in more detail. Again, remember that if anything necessary for the job isn’t immediately obvious or if anything raises a red flag, you lose by default.

    Most of the example CVs shown in this article tell me one thing immediately: the designer thinks I’m going to be fooled into hiring them by looking at their visual masterpiece. I’m not. I’m going to throw it away because I don’t have time to read it, and hire the guy who submitted ten lines of typewriter text that told me what I actually needed to know. But for a design job, I’d rather hire the guy who managed to make those same ten lines visually attractive and easier to scan.

    Just like any other design project, a CV is about getting into the head of your target audience and working out what they want. I doubt many people looking to hire a designer want a document that makes it difficult to find the information they need, no matter how impressive the visuals might be.

  39. 47

    Congratulations !!!
    Very usefull and informative tricks !!!

    Thanks again !!!


  40. 48

    love the first one… great use of fontography and whitespace. Been working on mine for a while and this article gave me a few ideas!

  41. 49

    An extremely important article ! Excellent work. Thank you for this.

  42. 50

    Wow, there is alot of webdesigners called Steven Stevesson out there.

    Kiddin’, great article, as always :D

  43. 51

    Sarah Parmenter

    April 1, 2009 7:49 am

    I would happily release mine under creative commons if anyone wanted it, drop me a tweet or a mail.

    Facinating to see how others interpret the brief too. :)

    • 52

      Alkelees alina

      January 30, 2010 4:40 am

      hi friend i had got lot of experience from this regard but i did not got the creative commons

  44. 53

    Wez Maynard

    April 1, 2009 7:51 am

    Hehe sazzy’s gone and changed his name!

    The cheek of it! ;)

  45. 54

    Ollie Kavanagh

    April 1, 2009 7:52 am

    Your welcome to have mine under Creative Commons as well if you want it ;)

  46. 55


    April 1, 2009 7:52 am

    This rocks! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • 56

      ana morgenstern

      February 15, 2010 8:31 pm

      hey how are u..i sent this lines….but my name is morgenstern too jajajja ..and a m graphic design jajaja i hope that u stay fine

  47. 57

    wow! thx for the idea!!!

  48. 58

    Luc Pestille

    April 1, 2009 7:53 am

    @Jackson – I was the one who was going to give up the source (.ai), so you’ll definately be seeing mine (hopefully someone likes it) – although I want Wez’ version!

    @Kat – Thanks again for the opportunity to get some link-love on Smashing Mag!

  49. 59

    Sarah Parmenter

    April 1, 2009 7:55 am

    Yeah why was I the only one that spelt it with a “p” – I do distinctly remember it being “one of those days” actually….

  50. 60

    Or, rather than constraining your CV design you could just use a print css stylesheet to make sure that your graphics heavy, multicoloured CV prints down into a neat, clean document.

  51. 61

    kat neville

    April 1, 2009 7:58 am

    Wow, Sarah, cheeky!
    (and I didn’t even notice it…hahaha)

  52. 62

    Those resume looks really amazing. But I just afraid, is that really appropriate for a formal resume,even for graphic-related jobs.

    Since I have been told thousands of times, to keep your resume neat, clear, ordered……but not fancy….

  53. 63

    Martin Buckland

    April 1, 2009 5:18 pm

    Very enticing and competitive designs

  54. 64

    This is a really great article! I love how Chris Spooner did it!

  55. 65

    And also, Sarah Parameter’s looks great too!

  56. 66

    Nice, not new, but article – breaking the ice. Thanks SM

  57. 67

    Nice to have the PDF for download. Will think of something for me :)

  58. 68

    Jimmy Krack

    April 1, 2009 8:03 pm

    Good article. From reading others comments I’d like to mention a couple of items.

    1) You can have a pretty resume AND use a media=print stylesheet so it will print properly and look more along the lines of what recruiters need to see (your info) ex: If you are a designer or developer you should be able to do this with no problem.

    2) I have worked for an HR/Recruiting software company since 2004 – I would suggest, when submitting your resume online, to do it as plain text. If you submit it as anything else you are depending on the technology to correctly parse that PDF or Word doc (whatever version you may have). I have seen issues around this when someone tries to submit their beautiful work of art resume online *queue buzzer ejection sound*. – I’m just sayin’… beautiful on the web is cool, plain text when submitting to be 100% safe.


  59. 69

    Danish Refai

    April 1, 2009 8:13 pm

    Those are some good examples of resume !!!
    I’m still a student but am inspired now to make one resume myself !!!
    Smash It !!!

  60. 70

    I’m not a web designer (but I am in the technology industry), so perhaps it’s different in this industry, but for almost every job I’ve applied for, HR has asked for a Word version of my resume (even after submitting a perfectly acceptable PDF). Very few of these designs could be translated to a Word document.

    Again, I don’t know if this situation would occur for a web design applicant, but it’s something to bear in mind.

  61. 71

    Absolutely Fantastic… Very Informative, i learned a lot through this article.
    Thanks for sharing with all of us :)

  62. 72

    very helpful.

  63. 73

    In all the years I’ve been working I’ve never had a pdf accepted. They have all wanted a word doc or plain text.
    Post interesting?: Yes
    Post useful?: No

  64. 74

    Thanks for a great article guys. I love the varied implementations of the same CV, from different angles. Very cool. :)

  65. 75

    Sarah Parmenter

    April 2, 2009 12:24 am

    While I understand and agree with many of the points raised, I think people are forgetting this was a design competition, just for fun between us all, how interested would anyone have been had we all submitted plain text CV’s or the bog-standard Microsoft Word layout? Wouldn’t make for a very interesting read. :)

  66. 76

    I would urge all budding designers out there to design your cv, please.

    In the UK – there are some 20 designers for every design job. The things that are going to make you stand out are your cv, initially and more importantly your folio.

    I can assure you in a working DESIGN agency environment a nice looking cv – or even better a creative way of getting your cv across, for example a friend of mine put her cv onto a cd, then encased the cv inside a woodern block made to look like a tree stump – closed with nuts and bolts on four sides.

    She now works at a very well respected graphic design firm in London. This method made her stand out from the crowd, a cv attachment in an email as a word doc is not going to do this. I appreciate in the web development world this may be completely different.

    Any design related degree course will teach you to make yourself stand out from the crowd – a cv is a superb way of getting this across nice and early! ESPECIALLY in these uncertain times.

    and @Helen “Yeah, but the artworks above look like templates. Many of them are templates without any doubt.” Come on, look at the portfolio of these guys – you really think they’d use a template?

  67. 77

    Very very interesting!
    My CV is in PDF format from 2000 and I never had problems…

  68. 78

    Stephen Costello

    April 2, 2009 1:14 am

    Really love those designs guys, they look superb! Think I’ll experiment with a new CV when I get a moment.

  69. 79

    Steve Forbes

    April 2, 2009 1:53 am

    Awesome article! Just as I was about to redo my CV as well and this pops up! Thanks a bunch!

    Well done to the designers that created all the awesome examples. Gives me some great inspiration!

    One thing I don’t get is, in school why did the teacher always say, dont make it look fancy. Plain and simple is most effective. I was always like, “that dont make sense though”…. maybe they were refering to MS Word Art lol :P

  70. 80

    Good timing ;)

  71. 81

    Personally, when I am creating a CV (I’m a perfectionist, I have too many revisions), I try and make it any form which my employers will ask. PDF, HTML and DOC are usually the main three, but again, you do get some awkward guy wanting it in Lotus 1-2-3 or Word Perfect. :D

    Great, out-of-the-box idea. SM always supprises me :)

  72. 82

    Rogério Oliveira

    April 2, 2009 6:42 am

    came on time this post

  73. 83

    Why not put up an HTML version of the resume with nice colors/backgrounds, then use a print style sheet to sanitize it for printing?

  74. 84

    thanks a lot!

  75. 85

    good article, im currently tryin to get a good resume.

  76. 86

    Kevin Gilbert

    April 2, 2009 1:27 pm

    Great article and very informative. I’m new to some of this, though. What’s a “CV”?

  77. 87

    David Green

    April 2, 2009 1:34 pm

    There was a great article on The AD Class blog a week ago – 10 Tips for Writing a Remarkable Resume in Today’s Creative World. You should check it out, pretty awesome stuff and very much related.

  78. 88

    Joe Brightwell

    April 2, 2009 2:52 pm

    Another thing that is important is if you have a website with your portfolio in it, make sure the design of your website and your CV are both consistent with each other (i.e. they look pretty much identical with the use of fonts, colour, layout, etc).

    It looks unprofessional to have a CV that is vastly different in design to your website. Companies focus on branding with everything they design so why can’t you?

  79. 89

    I always find that keeping your CV’s simple, keeping the important information at the main element. With regards to showing the work you have done, either thumbnails or a seperate PDF of work examples is the best way to go. The one thing i hate is when designers concentrate more on the designing of their CV’s rather than what their CV’s say. Even to the point were they have made a template and fit their content around the template. If anything you should be doing it the other way round. Get your CV to read well and have all the important info on it, and then worry about how it looks.

  80. 90

    Ari Lestariono

    April 3, 2009 12:33 am

    I am professional Blogger and Internet Marketer, this post is good way to stimulus the stagnancy of this depressions, and am looking forward to learn from this site

  81. 91

    Nice article and raises some interesting points and views. I think much of the critiquing here is valid as well. I know it’s just a bit of fun, and there are some lovely examples on show, but people have to be aware of webifying their CV too much.

    I think its important to remember that your CV supports your portfolio and doesn’t have to be drool-worthy in the traditional sense. It should show use of typography, space and layout, presented in a clean and functional manner, making the employer want to see the work behind it. Much as you define the purpose for a website, or part of a website, the CV should be be well thought out, but not overly so.

    Eva-Lotta Lamms design is a perfect example of this working, with lovely handling of type and whitespace. I agree with some of the comments here that some of the designs (to a prospective employer) may show a lack of understanding of anything other than the web. Of course if it is just a web design job you are going for you may get away with it, but most employers will want to see good overall design skills. Typography is half the battle with design, and a good resume designed in a simple fashion displays knowledge of solid design principles typography and layout.

  82. 92

    Nick Clement

    April 3, 2009 7:03 am

    Personally I’d prefer to see a well typeset CV qualifying achievements, letting the work samples or URL do the talking. I can’t help feel that most of these examples are over designed I’d be tempted to skip past them, especially ones with a photo of the person, it’s a tad egotistic.

  83. 93

    Andrew Wilkinson

    April 3, 2009 1:45 pm

    I really liked both Eva-Lotta’s and Chris’ take on the resumé design. Simple is good. Might have to take some inspiration for my one after reading this article, (I just redesigned it a couple of weeks ago, in fact)

  84. 94

    I feel it’s helpful to show your creativity and uniqueness, especially in today’s job market, but honestly, most employers want to see that design creativity in your portfolio NOT your resume. Most people do not even realize that many companies use Resume Parsing technology in their applicant tracking systems (so resumes can go in their databases without data entry), and this technology doesn’t work well with resumes that have graphics in them.

    If you’re going to send out a creative resume to an employer, make sure you send a normal Word Doc resume along with it. Also keep in mind some companies restrict their employees from printing color documents. Great post and examples none the less.

    • 95

      Martin Felm

      March 9, 2010 8:14 pm

      What people are missing here is that different working cultures value different paradigms. A lot of recruiters are remarking that the resume parsing applications they use won’t like these resumes. If you want to work for a large company, or intend to use a recruiter, you’d better heed those remarks.

      However, if you wish to bypass recruiters (my default preference) and intend to get hired into a company that is creative and open-minded, these resumes will succeed. I very much like the idea of cutting recruiters out of the picture and just accessing the actual humans who read the resumes rather than keyword-strip them out of laziness or professional ennui.

      Having your resume get rejected by keyword parsing applications is a feature, not a bug, in my view.

  85. 96

    Mujtaba Zia

    April 3, 2009 9:29 pm

    Excellent Article, Inspired me a lot!

  86. 97

    Great article…but i think its also important to show some work examples. Sometimes pictures say more than long text documents. On my portfolio homepage i present short text blocks with significant pictures and for everyone who wants to read more i link some pdf documents to download.

  87. 98

    i love this post, this is so usefull !!!
    congrats to steve for for the idea !

  88. 99

    cool article!

  89. 100

    Here is the resume I used to get my last job and a short article I wrote about the power of a creative resume:

  90. 101

    Robert (InToGraphics @ the forum)

    April 5, 2009 2:02 pm

    Wez Maynard and Albert Lo receive my vote.

    Regarding Albert breaking one important rule by making “his résumé virtually unprintable”, all I can say is that sometimes you’ve got to break the design/briefing rules to make your design stand out.
    And that’s exactly what happened.

    BTW, is it because of rule “5.Try to keep it to one page!” why you say it is virtually unprintable ?
    The only rule coming close to it is “5.Try to keep it to one page!”.
    But it starts with “Try”. Giving room to break it (the rule that is). :)

    BTW, last visit was on Tuesday (31/03). I have to bl..dy catch up with 7 new articles.
    Give me a break.

  91. 102

    Europass CV – european standard that it´s used for CVs on this part of the world. You can build your own online and update it using the XML file saved on your computer. Also available as a PDF download.

    Many companies at europe demand this template when applying for a job nowadays.

  92. 103

    Hectic Capiznon Bloggers 2009

    April 5, 2009 6:52 pm

    So nice CV and resume…

  93. 104

    Great article.

  94. 105

    Ian R McAllister

    April 7, 2009 4:09 am

    Great article! For designers, this is the way to communicate and show your skills. Physical CV’s must be white/A4, online you should have your portfolio, and can play with your presentation to your professional advantage

  95. 106

    11. Don’t be afraid to admit where you lack experience, providing you have an appetite to learn.


  96. 107

    Really a great article……….

  97. 108

    Engr. Matt Ranola Jr.

    April 12, 2009 4:04 am

    I admire your website and your attitude for unselfishly sharing your knowledge to millions of internet users. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORKS, surely GOD will bless you.

  98. 109

    Hastimal Shah

    April 14, 2009 3:00 am

    Thanks for great article

  99. 110

    Very nice article, however InDesign is a must for designers but some people might prefer, especially if they are more tilted towards the scientific community, XeLaTeX, which allows you to use OpenType Fonts :-).
    there are many examples on the web, I wrote a blog post at!

  100. 111

    Ryan Bollenbach

    April 24, 2009 10:23 pm

    Kick ass article! Some really great tips… also some rules that I already live by :).

  101. 112

    Steven Stephenson

    May 26, 2009 7:13 am

    one of the biggest kicks i get out of this is that my name is Steven Stephenson when I found this I started to laugh.

    • 113

      Steven Stevenson

      January 21, 2010 6:39 pm

      I thought I’d be the first Steven Stevenson, but I’d have to say you’re the first with a v and a ph… that’s some skill!

  102. 114

    it’s so great and mainthing becouse of these useful tips help me to get new job thanks a lot for steven.

  103. 115

    Hey all any ideas how to do a CV for placements, I am a first year student who needs experience. Any ideas? Examples would be good

  104. 116

    Aaron A. Aaronson

    June 12, 2009 1:27 am

    Proof reading is your friend!

  105. 117

    Omar Saud Khan

    July 15, 2009 1:54 am

    Lovely article i learn a lot from this

  106. 118

    Micheil Smith

    July 18, 2009 6:26 pm

    Something that should also be mentioned is that if you’re going to submit a résumé as a pdf, then you should make sure that the document properties give it a correct title and metadata, instead of just “” or “CV”, write it as something like: “Steven Stevenson: Résumé”.

  107. 119

    I have a few more questions about resumes… First, Under the “Experience” category, I give the title for each of my positions in current and and past companies that I have worked for. The value of my experiences with most of my former employers has been the ability to wear many hats in the organization.

    For example, in the current agency I work for, my official title on my business card is “Sr. Graphic Designer”, but my responsibilities include that of an Art Director (for my own work and work of others), Account Manager (I am the point of contact to all my clients within the company and manage their projects), and Sr. Graphic Designer (I do the creative and production).

    My first question is…

    On my Resume, should my title simply be “Sr. Graphic Designer” or “Sr. Graphic Designer/Art Director/Account Manager”???

    I’ve gotten mixed opinions on this from the people that I have asked and I’m not sure how to handle it. I definitely want to showcase all of these skills as much as possible.

    My second question is about my portfolio website. I do a lot of freelance and have created my portfolio website as a company business site. I use “we, us, and our” in my copy and have left anything personal out of it, even in the About Us section. The only place I mention my name is in a contact call-out on each page and in the content area on the Contact page.

    I’m not sure if I want to use this website to show potential employers when applying for a job because they may worry that I have a hidden agenda and could make them reluctant about hiring me, even though they like my work and writing.

    Should I “dumb” my website down and make it more personalized??? Make it look less like a business website and more like a personal portfolio???

    I hope someone can help me out with these questions.


  108. 120

    in today’s competitive world a good CV is really important, your tips are really good , thank you for sharing.

  109. 121

    Modernisation” of a Navy is a continuous process – and each major upgradation takes time and needs to be planned well in advance. The “Great White Fleet” which circum-navigated the globe in 1908-09, and announced to the world that the USA had arrived on the world scene, took twenty years to build. It took the FSU, under the dynamic leadership of Admiral of the Fleet Gorshkov, almost 25 years to build the Soviet Navy to a level where it could challenge the western allies.

  110. 122

    second page – smaller heading e.g. h2

    This is my second web page with a few more HTML tags.
    Let’s start with a tag for a horizontal line =

  111. 123

    Thanks! This is great! I am still in high school, but I’m thinking of becoming a graphic designer and this stuff is really inspiring!

  112. 124

    Thanks a lost………..
    nice article…

    • 125

      I think so “Looks like the WordPress default theme”
      perhaps you said right

      tuyen dung | tim viec | viec lam

  113. 126

    Great and informative article. Thanks!

  114. 127

    really different…superb..

  115. 128

    Exactly what I’ve been looking for.. thanks so much.. (ps.. i’m buying the smashing book soon)

  116. 129

    Steven Stevenson

    January 21, 2010 6:37 pm

    It’s interesting the things you find on the website these days. I’m a web designer without a real resume, doing freelance websites for a few years now and my name happens to be Steven Stevenson…

    What a coincidence… BTW Great looks on these, I will have to keep an eye on these for a resume… I’ll probably have to do a bit more seeing as how I am mr. Stevenson also…


  117. 130

    Is there a way please to download Ali Felski’s eps ? The provided link does not work anymore. Thank you in advance…

  118. 131

    That article is really inspiring!
    I would really be interested in Ali Felski’s EPS too. Would it be possible to provide a new link?
    Thank you very much in advance!

  119. 132

    Really Nice!!!

    I think I’m gonna give a new format to my curriculum!! :)

    Just Inspiring!!!


  120. 133
  121. 134

    This is really helpful for designers. To get the job, one should have a targeted and attractive resume. This is a way of showing your skills.

    Technology blog

  122. 135

    great article..
    Now i have to do my CV again.. u give me a lot of inspiration.

    Gretings from Chile

  123. 136

    These are some really great examples, and the comments have also been useful. I cannot help but wonder if this is supposed to be directed more to graphic design and/or visual designers?

    I have been doing interaction design for about 10 years and every employer I have interviewed with has said something about how useful it is to have info about what you have actually done at a company, how it may have affected the business and other skills you may have needed at that employer. Do you play well with others, have you shared project management responsibility, what did you actually complete, do you work with product and work within the business needs to find the best user solution? It has not been my experience that mentioning these things has not hurt, in fact I think they help. You want an interview and a resume is your first selling tool so make the text count.

    I would agree that no matter what, the layout and the typography are important, but your online portfolio is where you can show quality work and your personal design. For interaction, pp want to see how it works and the path it takes, as well as your ability to iterate on the design. This is best shown in an active portfolio.

    Last word about the text, even small companies outsource the resume scanning and checking for keywords. I’ve worked several places that were creative and interesting even though they use that service to save time. Remember to have enough actual data/text to hit on the important topics so you won’t be tossed out for something so basic.

    Great article, Kat. The good ones always spark the best comment conversations. :)

  124. 137


    March 25, 2010 11:21 pm

    Wooww.its great…………………………amazing..Thanks to Stevenson and all..Thanks to SM..You really doing a great job..This is the one that am awaited long…Thank u all

  125. 138

    hemen parekh

    April 7, 2010 5:29 am

    As compared to a jobseeker writing her own resume, a resume written by a professional expert resume-writer would any day prove better.


    Before sending that well-written resume to a recruiter, can a jobseeker figure-out in advance what would happen if that resume

     gets ” rated / ranked / scored ” by recruiter ?

     gets compared automatically with resumes of other applicants ?

    Will she get an interview-call ?

    To know what is likely to happen , she has to just type “Resume Rater” in Google / Yahoo / Bing , and download this software tool ( free and without even login ) from any of the 35+ websites. Then rate her resume.

    Resume Rater mimics the ” resume-evaluation ” process of recruiters’ minds but does it in an unbiased / objective way.
    Resume Rater is absolutely non – discriminatory.


    hemen parekh

    Jobs for All = Peace on Earth

    [ To spread hope, SMS this message ]


  126. 139


  127. 140

    Hey, I would like to share my resume with you guys, maybe you’ll like it…


  128. 141

    Great post for all web designers. Will you please any one tell me how they converted their resume from photoshop document to pdf document. I have designed my resume in photoshop but don’t know how to convert it into pdf. my email id is

  129. 143

    Hi there what a great article this is… there is so much rubbish on the web took a while to filter through to an actual informative page about graphic/web designer CVs. I have a question I recently got made redundant from my previous job as junior graphic designer, it was my first proper designer job from leaving Uni. My question is what should I put on my CV for work experience? I’ll obviously put the junior job down but all my other jobs what I have done aren’t relevant to anything remotely graphic design (except a bit of freelance here and there). I’m just worried my page is going to look particularly unimpressive in comparison to a more weathered juniors who have 1-2 years in the biz professionally, as I was only at the design agency for 7 months I feel a little out gunned. Please if you could give me some advise that would be fantastic!

    Thanks in advance,


  130. 144

    It’s all of u man! Thanks.

  131. 145

    This is a great article, exactly what I have been advised from my agent today.

  132. 146

    Great article. Very clean and cool samples. I modified my resume according to one of these samples. Thanks a lot.

  133. 147


    June 21, 2010 1:41 am

    Nice article, interesting ideas :)

  134. 148

    Super article. Helped a lot!!!

  135. 149

    Anish anand

    July 23, 2010 1:16 am

    Nice article……it’ll help designers very well……thanks a lot.

  136. 150

    Really good article, congratulations!!!

    You didn´t talk so much about the convenience of including a photograph…. that´s a controversial point I guess….. When Should it be included?


  137. 151

    Nice article. Wish we were given some of this kind of preparation from our University courses! We’ve written a brief article for new designers on things to consider when applying for a job. You can view it here:

    design career advice

    Hopefully it might just help someone to get moving in the right directions.

    Thanks for posting.

  138. 152

    Great post! Thanks a lot for the help!

  139. 153

    I love Ali Felski‘s CV, I’m not a web designer but I am applying for a job at Virgin Atlantic and his CV would be perfect for me to send to them, where and who can I contact for getting this CV made into mine, its just perfect…

  140. 154

    Tut tut, somebody has ripped off Sam Browns idea

  141. 155

    Great article , very helpful for me. I am a Design student nearly finished my studies and I am starting research on resume designs.

  142. 156

    Or just create CV in PDF with online service like:

  143. 157

    Well put, this is a great post for job seekers. Thanks from olivija

  144. 158

    Craig Stapley

    January 8, 2011 9:51 pm

    These resumes are great. Thought I would throw mine out there for praise, bashing or criticism. Here is a link to it ::

    Thanks, Craig

  145. 159

    Really good article, but I’m not a designer and wanted a cool resume. What do yo uthink about this site? they do what you say for me but I don’t know if it’s too much for a non creative job

  146. 160

    Some of these are great inspirations, but others are really graphic-heavy and just hard to read.

    NOTE: If you download these PDF/AI’s make sure they fit the standard 8.5×11 letter size so prospective employers can print them in the way they are intended to print. Some of these files have VERY AWKWARD sizes. Just a heads up.

  147. 161

    I am a junior in the BFA graphic design program in school right now, and I must say this webpage has greatly inspired me with my own resume!

    Thank you Kat!

  148. 162


    May 4, 2011 3:25 am

    Make sure you enter the required information where indicated. Please also rate the article as it will help us decide future content and posts. Comments are moderated – and rel=”nofollow” is in use. Please no link dropping, no keywords or domains as names; do not spam, and do not advertise!

  149. 163

    Guess someone thought Sam Brown’s version was especially effective::

  150. 164

    Roselia Colucci

    May 19, 2011 7:47 am

    I’m curious to find out what blog platform you’re utilizing? I’m having some small security issues with my latest website and I would like to find something more risk-free. Do you have any suggestions?

  151. 165

    Ivan Tsankov

    June 2, 2011 9:08 am

    Now that’s a handy collection of resumes! I Personally preffer the Niamh Redmond’s and Albert Lo’s resumes, because they succeeded in creating colorful and full of style resumes , which look professional, by the way.

  152. 166


  153. 167

    yadu krishna

    June 15, 2011 3:54 am


    itz very help full tips

  154. 168

    Thanks for nice share! CV & resume are so important with first impression of employer.
    Very usefull and informative tricks !!!
    tim viec

  155. 169

    I understand why there are some that feel as if these CV are too crazy and you should only put your CV into a boring word document. This is 2011 and designers need to stand out from other designers and be heard. Employers look at several CVs everyday and they only take a few minutes and then move on. Every job I have applied to accepts .pdf format. For a long time I felt the same way and wasn’t sure if I had to design my CV because I am a web designer so I created a simple normal resume. I recently had an interview with a recruiter that told me I need to make my resume stand out more because I AM a designer. Just remember not to go over the top.

    Thanks for the article! It was great help!

  156. 170

    Really good article, This will change my CV, im graphic designer from sri lanka work in dubai. you can see my work in my web pls give me some comments

    thank you***

  157. 171

    Great post.

  158. 172

    Thanks. great article , very helpful for me

  159. 173

    WOnderfull work : D

  160. 174

    Very nice examples ! Check mine

  161. 175

    Super like to this post :)))

  162. 176

    Great article. Sorry for being pedantic, but I have just did what a potential employer may do, in that I viewed Albert Lo’s resume creation and then lost interest and hit the back button.

    I have scanned the posts here and found that his resume is referred to a few times and that people like it. Are people looking at the design and not the content?

    What I’m talking about, is that, in over 3 years, no one has mentioned or alluded to the fact that throughout his resume, he has spelled “Responsibilities” as “Resposibilities”! (Even as I type this, the auto correct detects the spelling mistake)

    I know it’s only a fictitious resume, but keeping to point 4 of the article:

    “You are a professional, so attention to detail is critical. Everything on your CV should line up, every pixel should be absolutely perfect. And even though the job is not to be a writer, a large proportion of employers throw away résumés with spelling or grammatical mistakes in them. By making it perfect, you are showing potential employers that you aren’t sloppy and that you will care about every detail of their projects. Get 10 people who can spell to look it over. Just do it.”

    – I just simply lost interest immediately and had this been a real submission for a job or a real submission for a competition award, then it would be binned.

    Sorry again, I’m just nit-picking.

    But, yes, this article is an interesting one and I find it useful that the person with a certain web design skill set, should let it spill over into their resumes. Cover every niche to maximise your chances.

  163. 177

    Great article! Learned lots of useful tips!

  164. 178

    William D. Sims

    October 18, 2013 3:02 pm

    I just came across your article How To Create A Great Web Design CV and Résumé. I recently graduated (May 2013) from a small school (Troy University) w/ a B.S. in Computer Science. I know the CS scope is broad but I discovered whilst taking a class that web deving is what I want to get into. The problems Ive ran into is: 1.No work experience (as far as web deving is concerned) 2.No work experience 3. Troy U really isnt a renowned technological school. So what about a resume from a recent grad? How should that look?


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