Designing your CV: Don’t just use Microsoft Word

Graeme The Basics July 26, 2015

As a Graphic Designer, your CV is a way of showing what you can do, not just who you are.

Graeme Thomas CV

My latest CV

A CV is a very personal thing that you should invest a lot your time into. It is the first thing new clients will see when you apply for a new contract/job, and you only get one chance at a first impression. That is why I, as a graphic designer, would never use Microsoft Word for my CV, it is too basic. I used InDesign, combined imagery, links and my bio, to make it a bit more interesting (hopefully).

My top tips

  • Be brief
    There are likely to be a few candidates applying for the same job as you, so the person going through all of them will not have the time to read about your life story.
  • Don’t lie
    Honesty is the best policy! These days it is not hard to find out online whether you are telling the truth, and if they can’t, you will still be asked to do the things you said you could do. If they find out you can’t do something that you said you could, that could be embarrassing.
  • Don’t let an agency reformat
    Some agencies (none that I work with) like to change your CV to suit the role you are applying for, don’t let them! Chances are, if it was something you could do, it would have been on there in the first place. You CV should be professional enough in the first place.


For my CV, I decided I wanted it to match the consistent theme I have with all of my social media pages and my website. As my website it a one-page scrolling site, I designed my CV the same way. As you can see from the image, I used sections as per my website, and even used screen shots. That is not to say it all has to match, I just preferred mine that way.

Make it digital

Although spending a lot of time and money printing your CV on high quality paper will look great, chances are clients will prefer a digital version. I work primarily with agencies, and in this day and age, they will email your CV to prospective clients. And with that, you have the option to add in hyperlinks to your social media outlets, email links and direct access to your website.