Elements of Resume Design

Written by on July 6, 2012 in Career - No comments | Print this page



Resume Design

You don’t have to be an artist to design an eye catching resume.

I designed my resume myself. Corporate recruiters and HR personnel have told me that it is a great resume, one of  the best they have seen. Conversely, other corporate recruiters and HR personnel have told me that it is one of the absolute worst resumes they have ever seen.  Why does my resume get such diverse comments? It is a unique resume. It wasn’t copied out of a book. I combined elements from a few sources to come up my own design that, while not outlandish, gets noticed.

Designing a resume can be tough. There’s no real way to please everyone. I stopped trying. When I did, I designed a resume that made others notice it. Does everyone like it? Of course not. There will always be people that dislike it. But, according to a personal branding seminar I attended, it is better to be half of the people’s first choice and half of the people’s last choice than everyone’s third choice. The person who is always the third choice never gets the job. They have a 100% failure rate. The person that irritates half and wows half has a 50% success rate. You always want to be someone’s first choice.


Color is a great way to get your resume noticed. You don’t have to weird about it. Simply pick one color to accent your resume. That splash of color will make your resume stand out from a sea of plain, black and white resumes.

A good place to use color is on the extra elements of your resume. Your text should be clear and easy to read. Your other elements, such as borders, lines and bullets, can have a little color to liven up your resume.


Borders are another simple way to add a little element of design to your resume. Depending on your industry, your border can be a simple, thin line that rings your resume. Or, you can go with a bolder choice. Either way, few resumes have a border so, this is another easy way to make your resume a little different from the rest.


In addition to borders, horizontal lines can be used to add style to your resume. You can use lines of varying lengths and thicknesses to separate your jobs from one another. You can also use lines to separate the sections of your resume from each other.

One easy way to give your resume a cohesive look is to use a border and horizontal lines of the same design and thickness. This will help your resume to look polished and cohesive.


Most people use either round circles or small squares as their bullets. Go ahead and check out the other options on your computer. You might find something else that you like and it will add another design element to your resume.


Your name is your brand. Make sure it stands out a little from the rest of your resume. Now, it doesn’t need to take up half of the page. But, it should be a little larger and a little bolder than the rest of your resume. You never want to have someone look at your resume and not be able to find your name easily and quickly.

Designing a more unique resume can be difficult. But, it’s  worth it. You always want to stand out from the other applicants. Having a unique resume will definitely do this for you.

How do you make your resume stand out from the crowd?


Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net


About the Author

Jen Small

Jen is a writer who is originally from South Florida. A former recruiter for a Fortune 500 company, she has also worked in several different industries - real estate, insurance, construction, and education. Jen has now taken this experience to help others as a resume writer and designer. She currently lives and works in South Korea. View all posts with career advice.