How to make your CV stand out (Visually)

How long has it been since you last checked your CV? Months? Years? Almost all of us need a CV (at some point in time), so do you think that yours will really stand out from a crowd of 1,000 other resumes? Of course, if you have the perfect CV, the “appropriate amount” of work experience and graduated from an Ivy League school you might not need to make your CV extremely nice looking. But for the rest of the people world, having a nice, sharp resume will distinguish you from the crowd of other people with the same experience.

Here are some examples of a standard, average-Joe CV:


The best word for these resumes? BORING.

Here are some resumes from




Can you tell the difference? Let me tell you how to make CVs like these on your own computer.

Just a word before I start, though. Not everyone needs a colorful, extremely creative CV. If you are a physician or you have a business background, you should focus on a clean design without any extra frills—focus on conveying respectability and modernity with clear lines and organization. On the other hand, are you a graphic designer? If you are, know that those employers are expecting that your CV looks creative (think of it as a preview sample of your work) and basically you should show off your designing skills.

Now, if you are adventurous enough to design your own CV, I recommend Adobe InDesign. InDesign is a publishing application used to create everything from posters to magazine articles. It is pretty simple to use, and it lets you create different boxes with text that you can arrange freely around a document (as if you were a magazine editor). I found a pretty good guide on Spyrestudios that explains how to do that.

If you are a bit lazier (like me) or you simply don’t want to spend time learning how to use InDesign, you can simply buy a template. I said buy, because the good templates are not free. However, the good news is that, on average, they cost about $5. Considering your future career is on the line, I think that you can spare that much for a nice CV. Once you download it, simply change the text info on your template and that’s it!

The best template website that I found is Graphicriver. They have thousands of nice templates to choose from, at very affordable prices. Some examples are:


I hope you enjoyed it and comments or questions are always appreciated!