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How to Create an Impressive CV in this Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

Author: Nanthawan Suwannapan
She is an UX, UI designer working at Web Courses Bangkok. Perfection is her passion and she believes in giving best user experience with awesome looking design.
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CV (Curriculum vitae) or it is known as a resume in the USA and Canada, is a conclusion of your education, skills, and experience history that is often the first phase in getting yourself noticed by potential employers. So we created this easy to follow Adobe Illustrator Tutorial for you!

Your CV is the starting point or it could be the end of your job application, that’s why it can be such a little daunting because not only the qualified information is required but the beautiful design is also important. It can make employer see the difference between your CV and other. The outstanding CV can increase chances to be chosen to work. There are many other tools you can use to create your CV, but we prefer to do it in AI.  

download the filesDownload the completed AI files for this tutorial here.


01. Adobe Illustrator Tutorial – Prepare your information

Before you start, you should prepare all of your information, so that you’ll know how you can present its priority. The information that a CV should contain are:

  • Full name
  • Birthday
  • Contact information
  • Education
  • Important skills that relate to the role that you want to be
  • Your experience, awards, the activity you attended
  • Hobby

After you have prepared your information, you can start with a rough sketch. Don’t know where to start? There’re plenty of website that provides you an inspiration, for example, Pinterest and Behance.

A good CV should let the employer know exact about you while reading just a few sentences, however, if you have an attractive design, it will make them remember you easily.

A minimal aesthetic is totally refreshing during this period, and that’s a good thing because it’s easy to design the contents that place only the important information, then leave a lot of blank space in order to make it clear and easy to read. This is a CV tutorial in a minimal style, here’s a rough sketch.


Next, you should select the fonts to use in your CV, it should be easy to read, and don’t use more than 3 fonts on one page because it will make your CV looks messy. You can choose a creative beautiful one for heading, a simple one for subheading and easy-reading one for content.

02. Adobe Illustrator Tutorial – Choose the perfect font pair

Before we get started, you need to choose the font that suits the type of your information and the tone of your CV, if you have no ideas what the font you should use, these are the font pair tools available for you to use, and it’s free!

Font pair is an essential tool for designers that helps you find the perfect font pairing. There are many Google fonts available for free, and Femmebot  will offer inspiration for using Google’s font library.

In this tutorial, I chose Josefin Slab for a heading and Josefin sans for the body.

03. Adobe Illustrator Tutorial – Create the template

Open the Adobe Illustrator program and create a new document, prepare your information, and setting like this:

  • Name: you can put whatever you want or name it later when you save the file
  • Profile: Print
  • Size: A4 (standard size for print)
  • Orientation: vertical (you can use horizontally. It depends on your design)
  • Color Mode: CMYK (the color system for printing)
  • Raster Effects: 300 ppi (the highest quality for printing)
  • Then hit [OK]


You’ll customize this template to make your own CV.


04. Adobe Illustrator Tutorial – Apply a colour theme

To create a colour theme, use the Rectangle tool (M)> drag your mouse to draw rectangle.

illustrator-grey- template

Repeat the same step, and then create a smaller one with a white background. You can also use the Align tool to align the template.



Renaming the background layer to “BG” , then creating a new layer and name it to “content”. Lock the BG layer to make it disable, this layer will behave properly and cannot be selected when you move other layers.


05. Adobe Illustrator Tutorial – Place your profile image

Add some personality to your CV by adding a profile image. Click or press Ellipse Tool (L) to create the circle while hold [Shift] button > Press [Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+P] to place your image inside the circle. Choose your picture then drag to place your image.


Right click on your image > Arrange > Send Backward


Then move your image behind the circle, select two of them by click on an image and press [Shift] and click on circle > Right click > Make clipping mask.

illustrator-clipping-maskYou will get your image in a circle shape. If you want to move or resize an image without resizing the circle, double click and you will see the tab appear on the top.


Now you are in the group mode. Click on an image to move or resize. Double-click on empty space to  go out from group mode.

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06. Adobe Illustrator Tutorial – Add your information and style your text

By typing your name and your information, press T (Text tool) and click any text block to start adding your information.


For other information, you can separate them into two columns. Create a horizontal line as a guide by using Line Segment Tool > Hold [Shift] button > Drag mouse to make the longer line, then align everything in the center.

Now, create a timeline to show the work experience.


Put your first name company, role, year that you entryed and a little bit details like in the picture.

In order to make it easy to reposition, group all the objects by select all objects > Press [ctrl/cmd + G] or right click > Click Group.

To copy this group, Left click on the object > Hold [Alt/option] >Drag the mouse lower and then Hold [Shift] to make it align with the first one.


As you can see, the distance between the object group are not equal, so we will select 5 group and click Vertical Distribute Center.

Next ungroup them by select the object right click and choose Ungroup, change your in formation.


07. Adobe Illustrator Tutorial – Create the timeline

Then create a line and create a small circle as a point of time by use Ellipse Tool (L) > hold [Shift] while dragging your mouse. Sophia has changed her work 5 times, so  create 5 points of time by copy them just like the work details. You will get another circles look similar. Do this 3 more times.

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

To make every dots align center with the line, select all dot and line by drag to select them and click on the line, you will notice the line look thicker. It’s mean the line is a main object that other object will align to.

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

Click align center.

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

To make every dot have equal distance, move the last dot to the bottom of the line and select all dots and change Align to : Align to Selection and click Vertical Distribution Center button.

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

Then group them, and put it with the content.

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

Same as the work experience, the educations topic I use the timeline to present the content too.

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

Next topic is skills, I put my skills and I will present them by using power tube. To make it look harmony I use the timeline shape to create the tube.

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

And then create the power tube by use Rectangle Tool. You can copy the tube by the same method that I told you and then resize them later.

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

08. Adobe Illustrator Tutorial – Add your contact information

The contact details should be easy to notice because it is an important part, so it’s better to put at the top of the page. Resize the summary text box just a half, and then you can put contact information.

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

09. Adobe Illustrator Tutorial – Config a little more stylish

If you don’t like the compost, you can move and switch the topic as many as you want. Starting from creating the border for each topic for emphasis them.

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial
To create the border, use Rectangle Tool to draw it, and you can set how the stroke look like by change colour, increase thickness, change the form. For me my stroke is black, the thickness is 0.75 pt and I use basic form.

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

10. Adobe Illustrator Tutorial – Change the background color

Don’t you think the color is look too fading. I want to change the background color. To make it look harmony I will use the color from profile picture. Click unlock BG layer and click background then use eyedropper select the color from the picture. Change it until you like it. I choose the color from her skin.

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

I also change timeline spot and skill power tube too

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

Also, the heading is not pronounced, so I put the background heading color too.

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

And that’s it! You’re done

Now you have your own CV, you can save it as a PDF file for print or share it directly online.

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

Basically, the style of the CV should propriate to your work field. This tutorial is an example of people who want to work in a creative field, so her design could be informal style. Here’s an example of the CV for apply for job in business position.

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

For specific position, you can create your CV that can explain your ability more clearly.

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

If you enjoy this tutorial, or you have a desire to create something more through Adobe Illustrator but felt intimidated or unsure where to start, you can join our Adobe Illustrator Course anytime!


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