Make an enduring first impression on hirers with a bold and original resume [free templates]

Applying for your dream job?

The bad news is, it’s likely you’re not the only one vying for it. The good news is, you can immediately set yourself apart with your resume.

Your resume is the first hurdle you have to get through, so it’s important to stand out right at this point in your application. Designers from all over the world and the web have established that one of the best visual solutions is to make your header big and inviting.

To prove it to you, we’ve done the research and gathered some of the best bold-header resumes out there. Of all the different ways to do it, pick your favorite and click on the image labeled edit this design in Canva to add in your credentials.

Ready to clear the first step to your dream job?

01. Big, Bold Type

image37

The example you see above is just page 1 of Fernando Báez’s 4 page, beautifully designed resume. Each page contains a different bit of information on Báez, skillfully laid out in a way that makes it easy for potential employers to quickly glean information they’re interested in.

If you haven’t already, click over to Báez’s resume and check out the different ways in which he’s chosen to display his skills, professional experience, and software proficiency. He’s packed all 4 pages with slick type and beautiful infographics that can serve as inspiration for a number of projects, not just your resume.

02. Use a Bright Color

image29

Add a bright hue to your header to help liven up your layout. However, be mindful of how bright your hue is. Overly bright colors can make reading difficult and over extended periods of time, can strain your eyes. If you’ve chosen a very bright hue, mix it with black, as done above, or use it sparingly.

03. Feature Your Work

image13

Incorporate one of your pieces into your resume’s header or design one specifically for it. Above, illustrator Erica Zipoli showcases her skills on her resume with an illustrative header.

If nothing suits your header, create a new piece just for it. Don’t have anything you’d like to use? Check out some of the templates we offer below.

04. Use a Unique Font

image36

If you’re not crazy about a super busy header but still want to create a header that stands out, use a unique typeface to set your name in. Try a sans serif like Jessica Galpin does above or explore expressive scripts.

05. Illustrate Yourself

image18

Use an illustrated portrait of yourself instead of a traditional professional shot in your header, just like designer Shireesha Siri does above. Not keen on including a shot of yourself? Use your logo or name instead and set it over a solid color background.

06. Say Hello

image12

Bold headers need not be complex—setting your name or a short greeting in large text will do the trick. Above, Samantha Oehley showcases what we’re talking about by incorporating the word hello set in a cute script into her header.

As you design your header, keep the industry you work in in mind. What is appropriate for us as designers may not be for someone working in healthcare or finance.

07. Try a Texture

image09

Quickly add visual interest to your resume’s header by using a texture as a background, like Phuong Huynh does above.

If you’re emailing your resume out, be sure to print it on an office printer before doing so. Chances are, whoever is receiving it will print it using one. Make sure the texture you’ve used looks good even when printed on a laser printer and doesn’t eat up too much ink.

08. Keep It Simple

image07

Laura Lee Moreau offers another lovely example of a bold header that isn’t overly complex. Using basic shapes and type, she’s created a beautiful header for her resume. Note also how her personal mark is clean and simple, made using her initials only.

09. Include Your Logo

image01

If you’ve put in time into creating a brand for yourself, feature your logo on your header, like Laura Salinas does above.

If you don’t have a personal logo but want to create one, explore creating a beautiful mark using just your initials. Take a look at vintage monograms for inspiration.

10. Design Around Your Name

image30

No interest in creating a personal mark? No problem! Your name alone can serve as a design element, like Tommy Keough shows use above.

11. Try a Bright Color Palette

image40

If you’re not crazy about big, loud type on your resume but still want to create a bold header, create an bright color palette to use on it.

To create a daring header, Mariana Marangoni combines bright pink and purple with funky design elements inspired by glitch art. Give some thought to what some of your favorite things are and consider letting them shape any design elements you may use on your resume.

12. Use Your Hands

image26

One of my favorite things about being a creative is being able to wear jeans and a cool t-shirt to work and being able to get creative with literally anything, including resume design.

If you’re part of the creative industry, take advantage of this and incorporate your handwriting into your header, like Alison Soye does. If you choose to go down this path, just make sure that your letterforms are clear and legible.

13. Let Editorial Design Inspire You

image19
image06

I love many of the pieces Laura Busche has included in her article covering editorial design. I really dig how beautifully the headers in each example are and the many great type and layout choices they offer.

Let editorial design permeate into the layout of your resume’s header. You don’t have to make it look exactly like the header of your favorite newspaper but can use a few elements, like João Andrade does, to built a stunning header.

14. Incorporate Design Elements

image08

Create a few, simple design elements you can liven up your header with. If you’re feeling daring, incorporate them to your entire layout.

To have a good idea of what this can look like, check out Haseeb S Khan’s resume above. Throughout his entire layout, Khan uses elements that reference space to add visual interest to his layout and guide viewer’s eyes around it.

15. Stick to Black and White

image35

Keep things simple like Michael Long by design using black and white only. You won’t have to worry about finding colors that best represent you or creating a killer palette and you’ll know your resume will always print beautifully.

16. Incorporate Beautiful Imagery

image38

I’ve always shied away from including images of myself on my resume. However, if I thought of a solution as beautiful as Cristian Martínez Castellar’s above, my resume would look completely different.

17. Solid Color Background

image28

Set your header’s content over a solid color background, just like André Piçarra does above. You can use the same color throughout your resume to tie your header and body together or you can reserve color for the header alone.

As we’ve mentioned before, be sure to print your resume out to double check that it looks good. Make sure that all the information you’ve set over a solid color background still reads on paper. You want your resume to stand out because you’ve designed it beautifully, not a pain to decipher!

18. Try Black

image31

Create strong contrast between your header and the rest of your section by using black or any other dark color as a background for it, like Admir Hadžić does.

With this solution, be mindful of the typeface and point size you use to set information in your header. Using a very light font or small point size may make it difficult for potential employers to read your content. To make sure you’re safe, print your resume out before sending it out.

19. Introduce Yourself

image34

Think of a quick couple of lines that best describe you and set them creatively at the top of your resume, as showcased above. Add in a few design elements or use type alone, styled in a variety of ways, to create a bold header.

If you’re going this way, be sure to check out some of the examples we’ve linked above in Laura Busche’s article covering editorial design. You’ll find that some of the examples showcase layouts similar to the one Kellie Marie used above.

20. Use an Expressive Script

image17

Cristian Peña Riquelme’s resume is my favorite of the bunch probably because I love a great expressive script.

Speaking of scripts, using one in your header is an extremely easy way to create a resume header that’s anything but traditional. Like the idea but unsure of which script to use? Get a head start and work with our templates below, featuring some of Canva’s best fonts.

There you have it, our best bold-header resumes from the web and in the Canva library.

Among the many ways to use a header, which one do you think works best? Even if you can’t decide right away, you can always add in your details to several of the templates featured above and settle on a plan of action from there.

Tell us how it works out for you in the comments section!

Maria is a professional designer and social media devotee. After a few years of working in boutique agencies in New York and Boston, she decided to trade in her morning runs for morning dives and moved down to the warm Caribbean. She is currently working on becoming a scuba instructor in order to find a way to merge her two loves: design and the ocean.