Resume Writer’s Beginner Guide to Creating Resume Graphics in MS Word (Core Lesson)

Using the MS Word Ribbon to Add Graphic Elements in Resume WritingAre you a resume writer who is curious about designing graphic elements in your resumes, but not sure where to start? This is a great MS Word primer guide.

With the TORI award resume writing competition right around the corner, I wanted to create another resource to show resume writers just how easy it is to turn plain text into a graphically-enhanced presentation. A few of you might think this PowerPoint looks familiar, because it was part of a live seminar I previously presented. However, I’ve significantly juiced it up to include the steps I took to create the various elements.

What I truly like about this lesson…

It’s meant to function as a starting place if you are new-ish to including graphic elements in your MS Word resumes. It’s not meant to be a super advanced resource, but instead provides you with simple, beginner-level examples of shifting plain text into graphical elements. It also uses screen shots and text instructions to show you the steps I took to create some of the elements. 


  • PDF PowerPoint so you can easily print it out for reference.
  • Simple, beginner-level examples of shifting plain text into graphical elements.
  • Examples of advanced graphic elements using five former TORI-winning resumes.
  • Strategies, examples, and what/where to click on the MS Word ribbon to produce elements for: Contact Headers, Section Headers, Charts and Graphs, and Text Boxes (Call-Outs).

Here are a few example slides:

(I was asked on social media if the shape in the example slide below would pass ATS. Here’s my response, in case you too were wondering:

It depends on how it is constructed. As a text box, no. But we have a member lesson on how to make graphic elements ATS-friendly as I mentioned in the post, so it is possible.

Also, if this was a text box but the information is introduced again in his job descriptions in telling the CAR stories around it, it won’t matter that it wasn’t scannable in this section. That’s why, for example, if you look closely at well-constructed resumes with charts and graphs, the results also appear in the bulleted text of the position.)

Graphic Resume Slide - MS Word Design 1

Graphic Resume Slide - MS Word Design 2

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Additional Resume Writing Resources

Free to Everyone:

Step-by-Step Graphic Logos for TORI-Winning Resumes with Marie Plett (Video Master Class) >>

Story-Based Value Propositions with Kimberly Robb Baker (Video Master Class) >>

10 Winning Resume Writing Tips in 10 Minutes (Video Tip) >>

Value of Visual & Creative Resumes with Laura DeCarlo & Marie Plett (Video Tip) >>

Use Storytelling to Transform Job Descriptions in Resume Writing with Laura DeCarlo (Video Tip) >>

Ten Tips for Writing TORI Award-Winning Resumes (Post) >>

TORI Award Page >> (Includes links to winning resumes, tips, competition information, ROI details, and more)

Read Resumes for Dummies, 8th edition (Amazon link) >>

Free to Members Only: 

TORI Winner Resumes >>

Resume Writing Tutorials & Tools >>

Top CDI Resume Writing Tools and Resources >>

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