Note to students:

This is a sample Unit 9 Assignment to help inspire your work on your own Assignment. This sample should not be used as a template or checklist for your tutorial’s content. Refer to the course’s Unit 9 Assignment requirements and rubric for guidance on creating your Assignment. Email your instructor if you have questions about the requirements.

Tutorial: Creating a Resume using Canva

Carrie Hannigan


Welcome to my tutorial! I’m Carrie Hannigan and I’m going to not only explain how to create a resume using Canva, but I’m also going to provide insights to make the process a little easier.




Is this tutorial for you?

Do you need to create or update your resume?

Do you want a more unique resume that stands out?

Are you submitting or posting your resume as a PDF?

Do you have some patience?

Before we get started, let’s just take a moment to see if this tutorial is a good fit for you. First, if you need to either create or update your resume, then this is a good tutorial for you, especially if you want a more unique resume than the standard template resumes you can find in word processing software. Also, if you’re submitting your resume as a PDF or posting it as a graphic to a website, then this tutorial is for you. If you need to copy and paste your resume into an application form online, then this tutorial won’t be helpful for you since you’ll lose all the formatting Canva adds to the resume. Finally, you’ll need to be a little patient with yourself as you learn to use new software to create your resume.




List of your professional accomplishments

List of abilities related to previous and existing jobs

List of education (e.g., college, training)

Other information: volunteer work, special skills, military experiences, etc.

May include references information

Figure 1. Resume sample

At some point, most of us need a professional resume, whether it’s for a promotion at work or to get a new job. There are even situations where you need to provide a resume to show your qualifications for new business opportunities tied to your existing job. A resume is a document that details your qualifications for a job or other opportunities. What you include in your resume really depends on the job you’re applying for, but there are some standard categories that employers are looking for. See Figure 1 for a simple example resume. It isn’t an awful resume layout, but it isn’t very interesting or engaging. We can do better!


Creating an engaging resume

What’s Canva?

Why not just use Word® to create a resume?

You may be asking “what’s Canva?” and “why can’t I use Microsoft Word to create a resume?” Canva is an Internet tool that allows you to create documents that combine text, graphics, and color. It’s free to use, though there are some parts that are not free, which I’ll point out. But the bigger answer to why you should use Canva instead of Word is actually best answered by you. What impact do you want to have on a future employer? Do you want to look like other applicants or stand out in a good way? Word has a bunch of templates and options, but employers are likely to see other applicants using this format. So, to stand out, Canva will inspire to think about your resume from a different angle.


List of Materials

What you need to get started

Job posting or opportunity

Resume content

Internet access

Internet browser

Photo of yourself (optional)

Before we move on to creating your resume, you’ll want to make sure you have a few things already in place. First, find a job or opportunity that you want to use your resume for, as this opportunity may dictate the content and form that will work best for the audience who will review your resume. Next, create your resume content or have it available in electronic form so you can copy and paste it into Canva. This tutorial will not review how to write a resume, but instead how to format resume text and layout. Since Canva is only available online, you’ll need internet access and a browser, like Chrome, Firefox, or Explorer. I prefer to use Firefox as it seems more compatible with Canva, while Internet Explorer freezes or gives error messages when using Canva. Finally, to help personalize your resume, you may want to have an appropriate photo of yourself that can be inserted into your resume.



Step 1: Canva

Go to

Sign up or sign in with an existing account

Note: A brief tutorial will play once you sign up. You can watch and interact with the Canva tutorial, or just watch the first video and then not complete the interactive portion.

The first step is pretty easy. Go to and sign up for free. You can’t start the creation process until you sign up. Canva will provide a brief tutorial and allow you to practice, but my tutorial is going to focus on creating a resume, so if you have time, then you can go through the Canva tutorial for some practice. Otherwise, keep going with this tutorial.


Step 2: Resume design

Click on the Canva icon to get to the home screen

Click on the + More… box at the far right

Scroll down to find the Resume design

Click Resume

Figure 2. Your Canva home page

No matter where you are in Canva, if you click the Canva icon, you’ll be taken back to your home page, as seen in Figure 2. Since a Resume design is not listed in the possible designs at the top of the screen, click the plus sign at the far right. From here a whole bunch of design types will appear. The differences between all the designs are that the starting canvases are different sizes, as appropriate for different situations. Resumes is under the Documents section. Once you click Resume, the design view will appear.


Step 3: Resume template or blank canvas

Scroll down the left side of the screen, seen in Figure 3, to choose a template

Click and drag a template from the left side of the screen to the blank canvas in the middle of the screen

Figure 3. Resume templates

The left side of the screen, as seen in Figure 3, provides a list of templates you can use. The templates have predefined colors, fonts, and layouts, but you can change all of this when you start editing the resume. If you don’t want a template version, keep scrolling down to choose a blank canvas. Note that a blank canvas may take more time for you to develop a resume with, but will result in a more unique design. This tutorial is going to personalize a resume template rather than starting from scratch. The result will be more unique than a Word template, but perhaps not as unique as starting with a blank canvas.



Figure 4. Resume templates

Not free to use!

Be aware that any template, font, graphic, or layout without the “free” label will cost you $1 for each non-free element you use in your final version. In other words, if you use a template that isn’t free, then it will minimally cost you $1 to save the final version as a graphic or PDF file. Furthermore, if you use fonts, graphics, or other elements that aren’t free, then you could be paying a lot of money for one resume. So, try to just use templates that are noted as free.


Step 4: Personalization (background color)

Click the background (anywhere there isn’t text or graphics)

Click the color swatch in the toolbar that appears (see Figure 5)

Click on the new background color

Click outside the canvas to exit the toolbar

Figure 5. Background color swatch

The template you’ve chosen may not have a background color that appeals to you, so you can easily change the background color. It’s important to note that changing the background color might require you to also change all the font colors so there’s good contrast for easy reading. For example, you don’t want a pale yellow background with white text, as that will be difficult to read. In that case, you’d need to change the font color to black. Changing font color is covered in Step 5.


Step 5: Personalization (Text)

Select text to remove or edit it

Proofread your text for accuracy

OPTIONAL (See Figure 6):

Change the font type

Change the font color

Change the font size

Change the font features (see Figure 7)

Click and drag the textbox to relocate the text so that it aligns well with other text or graphics

Font type

Font size

Font color


Figure 6. Text formatting

Figure 7. Font features

You’ll quickly notice that all the text in the template resume will need to be edited so that your personal information is reflected. It’s a good idea to have the text of your resume available so you can either copy and paste it into the right sections of the template, or so you can retype the content into the template. To select the text in the template to remove, you can just click on it and then delete it. If you click the trashcan icon after selecting the textbox, the whole textbox will be removed. A better option is to click the text, click again in the textbox, and then use the delete or backspace key on your keyboard so you don’t have to add a new textbox.

While you can keep the styles associated with the template’s text, you may want to change the styles to be more in line with your personal preferences. The goal is to make the resume reflect your personality!



Figure 8. Save button

Save your work!

After making extensive changes, it’s ideal to save your work just incase your screen freezes or other forms of mishaps happen. Canva does autosave, but it’s best to make sure all your work has been saved recently. To save, just click File and Save, as seen in Figure 8.


Step 6: Photo (optional)

Click the photo/graphic.

Click the trashcan icon, seen in Figure 9.

Click Uploads (left navigation bar)

Click Upload your own images

Select a photo from your computer

Click and drag uploaded photo to photo frame on the resume

Be careful!

Click the trashcan in the filter-crop toolbar so you don’t delete the photo frame.

Figure 9. Deleting template photo

Some templates have photos, whether of the person described in the resume or other related photos or graphics. You can generally change any graphics by clicking on them and then clicking on the trashcan icon. Some templates have built-in graphics that can’t be removed, so you may need to choose a different template if you don’t like the built in graphics.


Step 7: Finalizing

Change the file name by clicking the text next to the Share button.

Proofread and double-check your work

Click the Download button

Select PDF for print (see Figure 10)

Figure 10. Downloading the file

Be sure to change the name of the file to something you’ll readily recognize as your resume. It might be something like “Resume – Untitled Design” as the default. Just click on those words, and begin typing the new file name. After checking that everything is just as you want it, click the Download button so you can save a copy to your computer. Once you click a file type button, Canva will begin the saving process, which may take a few minutes because it’s searching the file to see if you used any non-free elements. Even if you don’t choose to download the final version, it will be saved in your Canva home, so that when you log into Canva, you’ll see the last saved version of the file. This works well if you’re not able to finish the changes all at once and need to work on the same file later.



Show your

unique personality

with Canva!

You now have a well-designed resume that you can send employers or post to your website! The more experience you gain with Canva, the more changes you can easily make to the resume template in order to make it reflect your own personality. You can even have multiple resumes created in Canva so you can appeal to different employers and opportunities. While word processing software can achieve some of these tasks, ultimately, that software was not created for the graphic design tasks that can be accomplished in Canva. Stand out with employers by creating a unique resume that they’ll surely remember!














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