I’m a doodler, a mind mapper, and a bullet journaler. These three traits are facts that might, might make it onto a bulleted list of “interests” near the end of a standard resume, but I’m far from standard- so when sold my company in 2015 and took the leap into new adventures, these skills took center stage on my c.v.

In this competitive workforce, visual thinking is a marketable resource- so if you’re a visual thinker, let your c.v. or resume demonstrate that from the start. In this post I’ll demonstrate how I blended my hand-drawn doodles and mind maps with Adobe Photoshop to create a playful but professional resume for my career change. This tutorial uses Photoshop but I’ve also used a similar method with Microsoft Publisher- search my site for “Publisher” to locate that tutorial.

I began by hand-drawing visual elements I wanted to include on my resume:


Then I scanned my doodle and adjusted levels to create images without backgrounds. The “curves” tool in Photoshop is helpful, as I demonstrate below, using another hand drawn image. This S-curve seems to be effective in making dark lines bolder while fading background.

cleaning up a handdrawn doodle with photoshop

After Photoshop adjustments, I would layer hand drawn lines over scans of markers or watercolors and produce usable background elements like these below. I liked the playfulness of the not-quite perfectly in the lines look, for the feel I wanted for my CV.

Doodle Resume Banners and Frames
Hand drawn elements like these banners and frames can be color adjusted in Photoshop
Watercolor of state of Missouri Shape
This watercolor frame of my home state was created by scanning a splashy watercolor and underlaying it behind a line drawing doodle.


After scanning and building, via layers, my background element and layout, I began to use the banners, frames, shapes, dividers, and headers I’d doodled to finalize my doodle. Interspersed with these creative design elements (and some English major humor!)  I added the bones of my resume: work history, educational background, previous projects, etc.

Here’s the final product, my doodle-inspired mind-mapped visual thinking resume. I don’t love the mind map, it came as a filler in the final hours before my c.v. was due to my grad school’s admissions team, but overall I’m thrilled with the result:


Braman.Lindsay.CV.August5.2015-2  Braman.Lindsay.CV.August5.2015.pdf

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