I designed my cv on Photoshop and then I did two things but still I have a problem:

  1. I have two pages of my CV, I saved them as JPEG with save form web and then I combined them in a PDF in Acrobat around and got a 450 KB file, which is suitable in some job websites but the websites didn't detect text as it is a message I always got it when I upload my cv.

  2. I saved my cv as PDF files and then I combined them in Acrobat but the size was 233 MB ! which is never possbile to upload.

I want my cv to be a good example of my work and not just a word document. I am not sure what I should do to upload it to job websites.

  • 5
    I personally think it's better to use Indesign or Illustrator for this sort of thing. Photoshop is not the be all end all. And a resume is not a portfolio. In any event, have you tried opening your combined PDF in Acrobat and choosing File > Save As > Optimized PDF?
    – Scott
    Dec 5, 2012 at 10:51
  • 2
    Photoshop does tend to make insane PDFs, web-friendly PDFs really aren't what it's designed for. If it's the only CS app you've got access to, I'd recommend making your images in Photoshop then adding text and creating the PDF in something else (word processor? Acrobat?) that can create PDFs. Alternatively, I believe it's fine to use the Indesign free trial for non-commercial work, so you could install that and use that. Finally, if you flatten literally everything except text, even Photoshop shouldn't be able to go too crazy with the PDF size. Dec 5, 2012 at 11:10
  • 2
    "I designed my cv on Photoshop" why?
    – DA01
    Dec 5, 2012 at 17:11
  • 1
    And I've created postcards with larger footprints. It's all relative to the artwork.
    – Scott
    Dec 5, 2012 at 23:13
  • 3
    I think @ryan is making a fair assumption. While a 200mb postcard file is plausible, it's the exception, rather than the rule.
    – DA01
    Dec 6, 2012 at 4:06

4 Answers 4


A CV isn't a place to stretch your visual effects muscles. It's a utilitarian tool for a very specific purpose.

As a graphic designer, you need two versions of your resume. The first is a version typeset exactly how you see fit, and exported as a PDF. This is the version you'll typically send to hiring managers directly. You then need a more universal, machine-readable-friendly version, typically a MS Word document (which sucks, but that's the norm) that you can then upload to HR systems.

Still take time to craft the MS Word version, though understand its limitations.

In both cases, however, your goal is to make the document readable by both humans and machines, legible, light weight (ie, small file size) and reflect your design skills and personality without tripping over that "decoration for decoration's sake" line.

Save the PhotoShop work for your portfolio, not the resume.


I want my cv to be a good example of my work and not just a word document. I am not sure what I should do to upload it to job websites.

I thought I'll give a couple of tips from a management point-of-view:

First up: Never send your CV as a big graphic designed file.

If we wanted to hire a graphic designer in our company we would first be interested in seeing the person's background, experience and references. This would be the case for all applicants so the person that need to go through all the applications would like the CV's in a structured readable format.

An applicant's actual work would be examined to see if it sort-of "fits the claims" after a few potentials from the applicants where checked and selected. By checked I refer to background and references in particular. I'm not saying they won't check your work during this process (see below).

Big files with a lot of visual distractions, in the email (or on a job site) defeats the purpose of this process and could easily become an annoyance to the person that have to go through a ton of applications. Not only for this reason - most companies would like to hire a person who knows where to put the energy and skills. If a person 'design everything' he do including non-task related, he would fall out of this category. A CV is a document meant to be read by management; it's not for a publication. Be wise and strategic in this sense. Knowing your audience at this stage is a good start.

Keep it simple at first! Do yourself a favor and DO send your CV with an application as word or PDF as just simple text documents.

Provide a link to your site where you present your work separately - make it awesome!

My 2 cents. And good luck!

  • 1
    +1 for a lesson I learned the hard way :). Someone is sorting 50, 100, 200+ of these with fixed criteria - an impatient task-focused captive audience wanting minimal distractions. If you need wow factor (e.g. if you've got great skills but a weak work history) consider attachments, samples or details kept out of the way of the clear key content. One exception: speculative applications to agencies not even hiring yet. For long shots like this, to stand any chance at all it must be uniquely memorably personalised to them & you must be exceptionally suitable for them. Not just a cool CV. Dec 5, 2012 at 23:52

Adobe Acrobat Pro should have a "PDF Optimizer" feature (I believe under the "Advanced" menu, but unfortunately not in front of a computer with Acrobat Pro at the moment).

From there, you may want to try a few things:

  • There should be a few presets available that you can try out first, and if none are satisfactory, try some of the following.
  • Optimize images via downsampling--try a few settings out to see what achieves the best balance between smallest file-size and best image quality.
  • Compress images. There's no need to have a JPG file at quality of 100%. Try whittling that down, but again, be sure to review the results of any modifications.
  • Audit your font usage. If you've got a lot of fonts and the full fonts are embedded in the PDF, that would definitely increase your file size unnecessary. If possible to maintain design integrity without too many custom fonts, do that. If not, try embedding subsets of the fonts instead.
  • Flatten transparency.
  • Flatten your PDF if it contains layers. I would actually suggest this being done in Photoshop itself, and flattening all your layers except your text layer. (Not sure if you can select which layers to flatten in Acrobat Pro.)
  • Discard as much irrelevant metadata as possible.
  • Be aware and flattening will result in the loss of live type... which was, from what I understand, part of the initial issue.
    – Scott
    Dec 5, 2012 at 11:01
  • @Skaught, good call. I hadn't noticed that comment in the quick reading of the question. I've modified my suggestion to saying flatten everything but the text layer (which they can do in Photoshop) and going from there. Of course, if they are going to be optimizing things in Photoshop to begin with, a lot of what I've suggested can be done there too :) Dec 5, 2012 at 11:15
  • Acrobat's PDF Optimizer was under Tools (I think) in older versions, and is at File > Save As > Optimised PDF in Acrobat X Pro. I know this because I had to google it the first 30 or so times I used it... it's pretty much the only Acrobat feature I use and I still can never remember where it is Dec 5, 2012 at 17:33

Another way to shrink a bloated Photoshop PDF is if you have inDesign. Exporting from PS as a PNG is probably better for quality, place it into a blank inDesign doc that is the same size and export it as PDF.

This retains the image quality but shrinks the file size an insane amount. Can't remember exactly, but something like 20-50x smaller.

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