Adobe InDesign Expert/Technical Content Developer

StartGuides - Alexandria, VA


Adobe InDesign Expert/Technical Content Developer

We are a growing company with a great team, an exciting product, and a deep pipeline of customers lining up for more. We are looking for the right people to work with us far into the future on a full-time basis.

Your speed, skill, confidence, and ability to collaborate and create interactive content in InDesign will get you in the door. Your humble, friendly, professional, team-player approach and outgoing personality will ensure your place on the team.

Part 1- InDesign Expert

The primary aspect of this position is an expert-level InDesign power user, preferably with comprehensive understanding and background in creating interactive layouts (for ePub/PDF) using InDesign’s Interactive Tools. To be successful at this job, you'll need to have the confidence to hit the ground running and very quickly learn how to use these interactive tools if you don’t already know them.

Are you an InDesign “expert?”

  • Have you been using InDesign for a minimum of 10 years, on a daily basis, as your primary, full-time job?
  • Have you plumbed the depths of both the obvious and the obscure functionality of InDesign, such that you’re a “go-to” person for others when they get stuck?
  • Do you constantly use keyboard shortcuts—as second nature—to navigate complex functions of InDesign, far beyond the typical uses (copy/paste/save)? Do you know how to create custom keyboard shortcuts?
  • Do you frequently use the Control Panel in InDesign for precise object placement and quick layout adjustments?
  • Do you understand the significant power of and constantly use Object Styles and Paragraph Styles to standardize and speed up your layout composition?
  • Do you organize layers by naming and grouping objects so that it’s easy to identify and navigate complex page layouts using the Layers palette?
  • Do you understand the power of the Layers palette to select, duplicate and manipulate complex content?
  • Do know and use InDesign Book to create long or complex documents?
  • Have you created interactive ePubs and/or PDFs using InDesign’s Interactive Tools--multi-state objects, buttons, and text-anchored hyperlinks?
  • Do you regularly use and have expertise in other Creative Cloud applications, like Photoshop and Illustrator?

If you answered yes to 1-8 above, you might be the team member we need. If you answered yes to all of them, we need to talk. If you are not sure of yourself on any of the above, it’s less likely you’re a fit for this work. Again, we are looking for InDesign power users. You must be an expert in navigating and using the rich tools of InDesign, confident of your ability problem-solve, and have the ability fly around the complex landscape of using InDesign at a high level.

Part 2 – Technical Content Developer

The projects you'll work on will have you composing and formatting interactive reference guides, using templates with established styles and functionality to maintain our brand look-and-feel, under the supervision of the art director. We create user-friendly apps for U.S. Military personnel that teach them how to setup and operate all different kinds of equipment and systems.

Not only do you need to have high-level InDesign skills for this position, you must possess the willingness to get elbows-deep in sometimes complex equipment and systems, so that you can be an effective partner in the development of the content you’ll be creating. You will be a full partner, responsible for collaborating on the content architecture and copy development from the early stages of each project. Understanding instruction design and having the ability to understand and easily learn mechanical equipment and assembly processes will put you to the front of the line.

This is not a layout job, where you will flow provided copy and images into a template. There are no finish-to-start hard-handoffs where someone else’s job ends and yours starts. If you don’t understand and/or are uninterested in mechanical things or have an aversion to reading, digesting and understanding the content you’re laying out, this job’s not for you.

To be compatible with the team, you must:

  • have excellent professional communication skills (i.e., do you know what constitutes a professional email?)
  • have good listening skills
  • be responsive and engaged
  • be highly organized, precise, thorough, and detail-oriented
  • be confident, but flexible and able to take direction

Work is remote (not in-office), but preference is weighted toward those located in or near the Washington DC Metro area, in order to be able to attend infrequent in-person meetings with the team at our Alexandria, VA office.

If you are interested in this position, please provide:

  • A cover letter that speaks to why you believe you'd be a fit for this position based your reading of the position description above.
  • Your requested hourly rate.
  • Samples of your InDesign work as either PDF portfolio or a URL.

Submissions must include a specifically tailored cover letter and work samples to be considered.

Job Type: Full-time


  • Adobe InDesign: 10 years (Preferred)