CV layout: dos and don’ts

Even the most impressive CV can fall short if it lacks proper presentation…

A CV must strike a balance between well-crafted content and professional appearance to capture the attention of recruiters. While formatting may vary by industry, adhering to some fundamental rules can significantly enhance your chances of success.

CV Layout Dos:

1. Keep it concise:

Effective CVs are not just informative but also succinct. Aim to convey the most relevant points efficiently, ideally limiting the document to two A4-sized pages.

2. Opt for a professional font:

Choose a font that ensures easy readability and scanning. Remember to steer clear of unconventional choices like Comic Sans, as they can detract from your professionalism.

3. Organise content logically:

Use adequate spacing, clear section headings (e.g., work experience, education), and a reverse chronological order for clarity and legibility. Highlight your most recent achievements prominently.

4. Highlight your strengths:

Structure your CV to showcase your strengths effectively. For instance, if you lack experience, prioritise education. As long as the sections are relevant to the role, the order is flexible.

5. Use bullet points:

Bullet points help draw attention to key facts and relevant details, facilitating easy scanning by hiring managers and emphasising significant achievements.

Other Recommendations:

Include contact details, maintain a professional email address, ensure consistent formatting, and have someone proofread for common spelling and grammar errors.

CV Layout Don’ts:

1. Fear white space:

Embrace whitespace, even if your CV appears sparse. Focus on including relevant information and quantifiable achievements rather than filling every inch.

2. Overcrowd your CV:

Your CV should be a concise summary of your achievements, not a detailed autobiography. Tailor the content to the role and avoid unnecessary verbosity.

3. Include irrelevant information:

Before adding any points, consider if they contribute to securing the role. Exclude hobbies and interests if they don’t enhance your candidacy.

4. Neglect your cover letter:

While separate from your CV, the cover letter complements it. Utilise it effectively to reinforce your suitability for the role and seise every opportunity to showcase your talent.

5. Experiment with font size:

Altering font size to manipulate the document’s length isn’t advisable. Maintain consistency and avoid gimmicks such as overly large or small fonts.

Other Things to Avoid:

Using flashy colors or fonts, including unnecessary references, or including a selfie.

By adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure that your CV not only contains compelling content but also presents it in a polished and professional manner, maximising your chances of securing the desired roles