5 Tips for formatting your CV

10 Jun, 2022

"I bet this CV will be eye-catching in Comic Sans..."

No. Just, no. Don't even think about it. Stop right there. Read these tips and then go again.

  1. Use a clear, professional, plain font that is easy to read. Your first point of contact is a Recruiter who is sifting through numerous CV's in order to shortlist candidates. If your CV is difficult to read and there are a few suitable candidates for the position, chances are the Recruiter won't have the time or need to squint read and decipher your CV. Helvetica and Calibri are the two most accepted MS Word fonts. Please leave Comic Sans behind in the 2000's.
  2. CTRL+A everything. Make sure you apply the same font, font size, spacing and paragraphs consistently throughout the document, with the exception of Headings that are bigger in and Bold. Press CTRL+A on your keyboard and then select your font and size, after which you right click, select Paragraph and apply the same spacing to all selected content.
  3. Your CV is not a party invitation. Refrain from using decorations, frames, clipart, wordart etc. There is the impression that a CV should stand out and immediately catch the eye, but this doesn't mean it should look like a christmas tree. A well formatted professionally presented CV will immediately catch the eye. Thank goodness everything is digital these days, otherwise we would have to add here that your CV should also not be fragranced or printed on coloured paper. If your brain starts throwing around ideas of anything other than black writing on a white paper, then go to bed, you are obviously tired from the job search.
  4. Spell check right before save! We can't blame everything on auto correct.
  5. *.docx OR *.pdf and nothing else. DO NOT save your document as anything else than a Word *docx or a *pdf. This might be the most important tip we can give you. Do not save in a format that is not used by the majority of users. Your CV isn't worth much if the person that has to review it doesn't have the program to open it. A Generally used format also allows automated programs and online systems to pick up on keywords that will allow your CV to stand out and to be noticed by recruiters.
It's clear that CV formatting can make or break your job hunt by either making it unreadable or stand out. Remember, when it comes to CV formatting, DON'T GET FANCY. Now, you go and get that job.


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