There’s a lot that has been written about getting the message of your CV right (read CV writing tips), not enough has been written about getting the CV format right. Most people don’t realize this but how you present information in the Curriculum Vitae (CV), i.e. using a great CV format, can make a great difference in the kind of response you get from the employers. Just as dressing smart for a job interview is important, making your CV presentable is equally important. Think of your CV as an advertisement to endorse your candidature to the employers. Here, presenting the idea of hiring you to the employers as well as the format you choose to frame your advertisement needs to be strong.
To reduce this knowledge gap, below are some of the most crucial CV formatting tips to help you create a CV that doesn’t fail to impress the employers:
Top CV Formatting Tips to Help You Draft an Impressive CV
1. Choose the Font Type and Font Size Wisely
Font type and size are one of the most important components of a CV format. Avoid using too creative cursive font styles as these are not to be read just by the ATS (Application Tracking Systems) but also by the hiring managers who will find it really difficult through your document. Choosing basic book print-type fonts such as Arial, Calibri, and Times New Roman is your best bet. You can even choose two font styles – one for the heading and sub-heading and the second for the content that goes under these heads and sub-heads.
You can keep the font size of the heading 16 points, sub-headings 14 points and normal text 10-12 points.
2. Let your Name and Job Title Standout
You can bring your name and job title, in short, the CV headline in the center of the page. Doing so will help you catch the attention of the hiring managers easily. It improves the readability as well as the whole look of the document and both of which are important for creating an effective CV format.
Also Read: How to Write a Resume Headline?
3. Minimize the Space Taken by Contact Details
Most people make the mistake of choosing a CV format in which contact details take too much space. The best way to include your contact details in to add them right after your name and job title. Ensure that you only put the relevant details such as your email address and phone number. Adding too many details will make your CV look cluttered. Also, there is no need to add the home address in the CV as it will only be required by the hiring managers later when you are selected for the position. So don’t include it at this stage and save the precious space on the CV.
4. Reduce the Page Margins
There are numerous CV formats and templates available online for you to use; however, it is always a good idea to customize as per the requirements. One of the major concerns professionals with many years of work experience face is to keep their CVs short. One of the ways to create more space on your CV is by reducing the page margins. More space means more scope for adding crucial information on the CV.
5. Present Current Job Responsibilities in Bullet Points
Choose a CV format that enhances the readability of the document and is easy on the eyes of the reader. That’s why it advisable to break down the information, especially your current job responsibilities, in short, to the point, and keyword-rich bullets. Not only will the CV pass through the ATS more easily, it will also help the hiring managers understand your candidature more clearly.
6. Divide the CV into Clear & Easy to Navigate Sections
A CV communicates with the hiring managers even before one gets the chance to sit across them. Thinking the same, most people commit the grave mistake of adding even the minutest of details in the CV format. It is important to wisely add information in the document so that it doesn’t become an information overdose for the reader. Most importantly, divide the information into relevant sections and give a proper title to each section so that there is a proper flow to the CV. As discussed in the first point, use a different font style and size for the sub-headings to help readers navigate through the CV better.
7. Make Page Transitions Look Orderly
Page transitions are crucial and it is time that you paid attention to how you present information in the CV. For example, if there is a section in your CV that has information splitting in two different pages, either shift the entire section to the next page or rewrite it to fit in the original page itself. Doing so will help make the CV look tidy and won’t break the flow of the reader.
8. Save the CV in the MS Word Format only
Many people share their CVs in formats such as .PDF, .JPG or .PNG. There are a number of problems if you use formats other than any of the MS Word formats, such as:
. There are more chances of such CVs not being identified by the Application Tracking Systems (ATS).
. If a recruiter comes across your CV in a PDF or an image format, s/he won’t be able to make changes before sharing it with their clients.
. Hiring managers may have a hard time trying to open your CV because of software and version compatibility issues.
Getting your CV format right is extremely important for creating an impactful CV. It can actually make a difference in the kind of response you get from the hiring managers. Hope the CV formatting tips shared above will help you revamp your CV and get one step closer to your desired job.
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