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Benefits of a good CV layout

James Clift | May 6, 2015

When your prospective employers start combing through their piles of resumes, having an eye-catching CV layout can mean the difference between getting that second interview and getting lost in the shuffle.

While you don’t want to go too crazy and turn your resume into a flyer for a kid’s birthday party, thoughtful use of font, spacing, color and graphic elements can give your CV that little extra something that sets it apart from the rest of the bunch.

The first thing to consider when building your CV is clarity. The whole point of a CV is to quickly convey information about what makes you the best candidate for the position, so readability is key. A busy hiring manager doesn’t have time to pour over a jumbled layout in search of the qualifications he or she is looking for.

A good CV layout will give your document a solid structure that makes your credentials pop from the page.

Be sure your CV has legible formatting, clear headings, and a sensible use of space that breaks up the text and makes your CV layout easy on the eyes. Bolding and bullet points can help draw an employer’s attention to key pieces of information. The use of underlining and font sizing can add an extra punch to certain skills you are looking to highlight. But all of these things require a certain amount of restraint.

Try to be conservative with your font choice and as uniform as possible in your sizing and bolding. Using a well-designed CV layout as an example can be extremely helpful in this department.

Be concise. You are looking for maximum impact, so take some time to edit and rewrite your resume. Go over any big blocks of text you might have and see if you can convey the same information in just one or two sentences. Also, try to keep it relevant.

Include as much info as you can that pertains directly to the job you’re after and leave out things like hobbies, interests and unrelated experience. This will keep your CV from looking too cluttered and save your all-important reader some time.

Make it your own. Whether you’re crafting your resume from scratch or using a CV template, it is

important to put your unique stamp on it. Browse through some sample CV layouts to find ideas, or pick a template that is customizable. Your document should be legible, eye catching and unique. Even if it’s something as simple as adding a dash of color, your CV should convey who you are as an individual—but try to keep it understated, your qualifications should always be the star of the show.

Remember: your CV is an extension of yourself, and can be the key to making a good first impression.

You wouldn’t show up to a job interview in shorts and a paint splattered t-shirt, so you shouldn’t settle for a boring or messy resume. You want a CV that represents you in every way, from your qualifications to your professional attitude and appearance, and a carefully designed CV layout will do just that.

Blost post author James Clift

About the author

James Clift

James is the CEO of VisualCV. He has spent the last 10 years building businesses, from window cleaning to software. His passion is helping individuals create the careers they want.

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