Your CV's layout is as important as the content

Posted on Monday, October 29, 2018 by Adrian Foster1 comment

I’ve written a couple of blogs on how important the content is within your CV however, the way it is delivered on the page can be equally important.

Recruiters and Hiring Managers will be looking at numerous CVs and one of their first judgements (either consciously or subconsciously) will be to consider the way the CV is presented.  The best skill-set in the world will be useless if it is presented in a messy CV that is hard to read.

Here are five tips to help make your CV stand out from the crowd.

1 - Simplicity is Key

Present the CV in a logical order using enough spacing to break the CV into different sections.

Don’t try too hard; wacky designs can be distracting to the eye. Use a professional, business like font as this will be much easier to read. Make sure you focus on content over style. 

 2 Provide a Pleasant Reading Experience

Remember that most employers will be reading hundreds of job applications and CVs. Don’t use blocks and blocks of long, wordy text. Try to create a CV layout that is ‘easy on the eye’ as this will mean that the reader is happy to spend more time considering your information.

Bullet pointed information makes your important skills and talents stand out better on the page. The eye of the reader is more drawn towards bulleted information, so use this tip to get across your most important skills.

Remember that long, messy paragraphs don’t make for happy readers.

3 – Maintain a Professional Look

Unusual or fancy fonts or brightly coloured text that can make your whole CV look very unprofessional. Remember that first impressions count. You need to make your CV look as professional as possible.

I know this blog is all about the aesthetics of a CV but don’t forget spelling mistakes and grammatical errors can be the downfall of many CVs, no matter how highly skilled or qualified the person behind the CV actually is.

The best advice here is to check your CV over again to pick up on any obvious mistakes. Get a friend or relative to proof-read your CV for you. A fresh pair of eyes may well spot something you have overlooked that could be very costly.

4 – Use the Space Well

Like many pieces of good design, white space is your friend! Use it wisely to give the readers eyes a rest and a natural place to stop at the end of sentences and paragraphs.

Break up your text into separate sections that use clear headings – this will make it easier for employers to zone in on relevant areas and pick out all the necessary information they need to make a decision about your application.

It is also important that you highlight your most recent achievements and the strengths you will be bringing with you to this role. You should play to your strengths and make sure that you deliver the ones that the recruiter/employer is specifically looking for. Use the advert or job description to help you list ‘desired skills’ or ‘essential experience’. Pick these strengths out and make sure they can be easily found on your CV.

5 – Consider using a Professional Online Design Service

There are some great online tools that you can use to help design a great CV. Take a look at Canva ( or Design Wizard ( They take a bit of playing around with but you can create your own CV from scratch or use one of their templates to make your CV stand out from the crowd. 


Adrian Foster is a recruitment specialist with over 20 years experience in Recruitment. Please get in touch if you think we can help with any recruitment needs that you may have. 


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1 comment on "Your CV's layout is as important as the content"

  • Jerry_Flemo says: 4 December 2018 at 10:14

    Fortunately, in this day, we have CV building templates to ensure neatness and professionalism. Using a CV template will save you the trouble of having to create a table and worry about structure setting in your profile.
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