A simple, easy to navigate CV will help you make a great first impression with hiring managers. In this blog, CV feedback volunteer Francesca shows you how.
Your CV is your opportunity to present who you are professionally and showcase what you can bring to a role.
A professional-looking, visually appealing layout can help – but it’s worth remembering that what hiring managers are really looking at is the content. Here’s some advice for keeping your CV simple and easy to navigate.
Easy to read
Your CV should be a maximum of 2 pages and easy to read, with a font size of at least 11. Keep it clear and uncluttered, with space between sections.
Treat your CV like one long document – don’t split the page into columns with different sections beside each other. This makes it easier to read.
Try using a table layout, with the section title on the left-hand side and the information next to it on the right. You can even use some light shading on the title side to break it up.
Think about the information you have and pick a layout that works for that. Once you have decided on a layout, keep it consistent. Don’t try to move the borders for some sections or make the font size small to fit more in. It can take some back and forth to get it right, but the simpler your layout, the easier you will find it!
Your work experience
The most important and relevant information should come first and should take up the most space. After your name and contact details, this will normally be a 3-line personal statement and then your employment history. Even if you don’t have a lot of work experience, make sure you are giving the majority of your CV space to the experience you do have. It’s what hiring managers will be most interested in.
After employment history, move on to qualifications, skills and any voluntary experience or relevant interests. You don’t need as much space for these sections.
In most cases, you only need to give a small amount of space to mention your education, especially if it is not directly related to the role. Once you have been out of education for a few years, you won’t need to include any education details aside from higher education details like university degrees.
If you are running out of space, think about how you can make your wording more concise and what you can cut to focus on the most relevant examples.
Keep it simple, and don’t let an intricate design take up too much space – even if you don’t have much work experience, you will quickly find you have plenty to fill the CV.
Our Work It Out service offers free CV feedback for women aged 18 to 30 living in England and Wales. Send your CV and your will receive personalised feedback from HR professionals.