Advice Centre

What Is The Best Layout For Your CV?


Benchmark Recruit Career Advice, advice-centre

So, you're looking for new job? You know you have the right training and experience; you're eager and motivated; you've even gathered together all of the information needed to clinch that next role - time to put it all together and find the best layout for your CV. 

At Benchmark, when it comes to CVs, we're well-versed in what works and what doesn't. As a recruitment agency in Sheffield we see hundreds of CVs every week so we know which layouts will catch the eye of headhunters and which will turn them off. Whether its a sales CV or any other, we have the skills and knowledge to write a successful CV. 

Of course, it's what's written on the paper that will eventually get you a foot in the door to you next job but by making your CV easy to read, you'll have increased the chance of your prospective employer digesting the information contained in it. 

Often it's the basics that are often over looked so take on-board our six top tips to keep your application on track. Alternatively, try downloading our handy CV Template. 

1. Plain and Simple 

Use a simple font. Your CV will more than likely be scanned and copied, and maybe even filtered using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). The more legible the text used, the clearer any copies will be and the easier it will be for ATS software to pick up keywords within your text. 

Stick to Arial or Calibri, no smaller that 11 points and keep it consistent throughout. Headings need only be in bold type, not larger font. This will also translate well onto different devices, desktop or mobile. 

2. Size Matters 

Your CV will no doubt be recieved by some very busy bodies. You won't be the only one applying for the job and the vacancy might not be the one currently open at that particular place of work. Be kind and limit your CV to 2 pages of A4: it's easy to spread out in front of a reviewer and should be plenty of space to state all about you and your skills. 

Don't be tempted to use tiny font to fit more information on the page: eye-straining, headache-inducing copy will not sway a decision in your favour.

3. Don't Get Marginal 

Patterned borders and images will only detract from the valuable information within your CV. Unless the vacancy you are applying for is art-related, prospective employers will not appreciate the time you've taken to make your CV look pretty. 

Bear in mind that recruiters are trying to concentrate on your content (and that of the many other applicants). Distractions are just... well... distracting! 

4. Get Spaced Out 

Give the sections of your CV the space that they deserve. You'll already have concisely summarised your personal details, work experience, relevant education or training, and hobbies.

Use clear, boldface headings to allow readers to easily pick out these parts and don't be afraid to leave space where it is warranted. 

5. Bite The Bullet

Keep the layout uncluttered by using bullet points to briefly list key information. This will make your CV ultimately scannable and those making the initial screening of applications will love you for simplifying their job. 

6. Be Predictable 

Unless the job vacancy calls for it, keep your CV format predictable, with each section laid out the same. 

Maintaining the same layout throughout your CV will allow potential new employers to easily find the information they are looking for and demonstrate your attention to detail and ability to organise. 

Is your CV up to  date and raring to go? Have you tweaked the layout to make it ultimately readable? Register it with our recruitment experts at Benchmark Recruit now. There are plenty of employers out there just waiting to read all about you.