CV format- what should it look like?

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Have you ever wondered why despite your skill set perfectly matching that of a job advert, your application rarely results in a call back from a recruiter? We can tell you that the answer could lie in the way you have formatted your CV. The presentation of it is equally as important as the content and whilst fancy fonts, pie charts showing the 6 different sides to your personality and photos of you snowboarding might show you’re a whizz on graphic design, unless that’s the job you’re going for, it may in fact mean your CV gets noticed for all the wrong reasons.

Recruiters may receive, 10, 50 or 100+ applications for a job in a short space of time and as a rule, we generally know at a quick glance if someone has the potential to be put forward to our clients IF the information is presented to us in a clear and easy to read manner. Spending our time trying to decipher long, unpunctuated sentences, big, messy paragraphs, back to front work histories and complicated job descriptions is at best, time consuming, at worst, too much hassle to bother with meaning YOU miss out.

When thinking about the impact your CV has, remember that that above all else, the main aim is to create a pleasant reading experience with information in a logical order using sufficient spacing, clear sub sections and headers. Use the space available on the page in a sensible manner – equal spacing between sections, a consistent format running throughout the CV and a font that doesn’t make you reach for your glasses. 

Your CV needs to play to your strengths at all times. It’s a document that should highlight your most recent achievements and what makes you suitable for this role, it’s not there to be elusive and keep prospective employers guessing at what you could bring to their company.

Follow the “content over style” rule when constructing your CV and you won’t go far wrong! Don’t be tempted to use flamboyant graphics, not only does it make the text difficult to read, a lot of recruiters use specialist databases to store candidate CV’s and often these graphics are just not compatible meaning you’ll be asked to re-do it in a basic Word format anyway.

A good starting point for any CV is as follows:



Contact details

 **  Clearly state your name, location (no need for full address), email & phone number – CHECK contact details are right!!**

Personal Profile



** Keep your section headers clear and concise with a bold, underlined font **

Key Skills

  • xxxxxxx
  • xxxxxxx
  • xxxxxxxx

** Bullet point your key skills in order to get them noticed asap – match them to what the job description requires to make you stand out **

Career History

Company name

Job title

Dates of employment

** Lay out each job (with most recent first). Don’t be tempted to fluff up your job title as it might get misunderstood and you could be                     disregarded **   

When laying out your current job – a short paragraph summary followed by bullet pointed daily duties is always a good, clear, and user friendly way of demonstrating your responsibilities. Remember to make sure you have read the job description of the role you are applying for and focus on including the things you do that are most relevant to that.

Other subsections can include Education, Industry Qualifications and Hobbies and Interests, Charitable work etc but follow the same rule – keep it clear, keep it concise and keep it relevant.

We hope this has helped when it comes to considering the format of your CV and how to make sure it gets noticed in the way you want it to! For advice, tips and other job hunting questions, please get in touch with us – and as we’re always happy to help find you the perfect job in business travel!

(Picture courtesy of Pixabay)

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