HOW TO FORMAT YOUR CV TO IMPRESS EMPLOYERS
Having a well-formatted CV is almost as important as having a well written CV. Most employers receive a stack of CVs of qualified candidates and scan them quickly before they decide whether or not hey want to read further. In addition to key words, what stands out the most about your CV is its format.
It is essentially the first thing people will notice, whether on paper or in electronic form. There are a number of rules you should keep in mind when formatting your CV. First, start with a blank page.
Avoid using templates that are already available in Microsoft Word. These templates are outdated, and they will make your CV appear generic and uninviting. Additionally, these templates, while well formatted in Microsoft Word, will not translate well when emailed or uploaded to job search engine web sites.
You can find samples of CVs on the Internet; search for CVs by your industry to find the templates that make most sense for the job you are seeking. Than work on a blank page to replicate the look and feel of the CV you like.
Ideally, your CV should fit on one page; if you have extensive experience, limit the length of the CV to two pages, but only list experiences and skills relevant to your career objective. Even if you are applying for a job in a creative field, do not insert images or pictures into your CV. If you are looking to show off your creativity, you can do so in a separate portfolio of your work.
The page should have one inch margins, top and bottom, right and left. Use left justification only – as a rule, do not center the content of your CV. The font and font size should be consistent. Your name, and any headlines in your CV should be displayed in the same manner. Typically, the headlines will be in all caps, and in bold.
Try not to underline any of the information in your CV. In the world of Internet driven job applications, underlining in a document implies a web link. Thus, using underlining for emphasis is not appropriate.
The font size for headlines should not exceed 14 points; the remainder of the text in the CV should not exceed 12 points. When trying to align your CV, be ware of spacing and tabbing. Stay consistent in the way that you are spacing out the information on the page.
Use tabs, rather than spaces. You always have to anticipate that the person you are sending your CV to may have a different version of the software than you and thus may not see the exactly the same CV you are sending – it is possible that the margins will reset, paragraphs will shift, bullet points will change shape, etc.
This is why you must keep the spacing consistent, as well as try to keep the font and the bullet points as basic as possible. As a last formatting check point, ask your friends or your family for help in reviewing your CV.
Send the CV file via email to a few of your friends – ask them to review the CV and make sure nothing seems out of place. Print out the CV on paper and review to make sure that margins are accurately set, and that the content doesn’t appear crowded on the page.
Keep in mind – when it comes to your CV, sleek simple appearance, and great writing, will get you the job you are looking for.
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