Stand out from the crowd with an impactful CV

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A CV, which stands for curriculum vitae (meaning “course of life” in Latin), is a document you use to apply for jobs. It’s essentially a marketing tool that summarizes your qualifications and experience to convince employers you’re a good fit for the position. 

A good layout is crucial for your CV because it acts as the gateway to grabbing an employer’s attention and getting them to delve deeper into your qualifications. Here’s how: 

  • First Impressions Matter: Recruiters and hiring managers often sift through many CVs for a single position. A well-organised CV with a clear layout makes a strong first impression. It shows professionalism and attention to detail, qualities employers value. 
  • Scan ability is Key: Recruiters might only spend a few seconds on each CV initially. A good layout with clear headings, bullet points, and white space makes it easy for them to scan and find the relevant information they’re looking for. 
  • Highlights Your Skills: A well-formatted CV allows you to strategically showcase your most relevant skills and experiences. Clear sections and bullet points make it easy for employers to see how your qualifications align with the job requirements. 
  • Professional Presentation: A sloppy or cluttered CV can reflect poorly on your work ethic and capabilities. A clean and well-laid-out CV conveys that you take pride in your work and presentation skills. 

In short, a good layout is an essential part of making a positive first impression and convincing an employer to give your CV the time and attention it deserves. 

CV Pointers: 

Keeping it Short and Succinct: 

  • Attention Spans: Recruiters and hiring managers are often busy people. A lengthy CV can be overwhelming and lead them to skim over important details. Aim for a concise document, typically 1-2 pages depending on your experience level. 
  • Highlighting the Best: With limited space, you can focus on the most relevant and impressive aspects of your career. This targeted approach ensures the hiring manager sees what’s most valuable to them. 
  • Tailoring for Jobs: While a CV offers a comprehensive overview, you can still tailor it slightly for specific positions. Emphasise skills and experiences most relevant to the job description. 
  • Always spellcheck – There is nothing worse that your own CV containing spelling errors – a document that should have been compiled by you. 
  • Personal data – do not include your Date of birth (DOB).  

Remember, a CV is a powerful tool to showcase your qualifications. By keeping it concise and highlighting your strongest assets, you can increase your chances of landing that dream job. 

Several websites offer free downloadable CV templates in various formats like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and PDF. These templates provide a basic structure with sections for your contact information, education, work experience, and skills. Here are some popular options: 

  • offers a variety of free CV templates, including classic, modern, and creative styles. 
  • MyPerfectCV provides free CV templates you can download. 
  • Reed offers a free CV template with helpful guides on what to include in each section. 

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