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How to format a CV?

It’s one of the most important things for any job seeker, your CV will secure you an interview, so getting it right first time is crucial! The way you format your CV is almost as important as it’s content, and employers will be looking for a few specific things, and if they don’t like what they see, your CV could end up in the bin. We’ve got some top tips for you, to make sure your CV is formatted correctly.

Keep it simple

A recruiter or manager will be extremely short on time, and simply won’t have time to decipher an overly complicated CV. Rather than using fancy graphics or colourful images, stick to simple headings and clearly defined sections. Simplicity is key, and will mean the recruiter will be able to glance at your CV and see the main points.

Bullet points

Your instinct may be to go into a lot of detail and write in long paragraphs, but this is not a good idea. A recruiter or manager will only be able to dedicate a few seconds of their time to each CV, as they’ll be sent hundreds to sort through. So instead of using long paragraph and overly flowery language, use bullet points and stick to the key points.

The only paragraphs you should include in your CV are a personal statement at the top, and an achievements paragraph underneath the skills section. Both of these should be as concise as possible, with simple and straightforward language.

Less is more

Contrary to popular belief, the only personal information you need to include on your CV is your name, a contact telephone number, and your email address. Your date of birth, address, or other details are private and don’t need to be shared on your CV. As well as this, it is not compulsory to add a photo to your CV, unless you work in dance, acting, or modelling. Focus on your professional accolades, skills, and educational achievements, as this is what will land you a new job.


We cannot stress the importance of proofreading your CV enough. Any mistake on your CV, be it grammar or spelling, will reflect extremely poorly on you, and will definitely not encourage any recruiter to select you for an interview. Don’t just proofread your CV once, proofread it again and again! A good tip is to have someone you trust proofread it for you, as the more opinions you receive, the better your CV will be.


The main thing a CV should be is clear, as we’ve already shown, and headings are your new best friend when writing your CV. They direct the person reading your CV, and clearly indicate your education, experience, and make it easy for a recruiter to decipher the information you’re putting across.

To learn more about CV writing why not check out our helpful employability courses?

CV Writing and Interview Skills

Effective CV Writing

January 29, 2018

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