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How Important Is The Design Of A CV?

How important is the design of a CV? The layout, the font, the sizing… does it all matter?

We have plenty of advice on how to write the perfect CV (such as this blog post) but what about the more visual aspects of a job application? Some find this part extremlty important whilst others, not so much.

We look into both sides of the argument and help come to a final conclusion on the great CV debate.

For:

The CV creates the first impression. It’s your chance to impress the employer and show them what you have to offer. This is why some argue that a ‘sloppy’ CV carelessly put together will do your job prospects no favours.

A neat and well-written CV reflects professionalism. This level of care demonstrates to the hiring manager that you always do everything to the best of your ability. You’re proud of your achievements and you hope to transfer them into the new role. If you can’t be bothered to add key details into your CV (such as; employment timescales & achievements etc), how will you convince the employer you always put 100% effort into the work you do?

The readability of your CV is one of the most important factors you will need to consider when editing the layout and overall design. Therefore it’s beneficial to group sections together, include bullet points, boxes and highlight any key achievements you want to draw attention to.

The more clutter you have the more likely your future employer will give up reading and move on to the next job application that’s easier to read.

Against:

Some people invest too much time into what their CV looks like rather than the content itself. This valuable time could be utilised much more effectively in the writing. To ensure there are no spelling mistakes, missed details or poorly written paragraphs.

A simple layout, that is straightforward, informative and does not include any fancy CV templates are often the clearest to read. Don’t run the risk of your CV template looking like it’s been copied straight from Microsoft Word. It lacks personality, character and the recruiter will have probably seen it 100 times over already.

If you are to make your own layout, design it yourself on Word, or free content tools such as Canva. This way it will be original and can showcase your own creative capabilities.

Most large employers utilise applicant tracking systems and additional hiring technology to filter through job applications. Often this involves automation, which consequently means human eyes will not read CVs during the first screening process. Creating the debate against the importance of CV design, because these aesthetic factors are disregarded when technology reviews a CV.

Our verdict:

The priority of a CV should be on its physical substance. Your work history, skills, education, responsibilities, opening bio and interests require a great amount of thought.

Unless you’re applying for a creative role, keep the design simple. Include bold large text to help navigate the reader to different sections. This will allow them to quickly scan through areas without getting lost in the design. Writing paragraphs upon paragraphs, with little white space will be ineffective in keeping the reader engaged. Also, remember to focus on including keywords that match the job description. This will help rank your CV high if the employer uses an ATS.

What are your thoughts? Where do you prioritise the layout of a CV? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @BubbleJobs.

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