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Naomi Rothwell-Boyd, April 28 2022

15 Best CV Layout And Formatting Tips

When it comes to your CV layout, you want to make sure that you're following the best tips possible. After all, this is your first impression to a potential employer, and you want to make sure that it's a good one! So you need a good cv layout.

In this blog post, we'll be taking a look at 15 of the best functional cv layout and formatting tips from some of the top CV building platforms, so read on for your super fast CV formatting tips guide!

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Why should job seekers care about CV layouts and CV format?

Your modern CV layout is important for a number of reasons, mainly to help make your job search more effective. Firstly, it's a way to make sure that your CV structure is easy to read and digest.

Secondly, it's a way to ensure that all the important information is put front and centre, so that the person reading your CV can see it easily.

Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, your CV layout says a lot about you as a person. A well-formatted, professional CV shows that you're organised and capable; two very attractive qualities in an employee!

The 15 Best Pieces of Advice

Ok, so now let's take a look at those 15 CV formatting tips! I read through the top advice on CV layouts and formatting and hand selected the pieces of advice I think are timeless and most important for people to focus on based on my experiences as a career coach.

These tips aren't covering the details of formatting and which fonts to select. If you want more info then check out each of the platforms we mention below as they all have even more brilliant content and guidance on the nitty gritty details.

Instead we're going to look at what I think are the most important strategic considerations to ponder when revamping your CV.

Let's summarise them below quickly before diving deeper into each piece of advice:

1) Put Yourself In Their Shoes

The CV isn’t about you. It’s about just how suitable and perfect you are for the role they’re trying to fill. That’s a much more effective angle to take. Which is why you need to try as hard as you can to think from the employer’s perspective, not yours.

I really like this advice from LiveCareer. You need to think about what the recruiter and hiring managers will experience when they ready your CV. How will they feel? What emotions will they go through? This is so key and something a lot of job seekers don't do. Ultimately they are trying to fill this job to help them do something, so it's in your interest to consider how you can help them achieve their goals rather than just yours.


LiveCareer is a website that offers advice and tips on writing resumes and CVs and has helped more than 10 million job seekers. The site also has a resume builder tool to help users create their own resumes. LiveCareer was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in the United States.

2) Write About Your Work Experience Like A Pro

In the past, our CVs read like a shopping list of positions with responsibilities listed as tasks. Not only is this boring to write, but it’s incredibly dull for recruiters to read through. Lists do nothing to paint a picture of the impact you’ve made.
For example, If you’d had 3 different jobs as a shop assistant, listing out the same tasks in each of these jobs is a waste of the space on your CV because you’re not telling the recruiter the results of what you did.
Instead, aim to write quantifiable examples of how you contributed or added value in your role. What does this mean? We mean numbers; we mean quantities; we mean measurements.

3) Review Your CV Like An Editor And Recruiter

Once you've completed all the sections, it's time to review your CV and your writing. Time to put on your editor and recruiter hats as you look at your CV from two points of view.
First, imagine you're an editor. Read over each section slowly, looking for mistakes in your writing and work history.Then, imagine you're the recruiter receiving your CV - are you a good match for the role?

Two more great pieces of advice from the team at MyPerfectCV. Firstly, talking about the value you added in a role or the results you achieved are definitely better for getting a job interview than lists of responsibilities. When I've worked with career coaching clients, they often struggle to understand why their impressive responsibilities haven't seemed attractive. It's almost always because they didn't realise that people care about your successes, not the function of your past roles.

Secondly, MyPerfectCV's take on reviewing like an editor and recruiter is smart as it's also about putting yourself in the recipients' shoes. The more you focus on making the other person's life easier, the most engagements you will get.

MyPerfectCV is a website that offers advice and tips on writing resumes and CVs. Launched in 2012 and headquartered in Puerto Rico, their CV templates and CV builder have been used by thousands to secure interviews of the dream jobs.

4) Include A CV Objective

An objective can be deployed as part of a CV summary to indicate the desired direction of your career. It doesn’t make sense if you are moving to a similar role, but for career changers, freelancers or recent grads, it makes sense to spell out where you see your future lie.

5) Include the right accomplishments in your work experience

Focus on these types of accomplishments:
- Increased productivity and solutions to problems
- Financial cost savings or improved bottom line
- Innovations that led to set-change solutions
- Procedures and processes you helped develop
- Your impact on the personal development of colleagues

6) Don't include hobbies on your CV

Much as your future boss will want to get to know you once you have started in the role, there is no way in the world that a hobby will significantly influence a hiring decision. A CV is a professional job search document, so there is no place for listing your hobbies. Don’t do it. have some sounds pointers here. A CV objective gives the recruiter insight into your personal goals. These above types of accomplishments also help the recruiter to better understand your personal value. It's also true that a hiring manager care far more about filing the role than which sport you enjoy on the weekends. Save getting to know you for later in the interview process. is a website that helps individuals with writing resumes and CVs. It was launched in 2012 and their mission is to help job seekers grow careers. The website offers advice, tips, templates and examples to users in addition to their flagship CV builder.

7) Keep it short and sweet

The most effective CVs aren’t just informative, they’re also concise. Try and get straight to the most pertinent points, and ideally take up no more than two sides of A4.

8) Play to your strengths

Format your CV to maximise the impact of your application. For example, if you feel a lack of experience is holding you back, lead with education instead. As long as you can relate it back to the role in question, how you order the sections is up to you.

Some sound practical advice from Reed here - don't overthink it. Keep it brief and draw attention to your best bits if you're short on content. is a website that helps job seekers with their career advice. They have articles on various topics such as CV layout, interview tips, and salary negotiation. Reed has been around since 1960 and is headquartered in the United Kingdom.

9) Keep it simple

As an ex-recruiter who used to read hundreds of CVs every week, the best piece of advice I can give on layout, is to keep it simple.
Don’t be tempted to use flashy templates with logos, background designs, photos and skills graphs – they simply detract from the content and make your CV a confusing read. A classic case of style over content.

10) Start with a persuasive intro

Recruiters do not spend long reading your CV when they review it for the first time.
Holding recruiters’ attention within the first few seconds of them opening your CV is vital for your job search success.
If you fail to do it – they may skip straight on to the next CV in their inbox without reading yours in full.
To avoid this happening, head your CV up with a powerful introductory profile of 4-8 lines that highlights all of your in-demand skills, and enthuses recruiters to read on.

Two very practical and sounds pieces of advice from Standout-CV here. Given recruiters will only spend 7-10 seconds reading your CV, making information easy to read rather than pretty is vital. And the intro is the best way to make you stand out. is a website started by former recruiter Andrew Fennell that helps job seekers with writing CVs and resumes. The website offers advice, tips, templates and examples to users in addition to their flagship CV builder.

11) Don't go over one page

Here’s the thing - there’s no magic one-size-fits-all rule on how long should your resume be. It really depends on several factors. Short answer: it depends, but in most cases, you should stick to the one-pager.

12) Prioritise achievements over responsibilities

When possible, each of your achievements should include:
- Timeframe
- Scale
- Results

Novoresume's advice here is sound - long CVs are usually a bad sign. While there's not one-size-fits all answer, usually shorter is better. And when writing your achievements, this Timeframe, Scale and Results approach is a great way to demonstrate the value you created with your efforts, which is exactly what a hiring manager wants to see.


Novoresume is an intuitive, web-based tool that makes it as simple as possible to produce an eye-catching resume. Founded in 2014 and based in Denmark, the application first launched in February 2016, and it quickly gained international attention after being featured in Times, Forbes and Business Insider.

13) Make sure your job titles stand out

Make sure your job titles stand out. They’re one of the things the recruiters are most interested in.

14) Don't be afraid to try other formats

Chronological CVs are the most versatile but you may want to consider functional or combination too.

Solid pointers from Resume Lab here too. Job titles are the signposts of your CV, so simple tricks like bolding them could be useful in helping the reader. And as with formats, experimentation is also useful when thinking about the situation you are facing. You don't need to always follow the same rules.

Resume Lab

Resume Lab is an AI-powered resume builder that makes it easy to create, edit and share your resumes. With over 20 templates and designs tailored for different industries and situations, Resume Lab takes the guesswork out of resume writing so you can focus on what's important: getting the job.

15) Tailor for your audience

If you want to be consistently shortlisted, it is crucial that the top of your CV reflects the most important requirements of your target roles.
Before you start to craft your CV, you should always carry out plenty of research into the roles you are applying for, and the employers you are approaching.
Scan through lots of relevant job adverts, LinkedIn profiles and company websites to build an accurate picture of the essential qualities that your target employers are looking for.
Once you have identified what the most important factors are, ensure that they are included in the top quarter of your CV and made prominent. Never hide any crucial skills or knowledge at the bottom of your CV.

This is often the biggest mistake most people make. Either through haste or lack of commitment, people skip the customisation part and it prevents them from standing out. Sound advice from TotalJobs.

Total Jobs

Total Jobs is a British online job board owned by Reed Global. The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in London.

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Written by

Naomi Rothwell-Boyd

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