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CV Writing Guide


Further advice for CV presentation

Thinking about this from the employers’ perspective again, it is really important that your CV or resume is well laid out in a clear format, which makes it easy for the employer to read and find the relevant information.

However, unless you are applying for a visually creative job, they are not going to be too concerned with your graphic design skills, so keep it simple.  Use a clear font in a reasonable size, and leave quite wide margins - not only does this help your text to stand out, it leaves room for the employer to scribble their comments. 

There are various CV templates available in word processing packages and online, which are good for layout ideas, but personalize these with subtle changes of your own.

smiling people

While it is tempting to make an impression via the use of coloured paper and wacky design, avoid this - you can stamp your individuality on your CV without resorting to off putting novelty tactics.  Quality speaks for itself, so print your CV on good quality paper using the highest standard print option.  Increasingly CVs are submitted electronically, via e-mail, and the employer will then print it out - check that your tabs, paragraphs and page breaks will survive cyberspace and print out properly, and also that you are sending through a file which can be opened easily.

As for including any additional, unsolicited supporting material, this is usually not a good idea.  There are exceptions, such as design or publishing jobs, where sending samples of your work can be an advantage, but on the whole leave out copies of qualifications, testimonials and irrelevant publications - the recruiter has enough paperwork to wade through, and would specifically request these things if needed.  Similarly, unless requested, don’t include a photo - it’s likely to be completely irrelevant, unflattering when printed out, and will only provide endless amusement for the Human Resources department of your potential employer.  The only extra thing you may want to include is a covering letter.  You can read our page on writing job application letters here.

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