How to Make Your CV More Readable

Recruiters may spend only around 10 seconds looking at a CV, so it is crucial that you make your CV as relevant and easy-to-read as possible. If your CV looks like a cluttered, disorganized laundry list of information, you will only frustrate potential employers and hurt your chances of getting an interview. Many highly qualified applicants are overlooked simply because their CVs are poorly constructed.

 – Your name should be the first readable item on each page.

 – Use easy-to-read, universal fonts that open on both PCs and Macs. These are:

            – Times Roman

            – Arial

            – Century

            – MS Sans Serif

            – Book Antiqua

            – Century Gothic

            – Calibri

 – Do not use Bold, Italics, or all-caps unless it is in a headline or subheading. Never do all three.

 – Put your name at the top of every page.

 – Keep your font size between 10 and 12 points.

 – Use one font, and only one font.

 – Use bullet points to break up bigger chunks of information into easily digestible bites of information.

 – Print your CV on high-quality white or cream 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper.

 – Do not use graphics, tables, or horizontal lines on electronic CVs, as they may not open properly on certain computers.

 – Don’t tighten the tracking (the space between letters). It makes it hard to read.

 – Give all information a buffer of white space, so that it stands out better and is easier to scan through. Squint your eyes and look at the document. Can you discern white space dividing the different sections of the resume? If not, give it more breathing room. Cut out any all unnecessary words.

 – Avoid images and graphic effects such as drop shadows, etc.

 – Use high quality paper clips instead of staples.

 – Don’t fold the CV unless you have to. If you must, make sure the fold doesn’t go through a line of text.

 – Stay consistent: Whichever format, font, layout, and other stylistic elements you use, be consistent.

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