How To | Make Your CV Visually Appealing

Although what you write in your CV will help to secure that all-important interview, how you present it is just as crucial. 

A visually appealing CV will grab the attention of an employer, and is the first hurdle to pass to getting it read. Here are five visual tips to make your CV stand out from the crowd.

Choice of font

The font you choose for your CV can have a huge visual impact, so pick one that is easy to scan and looks professional. To be on the safe side, stick to tried-and-trusted fonts such as Arial or Times New Roman, at size 12.

These are not only legible, but their widespread use means that you won’t have to worry about your font being incompatible with others, if you send your CV electronically.

Logical structure

If a recruiter is faced with pages full of text, this may be so off-putting that your CV ends up bottom of the pile.

In order to create a favourable initial impression, lay your CV out in a logical structure, with text broken up into identifiable sections, such as personal details, employment and education.

Use a bold heading to highlight each section, and leave adequate white space to easily guide the reader from one section to the next. Creating a logical structure is easier using bold or italic headings, but avoid underlining text or using capitals, as these have shown to impart a negative impression on recruiters.

Be consistent

A visually consistent CV is easier to read and helps to define a logical structure or pattern to the document.

When aiming for consistency, you need to focus on adopting the same size and style of text, font and layout for each section of the CV. If you start to mix and match these, it can be confusing to read and not at all easy on the eye.

Use bullet points

Bullet points are perfect for creating a visually pleasing effect in a CV. They help to break up text, and can be easily scanned by the reader for quick reference. It is much more preferable to use bullet points than present large chunks of text, especially if you want to highlight particular skills or achievements. Even when using bullet points, however, try to keep your text precise and to the point, and avoid superfluous wording.

Avoid colours and images

Naturally, you’ll want your CV to stand out and grab the reader’s attention, but make sure that the way in which you do this doesn’t create the wrong impression.

Adding colours or images, for instance, may seem attention-grabbing, but these could detract from the key elements on the CV that make you suitable for the job.

Additionally, if you’re sending your CV in a digital format, using colours or images may display differently on the recipient’s computer screen.

In some cases, they may not even be able to open the file, if any elements are incompatible. If you do want to highlight text, use bold or shading sparingly, and always, consistently.

If you would like any further advice or help please contact us on 01743 247774.