Create an impact with your CV format and layout
If recruiters are failing to notice your valuable skills and comprehensive work experience, it could be that your CV is letting you down.
Get inspired by our CV examples and use our in-depth knowledge of CV format and layout to build an attention-grabbing CV and set yourself on a course to career success.
10 popular CV formats and layouts
If you’re struggling to get to grips with what to put on your CV, how to break up large chunks of text, or how to make your CV interesting, take a look at our top CV examples by design and job title for format and layout inspiration:
The best format and layout for your CV
Recruiters spend as little as six seconds looking at a CV. Using a structured format and layout makes it easier for recruiters and an ATS (Applicant Tracking Software) to pick out important details, which in turn increases your odds of getting invited for an interview.
When building your CV consider:
CV lengthIt’s standard practice for a CV to be two A4 pages in length. Any longer than this and you risk overwhelming a recruiter or employer with details, which may result in your application being rejected.
CV structureThe order you use to layout your CV is important. Start with a personal statement, followed by work experience, skills, and finally detail your education including relevant professional qualifications and certificates.
List your work experience and qualifications in reverse chronological order (most recent first) so recruiters and potential employers can easily see you’ve got up-to-date knowledge and hands-on experience in areas that are related to the role in question.
FontCreative and artistic fonts look fun and interesting but they’re a big turnoff for recruiters. They’re often hard to read by both the human eye and an ATS, so stick to clear and simple fonts, like Arial, Calibri, or Verdana.
Visit our CV templates to see how the fonts we use make our CV’s easy to read.
ColourWhile it’s usually not recommended to include colour on a CV if you’re in the creative industry like graphic design, web development, or video production, adding a touch of secondary colour here and then can make your CV more noticeable and it's a subtle way to show off your creative skills.
Avoid going overboard on bright colours as these will distract from the content of your CV, instead, stick to muted colours like blues and greys as these look more professional.
Space breakersRecruiters are busy people so they don’t have long to spend looking at your CV. Sending a CV that contains large chunks of text will result in it getting overlooked as it’s difficult to read.
Use headings and spaces to separate information into readable blocks. Use bullet or numbered lists to detail your skills, qualifications, and work experience.
ImagesIt’s not commonplace to attach a headshot of yourself to your CV, so stick to tradition and leave it off.
CV file typeThere are many different file types you can save and send your CV as, these include word, pdf, html (webpage), .rtf (rich text), and .txt (plain text). To ensure your CV is accessible to all and can pass the ATS test, it’s best to use a Word CV template to build your CV as other file formats are difficult to scan.
Final check before hitting sendYou can have a perfectly formatted CV, but, if a recruiter spots a mistake they’ll pass you over for another candidate. So, take care to check for spelling and grammar mistakes. If possible, ask someone else like a friend or family member to look over your CV.
Get your CV format and layout right the first time
A CV that is built following our tried and tested layout and format shows recruiters and employers you’ve got the knowledge, personal attributes, and relevant experience to be a valuable asset to a company.
Armed with our expert knowledge on CV format and layout, visit our CV builder to start building your own personalised CV and look forward to taking your career to new heights.