CV Template Guide

CV Template Guide: Create the Best CV and get the Job

Is your CV the best it could be? Take a look at our CV template guide and start creating your perfect CV today. Getting the layout and design of your CV is more important than you might realise. Did you know that recruiters spend on average 5-7 seconds looking at your CV? In that space of time, the recruiter will decide to short-list or reject your application. In order to stand out, a CV needs to be both professionally written and visually impressive.

Firstly it’s important to note that before you design your CV, you should research the standard designs associated with the industry you are applying to work in. Search for samples on Pinterest for inspiration. Next, you should consider the design, layout and content of the document. Finally, you should stick close to Irish employers and recruiters expect.

CV Template Design Resources

Visually impressive CVs are standard in today’s jobs market. Therefore, it is worth spending some time on the design of your CV before writing the content.

For example, Canva and Design Bold allows users to pick from a selection of professionally designed CV templates and effortlessly create a compelling CV. Once you have chosen your CV template, you can alter the fonts and icons as well as backgrounds, colours. As a rule of thumb:

  • Design should be subtle, not flamboyant.
  • Colours should be consistent throughout and co-ordinated.
  • Graphics should be kept simple and serve a purpose (ie to illustrate skills)
  • Use a header on the CV to highlight your name in bold.
  • The typography should break up sections and direct the eye.
  • Keep the font style simple and the font size readable.
  • Do not include a photograph of yourself. Studies have shown that this can distract recruiters from the information contained in the document.

Carefully Consider The Layout of the CV Template

Similar to other business documents, a CV should have a coherent logical structure to it;

  • Keep the layout easy to read and in a rational order. The reader should be able to navigate to the information they want quickly and easily.
  • Keep the length to no more than two pages.
  • Use columns on the page to keep information neat and aligned.
  • Use borders to create sections.
  • Include a sidebar to highlight contact and other important information.

Refine The Content

Equally important to design and layout is the information contained within a CV. The content should be tailored to suit the company and role.  It should include the essentials:

  • Contact details: include your email and mobile number. Highlight these in the sidebar, header or footer of the document. Make it easy for a recruiter to contact you. Also, include a user-friendly URL to your LinkedIn profile and/or professional website.
  • Personal statement/Profile: include a short, snappy well-written overview of yourself. It is an outline of your experience, abilities and how they are relevant to the role. You should also include any outstanding or relevant achievements.
  • Experience: present your experience history in reverse chronological order, starting with your latest role. Edit your list of experience to only those that are relevant to the role you are applying for. Include full job titles, company names, start and finish dates and a brief summary of responsibilities.
  • Education: as stated above, the list of education should be in reverse chronological order. Include the name of the institution you studied, the name of the qualification, the grade awarded, start and finish dates.
  • Achievements: highlight achievements and avoid writing about responsibilities. For example, an achievement may include introducing a new initiative or campaign that resulted in higher sales, lower costs, easier customer acquisition or increase in brand awareness.
  • Skills/ Hobbies/Interests: in addition to the above, it is important to highlight the relevant skills you have acquired through experience and education. These can include technical skills such as Adobe Photoshop, WordPress or SPSS and soft skills such communication, teamwork and problem-solving.
  • References: Do not list the names and contact details of your referees. Put ‘References are available on request’.

Grab Their Attention

Furthermore, there should be no overly complicated sentences or explanations on the CV. It should be easy to read, formatted clearly and interesting. Information should focus on attracting the reader’s attention and leave them with a desire to learn more about the candidate.

Finally, all information included should be up-to-date and accurate. Spell and grammar check the document using Grammarly. If possible ask a colleague or professional in the industry to proof-read it for you before sending.