6.3 Presentation of your CV
To produce an effective CV, pay attention to its appearance as well as its content.
- Make it easy to read and follow. Yours will be one of many that the employer has to read. Use an ‘easy-to-read’ font and size, such as Arial 11 point.
- Be consistent in how you present the information (e.g. date order) and in your layout. Have headings in the same style (capital letters, bold, underlining). Use bullet points to make reading quicker.
- Two sides of A4 is usually the right length.
- Don’t cram the page, or clutter it up with unnecessary punctuation. Space makes text easier to read and more attractive.
- Put the most important information on the first page and as near the top as possible. The employer may not bother to read on if there’s nothing of interest to begin with.
- The space you give to each section should reflect its importance. Concentrate on the aspects that are most important for the employer to know.
- Avoid long, complicated sentences. Don’t use jargon and abbreviations that the reader may be unfamiliar with. Write the words out in full the first time you use them and put the abbreviation in brackets; after that you can use it on its own.
- Seek other people’s views on your draft and proofread the final version carefully.
- If you need to send a paper CV, it should be produced to a high standard, word-processed and printed or copied on good-quality white or cream paper. Make sure the copies are sharp and clear. If you need to demonstrate an interest in design (e.g. for some media jobs), more elaborate graphics and perhaps coloured paper might be appropriate.
- Make sure that your CV arrives looking like a quality document. Don’t fold it. Use an A4 envelope with cardboard reinforcement.
- If you send your CV by email, follow it up by sending a hard copy straight away, if required.
- Keep a copy of your CV in a safe place. You’ll need it again to adapt for other employers.