I've recently had several discussions, on and offline, with clients, LinkedIn members and other CV writers about the importance of creative styling when writing CVs. There seems to be a tendency to want to use fancy fonts, boxes, tables, colours, shading, photos and even QR codes and short videos to create more visually appealing CVs.
In my experience, creativity is best reserved for creative professions such as graphic designers, web designers, video producers, photographers and the like. For almost all other professions, I believe that the best CV should be simple and clearly formatted using regular fonts, "normal" margins and clear headings.
It should be written in a logical format that flows well, is easy to navigate, is highly relevant to the target role and, most importantly, doesn't include fancy formatting that will be annihilated if it's incompatible with the recipient's software programmes.
For example, if the recruiter uses Word 2010 and you use Word 2007, some of the more creative formatting functions may be incompatible. In that case you should save in "compatible" mode.
There are also many versions of ATS or Applicant Tracking Software. This is the robotic software that scours your uploaded CV trying to identify specific key words and skills.
Read our article about ATS here.
But sticking to regular formatting doesn't mean that your CV can't look good... far from it. By creating logical headings, indents, bullet points and plenty of white space, you can create a visually appealing and professional CV that you'll be proud to present.
But always remember that content is king and that the content of your CV should be relevant to your target role. Be sure to read each job ad carefully and incorporate appropriate key words into your CV and cover letter. Don't just scatter them throughout... incorporate them in a sensible manner.
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If you'd like help with your CV or any other aspect of your career or job search contact us for a free consultation. We're always happy to talk.
Email: mail @ compellingcvs.co.uk
Professional CV Writer and Career Coach
Compelling CVs, Berkshire, UK