Over the years, I’ve seen many different types of CVs in many different formats. CV writing is an art – if you ask 10 different recruiters what the best format is, you’d get 10 different answers. That being said, there are some simple guidelines to follow that must be applied to almost every CV:
- Be easy to understand: An employer usually spends around 6 seconds glancing through your CV. If it’s difficult to understand, or has information all over the place, they’ll just discard it without a second thought. Creativity is fine…as long as you don’t get too wild with designs!
- Be pleasing on the eyes: If your CV is cramped and a ‘wall of text’, it’s intimidating. No one will want to spend time struggling to read something that is poorly formatted. CVs must have sufficient white space and paragraphing to encourage Use different fonts to stand out and improve the appearance of your CV.
- Be tailored to the industry you are after: Different industries have different ‘best practices’. For a formal, professional industry like finance or banking, go with a conservative looking format. For a creative-oriented industry like marketing or photography, go with something more stylistic.
Here are some formats that I’ve been developing and adapting:
Suited for use in more formal, or traditional industries, this template aims to give off a professional vibe while remaining aesthetically pleasing and easy to read, highlighting your experience in a serious yet approachable manner:
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Combines modern design ideas with infographic-style graphics in a refreshing and unique format. Suitable for younger executives with shorter CVs, or those looking to enter emerging industries:
Highlight your unique skillsets and professional experience through bold headlines that stand out. Good for general use in almost any industry!
For portfolio-heavy industries where paper qualifications take a back seat to your demonstrated skill. Creative industries like marketing and advertising look very heavily at one’s previous work. Depending on the role you are applying to, you can choose to vary the work you showcase – it could be photographs, links to websites or videos, or campaign showcases:
Modern – Artistic
With the advent of technology, most applications are now handled online. This means that we can incorporate colour and design to create a more aesthetically pleasing layout. This format highlights your key value proposition through your executive summary, and neatly summarises your previous working experience.
A classic design I personally enjoy using, this format combines the more traditional style with certain modern design aspects to be attention-grabbing yet easy to read.
Technology provides an answer to many things nowadays, including recruitment. ATS is an automated CV scanning system which looks through CVs to identify certain keywords, and eliminates those lacking said keywords automatically, even before it reaches a human’s desk. This system is rather finicky though – it can easily be thrown off by different formats, icons, tables, etc. and considers those areas as blank. As such, these templates omit the use of fancy graphics and tables, taking a minimalist yet professional approach, in order to ensure that ATS can read them effectively.
ATS – Minimalist
ATS – Mustard Yellow
ATS – Cool Blue
I’m constantly keeping an eye on the latest developments, and plan to update this page regularly. Check back in for more templates!
If you’ve seen any good templates out there, do let me know as well – you can drop me an email directly at russel (at) resumewriter.sg
Happy job hunting!