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Tyler's Blog: Maximizing your CV aesthetically

By Megan 08 Feb 2019

In the competitive world today, having a degree and experience isn’t enough—your CV needs to visually stand out. Recruiters now spend only six seconds on average looking at a CV before shortlisting candidates.

Typographic variation will increase readability and draw attention to your CV. Unlike the kid in grade school who used way too much animation in PowerPoint, just make sure to limit creativity. Studies show recruiters still prefer formally styled CVs. You can achieve aesthetics through a variation of font, typographical emphasis (bold, underline, italics, and all caps), and spacing.

According to academics and professionals of font—yes they really exist—sans serif is easier to read than serif fonts. Personally, I use a serif font for titles (degrees and job positions) and sans serif for bullet points. Using two fonts gives a variation but you must ensure any variations are consistent.

If you look at the screenshot of my CV below, my position is in all caps and bolded. This is meant to draw recruiters’ attention to my job positions. I also underline the organization that I was employed by. This helps separate the organization from the roles I undertook.

In the same screenshot, the headline “Relevant Experience” has expanded spacing. It is used to clearly indicate changes in the content.

I earlier said that creativity is not well-received in a CV. While that is true, you can be creative in typographic variation. The style I adapted is not a benchmark and there are a number of other ways you can approach styling your CV. Furthermore, always research your specific industry. If you work in an overtly creative industry, there may be more room for originality and vice versa. 

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Megan part of the QMU Browzer Team
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