Free ATS-safe Word CV template using Arial Narrow font

This smart two-page CV template features an unusual font choice - Arial Narrow - which ordinarily isn't so easy to read. However, throw in some extra spacing and this great little font looks absolutely fantastic, helping you present your information to prospective employers in a clear, legible format. Created with ATS software in mind, this CV template does not use any graphics, images, tables or columns - all the styling you see is applied at paragraph and font level, reducing the likelihood that an ATS system would struggle to parse your details. Through some smart use of Microsoft Word's features we've created a very attractive single-column template that is surprisingly machine-readable and yet looks fantastic once it lands in the hands of a HR Manager.

CV template details:

  • CV ref: #203
  • File size: 37kb
  • File format: .docx (Microsoft Word format)
  • File name: Arial_Narrow_ATS_Friendly_CV_Template.docx
  • Fonts required: Arial Narrow
  • Price: Free download
  • Free ATS-safe Word CV template using Arial Narrow font Overall rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 4 reviews.

About this CV template:

Not a picture or graphic in sight - all the features in this smart template are applied at font and paragraph level to avoid potential problems. You'll love the clean, fresh layout of this highly attractive CV template which uses a very neat font and lots of little details to make a great first impression.

Click here to view a preview of this CV template (PDF)

Click here for our CV editing guide

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Latest reviews:

★★★★★
5 5 1
Super CV template, very pleased, thanks :)

★★★★★
5 5 1
I love this layout - it's really simple but very effective.

★★★★★
5 5 1
This is a fantastic design - my CV looks superb. Thank you.

In summary, this is a lovely fresh layout with a unique font choice and some superb style details. Every style element is applied at paragraph or font level without the need for tables or boxes, to reduce the likelihood of parsing issues.

Here is page two of this CV template:

Arial Narrow CV - page two

Disclaimer: There are lots of different ATS software packages on the market and therefore we cannot guarantee our ATS-friendly templates will pass through each system without issue. However, be assured that our team have created each of these templates with best design principles in mind, leaving out graphics and elements known to cause an issue with such software.

How to write a CV that will pass the ATS

It’s inevitable that a large company will receive a huge amount of job applications. With so many to read the resources required to do so would put a huge strain on the business. Imagine how many people would apply for a position at Google or Apple. How would it be possible to read every single CV or résumé?

The simple answer is – it wouldn’t be possible. And that’s why more and more large companies are implementing the use of an ATS. But what is this?

ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System which is a piece of software designed to filter job applications that can be used for both CVs and résumés. A set of search parameters will be entered into the software so it can attempt to identify the right candidates and narrow the search down immensely.

Writing a CV that will pass through the ATS filtering software and make it to the hiring manager’s desk is the key to gaining an interview. You could be a fantastic candidate, holding all the skills, experience and qualifications they require – but if you don’t write a CV that’s ATS friendly, nobody will ever even read it.

Here are some great tips to help you create a CV that will pass the ATS:

Add a ‘Key Skills’ section 

When reviewing the job advert you should take note of the important hard skills, also known as ‘key skills’. These are an essential part of the job description which means they will certainly be added to the ATS search criteria.

You need to ensure you list these specific skills, and a great way to present this on your CV is to have a ‘Key Skills’ section. Not only will this stand out on the page and make it far easier for the employer to see you have the essential skills, it will also help you to push through the ATS.

Extracting keywords from a job advert is a vital part of writing a CV that will get you noticed. For more information, please read our guide: Does your CV contain important keywords?

Create a sensible work history section 

It would be important to ensure the dates of your previous roles form an accurate timeline – not just for the ATS but also for the employer. Any inaccuracies could affect your chances of passing through the tracking system, but it could also raise concern if there are any employment gaps or discrepancies.

If you were unable to avoid an employment gap and would like some help writing your CV, here’s an article you might like to read: How to explain an employment gap on your CV.

Always make your employment history easy to navigate. Include job titles and the month and year for the start and end date. It would also be recommended to avoid using any wacky job titles. Even though you may have been referred to as the ‘Customer Excellence Team Manager’, it would be far more appropriate to use ‘Customer Service’ instead.

If you have direct experience in the role you are now applying for but your CV states a slightly different job title, you should make a small adjustment so it matches exactly. As long as the role was the same, there is no reason to use a different title and create confusion with the ATS or the hiring manager.

Use a simple format 

We would advise avoiding the use of tables, text boxes or columns when attempting to pass your CV through an ATS. Some automatic systems are unable to detect the text if you use one of these, so avoid them at all costs.

No matter how great your CV may look when you add a text box or small graphic, it could confuse the tracking software and important parts of your application could be lost. If you want a CV template that will pass the ATS and also look great, choose one of our ATS-friendly CV templates.

Use the correct file format 

Finally, you need to ensure you send the correct file format. The company may indicate which formats are accepted – doc, docx, or pdf are the most common, but ATS software can struggle with PDF. If there is a specific request for a file format to be used or avoided, make sure you are aware of it.

To find out more about ATS software, read our guides:

About Jen Wiss-Carline

Jen Wiss-Carline has been a Senior Manager and Consultant for several sizeable companies which included dealing with all aspects of staff management and recruitment. She is also a Chartered Legal Executive, and was admitted as a Fellow in February 2006.

Jen's qualifications include:
LL.B (Hons) (1st)
Chartered Legal Executive (FCILEx)
PG Cert Bus Admin
PgDip Law (LPC)
LL.M (Master of Laws) (Distinction)

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