Top tips for customising this CV template:
Use bold type sparingly
It is absolutely fine to use bold type for your headings and subheadings as well as your name and professional title, but be careful not to overdo it. The use of a bold font is meant to attract the eye and highlight something of importance, which is why headings is always a great way to utilise bold type.
Too much bold type can come across strong and aggressive, so it’s always better to keep this to a minimum. As long as you create a CV with a good layout that presents all of your information in an easy to read format, you shouldn’t have any problems with the hiring manager finding what they are looking for.
Only underline links to websites
Don’t be tempted to underline information that you deem to be important, as this could also have the same negative effect as bold type and could put the reader off. The same goes for underlining your headings and subheadings – it just isn’t needed. Bold text, larger text or a soft shaded background is an example of a layout feature that can help you differentiate headings without using underlining.
Only use the underline type for any links you provide to a website. For example, underlining would be fine for a LinkedIn URL or your own websites that you are showcasing for an IT position.
Use standard fonts
The most commonly used fonts for a CV are ‘Times New Roman’ and ‘Arial’. They are considered the easiest to read and both look professional and suitable for an important document like your CV or cover letter. Garamond and Open Sans are also standard popular fonts that we use a lot on our templates – both being easy to read and both offering stylish alternatives to Times New Roman and Arial respectively.
There are other fonts that are acceptable like ‘Calibri’ and ‘Cambria’, but if you have any doubts then you can’t go wrong with the standard ones. What you should of course avoid is using the wackier fonts which are available. Always go with something that is professional and easy to read as there are lots of other ways of being creative in your CV that won’t negatively impact your chances of an interview.
Don’t use a small font size
You shouldn’t go under size 11, and the most commonly used font size for a CV is 12. This makes for easy reading and also allows you to fit everything you want within the usual 2 page limit for a CV.
Going for a smaller font size just to fit more on the page is the wrong way to go, and if you are worried that you won’t be able to squeeze everything you want onto the standard 2 page CV you should instead consider going over to 3 pages. That is a much better sacrifice to make rather than the employer straining to read your CV at all.
The exception to this rule is lists of information and small sections of text – i.e. where the employer does not have to read through a block of text. In these areas, a 10pt font may be acceptable and will allow you to include more information on your CV template.
On the flip side, don’t go for a font larger than 12 as it will look unprofessional and will take up valuable space that could be better used for showcasing your talents and experience.
Don’t ever use text speak
Text speak should stay exactly where it is – to a mobile phone! It doesn’t have a place on a CV or any other official document as it immediately looks unprofessional and will almost guarantee your CV being thrown in the trash. An employer wants to see that a lot of effort has gone into creating your CV, and if you are too lazy to type out a word in full then you are going to reflect badly overall.
You should also only use abbreviations if they are well known and are commonly typed that way – like NASA or BMW. It would actually look a little weird if you decided to type out ‘Bayerische Motoren Werke’ and probably would get a few heads scratching (and yes, I did have to Google what BMW meant).