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5 Tips for Successfully Formatting Your CV

16 March 2022

by Marion Read

Trying to forge relationships and establish your presence within your industry can be challenging. Competition in the job market is high, so how do you make yourself stand out from the crowd? By making sure that you have a killer CV.

The digital format of your CV plays a huge part in your digital appearance, it is essentially the point at which an interviewer will decide whether to proceed with your application or not. Therefore, it needs to make a statement. Follow these five crucial tips to make sure your CV is memorable and secures you that interview!



First impressions are everything, especially when it comes to your CV. And while experience, expertise and skills are crucial to get right, so is presentation. Make sure your layout is eye-catching and well formatted. Use sufficient spacing, clear section headings (e.g., work experience, education) and a reverse chronological order to keep things clear and easily legible.


Make sure your skills and experiences are quantifiable and measurable. How have you progressed in your current role? Have you added value to the company: if so, how? Be detailed about your success, it will highlight your competence!

Communication is key – if you’re targeting a senior role, use words like lead, create, develop, head, and oversee when describing your current duties. By using softer words like assist, participate and prepare, you run the risk of underselling yourself and your experience. Be sure to use industry jargon where applicable and ALWAYS double check your spelling and grammar.


It’s so important to highlight your achievements. You want to make a memorable impression and shouting about your professional milestones is what will make you stand out from your competitors. By including these as bullet points, it allowed the interviewer to see a snapshot of how great you are! Write a list of your achievements and select which ones are relevant for the role you’re applying for.


Don’t waffle! When it comes to your past roles and responsibilities, a simple yet informative statement will suffice. Try to avoid overly descriptive words as much as you can and focus on the message you want to convey. Less is always more in this instance. It is a common mistake to think that changing font size is a great way to fit your CV onto two pages. But whether you’re using a large font to make your application seem longer or using a smaller font to make sure everything fits, interviewers will notice! A good way to streamline your CV is by tailoring your history to the role.


Digital compatibility of a CV is often overlooked, but one of the most crucial things to do correctly. Save your CV both as a Word Doc and a PDF. Some companies will not have the relevant software to open non-word-based documents- so if you don’t send your CV as a Word Doc or PDF, then the recruiter may not even be able to open it. Sending as an image file for example, will mean that many of the professional CV scanning tools will not be able to read your CV.

At Oliver James, we can advise and support you throughout your interview process, providing you with industry expertise relevant to your market on everything from CV writing to interview preparation. If you want to find out how we can help you, contact a member of our team here -

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