CV Presentation: the Dos and Don’ts

It’s no surprise that the best written CV in the world can be disregarded by lack of proper presentation.

Even though the content is undoubtedly vital, a CV has to be written and presented in a professional manner in order to catch the recruiter’s eye with ease.

It’s worth noting that the approach of formatting a CV may depend on the industry. Nevertheless, there are a few basic rules which you should adhere to, and if adhered to the latter could dramatically increase your chances of pocketing that job.

Below are some of the CV presentation dos and don’ts:


Keep it short and sweet – You might be tempted to make your CV highly informative forgetting that the most effective CVs should also be concise. In other words, try and get straight to the most important points, and ideally make it no more than two sides of A4.

Choose a professional font – Use a professional font which makes your CV easy to read and scan. Avoid weird fonts like Comic Sans for fonts like Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman, Trebuchet MS.

Be logical in ordering things – Apply sufficient spacing, make use of clear section headings (work experience, education) and reverse chronological order where necessary (usually in work experience, education and achievements sections).

Play to your strengths – Format your CV in a way that highlights your strengths. For example, if you feel that your experience is very sufficient, why not lead with education instead? The order of the sections doesn’t matter as long as your CV relates well to the target role.

Use bullet points – Use them to draw attention to or highlight key facts or relevant information. Bullet points make the reading and skimming of the document easy, since the key facts about you can be seen at a glance.

Other things to do: Include contact details, keep email address professional (avoid such as [email protected]), maintain consistent formatting, ask someone to proofread.


Be afraid of white space – Don’t fear that your CV looks so bare. As long as you’ve included all the information relevant for the role in question, be content with that. Note that: Sometimes less is more.

Try to include too much – It’s weird that some people perceive their CV as a life story. Your CV is a checklist or else an outline of your key accomplishments. Customizing your CV to the target role is a great way to fight this animal of including too much.

Include irrelevant information – Don’t include any points that will not directly be involved in helping you to get the job. For instance, hobbies and interests are not very helpful, so don’t waste valuable space on which you would have added more relevant information.

Forget your cover letter – The cover letter presents an extra opportunity to market yourself. Some recruiters don’t ask for a cover letter, but still include it. It’s a great way to bring forth and elaborate the relevant skills and achievements, which would have otherwise been too much for your CV.

Experiment with size – Don’t try to fool anyone by playing around with font size and margin size so that your CV fits onto two pages, or make your application a bit longer.

Other things not to do: Use of crazy colors, crazy fonts, include unnecessary references, include a selfie photo.

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