10 Simple CV tips & tricks

My CV used to be a total mess and I found myself throwing it at so many jobs and agencies and being completely ignored by the vast majority of them. I tidied it up a lot with the help of my boyfriend and I got interview offers as well as agencies contacting me the very same day. That is no coincidence! A good, tidy CV can easily win you a job.

Funnily enough, now I actually look through hundreds of CV’s a week so I thought I’d give you some quick and easy tips on how you can approve yours. Please be away that this doesn’t apply to everybody. If you need to make a creative CV then don’t listen to any of this, but if you plan to submit your CV to job boards, online roles or agencies then here are a few thing I’ve picked up. 
image from Styledstock.co

Please note that these tips are completely all my personal opinion (not that of my works, nor anybody else's) and what is more likely to help me - as somebody who goes through CV's - choose to read your CV and put you forward for roles.

1. Don’t over-format it. 
Actually, don't really format it at all other than doing the basics. You might think formatting it so the text is in visually pleasing positions makes it look tidy, but if a potential employer or agency is looking through a job board then they won’t see that formatting. They'll just get a plain, basic version of the CV and all of your hard work formatting it will be thrown out the window. Worse still, your text could be thrown all over the place to the point where your whole CV doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. 

If you’re applying for a job through an agency, the agency will often tidy the CV up a little anyway, but there’s a chance you won’t get to that stage if your CV isn’t readable on the job board. Using cool little boxes to put separate information in, indenting text and aligning different parts all over the place doesn't look as good as it sounds and can be a nuisance for recruiters when they send it on to agencies.  Just align the text left and leave it be. 

2. Don’t add images. 
They also don’t show up on job boards and they’re pretty pointless. A lot of people like adding a photo of themselves to their CV, which is nice, but in my opinion not needed. Text only is the best policy. Often people add company or client logos as well as logos of the courses they've taken to their CV's and that's not really a problem. But again, it won't show up to recruiters who are searching job boards, so be aware of that.

3. Font
Use an Ariel or Times New Roman font the whole way through, preferably in a size 10 font. Making titles larger is fine though! But using different fonts in different places makes it look a bit messy.

4. Bold your section titles so it’s clear and easy to read. 
For example ‘Experience’ ‘Education’ etc. Again, it's not something you have to do, I just personally think it looks so much neater. I'd also go with keeping those black. It's a little hypocritical because I'm sure my CV has them in Word's blue headings, put I think they look neater when they're black and bold.

5. Get somebody to proof read it. 
This one probably speaks for itself but it's more important than some people realise. The last thing you want when approaching potential employers is spelling mistakes. 

6. Open your CV with basic info
Name, email, phone number (always put your phone number), location etc. Then follow it with a short paragraph about your work history and what kind of role you’re looking for. This one might be personal preference of mine, but I find it helpful to immediately know what kind of role somebody’s after, how much experience they have in that field, and what their top skills are. 

7. Don’t just list what jobs you’ve done
It's important to talk about what you did whilst you were there, what skills you used, what programs you use (if relevant) and don’t forget to write the duration of the role and preferably which city or town the role was based in. Use lots of key words when writing your skills and what programmes/software you used during each role - that'll help recruiters find your CV. This can be done in a short paragraph or bullet points.

8. Save it as a Microsoft word file!!!! 
For these types of roles it is far better to upload your CV as a Microsoft Word file than a PDF or whatever else you thought of putting it in. It’s so much easier for employers and recruiters if you keep it as a Word doc. If it's not in that format I actually have to go back to the candidate and ask for them to send me another copy, which of course delays the process.

9. Don't put your contact details in the header or footer
Again, these won't show up on the job boards. Usually the job boards will have your contact details separately anyway, but just in case it's better to put them at the top of your CV.

10. Keep it updated
Don't upload or pass around a CV that has gaps, or that you've not updated in a year or two. Make sure all of your education, experience and roles are there in order.

For some reason my internal monologue was thinking in an Australian accent whilst I typed all of that. I've been watching a documentary on Netflix lately about deadly Australian animals (I've basically learned don't go to Australia or else you'll die) and I guess the accents must have stuck in my mind.

Anyway, I hope these will help at least somebody out there! Don't forget to ask your friends and family for feedback. The more eyes, the better!

Let me know what things you would never put on your CV!


  1. Your blog is so cute!Interesting post and funny too!

  2. Great advice about font! I never thought of that before! I haven't done a CV for so long now I'd forgot how!

  3. The style and content of CVs has changed so much over the years. It's really useful to have an update of how they should look now.

  4. Nailed it! good post to polish the cv. And maybe it's time for me to update it. Good to know not to put the contact details in header and footer.

  5. I agree, there's nothing better than an organized and well written CV. I think these tips are perfect for people who would like to fix their CVs up or those who are making one of the first time.

  6. Great tips. There are really a lot of ways we design and format our CV's sometimes depends on our mood, so long that we can pull it off hehehe. Well basic will never get us wrong.

  7. Hi, fantastic tips as someone who also sees CV’s you have captured everything in a nutshell. I am sure many will find this super helpful.

  8. These are some great tips. My best friend worked in HR for many years and she always shared similar tips like this with me. Thanks for sharing.

  9. This is such a helpful post! Listing skills as well as jobs is such a good idea! Thank you so much for sharing, I’m sure it will be useful for so many people <3

    Bexa | www.hellobexa.com

  10. Such a helpful post! Thanks for sharing☺️

  11. I need to update my CV soon as it's something I always put off doing, these are some really good tips and i'll keep them in mind x

  12. I've just been applying for jobs and these are great tips! I've always been told keeping it simple is always better! And saving it to googledocs is a great idea!

    EscapesAndEpiphanies | Travel Fashion Lifestyle

  13. I honestly agree with every single thing said here!! Love it :)

  14. I've bookmarked this. It's good to get these hints from somebody who's job it is to look at people's CVs!

  15. You have reminded me that I need to update mine

  16. So helpful! My niece is currently job hunting right now and I will send her the link to this post. I think I need to update mine too, not add or remove information but to change the font.

  17. This is such a helpful post. Although I am not job hunting right now, updating my resume is something I need to do too. Thanks for the timely reminder.

  18. So, I had to Google what a CV is. And you're article tells me everything I need to know! Thanks

  19. great tips! such a helpful post for everyone who works on a CV ;) As a designer I also need to be super confident with my portfolio, it's the most important thing for me!

    The White Ocean

  20. Most of the tips that you have mentioned here are a must have in CV .Thanks for compiling this article.It will work as a savior to check mark before attending any interview and to make our cv presentable

  21. I find #7 to be the most important of all. Listing one's positions/jobs doesn't provide sufficient information. We want to impress our prospective employers, so we better tell them what exactly we've had experience in.

  22. I think these tips and tricks are really great! I don't need my CV right now but I think I will update it just in case :)

  23. I really appreciate your ability to work. You have set an example for us by posting such an informative post and visit the site to find out good info. Great work.keep it up.

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