resume example expert tips

Are you not satisfied with the presentation of your CV? Do you want to create or redo it and you don’t know how to layout it? The layout of the CV is important because it will give the recruiter valuable clues about your profile. Often, it is believed that listing the information chronologically and placing it one below the other is sufficient.

In reality, it is not that simple. A beautiful resume layout requires a bit of work, whether you use word processing software or a free internet template. In this article, we offer you 6 expert tips for a successful CV layout.

CV layout: choose a readable and elegant font

The font in the layout

Font is an important component of the CV layout. Its impact on the final rendering of the document should not be overlooked. If fanciful, too original or not easy to read fonts should be avoided, you have a wide choice of classic or slightly more modern fonts.

To know which font to use for your CV , think about the general image you want to convey:

  • to appear dynamic, efficient at work, use a basic, but modern font (example: Century)  ;
  • if you want to emphasize the care and aesthetics, use a font closer to handwriting, with well-drawn letters (example: Garamond);
  • if you want to stand out, look for a more modern font (example: Avenir).

Good to know  : The default fonts of your word processing software are not necessarily to be banned (example: Time New Roman). They are neutral and won’t do you any disservice if you have a good CV. However, any effort of style can be appreciated and will add a little more to the content of your CV.

The crucial point in the layout of the CV: a balanced model

The model is in a way the outline of your CV. There are many ways to lay out a CV. The important thing is to choose the best option, taking into account the amount and type of information you need to include, as well as the expectations of the recruiters you are going to address (for some positions, a simple CV and sober is preferable to an overly elaborate layout).

Whether or not you want to end up with an original CV, what matters is:

  • complete your page harmoniously (the two-page CV is not recommended);
  • to balance the different sections of the CV to highlight them.

Important : a CV on which the information is poorly distributed, which contains a void, does not make a good impression and does not make you want to be read.

Use tables for a successful resume layout in Word

Layout in Word

It is quite possible to make a simple and beautiful CV with word processing software. A CV layout is possible with Word or Open Office. This is an interesting option, because you will thus show, with supporting evidence, that you correctly know how to use the most common but also the most used office tools.

The easiest way, to avoid empty spaces, is to work by columns by inserting tables:

insert one or more tables and arrange it according to your wishes (you can add cells, enlarge them, merge them, etc.);

complete your information and make sure that your layout is consistent (use the same bulleted lists, the same line spacing, the same font, etc.)

remove outlines from your tables once your CV is finalized;

you can add shading or frame to some areas to create dividers or add a colorful note.

Good to know : use a line spacing of at least 1.15 cm (more if you have room), and more spacing between each paragraph.

Our advice : there are online tutorials which detail the different stages of the layout of a CV. Take a look at them, it will allow you to know how to go about it, but also to better know how to use your word processing software and its various functionalities.


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Give visibility to the titles of the different sections

Headings visible in the layout

To prioritize your information and allow the recruiter to quickly take a look at those that interest them, the work of the titles is important.

To give visibility to a title, you can:

  • use bold or color;
  • insert it into a painting whose background you will have tinted;
  • adjust the spacing so that the title is isolated and prominent above the relevant paragraph;
  • capitalize the title, possibly spacing out the capital letters.

Good to know : it is preferable not to use more than one font. However, a second font can be considered to give visibility to the titles, insofar as the association of the two remains harmonious. Moreover, some fonts have several variations that can be easily combined (examples: Arial associated with Arial Black).

Important : do not forget to put the title of the position sought or of your specialty as the title of the CV .

Harmoniously dose the colors in the CV layout

Colors in the CV layout

A little touch of color is always welcome to brighten up and enhance the layout of your CV.

The use of colors can help to clearly define the headings or areas of the CV. On the other hand, we must avoid doing too much and handle them with caution. Here are a few tips to help you get the right amount of color:

  • You can choose a shade of main color, and decline it in several shades. It is interesting to stay in the same harmony and not to risk error of taste. This is the best option to do well while remaining sober, as part of an application for a somewhat serious position.
  • You can choose two complementary colors, in opposition. They generally go well together, each standing out over the other. It is interesting to distinguish two areas of the CV (for example the personal presentation part of the other sections), to reinforce the titles, or to bring a little touch of vigor (for example by limiting a color to a few graphic lines or pictograms). This type of association can work well to boost an application, for example to get a first job .

Our advice : avoid multiplying the colors so as not to fall into a rainbow effect. While aesthetics are appreciable, recruiters don’t expect a work of art, but a thoughtful, tidy, and well-laid out document.

Use a free template for CV layout

For a more fancy, original layout, or just to avoid the risk of getting lost in an overloaded or poorly designed design, you may prefer to start from an already laid out resume template.

Canva offers free resume layout templates that are fully customizable using online resume maker software, as does CVDesignR. Even simpler, CV Wizard takes care of automatically laying out your CV according to the template you have chosen. You just need to fill in your data in the form beforehand.

If you want to start from a pre-existing template, but work from your word processing software, you can also simply download a free CV template and adapt it to your content and needs, for example on the CV Template website .

Good to know : Using these free resume layout templates is convenient, as you can then customize them and tailor the resume to your liking. In addition, these tools can also give you ideas of layouts that you would not have thought of.

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