A man is sitting at his laptop giving the thumbs up as he makes improvements to his CV.

3 Simple Ways You Can Improve Your CV Right Now

Hannah Mason

3 Simple Ways You Can Improve Your CV Right Now

Hannah Mason • Sep 04, 2023

As a recruiter, I looked at hundreds of CVs every single week, now as a Professional CV Writer, I still look at CVs every single day.

I can tell you that one thing has stood out to me time and again, a lot of CVs just simply don’t look very good.

Now, a lack of style is not going to cost a great candidate a job, after all it’s the recruiter's job to sift through all the information to decide whether or not a candidate is a good fit for a role, but don't you want to do all you can to make sure your CV gets read?

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Make your CV stand out

If a CV is messy, does not follow a standard format, is difficult to read, and over-crowded, it is simply not easy for the reader to identify the all-important information that they need.

The reality is, a majority of the CVs or resumes that recruitment consultants see look like this.

So if you want your CV to stand out and grab the attention of the reader, you need to make sure it looks smart, neat and professional.

It really is that simple, and it really is that important!

If you are a great fit for a role, don’t hide that fact in a messy CV.

Make sure that your CV is easy to read, make sure your CV is formatted well, and make sure that the information the reader requires from your CV is right in front of them.

So let's talk about three simple ways that you can improve the overall look, and therefore readability of your CV or resume.

Three CV formatting fixes

I promise you, all of these tips will be really easy to implement right now on your own CV or resume.

However, if you feel like your current CV requires so much work that you simply do not know where to begin, I have two options for you.

• Download one of my ready made, professional CV templates, it will make you life a lot easier, just click here to begin.

• Sign up for one of my CV writing services and I'll produce a bespoke, incredibly professional CV for you, click here to get started.

CV fix number one: fully justify your text

Justified text on a CV looks more uniformed and creates a more polished finish.

When working on the layout of your CV, it’s the small details that transform a CV from appearing messy and rushed to refined and highly-professional.

This is how to fully justify the text on your CV using MS Word.

You can improve the look of your CV by highlighting your text and click on this button to fully justify it

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CV fix number two: remove the sidebar

It’s hard to squeeze information into a side section of your CV without it becoming difficult to read or the formatting looking a bit strange.

Most recruiters I have spoken to prefer a linear, top to bottom CV simply because it’s easier for them to find the information they need quickly.

Also, CVs with sidebars are less likely to parse correctly when submitted through an Applicant Tracking System.

Does your CV have a sidebar on it right now? If so, get rid of it, you don’t need it, it does not add anything and in many cases can hide key information.

An example of a bad CV design
Three reasons why you should avoid CV templates with sidebars

CV fix number three: put your contact details onto one single line

I’ve seen many CVs where the person’s address and contact details take up the top third of the first page of their CV.

This is prime space on your CV and the first thing a reader sees, don’t waste it by spreading your contact details over four or five lines.

Include one telephone number and one email address – there’s no need to add confusion with multiple options.

Include only your town/city and country – recruitment does not happen by postal service, there is no need to include your full mailing address.

Add your LinkedIn handle and make sure your profile is up-to-date – A great profile full of recommendations can help secure an interview.

Divide this information with vertical lines or bullets points, and there’s no need to label what’s what – it’s quite clear what information is your telephone number, email address etc.

A professional CV template design
Improve the look of your CV by putting your contact details onto one line


So there you have it, three simple ways to improve your CV today.

I promise you, these simple tweaks will make a difference, and could result in more people reading your CV and understanding exactly what it is that you do.

I have a range of templates available that incorporate all of the above advice, plus all the best practices that I employ when creating bespoke CVs for my executive clients.

You can find them here.