In 5 steps you can create a CV in MS Word that looks great!
As an Executive CV and Resume Writer, creating a CV that looks incredibly professional has become second nature to me. This is because I have spent thousands of hours on MS Word, perfecting hundreds of CV and resume documents.
I can assure you that creating a CV on Word that looks highly professional, is worth the time and effort.
The quality of your CV is an indication of the quality of work that you are capable of producing, as well how seriously you are taking your job search.
If you want to stand out in the job market, attract the attention of hiring managers and recruitment agents, and land a job opportunity in a top organisation, you need to know how to create a great looking CV in MS Word.
I’m going to share with you 5 of the most important formatting secrets that you need to know in order to create an ATS-friendly CV in Microsoft Word.
So, whether you’re writing your first CV, or looking to upgrade your existing CV, read on!
Why should you use Microsoft Word to create your CV?
Arguably there are many newer and more modern means to creating a CV, with many graphic design sites like Canva offering eye-catching templates.
Starting with a blank Microsoft Word document can seem both daunting and outdated by comparison.
But, I truly think it remains one of the most accessible and adaptable word processing platforms that allows users to create CVs or resumes that both look good and work for the reader.
Let’s not forget that most recruiters still use Microsoft Word as one of their primary software tools and that Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) have also been built primarily to process traditional style CVs and resumes that have been created on MS Word.
If you want to understand more about ATS and how it affects your CV, read this dedicated article.
Let's get started
Firstly you're going to need access to MS Word in order to create your CV.
The great news is that you can sign up with a 30-day free trial for MS Word here.
Great, now you have the tools that you need let's more on to step number one in creating your CV on MS Word.
Step One: Setting up your MS Word document
First you need to make sure you’ve selected the right page size and set your margins.
In the UK and many other countries A4 is the most common document size. In the US, US Letter is the typical resume size.
In the US, US Letter is the typical resume size.
You can check you have the right page dimensions selected by clicking ‘Layout’ and then ‘Size’ in MS Word.
Whenever I write a CV or resume, I like to set the margins to narrow. This makes the most of the available space and I also think it looks better.
You can set margins by clicking ‘Layout’ and then ‘Margins’.
Step Two: Choose the right font for your MS Word CV
Selecting the right font when creating a CV in Microsoft Word can go a long way to helping the document look professional.
My favourite Microsoft Word CV fonts are:
• Calibri: No-nonsense, modern, subtle and easy to read. It’s narrower than most other options which is great for saving space and maximising content.
• Helvetica: Clean, simple, modern and looks great if you want to create a minimalist CV.
• Garamond: A traditional serif font. it’s more attractive than Times New Roman and can look classic and elegant when used correctly.
• Century Gothic: A modern font that has large round lettering. Great for headings but avoid using this font for the main body of the document.
10, 10.5 or 11 are ideal font sizes for the main body of your CV.
If you go any smaller, the document will immediately appear difficult to read and may be off-putting to recruiters.