I have spent thousands of hours creating CVs on MS Word. As an Executive CV Writer, creating professional CVs has become second nature to me.
I can assure you that learning how to create a CV on MS Word is worth the time and effort. A CV that looks professional, is well written and free from errors will make you stand out.
The quality of your CV indicates to an employer the kind of work that you will produce. It also says a lot about how serious you are about your job search.
In this 5-step guide I'm going to help you to make a CV in MS Word. By the end, you'll have a professional CV that's better than 90% of your competition.
Disclosure: We are affiliates for some of these products and services. Learn more.
There are two things that you're going to need to create your CV:
1. MS Word. If you don't have Microsoft Word already, you can get a free trial of MS Word here.
2. Grammarly. Grammarly is a powerful and free spelling and grammar checker that will proof read your CV. You can get hold of Grammarly here. (affiliate)
Why should you create your CV in Word?
Starting with a blank Microsoft Word document can be daunting. There are more modern ways of creating a CV. Graphic design sites like Canva offer eye-catching CV templates, as do many others.
But, MS Word is still one of the most accessible word processing platforms out there. Without a doubt, MS Word allows users to create a CV that looks great and is compatible with ATS.
Most recruiters use MS Word to open and read CVs
Most recruiters still use Microsoft Word as one of their primary software tools. When you send your CV to a recruiter, they will likely read it using MS Word.
Applicant Tracking Systems
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) process traditional style CVs created on MS Word, best. If you want to understand more about ATS and how it affects your CV, read this dedicated article.
Let's get started on your MS Word CV
I'm going to walk you through 5 easy steps for making a MS Word CV that looks great!
Step One: Setting up your MS Word document
Open a new document in MS Word and select 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.
When I make a CV on Word 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 for your CV 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.
What font size should you use on your CV?
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.