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CV Layout Template - Should You Use One for Your CV

Updated on June 5, 2011

What Is A CV Layout Template

A CV Layout Template is a pre designed framework that can be used to format your CV - and there are plenty of free CV templates available on the Internet to choose from.

What a CV layout template does is show you a way of laying out your CV so nothing is forgotten, and all the relevant information is contained within the document.

Your CV is one of the most important employment documents you will ever posses. It lays out for a prospective employer your work history, education and skills. What's more, how it is written probably reveals more about you than you realise, and for that reason it is one document that you should never scrimp on when it comes to the time you spend on it.

A good CV will get you an interview, how you perform in that interview will dertermine if you get the job.

Will Using a Free CV Template Give Me a Good CV?

No it won't, at least not on its own.

Though a CV template will give you a well laid out CV, it won't fill the information in for you, and unless you get that part right any advantage you had from using a template will have gone.

However that's not to say you shouldn't use one of the widely available free downloadable CV templates around. If you've never written a CV before, or are out of practice they can be invaluable for outlining the best layout for your information.

The way you lay a CV out changes throughout your career, for example a student CV template will have a prominent education and qualifications section at the beginning of the CV because there is no work history to refer to. By the time you have 20 years career history behind you it's your experience that counts rather than your education, so the qualification sections drops to the end of the CV. This means you need to pay attention when looking for free CV templates to download to ensure you choose one that is suitable for you.

How to Choose Which CV Template to Use

There is no hard and fast answer to this as different styles suit different people ~ but there are some guidelines which should make it easier for you to choose from the wide range of CV templates out there.

Remember that whoever is judging your CV will likely have a huge pile of other CV's to look at too, so you want to make it as easy for them as possible ~ and that means using no smaller than a 10pt font ~ any smaller and you'll send the poor person reading your CV cross-eyed.

Keep jargon to a minimum, especially company specific jargon. The accounts system you used in your last job may well have been referred to as the Y623 system but unless that was a brand name no-one else is going to know what you're talking about.

Keep your CV to 2 pages and concentrate on your most recent and relevant experience ~ there is no point wasting half a page on an warehouse job you did 10 years ago if you're now applying for a management position in an office.

Deal with any employment gaps ~ it's okay to have been out of work if you can explain why i.e. redundancy.

Don't lie. It's one thing to put a positive spin on your previous history but if you outright lie and get found out it could easily break the implication of trust between employer and employee.

And Finally

As I said earlier, getting your CV right is very important as it's the document that gets you through the interviewer's door.

Writing a CV can be a challenge and it can help to have some helpful hints to follow. To this end here are some tops tips to writing a good CV, and when your CV has done its job and got you to the interview you might find it useful to know what an employer is looking for when they interview you.


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