How to get your CV to stand out to a recruiter

How to start!

Over the next few Thursday’s I will providing information in my blogs about how you can write the perfect CV, starting with basic presentation, to content and style, structure, what to include and what not to include, the common mistakes, tailoring for a specific role and to finish i’ll provide some examples and templates. 


This your first foot in the door. If you submit a poor CV, you probably won’t even get an interview! You could be the best person for the job, but if that doesn’t come across in your CV, you’re unlikely to get an invite to the interview, or at least you’ll have planted a negative image in the readers head already and you’ll have extra work to do in the interview.


If you are posting your CV ,use good quality paper – always A4. Never use patterned or coloured paper.


Prepare a word processed CV, not handwritten, or one prepared on a typewriter.

Use Times New Roman or Arial Font Typeface.

Use Bold font for key information.

The font size should ideally be 12.

Use black ink.


Allow space around your CV for the reader to make notes.

Don’t cram everything in – keep the margins wide.

The top margin shouldn’t drop below 1.5cm, or exceed 3cm. 

The bottom margin should be no more than 2cm.

The left and right margins should be around 1.5cm – 2.5cm.

Header & Footer

The header should start at least 1.25cm from the edge.

The footer should also never start less then 1.25cm from the edge. The only thing you need to put in this is Page 1 of x.

Line spacing & Justification

You should stick to standard line spacing.

When it comes to justification, it should be ‘fully justified’. This makes it look neat and tidy.

If you go onto a second, or third page begin the text lower, because if the pages are stapled together and the subsequent pages are too high they will be difficult to read.


Recruiters in today’s world prefer bullet points to long paragraphs, because they take too long to read. Keep your bullet points to around 5-6 words each.

Consistency of layout

Ensure the layout is consistent from the beginning.

If you send a cover letter, make sure it has the same font and style as the CV.


Don’t send a photo of yourself with a CV, unless you are applying for a specific role that requires one.


If your CV runs to more than one page staple it in the top left hand corner. Don’t paper clip or send loosely, because it is likely to get mislaid.


It is recommended to either send the CV in an A4 size envelope, so you don’t need to fold it, or a C5 size, which only requires one fold in half. 

Next week I will be covering content, style and structure.

‘Now that’s an impressive CV.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *