As a recruiter in an agency and in the industry for many years, I have seen my fair share of CVs ranging from good to very poor. To me, the ideal format is one that is easy to read with no unusual graphics. Most companies now use web-based systems for uploading CVs – usually, these systems don’t like elaborate graphics or photos. Word is the best format to use and PDF is best avoided. Ensure your contact details are correct. Ideally, a CV should be kept to a minimum of 2 pages. It is always good to get a friend to proofread your CV.

My motto is “the facts at a glance,” so keep it lean and avoid any unnecessary text.

Here are my top tips to declutter your CV:

  • Use Microsoft Word, Times New Roman or Arial font in size 11
  • Avoid using photos or graphics
  • Where possible avoid italics, use bold font in headings
  • Avoid putting huge indents in the text as this wastes valuable space
  • Bullet points for responsibilities are ideal
  • Avoid any typos or spelling mistakes
  • Clear headings for each section help it flow better
  • List any gaps in your CV, e.g. career break/traveling, etc.

By following these simple tips you should have a professional, well laid out CV to send to employers. Always ensure that you keep track of where you send your CV to avoid duplication. If an agency is sending your CV, ensure that they have your permission and have provided you with a detailed job spec. If you declutter your CV you’re off to a good start!

For access to our CV and cover letter templates and all of the information you need to start looking for your next job please visit the Jobseekers section of our website:


Edel Kelly
Recruitment Consultant

Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group