20 April 2014
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Should text be justified in a CV

When text is justified it means the typographic alignment, stretching and setting of a paragraph of text to both the left and right hand margins. This is also known as double justification and gives the page a ‘fuller’ look, leaving no ‘ragged’ ends. Every line (except the last) on the page will have equal width, this effect is achieved by increasing or decreasing the space between words.

When the text is stretched more than normal it is referred to as loose lines, while when it is compressed it is called tight lines.

Justification is usually found in books and magazines and is considered a sign of quality in the print world.

The problems with justification
Another point to take into consideration is that justification might look good on a paper CV, but in an emailed CV that is viewed on a computer screen the visual  appearance may not be the same. This is because the way a justified CV looks also depends on the readers’ browser and software compatibility. In the worst case scenario on a computer screen your CV text could be spread excessively, making it look ugly and unreadable.

You should also note that the fonts that you use in your CV can also affect the appearance of justified document.

Should text in a CV be justified?
This really depends on the CV layout, design and also personal preference, some people like justified text whilst others do not. A good idea is to create two versions of your CV one justified and one not and then compare them both. Perhaps show them to some friends and ask their opinion. If you do decide to justify then view your CV for it’s visual appearance and compatibility in different browsers like Firefox and Chrome etc.

Another option is to only use justification for certain text in your CV as a ‘special effect’, this is an excellent way to grab the readers attention and highlight sentences in your CV.


Related links:

The best font for a CV

What not to put in your CV

Why CVs are rejected

Writing a career objective statement


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