There are a number of ways in which you can enhance the look and feel of your CV to improve its standard and make it appear more attractive. Remember that a CV that ‘looks good’ and is easy to read will demonstrate to a employer that you have made an effort, are good at marketing yourself and also pay attention to detail.

Below are some quality control CV tips to make your resume more attractive, informative and concise.

How to make your CV look good

Software compatibility
It is best to create your CV in Microsoft Word or as a PDF document. These two software packages are available on virtually all computers, meaning companies will be able to open and read them. However if you want to use other more specialized software to develop your CV then you run a risk that a employers computer may not have that software installed, leading to compatibility problems. A recruiter may not be able to open your CV or if they do it may appear misaligned or even unreadable.


Paper quality
If you are sending in a hard copy then use quality A4 paper to print out your resume, preferably 100 grams. It will help to create a professional impression of your application by printing out sharper and clearer text.


  • Send your CV in a A4 envelope that has a hard back, so it arrives un-crumpled and unfolded.


Font style
Use different styles to attract the attention of the reader to key points. Although try not to overuse them as their effect may diminish. You can use:

  • bold
  • underline
  • italics
  • CAPS


Page margins
Create a positive visual impression by having the same set margins throughout your document, at least 1/2 inches on all sides.


Font size
For readability always use one font size throughout your CV, for instance 10-12 points. For headings and sub headings increase this to 14 points.


Font type
There are literally 100’s of different types of fonts to choose from. However when writing your CV it is best to be conservative and choose the most common types like Arial or Times New Roman. Research has shown that the sort of typeface you use can help to create a sense of recognition and trust.


Arrange your headings by order of importance. List key data and areas of expertise at the top of your CV. Use headings to give your CV a structure and help navigate and direct readers through it. Have the same font size and style for your headings throughout your CV. Use headings for the following sections:

  • Career summary or statement.
  • Areas of expertise.
  • Career history.
  • Duties and responsibilities.
  • Academic qualifications.
  • References.


Avoid underlining words in your CV, it can look messy and is not appropriate for highlighting a keyword or phrase. On Internet pages if text is underlined then it implies a link, therefore if there is one on a electronic CV then it may confuse the reader.


Font color
If you want to add some color to your CV then try not to use colors that are too bright and loud, use subtle shades. Remember that recruiters may print out your e-mailed CV and their printers may not be of a high quality, meaning your colors can come out looking blocky and unattractive. The less colors in a CV the better, try to stick to a maximum of three different colors.


It is best not to have your text justified.


White space
Ensure that there is sufficient white space around your paragraphs so that the text does not appear cramped and hard to read. The more white space there is the more pleasing on the eye it is.


Images or pictures
Do not insert or attach your photo or any logos into your CV. They take up valuable space, serve no purpose, can go badly wrong and make your CV look amateurish.


Make sure that all text, headers, bullet points and paragraphs are all aligned correctly. Even if one is slightly out it will be noticed immediately and can make your hard work look tacky and unprofessional.


Proof reading and spelling mistakes
Have a competent friend proof read you CV to find and rectify any grammatical mistakes and to make sure it makes sense. Employers are likely to quickly bin applications that contain simple spelling errors. Use spell checkers to help you.


Related CV topics:

CV examples

How to write a CV

How to sell yourself

Interview questions and answers

Need a more attractive looking CV?

Targeting your CV at specific jobs

What employers look for in a CV

What not to put in your CV

Writing a career objective for a CV