White space is never wasted space.
Instead, if used properly it can have a useful and harmonising effect on your CV.
It does this by making your key strengths stand out more and by helping the recruiter to read and scan your CV.
So the conclusion is, don’t be afraid of white space.
This page will tell you everything you need to know about white space and how to use it improve your CV and boost your job prospects.
Making your most relevant skills and experience stand out in busy CV is always difficult.
A successful CV is determined by its appearance, readability, and capacity not to overwhelm the Hiring Manager with information.
This is where white space comes in. Strategically leveraged it can;
- Give your content ‘breathing room’.
- Prioritise key skills you want to highlight.
- Avoid overwhelming the reader with information.
- Makes navigation of the CV easier.
- Impress a potential recruiter with your presentation skills.
- Make your CV quicker to scan.
- Break up large blocks of text.
- Make complex information simpler to grasp.
What is white space?
Also known as negative space, it’s the blank area of a CV that’s used to separate sections, margins, paragraphs and text.
It’s mostly used to increase the impact of the words in a CV.
How to use white space to improve your CV
Below are some commonly used tricks that successful job seekers use to enhance their application.
Combined all the below points can help create the illusion of an open and welcoming CV.
Make section headings and headlines stand out more by having two line spaces between them and anything above and below.
Keep bullet points short and no longer than one line of text.
Have no more than 4 bullet points in any given block of bullet points.
Make more space by adjusting the size of your top, bottom and side margins.
Line Spacing between paragraphs
Have single line spacing through between paragraphs.
Microsoft Word allows you to increase line spacing between text and headings.
Reducing the size of these can create more room. Remember to have the same size throughout your page, except for headings which should be bigger.
Left aligned text
Keep all your text left-aligned, this again can help to give the impression of more room.
It also makes it easier for a person to read because the user’s eyes doesn’t have to search for and try to find where the line next starts, as they would if it was centred.
Only include relevant information
In a CV less is more, so ruthlessly cut out things that are not relevant to the job you are applying for. With a minimalistic approach, only include data that shows competencies that the recruiter has specifically asked for.
You will be surprised at how much space you can save doing this.
Why is white space important?
Recruiters do not like being overwhelmed with solid blocks of text. It’s not only off putting but difficult to read. Both points that can quickly get your CV binned.
Additionally, in the world of job hunting there are two knowns, firstly that first impressions count and secondly that recruiters can spend mere seconds scanning a CV before deciding on a candidate.
Used properly white space can help by making your CV more;
- Visually appealing.
- Easier to scan.
How white space makes a CV easier to read
The human eye finds it easier to focus on a particular word when there is less distraction around it.
This means that to make specific phrases stand out and be more readable, you must make sure they’re not camouflaged by other words and sentences.
Large blocks of uninterrupted text are naturally off putting to any reader. This is the last thing you want, so use well placed gaps can make them more appealing.
Call to action buttons
White space is particularly useful in highlighting call to action (CTA) buttons and inviting the User to click something.
Using white space in a CV
As a design factor white space is often overlooked when laying out a CV.
That’s unfortunate, because when combined with an easy typeface and good layout it;
- Help a reader navigate the hundreds of words crammed into a typical A4 page.
- Draw attention to your most relevant skills and experience.
- Act as a counterbalance to the CVs written words.
Getting the balance right
Too much space can send the wrong message and make your CV look bare and lacking in content.
On the other hand, not enough white space can create a feeling of clutter and disorganisation.
- If it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t.
Disadvantages of white space
- Can make your CV look lightweight and empty.
- Too much white space can make it seem like you’ve got nothing to say
A one-and-a-half-page CV, which has too much white space on the second page.
It looks incomplete and can casts doubt in the readers mind by making it look like you don’t have much to say about yourself.