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Let Your Creative Juices Flow! – Design your CVIn the modern world, there is a general conception that a CV has to look a certain way, but there is no ‘one rule’.


A CV should be 2 pages, but if your experience values your abilities then 3 pages is acceptable. Also, the layout doesn’t have to be as concrete and ‘samey’ as other CVs. Take your education as an example. When writing a CV for the first time it is perceived that you need to place your education on the first page.

This might be true for students who finished their Leaving Cert or graduated from college. Having this section on the first page does not hold any weight for someone who completed their degree 10 + years ago and has 20 + years of experience. THINK on what you want employers to see, the position you are applying for and the skills you can bring to the job.


The format of your CV is crucial. The simpler the content, colours and font the more striking it will be. That doesn’t mean that you bombard the document with bolds, italics, tables and columns. Instead, use a nice heading for the sections, bolds for job titles / companies, italics for company descriptions and colours for bullet points.


The design of your CV also depends on the flow of the content. The language should reflect both your personality as well as your professional ability for the role. Again keep it simple, but try and avoid repetition of verbs and words.


Normally when people think of ‘Creative’ the first image that comes to mind are graphical elements. Depending on the job you are going for, these can sometimes be off putting for the employer and will act against your favour. If you are using graphics, keep them to a minimum (if possible), unless otherwise stated on the application.


Sometimes people like to include pictures of the companies that they worked for. This can help to draw the attention of the employer to a particular section of your CV, but remember that it is the content that speaks volumes, not the images. You may have worked in prestigious companies, but does your CV show your achievements? Does it show your contributions? Are they easily found?

Take Notes:

Find a CV design that you like? Take note of what you liked and try and reflect it in your own design. Be smart with your choices as not all designs are effective.

All in all, your CV design should be one that is both eye-catching but informative. If you design your CV, take a step back and think: “Is this too much or too little?”. The harder it is for you to read, the less likely an employer will be to read it either.

Lorriane McGuinness runs CV Tips and Tricks – you can find her here for more help and advice