The Future of CV Formatting

Leonardo da Vinci created the first ever CV 532 years ago.

One of his most famous quotes echoes his reputation of leaving pieces of art unfinished:

“Art is never finished, only abandoned.”

Unfortunately, he probably spent too much time manually formatting his CV. Imagine how many more paintings he could have finished if he was using a product like

See how many recruiting masterpieces you can execute by automating your CV formatting.

The famous Renaissance artist is a celebrated ‘genius’, renowned for his inventions, sculpting, painting and scientific theories.

In 1482, at 30 years old he wrote out a list of his capabilities, along with a cover letter, and sent it to the Duke of Milan – Ludovico Sforza. It was undoubtedly impressive, as Ludovico went on to become a longtime patron of da Vinci. Some of da Vinci’s most famous paintings – including ‘The Last Supper’ – were requested by Ludovico.

Along with his letter, da Vinci sent a silver lyre of his own making, sculpted in the shape of a horse’s head. A sure sign of an overachiever.


Is there a standard format for a CV?

While some industries may work with a standard format, there typically isn’t a one-size-fits-all structure for CVs. In fact, the most profitable agencies have their own formatting to stand out in the market.

The ideal CV format can reinforce your agency’s branding and highlight candidates’ strong points. However, this goes beyond picking and choosing. Before you even think of recruiting stellar applicants, you should assess which format is suitable for your candidate’s industry.

The Two Types Of CV And The Ideal CV Format For Your Candidate

As you know, there are 2 main types of CVs: chronological and skills-based.

Chronological CV

A chronological CV will focus on a candidate’s past experiences. It should include their educational background, work history, and past skill-related achievements, with their most recent job experience being listed first. As for skills and certificates, these are listed further down the page, typically in individual sections.

This is the standard CV type for many employers, particularly if applicants have plenty of past experience to showcase.

Yet, although it’s packed with proof, this CV formatting alludes to bias.

Here’s an example: hiring managers may dismiss candidates due to lack of experience without considering essential factors such as their transferable skills. There goes a great would-be employee.

Skills-based CV

Meanwhile, a skills-based CV zeroes in on candidates’ abilities. This format puts soft skills, hard skills, and transferable skills front and centre, usually listing work experience towards the end.

This format is ideal for career changers and those who don’t have a lot of experience under their belt. As a downside, recruiters may take longer to scan this type of CV as it doesn’t rely on chronological order. Besides, some candidates may use this formatting to hide undesirable factors about their work history.

Note that “ideal” CV formats vary by industry and may even feature their own nuances. Still, all industries should stick to a single structure and keep it well-formatted. No exceptions.

CV Format & Layout: How to structure your candidate’s CV

If your CV doesn’t comply with industry standards, the client won’t even consider it. As well as what you put on the CV, you should focus on how you’ll structure it. Here are a few rapid-fire tips.

Keep it sleek and professional. An outlandish design might stand out, but not in a great way. So avoid emphasising graphic elements! The only element you should address is your agency’s branding – and even then, not to the point of overshadowing your candidate.

Write in specific terms. If a candidate has successfully increased sales for an employer, tell employers how they achieved that. What KPIs have they increased? By how much? For what company? Remember: you’re selling your candidate to a company, and specifics sell.

Do your best to remove bias. Anonymise CVs by removing candidates’ photos and names. This way, reviews will be focused on experience and skills rather than details like nationality and gender.

The Best Way To Format CV’s? Use Allsorter

Your candidate could be the next Leo Da Vinci – but without a well-formatted and bias-free CV, he’s just another applicant.

Thankfully, a solution like Allsorter is the Holy Grail for recruitment agencies. It makes industry-compliant CV formatting the easiest and quickest part of your job.

See how many recruiting masterpieces you can execute by automating your CV formatting.

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