I decided to redesign my CV a little bit. The old template in LaTex, while giving a neat output, is not flexible. Every small change requires a lot of time, just to make sure that everything is in the right place. So, as I got my hands on the MS Office 2016 I could start to play a bit with migrating my CV from LaTex to Word. If you also would like to have CV in Word but do not have MS Word you may have a look at my previous post where you will find a link to the MS Office 2016 Preview, which is fully functional but time limited trial version of the Office package.
In the first approach of having the CV in Word I put everything in tables. They make everything a lot easier to format. But I read somewhere that recruiters and automated CV parsers do not like them. Hence, the new version does not have any tables at all. Below I will mention in few points key features I used in formatting, and after that also some notes about do’s and don’ts.
1) Often neglected but very important feature is nice font. I used Garamond, which is very clean and readable. I used font size 12 for titles, 11 for names of companies, and the same for position descriptions. The only deviation from that range is the very first line with my name and LinkedIn URL, which is in 14.
2) Probably the most important thing is to be able to align two different parts of text in one line two different sides. For example in the very first line my name is aligned to the left and LinkedIn URL to the right.
By pressing CTRL+SHIFT+8 you may see all paragraph marks. You will notice then that between my name and the URL there is a tab, indicated by the arrow. Not many people know that tabs might be used for aligning text. First you have to enable a ruler, you can to that in the view menu. Then by clicking slightly below the bottom of the top ruler you may place a tab holder.
You may click on the icon in the left top corner to change the type of tab holder that you are about to place. Holder’s type can be changed later in a Tabs window opened with a double-click on the existing tab holder.
Those tab holders can define how the text next to a tab character should be aligned with respect to that or next tab. In our case if we have a tab between the name and the url and place the right tab holder in the place where the right margin starts we will get a desired result.
Here you may see a right aligned tab holder in the place where right margin starts. I used exactly the same approach to align languages, technical skills, certificates, and hobbies. In this case tab holder was placed on the 4.5cm and it was left aligned.
3) For the ease of implementing future changes to formatting it is worth a while to save each text format. In the style drop down menu there is an option to Create a Style.
I have created styles for company name, description and section title. Some of them I have modified so the space before/after the paragraph was always the same – it makes everything look consistent.
4) At the end I have added a page number, just to indicate that it is a one page out of one so anybody looking at the CV would not have to rotate the page to check if there is anything there.
5) I prefer to use hyphen (–) than minus (-) sign. The difference is in length. Maybe you have noticed that sometimes Word changes minus to hyphen, but I do not know exactly what is the rule for that. To obtain a hyphen make sure the NumLock is on then keep the left Alt pressed and write 0150 on the numerical pad, and viola you have a hyphen.
6) Many people try to make the margins as small as possible, just to fit the whole CV on one page. I do not think that is a good idea. There should be some space left for the notes, in case anybody wanted to make some. I set up mine at about 1.7cm, which was just enough for everything to fit on one page.
7) It is not related to formatting, but CV languge style. I tend to put all descriptions of previous positions in past simple and the current in continuous. I found that past simple makes sentences a bit shorter (-ed is shorter than -ing), what might be crucial in fitting everything on one page. Also I try to avoid passive voice, as it makes sentences long and complicated. Another thing to take into account is to avoid words that do not bring any value like general, more, I, we, most linking words, etc. Of course treat it as an indication as sometimes it just sounds better if you do not stick to any of the rules above.
8) Of course make sure that there are no spelling mistakes, that all commas and full stops are there where they should be. That there is no mistake in your phone number and e-mail address. That if you mention hobbies you actually have something more to say about them (maybe even something to brag about). It would be good if you could put some numbers to the achievements you have got at work. But most importantly stay consistent in spelling, formatting, and style.
And of course the final outcome of this post is my CV Word template. Please let me know if you have any hints on improving my template, or just my CV. I do not want to get too much spam, so I have removed my phone numbers and e-mail address from the template.