Formatting the CV: clarity and visibility 


The golden rule for CV writing is to be as clear and precise as possible. As Rychard Gagnon, the person responsible for media relations at the Ministère de l’emploi et de la solidarité sociale du Québec reminds us, “One must not forget that when recruiters are doing their initial selection, they do not spend more than thirty to forty seconds per CV. The information they are looking for must therefore be readily accessible and the candidate’s strong points must be clearly visible in order to get beyond the first selection.” 


A CV that is easy to read


André Letourneau, president of the recruitment firm Altéo, emphasizes the importance of sections: “It is vital that the CV be comprised of different sections and that these have clear headings and enough space between them. Whatever the order you choose to present your experience in, it has to be very clear. And do not hesitate to use bullets and numbering, if necessary.” It is worth noting that he advises younger people to choose a chronological order and older people to choose a thematic order.   


Rychard Gagnon specifies: “In addition to having good spacing, the CV must be easy to read. You should use the same font throughout, either size 11 or 12, to be easily legible. And for those who would like to put some colour,” he says, “don’t forget that CVs will be printed and therefore light colours should not be used.” But he warns: the CV is a serious thing; colours should be used sparingly and wisely.