10 Smashing CV Layout Examples (Designs Made to Impress) – CV Nation

10 Smashing CV Layout Examples (And Which Layout You Should Use)

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The ultimate guide to CV layout and design, with 10 CV layout samples, tips on which CV layout you should use and everything else you need to know about CV layout and design.

When preparing their CV, many people are confused about which CV layout they should use. You’ve probably come across many different CV layouts, but which one will work best for you?

Don’t fret. We’re here to give you the best CV layout ideas and explain which CV layouts are most effective.

This comprehensive guide to CV layouts will show you 10 examples of the best CV layouts and help you learn about CV formats. We'll also show you how to improve the design of your CV to make a positive impression on recruiters.

The 3 Main CV Formats

Before improving your CV’s layout, it’s important to understand the three main CV formats.

CV format refers to the style of your CV and the way it is constructed. The three main CV formats are reverse-chronological, functional and hybrid.

Most people use the reverse-chronological CV format, although the functional and combination also offers benefits in certain situations, such as when pursuing a career change.

All of the CV layout templates in this guide fall into one of these three categories.

Reverse-Chronological CV Format

The reverse-chronological format is the most commonly used CV format. It’s also the CV format that most recruiters prefer. They’re used to its structure and it provides them with the information they need in an easy-to follow manner.

The reverse-chronological format places the majority of the focus on candidates’ work experience. CVs that use this format list candidates’ work experience in reverse-chronological order, starting with their most recent role and working backwards.

Reverse-chronological CVs tend to be formatted in the following way:

- Contact Details

- Professional Profile/Personal Statement

- Skills

- Work Experience

- Education

- Additional Information

People who work in specific industries or professions may be required to include further sections, including conferences, presentations, publications, memberships, affiliations, key projects, and honours and awards.

For example, doctors usually include lists of their publications, presentations and conferences they have attended.

Functional CV Format

CVs that use the functional CV format are basically skills-based CVs. Functional CVs place the majority of the focus on candidates’ skills and achievements, rather than their work experience.

Much of the first page of functional CVs is usually used to describe candidate’s skills and how they have used the skills to achieve positive outcomes.

Functional CVs are ideal for those seeking a career change. This is because they enable candidates to focus on their transferrable skills.

Functional CVs tend to be formatted in the following way:

- Contact Details

- Professional Profile/Personal Statement

- Skills and Achievements

- Work Experience

- Education

- Additional Information

Hybrid (Combination) CV Format

The hybrid, or combination, CV format is a mixture of the reverse-chronological and functional formats. With this CV format, candidates place the central focus of their CV on their most sellable qualities.

The hybrid CV format can be beneficial as it allows you to adjust the focus of your CV to show what makes you unique. For example, you may want to draw attention to your less recent jobs, as well as your transferable skills.

Hybrid CVs tend to be formatted in the following way:

- Contact Details

- Professional Profile/Personal Statement

- Skills (Or Work Experience)

- Achievements

- Work Experience (Or Skills)

- Education

- Additional Information

With the hybrid CV format, these sections can be placed in various different orders. For example, the education section can be positioned before the work experience and skills sections.

CV Layout – Everything You Need to Know


When we talk about margins, we're referring to the white space at the edge of your CV, the gap between your CV’s content and the edge of the document.

Ideally, your margins should be between 0.5” and 1” on all sides of your CV.

Lowering the margins is an effective way of giving yourself more space if you’re struggling to trim your CV down. On the other hand, you can widen your CV’s margins if you’ve got too much white space.


All sections of your CV separated by clear borders. This makes your CV easier to follow and more professional in appearance.

The borders should be inserted under of above your section headings.

Here is an example:


When it comes to making your CV look professional, line spacing is one of the most important tools at your disposal.

CVs that don’t utilise line spacing are usually difficult to read. A lack of spacing results in large blocks of text, which are unappealing. By adding spacing between paragraphs, headings and sections, recruiters will be much more inclined to spend time reading your CV.

You should aim for between 4pt. – 8 pt. of line spacing between paragraphs, headings and sections. Take a look at the CV templates in this guide to see how the spacing makes the content easier to read and more attractive.

White Space

The right balance of white space ensures your CV is easy to navigate and orderly, without seeming empty and lacking in content.

To add or reduce white space on your CV, consider altering the margins, line spacing and font sizes.


Using multiple columns on your CV enables you to include sections adjacent to one another. This draws more attention to the key information on your CV as the sections are easier to locate.

Of course, it’s not necessary to use multiple columns on your CV. In fact, most CVs don’t use multiple columns. But implementing them can be a beneficial way of drawing attention to key sections.

CV Layout Examples

1. Traditional CV Layout

This traditional CV layout, which uses the reverse-chronological format, is ideal for most jobseekers.

Recruiters tend to prefer traditional CVs that use the reverse-chronological format, so this is a great option if you want to make a positive impact.

2. Creative CV Layout

This creative CV layout makes use of icons, colours and multiple columns to make the individual’s key skills, achievements and experiences stand out.

3. Skills-Based CV Layout

If you want to focus on skills, rather than work experience, look no further than this skills-based CV. Using the functional CV format, this CV allows you to show off your strongest skills and demonstrate how you’ve used them to achieve success in the workplace.

4. Infographic CV Layout

This infographic CV layout illustrates the candidates’ experiences, achievements and skills in a visually-impressive manner.

5. Basic CV Layout

Do you prefer your CV to be modest and simple? If so, this basic CV layout, which uses the reverse-chronological format, is the one for you.

6. Management CV Layout

This management CV layout perfectly demonstrates the candidates’ senior experience and key skills. The professional design is ideal for those pursuing managerial jobs.

7. Two-Column CV Layout

This CV uses two columns on the first page, which makes the key information easier to locate. Using this CV design, you can ensure that multiple sections are front and centre on your CV.

8. Graduate CV Layout

This CV layout places the central focus on the candidates’ academic experiences. As the candidate lacks real-world work experience, this CV layout doesn’t focus on the work experience section.

View more of our graduate CV samples and graduate CV writing guide.

9. Continental Europe CV Layout

This CV design is ideal for applications in Continental Europe. Continental Europe CVs should usually include a photo, so this CV includes a photo positioned neatly alongside the candidates’ name and contact details.

10. Medical CV Layout

This medical CV layout includes more sections than standard CVs, including research and publication sections.

We hope you have found the CV layout and design ideas helpful. If you want to see more CV templates, view our ultimate CV writing guide, which includes 24 top CV samples that you can get now.

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