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Not everything is as it seems when it comes to templates – so be careful!

CV Templates

CV templates are used primarily by students/graduates/new job entrants rather than long-standing career professionals and managers, and are effectively documents that you can use to basically fill in the gaps and complete your CV. They come in all shapes and sizes, and some are far better than others. One significant thing that is frequently ignored and misunderstood is the fact that just because a template is presentable, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is going to do the job of presenting your case as a whole (please see one of the preceding help topics). Some templates look good on the surface, but just remember that the CV is like a carefully balanced jigsaw puzzle, and you really need all the pieces slotting together in harmony if you want the best results. Some templates look the part on the surface but just don’t allow you to slot the other pieces together properly when it comes to creating your CV.

There are hundreds of CV templates that can be found on the internet. So how do you know which is the best one to use? The truth is, you can’t. Which is why it is so important to seek advice.

CV builders are similar to CV templates. They are advertised by numerous companies that take you through various steps that allow you to “build” your CV up and you can choose from various designs. However, they do not represent the uniqueness that is you. Every industry, sector and role should be bespoke. And you yourself are an individual – not a candidate off the shelf!

Have you been told you can build a CV “within minutes” and it sounds too good to be true? It probably is. A CV that takes relatively little time to produce is not going to be a high quality CV. Indeed, common sense dictates than any such CV will almost certainly be generic rather than tailor-made. And a prospective employer will be able to spot this very easily. Using a one-size-fits-all template suggests you are just like everyone else. You should be thinking along the lines of, “what makes me stand out?” “What makes me different from other job seekers?” “Why should employers be interested in me?”

That said, it can be beneficial to use a template if you do not know where to start with a professional layout and presentation. Good templates should be able to assist you to get started, but should offer you the scope and freedom to express your own talents and individuality. However, the trick is finding a ‘good’ template, because many that appear good on the surface fall down when it comes to key elements such as getting your sales message across as well as possible. Just beware, some templates can do your job prospects more harm than good!

There is more to CV templates than meets the eye. For more information please read the CV templates section of our pioneering CV book as this is covered in more detail there.

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