CV templates to make you stand out in a tough market

Monday 27 July 2020
Many people will be looking for a work or career change. Did you know that CMI can help build CVs and format cover letters?
cv templates to make you stand out

In CMI’s Career Development Centre, you can use the CV Builder tool to finesse the layout of your CV. One of the most useful aspects of the tool is how we format the CV according to the type of role you’re applying for. We identify five key types of CV, and put the most relevant information at the top of the document according to which type works best for your sector and position.

  • Entry-level Chronological: Prioritises education; no key skills section. Suggested for student, school leaver, limited work experience, researcher/academic
  • Entry-level skills-based: Prioritises education, then skills. Suggested for student, graduate, limited work experience
  • Entry-level hybrid: Prioritises education; includes key skills section. Suggested for student, graduate, limited work experience
  • Experienced chronological: Prioritises skills and work experience: suggested for 2+ years' work experience; continuous employment
  • Skills-based: Prioritises skills; contains skills-related advice: suggested for career change, return to work; career break; technical roles
  • Technical: Prioritises technical skills: suggested for a technical specialist

Once you’ve input all the relevant information to the CV Builder, you can download your document using each of the above styles to see what difference it makes to the layout. Having a clear idea of the needs of the job will help you not only to perfect the phrasing and areas to accentuate, but will make it a clearer read for the hiring manager.

If you wanted to go one step further, you could even use a free, downloadable template that mirrors the CMI outlines. (Or build one yourself using the tools available to you!) They’re a great way of injecting some of your personality into the document, where there’s a limit on how much detail about yourself you can go into. One thing to note, however, is that while some CVs may be visually arresting (using colours and interesting layouts) they are not the most practical to read. Those using lots of images, colours, different fonts, and full-colour backgrounds may make the information harder to read on the page. Generally speaking, a great CV is one that is clear, simply laid out, and easy to read. Keep that at the front of your mind when deciding which one is right for you.

While there are thousands of free templates available to you, we’ve rounded up some of our favourites below.


1. Google Docs: Resume, Serif

This template is great for a clear but colourful CV, creatively using the space on the page with columns. It’s easily adapted to suit a colour and font style of your choice, and would work well with the CMI ‘experienced chronological’ layout.




2. Google Docs: Resume, Swiss

This CV template allows room for more detail, and again is easily adapted into your personal choice of font and colouring. This would be a great way to lay out the CMI ‘Skills-based’ format.





3. Microsoft Word: Accounting Resumé

Available to download for those with a Microsoft subscription, this easy-to-scan but colourful CV template would suit a ‘technical’ CMI format





4. Microsoft Word: Crisp and Clean CV, Designed by Moo

This template, available for MS Word subscribers and designed by business card connoisseurs Moo, is a great way to catch the hiring manager’s attention. This would suit an ‘Entry-level chronological’ format from the CMI CV Builder tool.




5. Microsoft Word; Columns CV

This eye-catching layout would suit a strong one-page CV, so an ‘Entry-level skills-based’ format from the CV Builder would work.



These are just five of the thousands of colourful, eye-catching templates out there. Why not get started today and see if it can help to make you excited about your job hunt?


Your CV should be:

  • Positive – more than just a list of responsibilities
  • Clear – written in understandable language
  • Neat – the best standard you can achieve in content and layout
  • Short – preferably two sides of A4, or the equivalent in electronic format
  • Lively – use action words when describing your achievements to draw a positive picture of your achievements and skills

If you wanted to go one step further, why not check out the other resources available to you on CMI’s Career Development Centre? We can even help you create a 60-second elevator pitch to pique your interviewer’s interest from the get-go!

Images: screengrabs from Google Docs and Microsoft Word

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