You’ve got an outstanding track record in your field. You have a strong work history and have built an impressive career. That’s all it takes to land a great role, right?
Presentation is a key part of the job search process. Your CV needs to grab your potential employer’s attention right away and keep them interested.
Using a well-designed CV template will help you achieve this and improve your chances of securing an interview.
The best CV templates are visually appealing, user-friendly, and effective in showcasing your qualifications.
Don’t miss out on a big opportunity just because your CV is disorganised and unprofessional.
Read our ultimate guide on ready-to-use CV templates, then select your own to edit and use in your job search!
Evaluating CV templates to choose the best one
Several elements go into a great CV template. The final result will vary depending on your needs, but each aspect needs to be taken into consideration.
Visual appeal and professionalism
It’s important to find the right balance of visual appeal and professionalism when choosing a CV template.
The use of colour can be a great advantage, especially in creative industries. Just be careful not to go overboard. Too many different colours can look overwhelming and unprofessional.
Use organised sections with clear headings. Choose fonts that are easy on the eyes. Potential employers should recognise your professionalism the moment they look at your CV.
Readability and clarity
Everything on your CV must be clear and easy to read.
Your CV is going to be up against countless other qualified candidates. If hiring managers have to struggle just to read yours, it’s getting tossed out straight away.
The format should follow a natural eye flow that optimises readability. You want readers to get all the necessary information about you as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Don’t take a risk and try to get creative with fonts. Choose something simple and professional.
Our CV builder has a selection of clear and readable fonts for your professional CV.
Customisability and flexibility
Choosing a template that allows for easy customisation might be the right choice for your needs.
If you’re making a career change or recently finished school, consider a CV template that focuses on skills rather than work history.
An advantage of using a customisable CV template is that you can adapt it to fit your specific qualities and experience.
This flexibility brings potential employers’ attention where you want it, rather than to areas where you may be lacking.
Popular CV template styles
The first step in choosing a CV template is understanding the different styles. Here is a brief overview of CV template styles and what makes each one unique.
Chronological CV template
Chronological CVs are the most common CV format. They are formatted exactly as the name implies, with your work history in chronological order.
Similarly, reverse chronological CVs display your work history in reverse, with your most recent role at the top.
Whether you choose chronological or reverse chronological, this CV template puts the focus on your work experience.
Chronological CVs are optimal for candidates who have had a consistent career and show growth in their industry. Potential employers will see your commitment to your role.
If you are advancing in your career and want hiring managers to see the advancements you’ve made, a chronological CV template is a good choice for you.
3 ready-to-use chronological CV templates
Here are 3 templates that use a chronological CV format.
Single column chronological CV template
This is the classic single-column style for chronological CVs. This template is a good choice for candidates who want to put the main focus on their years of experience.
Ivy league chronological CV template
The ivy league CV template is a sleek, straightforward single-column design. This template conveys a sense of professionalism and is great for candidates in high-level leadership positions.
Elegant chronological CV template
The elegant CV template is a more modern version of a chronological CV. It uses a two-column design and adds a bit of colour for visual appeal.
This is a great option for candidates who have more sections to showcase and want to stand out from the crowd.
Functional CV template
Functional CV templates emphasise skills and qualifications over employment history.
3 of the best functional CV templates to use
A functional CV format is a great alternative if chronological CVs aren’t the best fit for you.
Functional CV templates put the focus on your skills rather than your work experience.
This is optimal if you are just starting out in your career or are breaking into a new industry. Functional CVs highlight transferable skills and bring attention away from lack of experience or gaps in your timeline.
Here are 3 functional CV templates to explore. Click on one to start editing and add your own information.
Modern functional CV template
The modern functional CV template uses a competency-based format that highlights your skills. This is a great template for candidates who want to showcase transferable skills.
Classic functional CV template
The classic functional CV template is another great option if you’re making a career change or have limited experience. It utilises space so that CVs with short work history sections won’t seem blank.
Timeline chronological CV template
The timeline chronological CV template is great for keeping your skills updated while you change careers. It shows a simple timeline for work history while highlighting transferable skills.
3 combination CV templates to edit and use
Everyone has a different career path, and yours might not be the perfect fit for a standard CV format.
As the name suggests, a combination CV template merges elements from both chronological and functional CV formats.
This way you can take the elements from each CV format that best showcase your skills and experience.
Polished combination CV template
The polished combination CV template is an innovative design that is both visually appealing and professional. Use this template to show off your skills and experience as well as your creativity.
Ivy league combination CV template
The ivy league format also makes a great combination CV template. Adapt the sections of this sleek design to provide a comprehensive overview of your skills and experience that are most valued in your industry.
Modern combination CV template
This version of the modern CV template combines the best of chronological and functional CVs. Use this format for a wide range of roles in different industries to stand out from the crowd.
3 creative CV templates to edit and use
For candidates looking for an even more unique way to stand out from the crowd, a creative CV template is a great alternative to a standard format.
For creative industries like design and entertainment, showing some individuality on your CV can make a big impact.
The sky is the limit with creative CVs. Enhance your CV with something relevant to your field like QR codes, graphics, photos, etc.
Be careful not to get too carried away. A great creative CV stands out while maintaining a professional appearance. Use a clean template with one or two creative sections.
Stylish creative CV template
The stylish creative CV template allows you to show a variety of skills, projects and experience with unique sections. Add a pop of colour to grab potential employers’ attention.
Creative CV template
The creative CV template brings attention to your header with a bright colour block. Potential employers will take notice and be encouraged to read on. This format works for a wide range of industries and roles, not just creative ones.
Compact creative CV template
A compact creative CV template with a colourful background is sure to stand out from the competition. This format is great for mid-level professionals who want to showcase their experience and skills with a few unique sections.
Resources to create your best CV template
There are many different approaches to creating or editing your own CV template. Here is an overview of some of the most popular ones.
Popular online CV builders
One of the best ways to create your own CV today is by using an online CV builder. You don’t need to have any experience in design or knowledge of industry standards.
Online CV builders are designed to be user-friendly so you can create a professional looking CV with ease.
Enhancv’s CV builder will help you with layout, design, and even make content suggestions.
Here is a list of 5 other popular online CV builders in 2023.
Free and premium CV templates
There is a huge selection of CV templates available online. You may find that many CV templates are advertised as either free of premium.
Typically the difference between the two is that premium CV templates come with a fee and have additional features that the free ones don’t.
The right choice comes down to what you’re looking for. Premium templates may come with features like professional styles, unique sections, and even suggestions to improve your CV.
However, there are plenty of free CV templates that will help you create an outstanding CV without a fee.
Research free and premium options and determine which is the right path for you based on your needs.
Customising CV templates using word processors
Another avenue for building a CV template is through a word processor. This is a good choice for those with a bit of computer expertise and feel comfortable working with a word processor.
A benefit of using a word processor as you will have more control over customising sections, rather than having to stay within the structure of a CV builder.
This allows you to make your CV template uniquely yours according to your specific needs.
Here are 3 word processors where you can work with CV templates.
- Microsoft Word
- Google Docs
Adapting CV templates to your needs
These ready-to-use templates are a great place to start, but adding your own information is what makes a big impact. Always tailor your CV to fit your target job.
Tailoring CV templates for specific industries
Finding the right CV template varies by industry. Consider factors like role, experience, and qualifications.
Every section of your CV should be tailored to fit your target job, even the format. The first step in the process is to thoroughly research your target industry and company.
Find out what skills are currently in high demand in your field.
If you work in the tech sector that might be proficiency in coding languages. If you work in graphic design it could be experience with specific design software. Or maybe you work in management and soft skills are what companies are looking for.
Browse industry trends, company websites, and job descriptions. Take note of what qualifications and experience make you the best candidate.
Be sure to highlight your most relevant and valuable qualities on your CV. Choose a CV template that optimises your most important skills.
Accommodating different experience levels
Choosing the right CV template also varies based on experience level. In some cases you want to highlight your experience, in other cases you may want to highlight skills instead.
If you are an experienced professional and have been working in your field for 10+ years, a chronological CV template is a great choice. It showcases your work history and brings attention to your experience section.
Employers want to know that you’re committed to your career. Showing a consistent timeline is beneficial to roles in management and leadership.
For candidates breaking into a new industry or have recently finished school, a functional CV template is the best choice. This allows you to focus on transferable skills instead of work experience.
For mid-level professionals who have been in their industry for 3-10 years, a combination CV template is the way to go. You can optimise each section to put the focus on areas you want to highlight the most.
For any CV template or format, always focus on your strengths. Show that you’re the right candidate for the job by highlighting your most relevant qualifications.
Key takeaways for the best CV templates
Choosing the right CV template will have a big impact on your job search. Make a lasting impression on potential employers by highlighting your strengths.
Updating and refining your CV is an ongoing process. Be sure it remains visually appealing and relevant to your job search.
Your CV template should showcase your strengths and be appropriate for your current level. Update your work experience as you grow in your career.