CV Layout: Headings (Part One)

The standard CV layout displays a series of typical sections and whilst variation must be considered, for most people some or all of the following sections will appear in descending order:

  • Header
  • Personal Profile
  • Key Skills or Areas of Expertise
  • Key Projects and Associated Achievements
  • Qualifications
  • Career History or Career Summary
  • Training or Professional Development
  • IT Skills
  • Additional Information
  • References

In this post we will focus on the first section – the Header:

It is vital you present the header of your CV in the best format possible as it is the first thing a prospective employer will see when they look at your CV. This section should be reserved for your personal details; your name, mobile telephone number, postal address and email address must appear, you may also consider inputting your Skype ID and short form LinkedIn profile URL.

Do not insert your sex, date of birth or nationality unless otherwise instructed, doing so is not necessary and potentially leaves your application open to prejudice.

Never begin your CV with a reference to any of the following:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • CV
  • Confidential

Do begin your CV something like this:


Your name should stand out, so ensure that it is centred, emboldened and displayed in a larger font (20 point size is advised).

Avoid using a quirky font style unless there is a good reason to do so (Arial, Calibri or Trebuchet MS are all perfectly acceptable). Your font style should be consistent throughout your CV.

Avoid using shortened versions of your name (i.e. use Michael over Mike) and use the name you are most commonly known by. There is no need to include your middle name.

Avoid capitalisation. It can be badly perceived by some.

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