Your CV's bells and whistles are holding you back.

It can be tempting to embellish your CV with creative elements such as images and charts. After all, in a work presentation, visuals can really make your points pop. But on your CV, not so much. Here are a few reasons why we've removed the graphics from your CV and opted for a sleeker, simpler design.

Employers prefer simplistic formats

Recruiters potentially have to review hundreds of CVs per week, and they spend as little as six seconds on each one. As a result, they are used to scanning through CVs and ‒ through glance logic ‒ know what to expect and where to look for information.

But overly creative CVs often shift the traditional formatting of the document. This makes it difficult for recruiters to find the information quickly, as it is now sitting in not-so-obvious places on the page. This means they may bin your CV simply because they don't have the time to look for the details they need.

Creative elements can be distracting

There's no denying that fun design elements are eye-catching. But they can also be distracting, especially if the graphics aren't so slick – they could be seen as unprofessional or a gimmick.

Instead of trying to impress prospective employers with your flashy charts and images, impress them with your easy-to-identify qualifications and achievements. Sell them your career story concisely and powerfully through carefully selected words, statistics and formatting choices.

Images and charts aren't ATS-friendly

As HR managers receive so many online applications, many businesses use software known as applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter the promising CVs from the unsuitable ones and create a shortlist for human review.

However, these digital gatekeepers struggle to read charts and images; they will often appear either scrambled or completely missing from your application. Therefore, if you have included design elements in your CV, there's a high chance the ATS will assume you're a less qualified candidate because it cannot read this data.

Graphic timelines can emphasise gaps

It's become popular for creative candidates to insert a graphic timeline to demonstrate their career paths to date. But there is a risk that this chart will highlight any employment gaps or other details of a not-so-straight-forward career path. Ultimately, it could weaken your application.

Less is always more

When it comes to CV writing, a simpler format speaks much louder than a creative design. The fancier your format, the more work you are likely to create for the recruiter as they are forced to hunt for hidden or altered information they care about. Meanwhile, a clean and balanced CV helps the reader skim the document with ease and extract information efficiently. Take it from us, the fancy bells and whistles are better saved for your personal website and the like. Instead, keep your CV traditional, clean and polished for the ultimate professional feel.

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