CV writing advice for Actuaries
Many job seekers try to cram too much information into their CV. While it is always good advice to fit your CV into a 2 page format, this is not at the cost of reducing the point size and squeezing in as much information as possible. As an actuary you need to include information on your achievements but there is nothing that a time stretched recruitment professional likes to see less than a CV literally painted black with ink. So how can you use white space effectively in your CV? Firstly, it’s important to understand why white space is important.
White space creates balance
White space is important as it acts as a balance to the written word. It therefore creates a sense of harmony to the document. With less than 30 seconds on average spent reading a CV first impressions are vital. You don’t want to create a sense of busyness or make the reader feel hurried. You want the reader to feel settled and relaxed so they can absorb themselves in your CV.
White space grabs attention
You may not think so, but white space makes your CV much more engaging. The eye finds it much easier to focus on something when there is clear space around it. This allows sections, bullet points and achievements to stand out much more clearly. So use line breaks wisely to break up the space between sections.
Ease of navigation
A key consideration is making your CV easy to navigate. Using white space around headings allows the reader to quickly prioritise the parts of the CV they want to focus on. Different recruiters will place emphasis on different parts so you make this job easier for them by using white space to allow headings and sections to visibly stand out.
Aim for 750 words in a 2 page CV
Of course, there is a balance to be struck. Too much white space and your CV may begin to look lightweight. Ideally a 2 page CV should have between 700 and 800 words. Keep the point size to 11 or 12. Anything smaller and you may leave the reader squinting.
Use contemporary typefaces
The typeface you use can make a considerable difference to the overall presentation and use of space. Try not to use serif (curved) typefaces like New Times Roman. These tend to look dated and are not the easiest to read on screen. Contemporary typefaces that are easy on the eye are much better such as Calibri, Tahoma or Arial.
White space is not wasted space. It forms a vital part of the overall presentation of your CV. So make sure your CV is simple to navigate, uses an easy to read typeface and uses white space liberally. Good use of white space can really make a difference to the reader truly engaging with your CV.
This CV writing advice article is written by Neville Rose, Director of CV Writers. CV Writers are the official partner to The Actuary Jobs and specialise in writing CVs for actuaries. In addition to a CV writing service, CV Writers can help with Linkedin profiles, cover letters and interview coaching. They also publish Perfect CV, a CV writing toolkit with a series of how to write a CV videos, CV templates and an editing and checking service.