The Elle Woods CV

3 Mins

Have you ever been tempted to do an Elle Woods from Legally Blonde and print your CV on pink paper and spray it with perfume to give it “a little something extra?” ✨ ✨

Thanks to free online design tools like Canva with CV templates built in, creating a CV with a designer touch is easy. Currently, there’s a trend for CVs to be more aesthetically pleasing.

But is it a good idea?

Actually, it’s better to make the content readable and have a top-notch skills section. Applicant tracking software (ATS) scans CVs to rule out unqualified candidates before a hiring manager sees them. This is a popular tool, and ATS doesn’t like complex fonts, embedded images, and fancy graphics. So, your Elle Woods-style CV could fall at the first hurdle without a human getting a sniff of your scented paper.

Getting the CV to pass the ATS test is about putting the right keywords into it.

Wondering how to find those keywords?

Start with the job advert. This will mention specific skills and qualifications which will likely be the keywords they’re scanning your CV for.

The ideal CV for ATS and a hiring manager is a detail-rich one using simple fonts and a basic design with those keywords in your qualifications and skills sections. A CV that's two pages long rather than squeezed onto a single page allows you to be more dynamic and give a better summary of your career so far and academic achievements.

So, create a CV brimming with relevant work experience.

Sorry Elle Woods fans, the clear, white, unscented CV wins in 2022.

Written by Jason Connolly