Why white space improves your CV

Published on: 20 Oct 2015

CV advice for facilities management professionals

There is nothing that a time stretched recruiter dislikes to see more than a CV spread from head to foot with black ink. Like an overindulgent marmite sandwich the reader is left unsure where to start or where to finish. Whilst it is important to fit your CV onto 2 pages, this should not be at the cost of reducing the point size and squeezing in the same information as a previous longer version. White space plays a vital part in the overall presentation and impact of your CV.

Creating balance

White space has an overall harmonising effect on your CV. It acts as a counter balance to the written word. As a facilities management professional it is, of course, vital to include examples of achievements to highlight your expertise, but with less than 30 seconds spent on average reading your CV think carefully about how much information you include. You want the reader to feel relaxed and unhurried so that they can fully immerse themselves in your career story.

White space is attention grabbing

Whilst it is usually thought that it is the headline that grabs attention, it is a little known fact that headlines stand out much more when they are surrounded by white space. This is because the eye finds it much easier to focus on something when there is less distraction in the periphery. 

Making navigation easy

A major reason for ensuring sufficient white space around headings is to aid navigation. Allowing the reader to quickly find the parts of the CV that are important to them is vital in such a limited time frame. So making sure headings stand out will play a big part in how the reader engages with your CV.

How many words should a CV include?

In a 2 page CV you want to aim for between 700 and 800 words. There is a balance to be struck. Too few words and your CV may look lightweight, too many and it will be difficult to read. Keep the point size to 11 or 12. Anything less than this and you risk the reader needing to squint. Again, it’s all about keeping the CV accessible.

Use modern typefaces

Different typefaces impact on the use of white space too. You may have found that some typefaces at the same point size take up visibly much more space. Try not to use serif (curved) typefaces such as Times New Roman. These are sometimes difficult to read on screen and look dated. Instead choose contemporary and readily available fonts such as Tahoma, Arial or Calibri.

Let your CV Breathe

White space allows your CV to look uncluttered and healthy. Use white space liberally throughout the CV to increase the impact of the words and make navigation easy. Ultimately, using white space wisely can make a significant difference to the overall performance of your CV.

This CV writing advice article is written by Neville Rose, Director of CV Writers. CV Writers are the official partner to FM World Jobs and specialise in writing CVs for facilities management professionals. 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.