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18+ CV Ideas Recruiters Will Love: Design & Layout Examples

18+ CV Ideas Recruiters Will Love: Design & Layout Examples

All the gear but no idea? Don’t let it get you down, choosing a good CV template isn’t easy but we’ve got 18 professional CV ideas that you’re going to love.

You’ve just finished writing your CV and it’s all there, the full package. You’ve got the skills and you’ve got the experience. Problem is, it’s written on a CV template that’s so boring it could be marketed as a miracle insomnia cure.


You need some fresh and creative CV ideas to spice up your job search and we’ve got a bunch of them. CV design ideas, CV layout ideas, even creative CV ideas. In fact our collection of CV templates is so packed with ideas that each and every one should have a cartoon light bulb floating above it. 


So without further ado, let’s get those ideas flowing.


Want to save time and have your CV ready in 5 minutes? Try our CV builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ CV templates and create your CV here.


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sample CV templates

Sample resume made with our builder—See more templates and create your CV here.


And when you're done, take a look at some other ideas for your CV:


1. Cascade



The first of our CV ideas is Cascade. It has a fresh and modern layout, perfectly designed for optimum readability through generous use of white space.


Cascade’s clever idea is the subtle use of colour. Shades of blue combined with white text add style and emphasis to the left-hand column. And if you’ve got a different idea of what the colour scheme should be, our CV builder will let you choose from 400 colour shades.

Looking for CV ideas for retail? Read more: Retail CV Example & Writing Guide

2. Concept



Here’s the latest Concept in CV ideas. Using a single-column layout it gives you the full width of the page to include all the job-winning content you need. And it’s fully adaptable too, you can change section titles, change section order and our CV builder keeps it looking perfect.


What’s the good idea? There’s a very clever optical trick here. The bullet points and title icons are all linked together to drag the eye down the page. Hiring managers take less than 30 seconds reviewing each CV and this helps to make sure they’ll skim it all.

Looking for CV ideas for school-leavers? Read more: Graduate CV Example & Writing Guide

3. Crisp



If you'd like a Crisp and modern CV template then this is the one for you. Less colour, but still full of creative CV design ideas.


What’s the good idea? There’s a great selection of CV icons, and we’ve also used health bars to show off language and software skills. That last clever idea is a perfect example of gamification, a proven method of improving user engagement. That means this CV will make your application stand out and get the recruiter to engage with you as the best candidate. And there’s no better idea than that.

Looking for CV ideas for teenagers? Read more: Student CV Example & Writing Guide

4. Cubic



Cubic is visually striking without being over the top, a great choice for all types of jobs.


What’s the good idea? It’s all about the CV layout. The page is neatly separated into three separate sections. A bold header featuring your name and job title. A left-hand column for your main body text and a right-hand column that provides an attractive colour contrast. 

Looking for CV layout ideas? Read more: CV Layout: How to Lay Out a Professional CV

5. Diamond



Next, a particularly precious CV idea. It’s Diamond, and it’s a job hunter’s best friend.


The name of this template says it all. The diamond theme is used for every graphic element. The CV icons, bullet points and health bars for skills are all four-sided diamonds. And it’s another template that links the headings and bullet points to encourage the reader all the way to the bottom of the page.

Looking for CV profile ideas? Read more: How to Write a CV Personal Profile

6. Enfold



This brilliant CV template is called Enfold. A mirror image of our Cascade template, it all comes down to whether you prefer your main content on the left or right.


What’s the good idea? As with all of our templates, it’s fully ATS compatible. ATS stands for applicant tracking system, it’s the software that automatically scans your CV before human recruiters get to see it. The problem is if you use a badly designed template your CV will be rejected. And that would be a terrible idea.

Looking for CV skills ideas? Read more: Key Skills to Put on a CV: Best List of Top Skills

7. Iconic



Here’s the most Iconic of our CV ideas. The monochrome design is simple and attractive, perfect for printing out.


Take another look at the name of this CV template. That’s right, it’s icons. There isn’t a day in our lives when we aren’t exposed to icons, those self-explanatory little graphics that power our user experience on pretty much everything with a screen. Each section heading has its own icon, helping to reinforce the text and make the whole document easier to scan.

Looking for hobbies and interests CV ideas? Read more: Best Hobbies & Interests to Put on a CV

8. Influx



Let’s continue our influx of CV ideas with our Influx template. I love the wide and striking header bar, which gives it the feel of a high-end corporate letterhead. 


What’s the good idea? It’s not just the template, it’s the CV header too. You can change the CV font, the date format, heading names and the section order. And whatever combination of choices you make, our CV builder keeps the layout looking perfect.

Looking for CV font ideas? Read more: Best Font for a CV: Most Professional Fonts

9. Initials



When we designed our templates we came up with some brilliant CV ideas. For this one, just take a look at the header and you’ll see the idea it’s named for. A neat little badge featuring your initials.


Initials comes with its own matching cover letter template, as do all of our CV templates. A matching CV and cover letter set exudes professionalism and is a surefire way of getting noticed.

Looking for cover letter ideas? Read more: How to Write a Cover Letter: Complete Guide

10. Minimo



Unique CV ideas don’t need to be complicated. Minimo’s brilliance lies in its simplicity.


As the name suggests, the strength of this CV template lies in its simple, uncluttered design. There are absolutely no distractions, making sure that your skills and experience can shine through.

Looking for even more CV ideas and tips? Read more: 20+ Job-Winning CV Tips & Advice

When making a CV in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional CV template here for free.


When you’re done, Zety’s CV builder will score your CV and tell you exactly how to make it better.

11. Modern



Modern recruitment problems need Modern CV ideas, and here’s a great example.


What’s the good idea? It’s the bold splash of colour bookending the two columns. Apart from adding an attractive asymmetrical touch it takes your eyes diagonally across the page from top to bottom. The hiring manager won’t be able to help skimming everything. The ribbon-shaped icons are another attractive touch.

Looking for skills-based CV template ideas? Read more: Skills Based CV Template Writing Guide

12. Muse



If you’re stuck musing over CV ideas, we’ve got just the template for you. The aptly named Muse.


Muse has all the good stuff you’ve seen in the other templates on our list. But the really clever idea here comes when you use this template to write your CV in our builder. As you write you’ll be given expert advice and suggestions. What better CV idea could there possibly be?

Got no idea how long your CV should be? Read more: How Long Should a CV Be? Best CV Length

13. Nanica



Nanica is the 13th of our CV ideas, but don’t let that number bother you. A CV template this good couldn’t possibly be bad luck.


What’s the good idea? It’s not so much what it includes as what it leaves out. CV design ideas don’t need to be complex to be effective. As you can see, there’s just pure uninterrupted functionality. A couple of subtle touches like the lines separating each section and the health bars for software skills add just the right amount of emphasis.

Looking for CV format ideas? Read more: CV Format: Best Example for Job-Hunting Success

14. Newcast



Newcast incorporates carefully selected graphic and colour elements while still retaining a conservative feel. The CV icons and coloured headings are a perfect way of drawing attention to each section. 

Got no idea if you need to add references? Read more: References on a CV: Should you include them?

15. Primo



Primo is definitely a first-class CV idea. It could just as easily have been called Rondo when you see its circular themed icons and bullet points.


In this case the smart idea comes when you’re finished writing. Our CV builder lets you download in .txt, .doc and .pdf formats. That said, we always recommend you save your CV in .pdf format to keep your layout intact.

Looking for ideas about what to include in a CV? Read more: What to Include in a CV: Essential CV Sections

16. Simple



It’s fair to say that the best CV ideas are Simple. 


Once more, the hint is in the name of this CV design. The good idea is perfectly summed up by the classic design principle, KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). This template has a simple, pure white background lifted by judicious use of colour in the heading text and health bars.

Looking for ideas about how to say your CV is attached? Read more: Please Find Attached My CV: The Best Way to Say It

17. Valera



And now for my personal favourite CV idea, Valera.


The headings have been changed to an attractive cursive font. It gives the page a modern and youthful look that’s bound to make your CV stand out.

Looking for CV ideas for teaching assistants? Read more: Teaching Assistant CV Example & Writing Guide

18. Vibes



And this is the last of our CV ideas, Vibes.


This CV template includes a full helping of useful design elements. There are CV icons, coloured text, two-column layout and a clean white background. It’s a real crowd pleaser and would work well for all types of job applications. And our final tip, avoid poorly designed free CV templates, use the professionally designed CV templates in our builder instead.


Looking for CV ideas for support workers? Read more: Support Worker CV Example & Writing Guide


Plus, a great cover letter that matches your CV will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:


matching set of cv and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

And that’s it, we’re fresh out of ideas. Do you have any questions about specific scenarios like CV summary ideas or CV personal statement ideas. Feel free to share your own good CV ideas or ask any questions in the comments section below. Thanks for reading.

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Jacques Buffett, CPRW
Jacques, a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), is a career expert who has published almost 200 articles on Zety. His insights and advice have been published by LinkedIn, Forbes, MSN, Yahoo!, Business Insider, AOL, U.S. News, and other top news outlets. He also has extensive professional experience in people management and recruitment.

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