cv layout

Create a Modern CV Layout to Impress Employers and Land Your Next Job

When you apply for a job, your CV will land alongside dozens or even hundreds of others in the inbox of the hiring manager. To stand out, you need to create an engaging, modern CV layout that will capture attention. Find out how to create a CV layout that will get your application noticed.

What Sections to Include in Your CV Layout

Before we discuss putting it all together, the first question is, what sections should feature on a basic CV layout?

Contact Information

The most crucial thing you need the manager to know is how to contact you. There’s not much point in creating an impressive CV if they can’t figure out how to invite you in for an interview. It’s standard practice in NZ to include your name, phone number and email address.


List your qualifications on the CV so the hiring manager can better understand your educational history and decide if you might meet the position’s requirements.

Work History

Now it’s time to outline your work history, ensuring that you focus not just on your tasks and responsibilities in each role. Instead, put more emphasis on the skills and abilities you used or developed in that position, particularly those which are relevant to the job you are applying for. This will show the hiring manager that you have the required skills for the role, with examples to prove that you have these abilities.


You don’t necessarily need to put the names and contact details of your references on your CV if you prefer to wait until later in the application process. However, you should still add a section titled ‘References’, and you can just write under there that these are available upon request.

That way, you don’t need to ask your current employer, for example, to be a reference until you know the hiring manager is seriously considering you for the position. It’s still important to include this section, however, so that the hiring manager knows you do have references when the time comes.

Which Tools to Use to Create a Modern CV Layout

There are some great online tools these days that you can use to easily and quickly create a captivating modern CV layout. Rather than offering up a standard black and white CV in a Word document, you can just as easily create a compelling and colourful CV that will help you to stand out by using alternative software.


Canva is an online design tool that allows you to create presentations, CVs, brochures, and more. They have hundreds of templates with interesting, eye-catching designs that can help you to get your CV noticed. Spend a little bit of time on the site playing around, and you won’t find it difficult to create an excellent CV. This tool has a version you can use for free, which allows you to complete most of the tasks you need to create a CV. However, the premium version is $19.99 NZD per month and gives you access to more images and tools.


If you’re a pro with the Adobe suite of products, including InDesign, you can find plenty of stunning CV templates to use. These can be altered to add your own information and reflect your personality. However, if you are not familiar with Adobe products, there can be a steep learning curve to using this tool. Plus, after the free trial, you will need to pay a monthly subscription of $31.35 AUD for it.


Another tool that you can use to design a beautiful, modern CV layout is CakeResume. This website allows you to create a fully customisable document with all of the pertinent information employers require. CakeResume features drag and drop functionality allowing you to easily add any components you require on your CV. You can use the site for free if you just want to create one CV, but if you need to create more, you can sign up for one of their premium plans for $10.95 – $21.95 USD per month.

Structuring the CV for Resume Parsing Software

Resume parsing software is a tool that recruiters often use to automatically scan a person’s CV and input the data from it into their system. This software can sometimes miss important details if your CV is not formatted correctly. Here’s what you should do to structure your CV so that it can easily be read by resume parsers:

  • Use Keywords – The specific attributes sought out in the job description are what the tool will be looking for. So, make sure that you use the same wording to describe your skills and abilities. For example, if the job description says they are looking for someone ‘organised and efficient’, make sure those two words are in your CV.
  • Avoid Infographics – Many modern resume creators use clever tools like infographics to showcase their skills and experience. However, a resume parser has no idea how to read these and will likely leave out any information in a graphic altogether.
  • Use Bullet Points – Resume parsers can quickly scan and identify bullet-pointed lists. Plus, this breaks up the information to be read more easily by a hiring manager.
  • Clear Design – A straightforward resume design with headings and content underneath is more likely to be read accurately by the software. This is thought of as best practice anyway, as it’s a good idea to keep your CV layout clear and uncluttered for the hiring manager to read.

Start playing around with different CV templates to find one that suits your personality. Go for something colourful that will make you stand out even amongst hundreds of other applicants. Take a look at the different CV creation tools you can use to create an incredible CV, then browse the latest jobs on Shopless to apply for and put your new CV to work!

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