Using CV Templates

It has never been easier to get free CV templates and samples that you can download or use from the Internet. Hundreds of websites offer free CV templates but many job seekers that have used them were disappointed with the lack of positive responses from the potential employers.

These samples or templates normally look alike, which makes it difficult for recruiters to distinguish between the candidates. The original CV stands out among the thousands of pre-formatted CVs.


Considering the fact that your CV is your introduction or even distant answer to possible interview questions, then you should try to stand out. Most of the preformatted CVs don't offer you this opportunity.

You can use a sample if you only use the basic outline and advice, but you must be creative and changes fonts, colors and where needed, make changes to the layout to fit your application.

When can you use free CV templates? Use the samples or templates when you have just graduated or don't have experience in job searching. You can even use the templates when you have written several resumes without success. The samples should be used to get an understanding of what recruiters look for, the type of information that should be includes and excluded, as well as proper style and format guidelines. Create your own CV after you have practiced with some of the free CV templates.


  • It provides insight to what tools and writing styles the other work seekers will use; thus the standard. Always aim higher than the standard.
  • It provides an outline of the format so that the recruiter can find the relevant information at a glance.
  • It can be used as a guideline to what information is needed and what the current trend in job applications is.

The recruiter will judge you on the appearance of you CV. If it lacks signs of originality and creative thinking, you may not get the interview even when you are the best candidate for the job.

Most recruiters have piles of CVs to evaluate and have limited time for the assessment. They normally scan through the stack of resumes or CVs and throw out anything that is not interesting enough. Only the shortlist bunch gets a second look. The whole process is based on the content, format, lay-out and originality. It is thus worth the effort to be original.

4 Stages of CV Evaluation

1. The first glance

A recruiter will glance at the first page of each CV and if it seems worth keeping, he will also have a quick look at the second page. The longest CVs normally end up in the bin unless a full history of the candidate is required. The CV must be three or less pages. CVs without an introduction or quick summary of the candidate and the skills or relevant qualifications also get a place in the trash can. Long descriptive paragraphs and sentences earmark the CV for the bin. Poor formatting and grammar mistakes are also frowned upon. After the first glance there are usually only a third of the CVs left.

2. The second glance

If your CV made it to this point, you already have a 30% chance of getting to the interview. The recruiter has another look at each CV to establish whether the applicant's skills, qualifications, career history and motivation match the job requirements. The recruiter must be able to identify this from the first page of the resume or CV.

3. The in-depth look

The remaining CV's are scanned and then matched with all the criteria. The CV's are not thrown out any longer but the best possible candidates are picked.

4. The final examination

It is only at this stage that the recruiter examines the content from the rest of the CV in more detail and is looking for those skills, signs of innovative thinking, leadership, trustworthiness, and specific achievements that make the candidate right for the specific job.

You as the candidate, must ensure that your CV survives the elimination stages and still stands out enough to get the interview. The free CV templates are useful in determining what the standard is and what you should change. Your first page is the ticket to the final pile, the rest of the content and lay-out determines whether you get the interview. After consideration of the above, it should be obvious that free CV templates can only be guidelines and nothing more.