Creating an effective CV header this year

Though CV headers are short, they are one of the most important parts of a CV. Do you know how to write a great CV header?



Table of Contents

  1. CV header
  2. What should I include in my CV header?
  3. How to format a winning CV header
  4. FAQ: CV headers

CV header

Your header is an important part of your CV layout. It will include essential information about how to contact you, but the way you organize it goes a long way towards making your CV pleasing to the eye. While the rest of your CV is also very important, a CV header sticks at the top of your CV and is the “headliner” for your CV layout. Here’s what you need to know about CV headers.

What should I include in my CV header?

The information in your CV header is typically pretty simple, so keep the header brief and streamlined.

First is your full name. This is simple; just put your first and last name. Often, the name will use a larger font in the CV header, with other information in a smaller font, so the recruiter can immediately separate different job seekers.

Next, add your contact information. This will typically include a phone number and a professional email address. is the best way to structure your email address. Make sure your phone number connects to a cell phone or at least a phone you can set a professional voicemail message for. You should also put your location in your CV header. Nowadays, most people don’t put their full street address but their city and postal code. It’s a good idea to look at other CV header examples to see whether most people in your field include their full address or not.

It’s also a good idea to include your social media links. Social media will vary widely between individuals; you may include a personal website or portfolio website, a LinkedIn profile, or a professional Twitter handle, but only include sites you regularly use, are professional, and give information about your career and professional background. Your LinkedIn page is only effective if the recruiter can learn more about you by visiting it, after all.

Last, you might want to consider including a CV headline. A CV headline is a very short, one-phrase statement that trumpets your best skills and achievements and typically goes in your header. It’s slightly different from a professional summary or career objective, which is typically a few lines long and goes near the top of your CV. This headline is supposed to be short, sweet, and eye-catching, and if you have a specific skill or strength you want to highlight, you should add one.

How to format a winning CV header

What are some crucial elements of a CV header? Here are some things to keep in mind as you’re formatting your CV header:

  • Put your name at the very top
  • Don’t use Microsoft Word’s header/footer function
  • Avoid WordArt and text boxes
  • Look at header examples

In general, the best CV header is going to showcase the important pieces of information a hiring manager needs to know with a minimum of fuss. Follow the lead of our CV examples and templates, and use a header design that uses strong professional fonts and colors, but doesn’t go overboard on design elements that might distract hiring managers or the applicant tracking systems (ATS) they use to read CVs.
One of the ways you can make sure your CV header looks great is by utilizing a CV builder. Not only will a CV builder help you with your CV in general, but with a professional template, you’ll ensure you get a polished CV header for every page of your CV. Use the CVHelp CV builder to get help with every aspect of your CV, including writing each section and constructing your header.

FAQ: CV headers

Q: Do I need a header on my CV?

Yes. Although there are many elements of a CV that are important, the CV header is the first thing a recruiter will see, and that means it will stick in their mind as they look through the rest of your CV. This is why so many people use a CV template to create their header; you need a clear, readable header to showcase your skills from the moment the recruiter looks at your CV.

Although a professional CV header won’t show important items such as your work experience, it’s still going to reflect on you either positively or negatively, and ensuring a positive impact will help you significantly. Don’t assume you can just avoid a CV header because it isn’t showing your work history.

Q: How long should a CV header be?

Typically, your CV heading should only be a few lines and shouldn’t take up any more space than it needs to. Include only the information we describe above. Leave plenty of room for the other sections of your CV, in which you provide more details about your skills and experiences.

Q: Should I use a CV template?

CV templates and builders are extremely helpful when it comes to creating a beautiful CV that works for you. The CVHelp CV builder will help you create a professional CV from the ground up, helping you with job-specific suggestions, and writing tips. Whether you prefer not to start from a blank page or need some help with the proofreading process, a CV template gives you a great starting point for an amazing CV.


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