Writing Tips for a Solid Two-Column CV

To fit a lot of work experience on your CV, use a two-column format. Here’s how to write the best two-column CV for your next job search.



Table of Contents

  1. Two Column CV
  2. What is a Two-column CV?
  3. Benefits of a Two-column CV
  4. Drawbacks to Using a Two-column CV Format
  5. FAQs: Two Column CV

Two Column CV

One of the biggest challenges attached to CV writing is trying to fit all of the relevant information into a single page. This only becomes more difficult as a job seeker gains work experience, skills, and professional certifications. A two-column CV design can be the perfect solution for those looking for mid-level to senior-level positions that require specialized training and experience. Here’s what you need to know about two-column CV layouts.

What is a Two-column CV?

A two-column CV uses two distinct columns on a single page. Many job seekers who use a two-column format for a CV or cover letter do so because they want to fit more information onto the page. These CVs are best for people who have a lot of professional experience. If your job hunt is focused on mid to senior-level job titles, then a two-column layout could be the best choice. You can use a two-column layout no matter what CV format you choose, but a functional CV format may be less well suited to this layout because of its focus on skills. If you choose a chronological CV format, however, then using two columns could help you include more skills alongside your experience.

Benefits of a Two-column CV

There are some benefits of choosing a two-column format, especially if you use an appropriate one-page CV template. The most notable benefits of using a two-column modern CV are:

Easy to read

When the layout is a clever two-column layout, it can create an intuitive and simple CV that is easy to scan. If your CV content is easy to scan quickly, then hiring managers will find your job application far more attractive. After all, they have very little time to consider each application.

Contains only key information

Though a two-column layout can contain more information than a single-column layout, it also encourages job seekers to be selective about what information is involved. The narrow nature of the columns that creates a distinct CV look also makes concise sentences necessary.

Shows off design flair and stands out

If you are applying for creative roles in fields like graphic design, then a two-column layout could help you showcase your creative skills. A single-column CV is fairly simple to create, but unless you use a CV template, a two-column CV can be more difficult. If you can create an attractive and effective two-column CV in Google Docs, then a hiring manager will certainly take notice.

Drawbacks to Using a Two-column CV Format

There are pros and cons to using either a basic CV or a two-column CV format. Here are the benefits and drawbacks of a two-column CV format:

Not as ATS-Friendly

Before your CV ever reaches a hiring manager, it will usually have to pass through an applicant tracking system (ATS). This could be a serious issue for a two-column CV, especially if it has not been properly formatted, as ATS systems often struggle to scan these kinds of layouts. However, you can make an ATS-friendly CV with two columns by using clear headers for each section.

Uncommon Layout

Because a two-column CV layout is fairly uncommon, it may throw off some recruiters and lead to them having a negative view of the application. Of course, you can minimize the likelihood of this impacting your chance of getting a new job by using a professional CV template. You can get access to a range of free templates via the CVHelp’s CV builder.

FAQs: Two Column CV

Q: Do I need to match my cover letter to a two-column CV?

It is advisable to use a matching cover letter and CV templates, but you should not emulate the two-column format in your cover letter. Your cover letter should maintain the same basic structure as any other business letter to ensure that your job application looks professional.

Q: How can you make a two-column CV?

The easiest way to create an effective two-column CV is to use formatting tools. Microsoft Word has simple tools that can split a document into two distinct columns to ensure, or just use one of CVHelp’s professionally designed two-column templates or one of our free Word CV template.

Q: Where can I find free CV templates?

CVHelp’s CV builder tool has a range of free two-column CV templates to choose from. There are templates to suit every CV design and industry.


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