October 20

What Should Your CV and Cover Letter Look Like?

Creating a great CV and cover letter can be the difference between getting your dream job and being passed over by an employer.

Everyone knows that a CV should be professional, informative, and impressive. However, most candidates don’t know how to show off these traits.

What kind of candidate is the employer really looking for?

Is your CV too long or too short?

Are you sure that your CV and cover letter are actually good?

Luckily for you, Regional Careers is here to help! 

Whether you’re a fresh college graduate or an experienced professional, read on to learn how to spruce up your CV and cover letter!

What are CVs and Cover Letters?

Simply put, a CV is a document that summarises your work experience, education, soft skills, hard skills, contact information, and overall candidacy for the position.

Your CV should be concise, professional, and relevant to the desired job position.

On the other hand, a cover letter gives you a chance to talk about your skills and experiences in more detail.

Your cover letter also lets you explain to the employer why you want to join their company.

Finally, the importance of a good CV and cover letter cannot be understated; it’s usually the difference between an offer and a rejection.

CV Layout Checklist

An employer’s goal is to choose the candidate that can perform excellently in the position. 

However, they may receive hundreds of applications, and some recruiters may only spend a few seconds reading each one.

Therefore, your CV and cover letter must stand out from your competition.

Here’s a quick CV layout checklist to follow when creating your CV:

  • Name, address, mobile number, and other contact details at the top
  • A short paragraph that summarises your work experience, education, and skills (no more than two or three sentences)
  • Subheader for education
  • List your education, making sure to include your course name, dates, and academic institution
  • Subheader for work experience
  • List your work experience, making sure to include your employer’s name, dates, and your job position
  • Include several examples of your job responsibilities, making sure to include relevant metrics/figures/KPIs wherever possible
  • Subheader for relevant skills
  • List your skills that are relevant to the job, making sure to include examples and making sure that each skill is mentioned in the job description

Although this checklist might sound challenging for brand new job seekers, you can use Canva to find some recommended resume templates.

These CV templates are ideal for entry-level candidates looking to stand out from the competition.

In a nutshell, your CV should be easy for an employer to skim-read; consider including bold subheadings, lots of metrics and figures, and limiting your CV to two pages.

Furthermore, ensure that you use a professional font like Arial, Calibri, or Helvetica throughout your CV.

Use a professional CV template from Canva, follow our expert checklist, and make it easy for an employer to read your CV. You’ll show the employer that you respect their time, and you’ll be a more impressive candidate!

Cover Letter Layout Checklist

Whilst your CV allows you to summarise your experience, skills, and education, a cover letter is an opportunity for you to go into more detail.

Although you could use a cover letter template, it’s a great idea to tailor your cover letter for each job application.

Your cover letter allows you to explain why you want the job, why your skills are appropriate, and why you’ll be a perfect fit for the company.

Here’s a quick cover letter layout checklist to follow when creating your cover letter:

  • Name, address, mobile number, and other contact details at the top
  • Paragraph 1 – Explain what position you’re applying for and summarise the skills/experience that makes you suitable for the role
  • Paragraph 2 – Explain why you want to join the company and what you can bring to the organisation
  • Paragraph 3 – Go into detail about a specific skill, work experience situation, or academic course; ensure that you talk about something critical to the job role
  • Paragraph 4 – Thank the reader for their time, provide a final summary of your candidacy for the position, provide your contact information, and offer to meet with the reader at their convenience
  • End the cover letter with ‘Yours Faithfully’ and your name

Your cover letter should be no longer than one page and can be attached as a Word document to an online application, attached to an email, or written in the body of the email itself.

It’s also important that your CV and cover letter are complementary (instead of identical or completely different). 

As stated before, it’s possible to get brilliant cover letter templates from Canva.

However, ensure that you tailor your cover letter to the job description by using relevant keywords and specific information about the company you’re trying to join.


Preparing your CV and cover letter can be a daunting task. 

However, by following our checklists and using free, professional layouts from Canva, you’ll get your dream job in no time!

Remember that you need to customise your CV and cover letter for each job application.

Create a list of keywords from the job application and scatter them throughout your CV and cover letter authentically and appropriately to maximise your success!

Use free CV and cover letter layout templates from Canva to ensure that your application is professional and memorable!

Finally, ensure that you respect the employer’s time; keep your CV to two pages, keep your cover letter to one page, and include bold subheadings.

We hope you found this CV and cover letter layout guide helpful – make sure to visit Regional Careers to find job vacancies in your area today!


Cover Letter, Cover Letter Guide, Cover Letter Layout, CV, CV Guide, CV Layout, Entry Level, Junior, Mid Level, Resume

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