5 reasons why 2-column CVs don’t work

5 reasons why 2-column CVs don't work

“Eye-catching” designs, unusual layouts… and more and more templates made available to the public… all of these tempts candidates to go for 2-column CVs. Here’s why it’s not a very good idea:

1. They (often) don’t work well with ATS systems

ATS are often not programmed to read information contained in columns. Here’s an example:

2. Difficult to read = wastes time of reader

Two columns break up the visual field, which results in longer read time. Recruiters spend on average 6 seconds reviewing your resume before they decide to look into it further or reject it. If they need additional time to figure out what’s actually going on… they’ll move on to candidates with “easier” CVs.

3. Formatting gets distorted online

Your CV can look very different when someone else opens the file on their device. While the .pdf will always look neat, once you send the open format, 2-column CVs often get horribly scrambled up.

4. Wasted space

According to research done by CareerChoiceGuide.com, a two-column format steals 25% of the space you could otherwise put to better use, i.e. to show your competencies / achievements.

5. It’s not user friendly

When candidates decide to update their 2-column CV, they often struggle with juggling the symmetry of text between the left and right column. It’s, therefore, one of the least user-friendly formats to work with.

CV for ATS – best practices

To learn more about how “the perfect CV for ATS” should look like, you can download the free ATS Guide from our blog!

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