Should you justify the text on your CV? - CV Plaza

Should you justify the text on your CV?

By: Sobhan Mohmand, Editorial manager       Last updated: 21 Oct 2018

There are two instances in which the word “justify” is relevant in the context of writing a CV:

  • 1) Justify the statements made on the CV: Show or prove that the statements are correct by using real-world examples to back them up.
  • 2) Text alignment justification: To improve the presentation of the text.

It is the second category which will be the focus of this article.

What is text justification?

Text justification is a form of typographic alignment which alters the presentation of sentences and paragraphs in a document.

In justified text, the written sentences are made the same length by adjusting the spacing between words in a paragraph. This will make give the written text a more structured and aligned appearance.

Some applicants prefer to justify the text of their CVs to improve their presentation and visual appeal.

The following shows the difference between normal text and justified text:

Justify CV text

“Should I justify the paragraphs on my CV?”

To justify, or not to justify: that is the question!

We recommend that you create two different versions of your CV; one with justified text and the other with regular alignment.

Give your CV out to your friends and family and ask their opinion about which version is more visually appealing or reads better.

Based on your findings, adopt the most suitable CV format.

How to justify your CV in Microsoft Word

It is very easy to justify text in Microsoft Word or any other word processing applications:

Step 1: Highlight the paragraph that you want to justify

Step 2: Click on the “justify” option in the user interface:

cv-justify-text

Step 3: Decide on the level of justification (low, medium or high) and click on it.

The disadvantages of justifying text on your CV

Some career experts and recruiters have objected to justifying text on one’s CV, based on the following arguments:

  • Text that has been justified is more difficult to read (generally speaking)
  • Some CVs will look more “robotic” than “personal”
  • It gives the impression that you’ve printed this CV on an industrial scale!
  • Justified text may not always work when emailing the CV because this will depend on the recruiter’s browser and software compatibilities. To counter this, you could send your CV in PDF format to keep the text formatting intact.

You should also remember that paragraphs differ one from another; it may be entirely possible to have justified text which looks good and is easier to read compared to the standard format. On the other hand, you may have anaesthetically appalling paragraphs as a result of your CV justification!

Given these points, you should now be able to experiment with the text justification options and make up your own mind on which is the best thing to do. It all comes down to personal choice and preference.

Good luck!