CV Partner blog

Designing a CV or Case Study

Sales and marketing

Psst... did you read our last post, 'An Introduction to Templates'? We recommend giving it a read before diving into this article!

The members of our Template Team receive template requests on a daily basis. They are actively translating CV designs to documents that can be uploaded to CV Partner, in order to export them in their desired format. In fact, hundreds of thousands of CVs and Case Studies have been tailored and exported from CV Partner to date! These templates are arguably the most time-saving features we have, so we’d love to share our thoughts on what sets apart a good CV or Case Study from a bid-winning one!

In this article, we will cover:

  • How to decide on the content of a CV or Case Study
  • How to structure a CV or Case Study
  • Things you should consider when designing a CV or Case Study

Type of Document

The very first question to ask yourself when designing a CV or Case Study is,

“What kind of document do I want to export?”

The type of document you wish to export will determine the content, structure and design of said document, as each element relies on how much information is being exported.

For example, if you wish to export a one-pager CV, you would most likely have to compress the amount of information you want to use, in order to ensure a CV that is visually appealing and does not overwhelm the viewer. The result of a poorly designed CV or Case Study could be harmful to your proposal, especially when being compared to better designs.

As mentioned in our introductory article about templates, it is possible to export your CVs and Case Studies as Microsoft Word or PDF documents. You are also able to download your documents as PowerPoint presentations.

The Bottom Line: The average attention span of a human is 8 seconds. If someone is spending more than 8 seconds to figure out what your most recent project is, you may want to reconsider your design!

Think C > S > D

The very second question to ask yourself is... actually three questions.

  • What do I want to include in the document?
  • How do I want the content positioned and in what order?
  • How should the document look?

The three questions above pertain to what we consider to be the three most important elements of a CV.

At CV Partner, we live by the mantra ‘Content before Structure, Structure before Design’ as it reminds us to reorganize and priortize the elements that come together when designing a document that will be viewed by various pairs of eyes.

Content (What do you want to include in the document?)

Everything that users add to their CV in CV Partner can be exported to selected formats. For additional documentation on all available content, visit our Template Documentation page by adding '/help/templates' to the end of your CV Partner URL.

Under the section, ‘Full list of items’, you will find a list of all elements that can be downloaded from the CV or Reference Project that you create in CV Partner. The amount of items you choose to include will determine how you can structure your design in order to present the information in the most viewer friendly way.

When reviewing this list, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which sections are relevant for the delivery?
  • From the relevant sections, what content do we want to include in the CV or Case Study?
  • If you would like to highlight something specifically on the front page of the CV, using our highlighting feature, what would that be?

Tip! All sections in CV Partner can be highlighted/starred. These sections can appear as highlighted sections in the exported document. If you often need to tailor or highlight certain certifications, projects or skills, you should add this feature to your templates.

The Bottom Line: Too much content will clutter the CV or Case Study. Consider using our highlighting feature, which can help you create a diverse library of templates for your various needs!

Structure (How do you want the content positioned in the document?)

When the content of a CV or Case Study has been decided, it’s time to arrange the information in a way that will make the document easy to look at and, you guessed it, visually appealing.

Before doing so, we encourage you to look at other successful bid deliveres for inspiration! It can be overwhelming to interpret hundreds of sentences, so having a few references can help crack the structure code.

At this stage, ask yourself...

  • How should the data should flow across the pages?
  • What do I want the viewer to see first?
  • From the list of items you previously selected, which are the most important?

The Bottom Line: Position the information you want the viewer to see first, at the top of the document. Make it easy for them to find what you want them to see!

Design (How should the document look?)

The design of your CV's and Case studies are an important part of your brand. For this reason, you may want to consider using an external design agency, if the option to design CVs or Case Studies internally isn’t available. Remember to follow your brand guidelines, and/or ask a design agency to design specific templates for each use. We have a list of great design agencies that we’re happy to share with you if you need some recommendations!

Whether you decide to design internally or use a design agency, here are a few tips that will help guide you toward a viewer friendly design!

  • Less is more - The best designs use as little details as possible!
  • Spacing is your friend - When using column layouts to organize information, try to retain the same column widths. This also applies to spacing between headings and subheadings.
  • Fonts can be tricky - Use as few font types and sizes as possible. If you want every employee to be able to edit exported documents, try to use default word fonts exclusively. If using custom fonts, send these to and we will add them to our system.

Tip! Custom fonts are only recommended when sending a non-editable PDF to the customer. They take additional time to upload to your account, so we recommend that you calculate one week before new fonts are added and available.

The Bottom Line:
Following the C > S > D mantra is a sure way to create both CVs and Case Studies that present information effectively and keep the attention of the viewer.

When in doubt, give us a shout!

We understand that designing CVs and understanding templates to their full extent can be tricky, so we’re here to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have.

You can reach our happy-to-help Template Team at!

Learn more by contacting CV Partner