Assume that someone (friend, family) asks you to format his/her CV. They typically might want to apply to a job where text processing etc. is not one of the key requirements and they ask you to do it in order to have a nice result and/or to win time, although they could probably do it themselves in Word.

Can it be negative for them? Imagine for instance that the interviewer asks them how they made such a nice CV.

  • 8
    Some recruitment agencies will reformat your CV for you if they don't like it. How can you doing it for a friend be a problem.
    – Snowlockk
    Mar 6 '17 at 15:02
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    Why would it be "negative for them"? I've helped friends with their resumes on many instances over the years. Heck, there's services out there that offer that exact service. The important thing is that it's accurate.
    – AndreiROM
    Mar 6 '17 at 15:50
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    @corsiKa Or when you're good with LaTeX... :)
    – Karlo
    Mar 6 '17 at 16:24
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    Sure, as long as you don't list "Single-handedly drafted this CV" as one of your accomplishments. Mar 6 '17 at 17:03
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    "Imagine for instance that the interviewer asks them how they made such a nice cv." Then they tell that their friend made it for them. Unless the company is hiring a resume writer, I don't see why this is a problem.
    – Masked Man
    Mar 6 '17 at 18:12

Yes it's fine

It's fairly normal to ask someone to proof-read your resume or to help with layout, so there's nothing wrong there.

There's so many resumes sent out with elementary mistakes, so another set of eyes really helps in getting things right.

If the recruitment is happening via an agency, the hiring company won't see your resume, they'll just see a copy/paste of the relevant parts (recruiters won't want the client seeing your contact details).

In general, it's far more important to get the facts right than for it to look pretty.

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    I think the only possible exception would be if you're applying to be a graphics designer and you have someone else design a fancy CV for you because you can't since that would be misrepresenting your skillset.
    – Cronax
    Mar 6 '17 at 15:20
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    True, but this isn't the case for the question above. Still, if you're being recruited via an agency, then the CV will be mangled via a chop/paste. For this kind of job, you'd probably submit part of a portfolio as part of your resume.
    – user44108
    Mar 6 '17 at 15:30
  • You're right of course, I just get a disproportionate amount of satisfaction out of being a pedant.
    – Cronax
    Mar 6 '17 at 15:32
  • In my experience if the formatting of the cv\resume is poor, the person reading the document will never get to the substance ( facts ).
    – Neo
    Mar 6 '17 at 16:08
  • @MisterSortOfPositive Ok. The point I'm trying to make is that a CV with obvious spell/grammatical problems comes across as being worse than something with some formatting problems (recruiters typically destroy formatting anyway).
    – user44108
    Mar 6 '17 at 16:10

Is it acceptable to format a cv for someone else?

Yes, of course. I help friends write and format their resumes all the time.

Nobody knows or cares who wrote or formatted your CV/resume. They only care that it accurately reflects you, your background, and your career.

I can't imagine that an interviewer would ask about a nice resume. But if they did, saying "Well, I had a friend who is really good at it give me a hand." is a perfectly acceptable answer.

  • Exactly, when asked, just be honest about it. It shows you can network, know your weak and strong points & people are willing to help you. For a CV, that is - not for a portfolio...
    – Konerak
    Mar 6 '17 at 18:10

Yes, its fine to help someone with their resume/cv.

I have been complimented on my resume for its format and such in the past, but never has an interviewer asked how I came up with it. It is very low risk in my opinion to whomever your helping.

In fact, there are several companies who make a living by creating resumes for professionals at all levels. Their resume is the first step, the golden ticket if you will, to earn the interview.

I would do whatever I felt necessary to make mine as solid as possible. Formatting and content both matter. Think of it as their first impression with the potential employer. Do what you can to make is as good as it can be.


Just to go against the grain...

It can possibly be a problem, IF.

  1. You use words or phraseology that the person doesn't normally use
  2. You embellish
  3. The person cannot recite it from memory. If he doesn't know what's on his own resume, that's a BIG red flag
  4. It doesn't "fit" the job applied for. You want your resume to be fine tuned to hit the requirements of the job for which you are applying.

To avoid this, make sure you go over the CV as you are making the changes, and the person understands them and can go over it with you line by line and memorize it.

Edited to add:

To expand on my point #1. If I am interviewing someone and the language at the interview doesn't match what I've seen on the resume, it's going to make me think that something is wrong, that I'm not interviewing the same person I saw on the resume.


It is absolutely acceptable to proofread someone's CV/resume.

However, if you are really asking about "crafting" a resume, that's a different matter. By "crafted" resume I mean a type of resume, which, while not making any obviously false claims, presents the facts in a misleading manner. For example, a resume may suggest that the candidate is a rocket scientist, while actually he worked at Goddard Space Flight Center as a janitor.

So, what can go bad is that the reviewer (or should we call him co-author?) might have his best intentions and embellish the candidate's profile, but the hiring manager would not be impressed. The remedy is simple - stick to the facts, and ask yourself, if you were the hiring manager yourself, would you like this candidate?


Limited answer - this is not fine if...

If the C.V. or job description describes the person as being good at design, formatting documents, or experienced with LaTeX, then the person should format it themselves.

In this (very limited) case, the implicit assumption the company will come away with is that you are presenting your C.V. as an example of your work. Having someone else format it for you is likely to lead them to a false conclusion.

If not in this situation, see any of the other answers.

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