A new survey from Canva reveals how visually appealing CVs and creative portfolios are helping job-seekers stand out in the crowd:

  • 71% of global hiring managers expect text CVs to become obsolete within the next five years
  • Almost half of job seekers globally have used generative AI to build, update, or improve their CV, with 71% saying it made their experience easier
  • Just one-third of global job seekers include digital portfolios in applications despite hiring managers wanting to see them; there were more than 900 million uses of portfolio templates on Canva in 2023 alone

Canva, the world’s only all-in-one visual communication platform, today released new insights from 10,000 hiring managers and job seekers on their experience of using visual design and AI to land their dream job. The company commissioned Sago to survey 5,000 hiring managers and 5,000 job seekers from the US, UK, India, Germany, Spain, France, Mexico, and Brazil, to understand how screening candidates has evolved and why it’s crucial to update your CV and embrace visual portfolios to stand out in the crowd.

Top findings specific to the UK include:


  • Layout of CVs is important to hiring managers. 40% of UK hiring managers ranked ‘CV/document layout’ as one of the top five elements that stand out when reviewing CVs. 

  • UK hiring managers and job seekers are not very satisfied with the look and feel of the CVs they’re receiving and sending. Almost a third (32%) of UK hiring managers spend between 30 seconds and three minutes reading a CV before determining if the candidate is a potential fit for the role. Only a third (33%) of hiring managers are very satisfied with the look and feel of CVs they’ve screened in 2023, with only 37% of job seekers satisfied with the look of their own CV. 

  • More visuals and less text: UK hiring managers want interactive, visual CVs, and see text-only CVs as a thing of the past. Two-thirds (67%) of UK hiring managers expect text CVs to become obsolete within the next five years. Almost 40% of UK job seekers recognise that their CV is currently based on text alone and 73% say they would make their CV more visual if they had the necessary time and resources. 
  • Digital portfolios, a differentiating element in selection processes. Although only 34% of Brits include digital portfolios in their job applications, 62% of UK hiring managers consider them important when deciding on a profile during the application process.


  • Generative AI is helping job seekers build their CVs efficiently and creatively. Almost half (40%) of UK job seekers have used generative AI to create their CV; half (50%) likely to use generative AI again to build or update their CV as it helped save them time (64%) and even made them feel more creative (61%).

  • A company’s brand influences an applicant’s interest in a job. 81% of job seekers in the UK believe that a company’s brand through style, design, images, colours and language is influential in attracting the right talent to their company. Generally, 85% of UK hiring managers say a candidate’s digital brand matters significantly in the hiring process, and 87% of job seekers agree.

“In today’s competitive job market, a visually compelling application is essential to stand out from the crowd. With 71% of hiring managers expecting text-only CVs to become obsolete in the next five years and nearly half of job seekers harnessing AI to enhance their applications, it’s clear that design and technology are having a profound impact on hiring. In just the last year, we’ve seen over 900 million uses of portfolio templates on Canva, reflecting the growing preference for visual and interactive CVs. It’s yet another example of how creativity is reshaping the world of work. says Duncan Clark, Europe Lead at Canva


Canva commissioned Sago to ​survey 5,000 hiring managers and 5,000 job seekers from the US, UK, India, Germany, Spain, France, Mexico and Brazil.