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Person sat at a table writing a CV on a laptop.

How to write a CV

A CV is a summary of your skills, achievements and experience that you use to apply for jobs.

Why you need a CV

A CV is your first chance to promote yourself. A good CV might get you a job interview.

You usually need a CV to apply for a job or to give to an employer you’d like to work for.

Tips for writing your CV

Employers get lots of CVs to look at and have to decide quickly who they're going to interview.

When you write your CV, remember to:

  • use a clear font like Arial, Times New Roman or Calibri in size 11 or bigger
  • always use the same style throughout
  • use headings and bullet points to make it easier to read
  • be clear and to the point
  • get someone else to read it to double check your spelling and grammar

Information you need for your CV

Start with the job advert for the role you’re applying for so you can look at the job description, essential criteria and the company details.

If the job you're applying for does not have a job description, you can look at our job profiles to see what skills you’ll need and the typical things you’ll do in that job.

You should write your CV to match the job and company you're applying for to improve your chances of getting an interview.

Sections for your CV

Your CV should include a section for your contact details, an introduction, your education history, your work history and references.

Contact details

You need to let employers know how to contact you if they want to offer you an interview.

You should include your name, phone number, email address and a link to your work network profile, if you have one, such as LinkedIn .

You should not include your age, your date of birth, whether you're married or your nationality.


This is a few short lines that sum up who you are and what you hope to do. It should go just under your name and contact details.

Make your introduction sound like you're the right person for the job.

Education history

You can add this after the introduction if you’re early in your career or do not have much work experience.

If you have a lot of work experience, you might want to change the order and show off your work history and experience first.

Whatever order you choose, you’ll need to include the:

  • names of your qualifications
  • name of the school, college or university where you studied
  • dates you attended

Work history

You should include details of any work placements, volunteering and paid jobs you’ve had. List the most recent experience first.

You should include:

  • the employer name
  • the job title
  • the dates you worked there
  • what you did, usually 2 to 3 lines using the STAR method

Gaps in your work history

It's normal to have some gaps between jobs and work experience when life events happen.

You can read our advice on how to explain gaps in your work history .

Short work history

If you’re applying for your first job, you can focus on skills you’ve learned through projects, work experience or volunteering.

You can also include your interests and hobbies that show some of the skills you have. For example, if you're a captain of a sports team, this demonstrates leadership and organisation skills.

You might want to include a section about references if there is someone who has agreed to give you one. This could be your current or previous employer, a teacher or someone respected in your community.

However you should not put someone else's contact details on your CV. Instead, you can say that 'references are available on request'.

Speak to an adviser if you need help

It's ok to feel overwhelmed or confused about how to write a CV, especially if you do not have a lot of work experience.

A careers adviser can help you work out what your CV should say and get you on the path to your dream career.

Speak to a careers adviser

Related content

How to write a cover letter

Completing application forms

Interview tips

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How To Write A Good CV

Writing A CV scaled

It’s time to apply for a new job. You’ve recently graduated and are looking for your first job. You’re ready for a step up in your career and are prepping your CV and cover letter to reflect your experience. You’ve been made redundant and are using the opportunity to find a career that you really want. There are numerous reasons why you might need to give your CV and cover letter a makeover..

Your CV and cover letter will be the first thing that prospective employers will see about you. Follow this short 3-part guide on how to write a CV and cover letter to make sure it’s not the last.

1.      How to structure your CV

It’s best to start off with your CV, as this will help you to gather together all of your experience, which will form the basis of your cover letter later.

But how do you write a CV? You might be intimidated by the blank page staring at you, or might already have a CV that outlines your background and experience but needs a refresh. Either way, the best place to start is by creating a structure. In this video, Andrew Fennell, founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV , discusses how to format and structure a CV to get more interviews.

2.      What to include in your CV

Knowing how to write a good CV is tricky, but in short, your CV needs to show that your career background and experience matches the job you’re applying for. If this is your first job and you have no previous work experience, this video will give you some great advice on how to write a CV with no experience:

Here are some key points to consider when deciding what to include in your CV:

What questions does your CV need to answer?

As we mentioned before, your CV is one of the first things that recruiters will see about you, so it’s worth trying to look at your CV from their perspective. Does it catch their attention, and does it give them the information they need ?

  • Include your personal details – name, address, phone number and email. Do not include your age or a photograph unless specifically asked to do so.
  • When you write your employment history and education details, put your most recent achievements first.
  • Keep your CV short, while still including sufficient detail . It sounds tricky, but it can be done. Academic CVs are usually at least 4-5 pages long, whereas CVs tailored to the private sector should be only 2.
  • You can sound professional without using excessive jargon. Keep your writing clear, direct and focused. Remember that the person looking at your CV might not be an expert in your field.
  • Use ‘doing’ words on your CV such as ‘developed’ or ‘organised’ . This makes you sounds active and not passive. But avoid clichés . You don’t want to be just another “fast learner” with a “good work ethic”.
  • Don’t talk about your social life unless your activities display an important skill such as leadership or teamwork.
  • Most importantly, proofread your CV . There should be no spelling, punctuation or grammar errors: unprofessional CVs are rejected. If you find editing your own work difficult, get a friend to read your CV.
  • Once you have finished it, show it to as many people as possible : your supervisor/mentor, colleagues, even your family and friends. Their first impressions will help you to improve your CV.

Will it get through the applicant tracking system (ATS)?

Did you know that many employers are now using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to assist in the shortlisting of applicants? This is basically software that scans your CV and cover letter for matching keywords to ensure that you are a potential match for the job before sending the application through to HR for review. In short, its purpose is to eliminate the least qualified, not identify the most suitable. So you’ll need to make sure your CV meets the job requirements so that it can get through the ATS and be reviewed by an actual human. Here are 5 things you need to know about how to make ATS work for you .

Have you made any common CV mistakes?

Writing a new CV can be daunting, but going through it with an open and critical mind can be key to writing an effective CV. Look at your CV through news eyes, and try to decide, if this CV came across your desk, would you hire you? Part of the process of critically analysing your CV is to check whether you’ve made any of these common CV mistakes , and fix them.

3.      How to write an effective Cover Letter

It goes by many names; personal profile, supporting statement, CV statement, but whatever you call it, your cover letter is as important as your CV. Some could argue more important, because it is what the recruiter will see first, and could have a bearing on whether or not they continue to read your CV. And it would be such a pity if they didn’t, as you clearly match the job criteria (you made it through the ATS, after all). So it’s worth putting the time into making sure that your cover letter is an accurate reflection of you – not just your skills, but your personality as well. You want to make the recruiter remember you.

In this video, Andrew Fennell discusses how to write a cover letter and get noticed:

Start applying for jobs

After all that work, it’s now time to start applying for jobs. Remember that each job will have its own criteria, and to make it through the ATS, you’ll need to customise your CV to match the job description. This shouldn’t be too hard, as you now have a solid base to start from.

When you’re ready, visit jobs.ac.uk to start applying. You can also find more guidance, CV templates and interview tips in our Career Advice .

Thank you to StandOut CV for the use of their insightful videos. Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website  StandOut CV  – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.

For more CV tips and advice see:

  • Classic CV Guidelines
  • How To Write A Flawless Cover Letter
  • CV Advice Webinar
  • Preparing to Change Jobs? Make sure your CV is ready too!

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How to write a CV: Tips and examples

Content team

To write a good CV you must first make sure you know what your goals are. You need to write your CV with a specific job in mind. The right CV will get you an interview quickly, while a badly written CV may mean you won’t even get a rejection.

how to make a great cv uk

There are a few things you need to do to get the most out of your CV and show prospective employers why you are the only person for the job.  

This guide will give you our top tips and the best CV examples, showing you how to write a great CV that gets noticed.  

What is  a CV?

‘CV’ is short for ‘Curriculum Vitae’, a Latin phrase meaning literally, ‘course of life’. It should be a brief account of your education, qualifications, and previous employment. This is how you present yourself to the outside world, the world of work. It is a form of personal marketing, so make sure when you write your CV that it shows you in the best light possible.  

Remember, writing a CV  is often just one part of the application process;  a cover letter and completed application form may also be required.  

What information should be included when writing a CV?

The format of a CV is flexible, and many different styles are used. While you need to tailor the content of your CV to the job in question, there are elements that most employers would expect to see:  

Name, professional title and contact details 

You don’t need to include the words ‘Curriculum Vitae’ as your heading. The title of your CV, at the very top, should be your name, professional title and contact details  – anything else is just a waste of space.   

What contact details should I provide?

Your email address and contact number(s) are all that is required – you don’t need to include a postal address. Do not add your age, nationality, date of birth or marital status – these are NOT required.

Feel free to add an up-to-date professional profile, such as LinkedIn.  

Here’s an example of how your header might look:  

Forename Surname | Professional Title Location: Town, County Phone: 01234 567890 Email: [email protected]

Personal profile

This is simply a few lines about you, who you are, what you hope to achieve, and your goals. Make it fit the job you are applying for  if you can. The person described in your Personal Profile (you) should sound like the ideal candidate for the job.  

Work history and experience

This section is where you can really shine. Set out your previous roles, experience, volunteering, placements or internships. You should list these in reverse chronological order – that is, most recent first. This is because your most recent role and experience are the most important to your prospective employer.  

For each job, you should include:

  • e mployer details
  • your job role/title
  • your employment dates
  • no more than three to four lines of what you did in that role.

Significant achievements should be identified using the STAR method . Active words, such as ‘planned’, ‘built’ and ‘created’ are useful in detailing things you have achieved.  

Here’s an example of how each item could look on your CV:  

mmm yyyy – mmm yyyy Company Name, Location Role Title Outline xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Key responsibilities xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Key achievements/projects xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Top tip: If you have a lot of experience/previous positions, you don’t need to include roles from more than 10 years ago – unless, of course, they are particularly relevant to the job for which you are applying.  

Again, these should appear in reverse chronological order, the most recent first. Each item should include:  

  • Institution (School, College, University)  
  • Qualification with grades/distinctions, etc.  
  • Dates attended/completed  

So, this section may look like this:  

Institution name – Dates attended (from – to) Qualification/subject – Grade

Or for space-saving if needed, try the more compact:  

Qualification, grade – Institution – Year

If you have a degree, it’s a good idea to list a few relevant modules, projects or assignments underneath .

Additional sections 

If you have room, or again, if they are particularly relevant to the role for which you are applying, then you can add extra sections for things such as:  

This is an opportunity to add some key skills (also  known as ‘soft skills’ or ‘core skills’ ) that are super-relevant to the job you are applying for.  You could include, for example, experience with a particular piece of software or application, courses you have attended, or anything that will help you secure your dream role.  

Hobbies and interests

Try and keep this section of your CV interesting, if you use it. Include unusual hobbies, ones that add to your suitability for the role. Try to avoid really common hobbies and interests, such as reading, walking, etc.

Find your perfect job

Your search did not match any jobs

Search suggestions:

  • Try more general keywords
  • Check your spelling
  • Replace abbreviations with the entire word

Make sure you draw on and list interests that make you stand out.  



Your achievements are significant things you’ve accomplished in the roles you’ve held that go above and beyond the responsibilities or tasks associated with those roles.

When you submit a job application, emphasising your achievements can help you convince the company that you’d be a perfect fit for the position.

Candidates who are further along in their career may be able to emphasise professional achievements, while entry-level candidates might need to concentrate on academic awards.


If you wish to include this section, feel free to do so, but you can always just add ‘references available on request’ or leave it off altogether when creating your CV.  

Check out our CV Templates – all sorts of templates for all sorts of roles  

Formatting and general guidelines  on how to create a good CV

  • Keep it brief – A standard length for a CV in the UK is just two sides of A4, but depending on the circumstances (the job or sector you’re applying to or your experience level), a single page or up to three pages is also acceptable.
  • Headings – Just like this piece, clear headings for your CV content makes things easier to read and the document easier to digest.
  • File type – For best all-round readability, save your CV as a pdf. You can do this in most word-processing software such as Microsoft Word and Google Docs, by ‘printing to pdf’. Or you can use a tool to do a conversion – there are many available online.
  • Font type – Good, clear fonts like Arial, Times New Roman or Calibri are ideal – definitely not Comic Sans !   
  • Font size – Body text should be 10 to 12 point and headings between 14 and 18. Make sure it’s readable, and don’t cram in too much or reduce the size of the margins; standard-size margins should be fine.
  • Proofread it – Get someone else to proofread it and then give it a final once-over. Make sure the font and layout are consistent throughout. Don’t say how detail-oriented you are and then leave a glaring typo in your CV!  
  • Tailoring and keywords – If you’re applying for a job you REALLY want, make sure you’re drafting your CV specifically for the role, and add relevant keywords.
  • ATS – What? Applicant Tracking Systems – these are bots that ‘read’ and often reject up to three-quarters of CVs before a human even gets to see them. They use an algorithm to select what they perceive to be the best and most relevant CVs, and put them into a shortlist for human review. We have specific advice on how to win over the ATS bots .

If writing a CV seems like too much effort…

You could try the shortcut and use our very own CV Builder tool – it’s free and will do much of the hard work for you, leaving you to fine-tune it for your needs.

Get it right, get applying

Getting your CV right the first time means you may find a job more quickly. You only get one chance to make a first impression and your CV is it!   

So follow our CV tips and get creative. The better and more relevant to the role it is, the more likely you will be offered an interview.

After you’ve followed this guide and created a powerful, winning CV (tailored to the role you are applying for), you can then take the next step and upload your CV to apply for and hopefully secure your next job.  

Got an interview lined up? Check out our common interview questions guide .

Image:  Bigstock

  • Sign up for free and access over 180,000 jobs
  • Check out our best CV examples to boost your job hunt
  • Check out our CV templates  to give you a head start
  • Set up a job alert and have relevant roles sent straight to your inbox

Related Career Advice articles

7 tips for writing the experience section of your CV

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The Great British Mag content team originally published the article How to write a British style CV on 28 February 2020

What is a CV? 

A CV (curriculum vitae, which means ‘Life’s Course’ in Latin) or résumé is a vital part of applying for a job or internship. It details your work and education history so employers can get a brief picture about what skills you have for the role they’re offering.  

How to build the perfect CV 

The best tip to building a perfect CV is to tailor it to each job you’re applying for. For example, if the job description asks for ‘team-building skills’, show how your education or experience reflects this quality – you could even write it in your personal statement. You should also make sure your CV is in reverse chronological order – this means putting your most recent experience first.   

More generally, the perfect CV structure should include:  

  • Contact details: Name, address, email and telephone number. Do NOT  include:  marital status, date of birth, photograph, details of personal experiences and social media handles (unless relevant for the role).  
  • Personal statement: Your personal statement should include a brief overview of who you are, your strengths and any work experience or education you have. It’s important to tailor this section to every role you apply for. Optional – two or three sentences (career profile or objective) – give the reader a sense of who you are, the key things you’ve experienced and what you want to do next. It should grab the attention and provide a filter for how employers read the rest of the CV.   
  • Education: Detail your education history – unless your high school diploma is your highest qualification, it’s usually fine to just list your university qualification. (put this at the top)  
  • Experience: Include all relevant work experience or employment history.  
  • Hobbies and interests (if relevant): There has been a trend in recent years with employers looking for candidates who have well-rounded interests, specifically if they involve social and community activities, like societies and sports clubs.  
  • References (if applicable): Usually it’s fine to write at the bottom of your CV: ‘References available upon request’, but an employer may sometimes ask you to provide them on your CV. Thoroughly check the job description for the role you’re applying for.   

Handy tips on how to write a good CV  

Here are some tips on how to make sure your CV look the best it can:  

  • Each section should have clear subheadings and be easy to read.  
  • Use  fonts like  Arial or Times New Roman and always 10 or 12 , to make your CV easy to read  
  • A one-page CV is usually enough for a graduate but never write more than two pages.  
  • Proofread – there’s nothing worse than having a spelling mistake on your CV and it’s not uncommon for employers to discard your application (even if you have all the qualifications) because of a spelling or grammar mistake.  
  • Rather than just list the projects you’ve done, emphasise the skills and experience you gained on them. For example, if you’re the president of a student society, a good quality to list along with this would be ‘leadership’ or ‘ability to delegate’.  


How to write the perfect personal statement 

A personal statement is essentially the blurb at the beginning of the CV that helps you sell yourself. Think of this as your personal advert, be bold (but not over confident), get creative and give an insight into your personality, ambitions and passions – not just your academic achievements.  

A top tip is  to tailor  the  personal statement for the job you  are  go for, making sure to highlight relevant skills  and attributes  that  the  employer  is  ask ing  for in  the  job description . And remember you can use your hobbies, academic  life , internships and part-time jobs to highlight how you meet the requirements.  

Use a template 

There are lots of templates you can use via Microsoft Word to help you build the perfect CV. Be careful though, some of them can make your CV look too complicated and overly designed, which is not the way you want to grab the attention of employers. As the saying goes: Less is more!  

It’s also important to remember that the graduate job market is very competitive and a nice-looking CV can help you standout.  As well as making your CV look good it should read well, be easy to follow and logical.  Recruiters will have lots of applications to run through so you have to convince them you are the right candidate in a matter of minutes.  

Should I mention my visa status on my CV 

You have no obligation to state your visa status on your CV, but you shouldn’t be applying for jobs if you’re unsure whether they offer visa sponsorship. If you’re unsure, it’s good to call the company and ask them to clarify if the position comes with a potential visa sponsorship.  There’s a website called Student Circus that lists jobs that are willing to sponsor international graduates.  

A lot of jobs with online application forms will ask if you have the right to live and work in the UK so it’s important to be open and honest about that. It’s recommended you answer ‘yes’ to this question and then find a comment box in the application to explain your visa situation.  

Should I include my social media handles? 

Unless you’re applying for a job in the creative industry (journalism, public relations, marketing, etc) it’s usually not relevant to include your social media handles in your CV. But be aware that employers are increasingly look at your social media channels if they intend to offer you a job, so it’s worth cleaning up your social channels before you start job hunting.  

What if I lie on my CV?  

In a bid to make yourself sound great, you might be tempted to exaggerate your achievements. For example, there is a big difference between embellishing your involvement in a project to lying. You should never lie in your CV, because you will get caught out. For example,  if you are applying for a graduate position  and you say you got a 2:1 but you actually got a 2:2, the likelihood is that the employer will find out because often – as part of application processes – you will have to submit your certificates.  

It is also worth knowing that in extreme circumstances you could face prosecution and even a prison sentence.  

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StandOut CV

CV UK format examples

Andrew Fennell

If you’re searching for a job in the UK, it’s important that you write your CV in UK format.

Although CVs are largely the same across the globe, every region has style preferences that you need to adapt to if you want to get shortlisted for jobs.

This guide, along with  6  example CVs will show you the preferred CV format for the UK and provide you with some helpful notes on how to write your own interview-winning CV for the UK job market.

Bold CV builder - small

UK format Admin CV

UK Administrator CV-1

Tips on creating a strong admin/office CV …

Head with an eye-catching CV profile

Ensure that UK recruiters and hiring managers are instantly impressed, by heading your CV with an introductory profile which summarises your skills and experience, like the sample CV above.

For best results, tailor this short paragraph to include key words from the job adverts you are applying for – this will make an instant first impression and encourage people to continue reading your CV.

Add a well-tailored core skills section

If you really want to ensure that busy recruiters and managers can quickly see your suitability, add a bullet pointed core skills section which reflects your most valuable skills and knowledge. This will create a snapshot that can be quickly seen from even a brief glance at the CV – ensuring the points aren’t missed.

Write powerful role descriptions

So that readers can understand your previous jobs and the value you added, make sure the roles are well structured and written.

Start with an outline sentence to give an overview of the job and the business of the employer.

List your office/admin responsibilities, being sure to detail who you interact with in the office, the skills you use, and how your work feeds into the business.

Finish each role with some quantified key achievements , to give employers an exact impression of how you have impacted the business positively.

Bold CV builder - large

UK customer service CV

UK customer service CV-1

Tips on creating a strong customer service CV …

Ensure your customer service CV catches the attention of UK recruiters and hiring managers by writing an introductory paragraph which explains why you are suitable for the roles you are applying for.

Tailor it to match the candidate requirements of the job you are applying to – and keep it brief as recruiters see hundreds of CVs every day and don’t want to spend too much time on each one.

To ensure that your most in-demand skills are not missed – add a bullet pointed core skills section. The points will jump off the page and ensure that they are seen as soon as the CV is opened.

Pack this section full of essential customer service skills and qualifications.

Quick tip:  If you worry that your spelling and grammar might not be correct, try using our partner’s CV builder to eliminate the risk of making mistakes.

Head each role with an introduction to build some quick context for readers, outlining the role and who you work/worked for.

Bullet point your responsibilities to detail your interactions with customer and duties you perform within each job.

Add some achievements to give examples of impressive results you’ve achieved in sales or service. Add numbers to give them scale if you can.

CV UK format – Teaching roles

UK teacher CV-1

Tips on creating a strong teaching CV …

To catch the attention of recruiters and head-teachers, add a punchy profile to the top of your CV, which summarises your teaching skills and experience. It should be heavily tailored towards your target jobs so that recruiters can quickly see you are a suitable candidate.

Make your most valuable skills stand out from the page by adding them to bullet pointed core skills section underneath your profile. This will help more UK recruiters stick to your CV as they browse through the hundreds of applications in their inbox.

Your role descriptions give you a great chance to prove the impact you make in the workplace.

Start each role with an intro that describes the institution you work for and overview of what/who you teach there.

Bullet point your responsibilities to show the skills you use and how you provide education over the long-term

Add achievements to prove impact such as improved standards or impressive exam results.

UK Finance CV

UK Finance CV -1

Tips on creating a strong finance CV…

Hold the attention of recruiters and hiring managers by adding a powerful profile to the top of your CV. This is a short paragraph which summarises your skill set and quickly shows readers a high level overview of your suitability for the jobs you are applying to.

Find out what the most important candidate requirements are for your target jobs, and add your matching skills and knowledge to a bullet pointed core skills section. This will highlight your most valuable skills to UK recruiters and help you get noticed as soon as the CV is opened.

Start your roles with an intro to show readers who you work/worked for, and what the overall goal of each role is.

List your responsibilities in easy-to-read bullet points, so they can be easily skim-read by recruiters and hiring managers.

Round off each role with some impressive achievements that have had an impact on your employers or clients. Add figures to them if you really want to prove how valuable you are as an employee.

UK Graduate CV

UK Graduate CV-1

Tips on creating a strong graduate CV …

To create an impact whenever your CV is opened, write an elevator-pitch style opening profile, or personal statement . This is the place to make a big first impression by explaining why you are a suitable candidate for the roles you are applying for by giving a summary of your studies, skills and even experience if you have any.

Ensure that your most important skills and knowledge aren’t missed by adding a core skills section under your profile. Research your target jobs thoroughly, and add as many of the most frequently appearing candidate requirements as you can.

If you have any work experience then add it into your career summary – if not, you can also add voluntary work or school/university work placements .

Provide an intro outline for every role to show who you worked for and what the overall function of the job was.

Bullet point your responsibilities to showcase the skills you applied, and how they affected your employer.

If you made any impressive achievements in those jobs, add them to the bottom of your CV to show how you made a positive impact in the role.

UK format IT CV


Tips on creating a strong IT CV…

Lead with a punchy paragraph at the top of your CV which summarises all of your tech and non-tech skills to create a solid first impression.

Be sure to tailor this profile to the jobs you are applying for so that recruiters can instantly see how suitable you are.

Adding a bullet pointed list of core skills near the top the CV, ensure that recruiters can’t miss your most valuable skills.

Head every role with an intro line to build context for readers, by outlining the company and role function.

List role responsibilities in concise bullet points to show how your technical skills are used to solve business problems.

Finish each role by listing some achievements that have had a positive effect on your employer

Writing a CV in UK format

The above examples should give you a good steer on how to create your own CV in UK format .

Here are a few final tips to help…

Think before including a photo of yourself – UK employers don’t need them to make hiring decisions, but they can add some personality to the document – especially if you work in a creative industry.

Keep it simple – UK recruiters tend to be very busy, so make your CV easy to read by keeping the font and layout simple. And keep the CV to around 2 pages in length , unlike an American-style resume which is often only one page long.

Do your research – Find out what skills and experience UK recruiters are looking for, so you can tailor your CV accordingly.

Good luck with your job search!

United Kingdom CV Tips & Format Requirements

Applying for a job in the United Kingdom? This guide has the tips, examples, & format requirements needed to write the perfect UK CV. Create your VisualCV today!

UK CV Requirements

Applying for a position in the United Kingdom requires a specific CV format. When you are looking for work in the UK, make sure that your CV is suitable for a UK audience and will meet the expectation of recruiters.

Browse our gallery of resume examples here.

UK CV Image

How to Format a UK CV?

To best format the CV, you need to select the best layout based on your relevant past experience and the type of role you are applying for.

There are three general CV layouts in UK that are popular:

  • Reverse chronological CV format
  • Combination CV format
  • Functional CV format

Reverse Chronological CV Format for UK

reverse chronological uk cv format

Functional CV Format for UK

functional cv format uk example

Combination CV Format for UK

A combination CV format is helpful if you are applying for a job in the UK where you wish to display with clarity how your past skills and experience are transferable to the job you are applying for.

combination cv format for uk

UK CV Examples

Administration uk cv example.

administration uk cv example

Retail UK CV Example

retail uk cv example

Professional British CV Example

professional uk cv example

Engineer UK CV Example

civil engineer uk cv example

Marketing UK CV Example

marketing uk cv template

Management UK CV Example

management uk cv example

Accounting UK CV Example

accountant uk cv template

UK CV Tips and rules:

CV, not Resume: The term ‘CV’ is most common in the United Kingdom. The terms ‘resume’ and ‘curriculum vitae’ are rarely used.

Language: Be sure to write your CV in proper British English - for example, write ‘labour’ rather than ‘labor’ and ‘optimise’ rather than ‘optimize’.

Length: Your UK CV should not exceed two pages - “no longer than two sides of A4”, according to Rachel Swain at Prospects.ac.uk.

Resume template: Browse through our gallery of UK resume templates .

UK CV Format, Order and Layout:

Photo: A photo is not expected on your UK CV. While common in the rest of Europe, it is rare to see a picture on a CV in the United Kingdom. In certain roles, such as some sales positions or a creative job where visual presentation is key, a picture may be acceptable, but be sure to research the company first.

Personal Information: The only personal information required for a UK CV is your contact information - your name, home address, mobile phone number and email address (which should be some variation of your name: [email protected] or something similar). No other personal information should be included.

Personal Statement: Your CV should begin with a brief description, no more than five lines of text, that describes who you are, what you can do, and what you bring to the position you are applying to. Your personal statement should be tailored to the job description - focus on the skills and experience that make you suited for this particular job. Personal statements are not mandatory, but they are a great way to grab an employer’s attention. According to Michael Cheary at reed.co.uk , “a well written personal statement can mean the difference between standing out from the crowd and your application being rejected.”

Work experience: Display your previous jobs in reverse chronological order, beginning with the most recent. Use this space to showcase your achievements in each position - important milestones and quantifiable data are more impressive than daily duties. Use proactive action words to make your experience sound interesting and dynamic.

Education: Education should also be listed from most recent to least recent. Include all relevant certifications, including institution names and dates. Your education section should come after your work experience, unless you graduated very recently.

Other sections for your UK CV:

Skills: It is common to include a simple list of skills kept separate from your work history. This provides a quick, at-a-glance look at what you excel at, without delving into your experience too much.

Volunteer experience: Volunteering experience should be noted on your CV. If you prefer, you can include volunteer experience in your Work History section, but remember to specify when a role is a volunteer position.

Languages: Feel free to note any languages you are fluent in. This is particularly important when the job calls for multiple languages.

References: It is not necessary to include references in your CV. Instead, follow up with references to an employer separately when asked.

How do I Write a UK CV in 2022?

To write a UK CV in 2022 follow these steps:

  • First, select the right UK CV format based on your experience level. A reverse chronological CV format is good for experienced professionals, and a functional UK CV format is perfect for most entry level professionals.
  • Second, right the perfect CV header.
  • Third, write your UK CV summary or objective.
  • Fourth, describe your work experience on your CV.
  • Lastly, list any skills or achievements you’ve in a CV skills or an accomplishments section.

What is a UK CV Format?

The UK CV format requires your CV to be:

  • A maximum of two pages long.
  • In an A4 format.
  • Either be a reverse chronological or a functional CV.

How do I Write a Good UK CV?

To write a good UK CV ensure that you start with the right CV format and then customize the CV based on the job you are applying for. Pick up keywords and skills that are mentioned in the job description and modify your UK CV to show relevant skills and experience.

What Font Should a CV be in the UK?

The following fonts are preferred for a UK CV - Roboto, Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman. To give your UK CV a modern look you can select a Sans serif font e.g. Roboto, and for traditional looking CVs you can go for a Serif type font e.g. Times New Roman.

What Font Size Should my CV be in the UK?

A font size between 10 to 12 is considered easy to read. So make sure that your UK CV’s font size isn’t less than 10, but not greater than 12 either.


Though CVs in English-speaking countries are very similar, each country has its own nuances that must be observed for best results. When writing a UK CV, pay attention to the specific requirements of each employer and if possible, have someone you trust read over your CV before submitting your application.

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Writing a personal statement for your CV

CV personal statements are like the sales pitch of your CV, but not everyone thinks they're useful. Discover if they're really necessary, how to write a CV personal profile and templates for inspiration

What is a CV personal statement?

A CV personal statement is a concise paragraph or summary, which details what you can bring to a job or company. It's also known as an opening statement, personal profile, personal summary or executive summary.

Sitting at the top of your CV, it's your opportunity to sell yourself to employers and to highlight the relevant skills and experience you possess.

While effectively and succinctly convincing recruiters that you're a good fit for the role, a personal statement gives you the chance to show off your strengths and share your career goals.

'The focus of your CV statement should be to target your offer to employers - why should they hire you and how are you different to other graduates? Therefore, making your personal statement as unique as possible is crucial to ensure you stand out from the crowd,' explains Alex Proctor, careers consultant at the University of Bradford.

Do I need a personal summary on my CV?

Traditionally, almost all CV types include a personal statement but there is some debate about whether you actually need to include one.

Some recruiters and careers advisers believe that personal profiles are one of the most important parts of a CV, as they provide an easily accessible overview of a candidate's ability, while others feel that personal statements are a waste of valuable space and time.

The latter belief is often the case with graduate CVs, as some employers feel that those just stepping onto the career ladder don't necessarily have enough knowledge or experience to warrant a personal statement. Because of this, a graduate's personal profile runs the risk of being bland and generic and stating things that should be a given, such as, 'I'm hardworking and organised,' which is why some recruiters believe that they are best suited to more senior CVs.

So while your CV doesn't need a personal statement, employers spend only seconds looking at application documents. With this in mind, a CV personal statement gives you an invaluable opportunity to make your application stand out as quickly as possible.

Alex believes 'that a CV personal statement is a good idea, because employers often have so many CVs to read through and the personal statement, if clear and concise, can elevate your chances of getting through to the next stage of the recruitment process.'

If you'd like to include a personal statement on your CV it might be best, as a graduate, to focus on your educational background and the career path you'd like to embrace. If you have relevant experiences use these to make your personal statement unique. 'If you haven’t got much work experience, focus on what experience you can extract from your degree,' advises Alex. 'If you have taken part in various projects demonstrate what your role was. Alternatively, if you have written a dissertation, showcase your topic and what skills you have developed from this experience. Employers will value your individuality even if you haven't had masses of practical work experience.'

If you're struggling to give it context and get it right, make an appointment with your university's careers or employability service and ask an adviser to help you hone your writing. 

What should I include in my CV personal profile?

In terms of length, a CV personal profile should be no longer than 150 words. 'It should be short, impactful and aligned effectively with the CV content,' explains David Ainscough, careers consultant team lead and deputy director at the University of Cambridge.

'A personal CV profile should include details of your educational background, evidence of work experience, as well as your career aspirations. You ideally need to ensure you are telling the reader what you can offer skill-wise and don't be afraid to also share any accomplishments,' adds Alex.  

If you're struggling with what to write, break your personal statement down into three parts. Focus on:

  • who you are
  • what you can offer
  • your career aims.

Start by introducing yourself. For example, 'A recent graduate with a 2:1 in English literature from the Hillview University' or a 'Highly-skilled physiotherapist with five years’ experience…'

Next, detail what you can offer the company. Ask yourself why you're suited to the role and cover any relevant skills or experience. If you lack practical work experience instead draw attention to your academic achievements, such as contributing to university publications, which developed written communication, attention to detail and teamworking skills. Or how you applied skills learned on your physical therapy degree during your time as a physio assistant for university sport teams.

Conclude your personal statement by highlighting your career goals. For example, 'I am looking to start my career in the exciting world of publishing and to develop the skills learned through my university studies and internships.'

It's up to you how you present this information; there is no hard and fast rule. However, personal statements are generally displayed as a single paragraph, without a title or subheading. You'll need to keep it consistent with the rest of your CV formatting, meaning that the font size and type will need to be the same throughout your document.

Also, consider the voice and tense you'd like to use. Personal statements can be written in either the first or third person, but you'll need to maintain this voice throughout - don't switch between the two.

Take a look at  how to write a CV .

How can I make it stand out to employers?

  • 'Remember that first impressions count so make sure you're giving the recruiter a comfortable reading experience. Layout and clarity are crucial,' says David.
  • Tailor your CV personal statement (and CV in general) to each application.
  • Be honest. Untruths are easy to uncover and lying on your CV is a criminal offence.
  • Provide evidence of skills and experience but remember to keep it brief. For example, 'experienced event manager, who led a team to organise a charity ball for 150 people, raising £5,000 - a 20% increase on previous years.'
  • Use the job description to help form your CV personal profile.
  • Stick to the word limit.
  • Check for spelling and grammar mistakes. The personal summary sits at the top of your CV so any errors will be immediately apparent.
  • 'Keep it fresh. It needs to be reviewed in each application you make so consider something new to say each time,' adds David.
  • Read it aloud once you've finished writing to make sure it flows.
  • Copy and paste from your  cover letter or from online CV personal statement examples. Your personal summary needs to be unique and personal to you.
  • Include unnecessary personal information such as your age, marital status etc.
  • Use clichés, slang or jargon.
  • Use bland, empty statements like 'I work well independently and as part of a team'. This tells employers absolutely nothing about what you’re capable of.
  • Overuse buzzwords.
  • Include quotes from previous employers.
  • Ramble. Recruiters don't have time to read through waffle, so get to the point.

Think about the connotations of the words you use - 'currently studying' implies things might change, 'trying' implies failure, 'might' or 'maybe' sounds like you're not sure. The words you use have power so choose them carefully. You want to sound confident, positive and enthusiastic.

Find out more about the  top 7 CV mistakes .

CV personal statement examples

To help you get started take a look at the following CV personal profile examples.

As a recent graduate from the University of Townville, with a 2:1 honours degree in marketing, I have undertaken internships at industry-leading agencies such as Beyond Imagination and Noah Freemans. These placements have allowed me to develop sector knowledge and gain hands on experience, as well as expand transferable skills such as commercial awareness, communication and negotiation and analytical skills. My career aim is to gain a role which allows me to further my expertise and take on increased responsibility at a market-leading digital marketing agency.

I am a highly motivated 2:1 forensic science graduate from Groveshire University, looking to secure a graduate position that enables me to use and develop my analytical, attention to detail and communication skills. I have gained relevant experience in both scientific and hospital laboratories, which allowed me to build on my problem solving, concentration and team working skills. My career goal is to assume a role that enables me to analyse and interpret forensic data and to eventually move into crime scene investigation.

Remember; avoid copying and pasting ready-made examples. Instead use them as a guide to craft your own, tailored CV personal statement. Take a look at our  example CVs .

Find out more

  • Learn more about  applying for jobs .
  • Get more advice on CVs and cover letters .

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Keep your CV short and pay attention to detail.

Ten tips on how to write the perfect CV

T he new year may provide the impetus to look for a new job, but is your CV good enough? A poll of 1,000 recruiters, by Adecco Retail, found it takes 34 seconds for an employer to decide whether a CV is worth further consideration. Cliches, lies and typos are all reasons people are not offered an interview. So how do you craft the perfect CV? Two experts give their tips.

Be relevant

“The key to a great CV is helping you stand out. You need to present yourself well, but you also need to ensure the experience you are communicating is relevant to the job,” says David D’Souza, the membership director of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the professional HR body. “Look at the job description, and make sure that it’s clear why you’ll be able to deliver in that role.” Some employers still welcome a cover letter, but he advises contacting the hiring team to gauge what they would like.

Mind your language

Avoid tired expressions such as passionate, hardworking and team player. “It does depend on the type of job you do, but use descriptive words that mean something,” says Ruth Cornish, an HR expert who runs consultancy Amelore.com. She likes the word “accountable”, as well as “achieve” and “purpose”. “What was the purpose of your role? Why were you there?”

Pay attention to detail

“It’s hard to be positive about yourself because we tend to be quite humble, and it’s hard to read your CV as if you’re seeing it for the first time,” says D’Souza. Show it to someone you trust – ideally, someone who has worked with you – and ask for feedback.

Keep it short

“Be concise and don’t be afraid to delete experience if it’s not relevant to that role,” says D’Souza. “People talk about the traditional two-page limit, but it depends on the sector and the seniority you’re going for but, broadly speaking, if you can keep it to two pages, the recruiter will be delighted.”

Be accurate

Recruiters will judge you on mistakes, either in structure or in spelling or punctuation. “Use auto-correct, but also get other people to check for errors,” says D’Souza.

Make sure it reflects you

The look and feel – making it polished and professional – is important. “What font have you used?” says Cornish. “Are there different fonts, and bold here and there? No header? Think about the use of colour. You can really polish that document.”

Don’t be afraid to include personal information

Don’t ramble on about your pets or travel experiences, but if you have been on maternity leave, say it. “People are more aware of the fact that women and men take time out to have children,” says Cornish.

Don’t necessarily include a photo

D’Souza is not a fan of photos. “They can be problematic – it invites people to evaluate you on how you look rather than the substance of your work. There is some debate about whether people should be inventive on CVs. If you want to play it safe, a traditional CV, highlighting your key achievements that are relevant to the role is still the best way of securing a job, unless it’s a particularly creative sector.”

Include interesting hobbies

Team sports look good, “or something which show a degree of dedication, but avoid things that are ‘I go out and enjoy socialising’ because that doesn’t tell them anything more about you as a person,” says D’Souza.

Or maybe don’t do a CV at all

“I’ve seen video CVs, where you just send in a clip about yourself,” says Cornish. “That’s increasingly common for younger, creative people. Rather than saying you’re creative, prove it.” It does depend on the sector; some recruiters will love it, some will hate it. “Frankly, it’s so competitive and HR people put so many hurdles in, if you can circumvent it all by sending a video to a senior person in a company saying ‘this is me, can I come and work for you?’ and they say yes, that’s worth doing.”

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Writing a good CV

Writing a good CV

When you're applying for a job, a great CV is essential. Find out what to include and what to avoid for the best chance of getting an interview.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the article and do the exercises.



When you're looking for work, you need an attractive, clear and memorable CV (curriculum vitae) that shows your potential employer all the skills and experience you have for the job.

What should you include in a CV?

This article mainly focuses on writing a UK-style CV. If you're applying for a job internationally, be aware that the standard length, format and tone can vary from country to country. It's a good idea to check the expected format in the country or company you're applying to. 

Contact details 

Make sure the potential employer has a way of contacting you. Include your full name, telephone number and email address. 

In many countries, employers expect to see a professional-looking photo on a CV. In others, like the UK, Canada and the USA, the law prohibits employers from asking for a photo, and it is better not to include one. Try to find out if it is usual to include a photo in the working environment you're applying to.

List and date the most important qualifications you have obtained, starting with the most recent. You can also include any professional qualifications you have.

Work experience

List and date the jobs you've had and the companies you've worked for, starting with the most recent. It's usually enough to cover the last ten years of your work history. Include your job title, responsibilities and achievements in the job. 

If you have a lot of work experience, give the job titles but be selective about which responsibilities and achievements you highlight. Reduce the detail about jobs that are less relevant to the role you're applying for and draw attention to the most important experience you bring.

These could include the languages you speak, the computer programs you can use well, the class type of your driving licence and any other professional skills you might have that are relevant to the job you're applying for.

Eight useful tips

Before you start getting ready to list your qualifications and work experience, here are eight useful tips to think about.

1. Keep it short … but not too short!

Your CV should be one to two sides of A4 paper. If you find you've got too much information, summarise and select the most relevant points. If it's shorter than a page, consider including more information about your skills and the responsibilities you had in your previous roles.

2. Use active verbs.

When you describe what you have achieved in previous jobs, use active verbs for a strong positive effect on the reader. For example, to make a change from was responsible for , use verbs like led or managed (a team / a project) ;  created or  developed (a product / a positive atmosphere) ;  delivered (results/training) ; and provided (support/training) . 

3. Fill in the gaps.

Avoid leaving gaps in your employment history. If you were travelling the world, on maternity leave or looking after small children, include that in your CV.

4. Make sure it's up to date.

Always ensure your CV is up to date. Include your most recent experience at the top of each section.

5. Don't exaggerate or lie.

Your potential employer can easily check information about where you have studied and worked. Don't be tempted to lie or exaggerate about your expertise, because sooner or later this will be discovered and may result in you losing the job. 

6. Spend time on the layout.

Make sure your CV is clear and easy to read. Use bullet points and appropriate spacing, keep your sentences short, line up your lists neatly and use a professional-looking font (e.g. Arial font size 12). 

7. Check for mistakes.

Mistakes on a CV create a bad impression. Use spell check, reread your CV and ask someone else to check it for you too before you send it.

8. Include a cover letter.

When you send your CV to apply for a job, you should send it with a cover letter or email to introduce your application. The cover letter should show your personal interest in the role, highlight the skills and experience you bring and encourage the employer to read the attached CV. 

Writing a good CV takes time and is hard work, but these tips and your effort will help you get the best possible start in your job search. Good luck! 

Which tips do you think are the most useful for writing a good CV?

Language level

Hello Teachers team, I hope you're in a good health. Thank you for the valuable information. I want to know how can I fill the gap in my employment history? Should I write it as a note at the end of the CV?

Kind regards, Asala

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Hello Asala Mohammed,

I think it depends on how long the gap is and what you were doing during the gap. If it was less than about three months, there's probably no need, but anything more than six I'd say you'd want to account for.

What I would do is probably put a brief explanation of the gap in its place in the chronological order of the CV. For the job title, you could put something like 'Caring for critically ill relative' or 'Maternity leave' or 'Studying for English certification', and then you could put in a phrase or sentence that explains any relevant details.

Please note, however, that we are not experts on job searches! I'd recommend you also do an internet search for 'how to explain gaps in my CV' or something similar to see what different experts say.

Best wishes, Kirk LearnEnglish team 

Fill in the gaps I think is the most useful tip and the active verb " some how more difficult to use

Hello,,, How can I download the article ?

Thank you in advance

Hello Hekma Fathe,

You can download the article and the tasks in pdf form by clicking on the 'Worksheet' link just below the article's 'Discussion' section, or by clicking on this link:


The LearnEnglish Team

On my mind the most tips are usefull for me, I found advice number 2 and 6.

Thank you for the tip 2, it is really helpful for me.

all the information is very useful. I'm sure when I will prepare my cv. I will apply these useful tips.

The principal tip I might give in this topic is putting suported information. Whatever you do, you must depict facts about it. Another one is try to be clear and precise as you are filling the required information and skills about you.

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