My Account

You control your data

We and our partners use cookies to provide you with our services and, depending on your settings, gather analytics and marketing data. Find more information on our Cookie Policy. Tap "Settings” to set preferences. To accept all cookies, click “Accept”.

Settings Accept

Cookie settings

Click on the types of cookies below to learn more about them and customize your experience on our Site. You may freely give, refuse or withdraw your consent. Keep in mind that disabling cookies may affect your experience on the Site. For more information, please visit our Cookies Policy and Privacy Policy.

Choose type of cookies to accept

Analytics

These cookies allow us to analyze our performance to offer you a better experience of creating resumes and cover letters. Analytics related cookies used on our Site are not used by Us for the purpose of identifying who you are or to send you targeted advertising. For example, we may use cookies/tracking technologies for analytics related purposes to determine the number of visitors to our Site, identify how visitors move around the Site and, in particular, which pages they visit. This allows us to improve our Site and our services.

Performance and Personalization

These cookies give you access to a customized experience of our products. Personalization cookies are also used to deliver content, including ads, relevant to your interests on our Site and third-party sites based on how you interact with our advertisements or content as well as track the content you access (including video viewing). We may also collect password information from you when you log in, as well as computer and/or connection information. During some visits, we may use software tools to measure and collect session information, including page response times, download errors, time spent on certain pages and page interaction information.

Advertising

These cookies are placed by third-party companies to deliver targeted content based on relevant topics that are of interest to you. And allow you to better interact with social media platforms such as Facebook.

Necessary

These cookies are essential for the Site's performance and for you to be able to use its features. For example, essential cookies include: cookies dropped to provide the service, maintain your account, provide builder access, payment pages, create IDs for your documents and store your consents.

To see a detailed list of cookies, click here.

Save preferences

What to Include in a CV? 6 Must-Have Sections to Put in 2024

Create your cv now

Our customers have been hired by:

Writing a CV in 2024 is hard: what to include? What to leave off? What sections do employers expect to see? In what order?
To land the job you’ll need to go the extra mile to stand out from 250 other candidates. But—you also need to play by some standard CV writing rules. And you came to the right place to learn how to do both on your Curriculum Vitae.

This guide will show you:

  • What sections to include in a CV in 2024 and what order to follow.
  • What information exactly to put in each CV section.
  • Tips on achievements and keywords to use on a CV and land more job interviews.
  • Things to leave off your CV so you don’t bomb your own job search efforts.

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

Create your resume now

Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume examples here.

The purpose of this article is to provide you with a handy checklist of sections, good keywords, and other items to put on a CV. If you’re more interested in how to write each CV section, see: How to Write a CV for a Job: Examples and Writing Guide

Also, note that this guide covers what to write on a CV you’d use to apply for jobs in UK and other European countries. If you want to learn about what to put on an American academic CV, switch over to: Academic Curriculum Vitae: Template and Samples

Unsure what the difference is? Go here: The Difference Between a CV and a Resume Explained (Definitions and Samples)

What to Include in a CV: Example

Penelope Grayson

Web Developer

123-456-7890

penelopegrayson@email.com

linkedin.com/in/penelope.grayson

Summary

Highly skilled web developer with over 10 years of experience. Seeking to assist Tide Technologies in developing and implementing innovative web solutions by leveraging strong expertise in creating user-friendly web application interfaces. Reduced load times for a high-traffic site by 20% at Stride Services.

Experience

Senior Web Developer

Stride Services, Miami, FL

June 2016–December 2023

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Designed and developed 50 user-friendly interfaces using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • Collaborated with cross-functional teams to create 20 optimized web applications.
  • Conducted thorough debugging and code review processes.
  • Held quarterly testing sessions with users to detect improvement areas.

Key Achievement:

  • Optimized a site with 2,000,000 monthly visitors, reducing load times by 20%.

Web Developer

HarmonyHub, Miami, FL

January 2013–May 2016

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Assisted in the development and implementation of web applications.
  • Worked closely with senior developers to improve site functionality.
  • Regularly updated job knowledge by studying state-of-the-art development tools.

Key Achievement:

  • Completed all 52 projects within the expected timelines.

Education

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

University of Miami, Miami, FL

August 2010–May 2014

Skills

  • Proficient in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Python
  • Knowledge of SEO best practices
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Strong teamwork
  • Communication
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Technical writing

Certifications

  • Certified Web Developer, Code Academy, 2019

Awards

  • 2020, Web Developer of the Year, Stride Services

Memberships

Member of the American Association of Web Professionals since 2015

  • Led a seminar on "Optimizing Web Load Times" at the 2018 annual conference, San Diego.

Languages

  • English—Native proficiency
  • Spanish—Advanced proficiency

Interests

  • Running a coding blog for beginner web developers.
  • Participating in local coding boot camps and hackathons.

List of Must-Have (and Nice-to-Have) CV Sections

A standard CV written in accordance with the modern-day hiring standards has to include the following sections:

A CV must include:

  1. Contact information
  2. Personal Statement (Personal Profile)
  3. Work Experience
  4. Education
  5. Skills

These are the basics. However if you want to outperform other candidates, your CV will benefit from some extra sections. If you can showcase any of the following, make sure to include them:

A CV could also include:

  1. Professional Certifications
  2. Professional Associations
  3. Languages
  4. Additional Training and Courses
  5. Conference Participation
  6. Publications
  7. Awards
  8. Blogging and Influencing
  9. Volunteer Experience

Two CV sections that seem to confuse candidates most are: Hobbies and Interests and References.

Here’s all you should know about these two potentially tricky parts of your CV:

Should You Include Hobbies and Interests in a CV?

Long story short:

“Reading, Sports, Films,” is a no-no.

“Harlem Renaissance Poetry, Vittorio De Sica’s Films, Table Tennis”—that’s more like it.

To learn more, see: Hobbies and Interests for a CV/Resume: Good and Bad Examples

Should You Put References on a CV?

Learn more: How and When to Put References on a Resume or CV

We’ll break down what information exactly you should include in every CV section, but before we get to that, consider one thing—

The order of sections and the structure of your CV will depend on the stage of your career you’re currently at.

And it matters a lot.

In a recent reed survey, over half of recruiters selected “a logical order for presentation” as the most important thing to consider on a CV.

And here’s the order of CV sections you should follow to create a professional CV in three different scenarios:

Order of Sections for a Standard CV

  1. Contact information
  2. Personal Statement (Personal Profile)
  3. Work Experience
  4. Associations and Certifications (Optional)
  5. Education
  6. Skills
  7. Extra Sections

Order of Sections for a CV with Little or No Experience

  1. Contact Information
  2. Personal Statement (Career Objective)
  3. Education
  4. Work Experience (Including Internship and Volunteer Experience)
  5. Skills
  6. Extra Sections

Order of Sections for a Career-Change CV

  1. Contact Information
  2. Personal Statement
  3. Relevant Experience
  4. Additional Experience (Optional)
  5. Education
  6. Skills
  7. Extra Sections

All of the above is applicable to traditional, reverse-chronological CVs only. If you choose to write a skills-based CV, you’ll need a slightly different section setup. You can learn all about it here: Skills Based CV: When and How to Write It (Examples)

Before we move on and discuss every section to put on a well-written CV, have a look at some sample CVs which include everything a good CV should. We created them in our builder (notice how well all key items are organized).

If you like what you see, you can have an equally well-structured CV of your own. Use our builder, find a template you like, and have a ready CV in minutes.

 Sample CV Templates with All the Necessary Sections

1. Nanica

First on our list, a CV made with the Nanica template. Contact information, experience, and education sections stand out thanks to legible section headings. Skill ratings grab attention and let recruiters grasp your value in a flash.

2. Primo

 The timeline in this template makes it very easy for recruiters to navigate through your work and education history. Icons next to section headings highlight what matters most and help find key information quickly and easily.

3. Cubic

With the Cubic template, you can include more details on a single page. Two colums help you save space without having to skip or omit anything. Plus, it's arguably the prettiest and most creative design out of all we have on offer.

4. Diamond

Diamond has been a favourite for our customers working in business and finance. The template lets you easily incorporate everything you need to and brings attention to what matters most: experience, education, and skills. A great CV template for experienced candidates.

5. Newcast

Last but not least—Newcast. A CV template with all the necessary sections that proves simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Nothing flashy, just black ink on white background, tons of white space, and an overall touch of class and elegance. See also our other CV examples.

Now, let's go through every key section a good CV has to include:

1

Contact Information

In the contact information section, at the very top of your CV, include:

  • Your full name
  • Your job title
  • Phone number
  • Personal email address
  • LinkedIn profile
  • (Optionally) Professional website
  • (Optionally) Other social media handles.

Do not include:

  • Physical address
  • Date of birth
  • Your work email address or any other current business-contact info
  • Your photo (unless asked for in the job ad)
  • Irrelevant social media URLs.

As for the last point, don’t get me wrong—

If you use Twitter to exclusively discuss things related to your industry, it’s okay to include the handle. But if you only retweet football talk or post “Cool People Don’t Date Tottenham Fans” (they don’t) memes, leave it off.

Also, make sure your email address is elegant. If you still use that “CuteChickAngela@hotmail.com” email you thought funny in high school, get a new one.

See examples and get more information here: Contact Information Section for a Modern-Day CV or Resume

2

CV Personal Statement/Profile

A CV personal statement (also called a CV personal profile or a CV profile) is a short, 2- to 4-sentence paragraph at the top of your CV. Its purpose is to give a synopsis of your career, list your top skills and achievements and show what you can do for your future employer.

Here’s what to include in a CV personal statement:

  • Who you are
  • 2–3 skills
  • 2–3 achievements
  • The name of your target company
  • What you hope to do for your new employer.

And here’s what to leave off:

  • Salary requirements
  • Reasons for leaving your past company
  • An explanation of why you want the job
  • An old-school CV objective a.k.a. “What I want out of the job.”

See this example for reference:

CV Personal Statement Sample

Inquisitive computer science specialist with 8+ years of experience. Looking to leverage strong programming skills as a developer for Acme. Led a team of 11 coders at Halcyon-Berth Systems. Delivered projects an average of 10% before deadline, with 15% less errors than other teams. Trained 25 programmers in cloud computing skills.

Or learn how to craft an outstanding CV personal statement from our handy guide: CV Personal Statement/CV Profile: Samples and Writing Guide

When making a CV in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional CV template here for free.

When you’re done, our free CV maker will score your resume and our CV checker will tell you exactly how to make it better.

3

Work Experience

Arguably, the most crucial section of your whole job application. According to a Jobvite report, 67% of recruiters consider relevant work experience the most important thing they look for on a CV.

In the CV work experience section, include up to 15 years of relevant job experience. List jobs in reverse-chronological order. In each entry, include:

  • Position name
  • Company
  • Dates worked
  • Up to 6 bullet points outlining your achievements and responsibilities
  • Numbers and metrics to back up your achievements
  • (Optionally) A “key achievement” subsection at the bottom.

Do not include:

  • Short-term employment (unless you have less than 2 years of experience in total)
  • Present tense for a past job
  • Explanation of employment gaps of time-off
  • Tables, images or charts.

CV Work Experience Section Example

Java Programmer

Black Knight Financial Services, Glasgow, Scotland

2010–2019

  • Designed and developed up to 10 applications projects per year.
  • Designed project requirements in cooperation with data analysis teams.
  • Participated in project meetings, with technical staff members, business analysts, and external stakeholders.
  • Trained and mentored over 15 junior programmers and developers.

Key achievement: Developed a test automation tool that reduced testing time by 55%.

Find out how to max out your work history section to impress every recruiter: How to Describe Work History on a CV/Resume to Land More Jobs

4

Education

What you need to put on a CV in this section depend on your experience.

If you have more than 2 years of relevant job experience, in your education section, include all postsecondary degrees. Enter:

  • Graduation date
  • Your degree
  • The name of the institution.

And nothing else.

Like in this example:

2015 M.A. in Comparative Literature

King’s College, London

2014 B.A. in French
University of Southampton

For entry-level CVs with little work history, place your education section above your work experience. You can add:

  • Your honours
  • Your dissertation title
  • Relevant coursework
  • Your best achievements
  • Extracurricular academic activities.

Like this:

2018 B.A. in Psychology
Stirling University

1:1
Relevant Coursework: Business Communication, Social Psychology, English Language Studies, Grammar and Editing
Extracurricular Activities: Captain of the Rugby Team

To find out more about putting education on a CV, see: Education Section for a CV/Resume: Best Tips

5

Skills

And now for the final mandatory section of a CV: skills.

Here’s what to list:

  • 4–8 skills relevant to the job
  • Soft skills and job-specific hard skills
  • Indication of your proficiency level (Basic, Advanced, Expert)
  • (Optionally) Examples of how you used your abilities.

And here’s what best to keep to yourself:

  • Skills unrelated to the position
  • Lengthy, unspecific descriptions.

Imagine the job description requires skills in: SEO, CRO, Data Analysis.

See this sample skills list:

  • SEO—Expert

(grew organic traffic by 78% in 12 months)

  • CRO and A/B Testing—Advanced

(optimized sign-up rates by 37%)

  • HubSpot, Kissmetrics, Google Analytics—Advanced

Good skills to include on a CV vary most across positions, industries, and individual sets of qualities. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula.

That’s why why have over 10 dedicated guides on various skills sets and how to use them in your job search. Give them a read if you want to learn more about particular skills:

Now you know everything about what items to include in each of the standard CV sections. But there’s a bit more to a well-crafted CV.

6

A Few More Good Things to Put on a Job-Winning CV

Here are a few extra tips for what to put on a run-of-the-mill CV to turn it into a fab one.

CV power words

Also known as CV action words or action verbs. These are the words you use to introduce your achievements, instead of just listing responsibilities.

With CV action words:

  • Responsible for becomes Improved...
  • Worked with becomes Collaborated on a team that...
  • In Charge Of becomes Directed 20 employees to…

Here are some sample action words to put on a CV:

  1. Accomplished
  2. Advanced
  3. Boosted
  4. Completed
  5. Created
  6. Delivered
  7. Enhanced
  8. Expedited
  9. Improved
  10. Lifted
  11. Managed
  12. Maximized
  13. Produced
  14. Stimulated

For 226 more, see: 240 Most Powerful Action Words for a CV/Resume

Good CV fonts

Use standard, elegant, and legible fonts such as Calibri, Cambria, Open Sans, Helvetica, Georgia, or Bookman Old Style.

Don’t pick outdated fonts such as Times New Roman. Don’t ever think of using a “fancy” curly-tailed font. Instead of adding a touch of class it will make your CV a nightmare to read.

See more: The Best CV Fonts

Keywords from the job description

Sending one generic CV to all prospective employers won’t do. Especially in the era of Applicant Tracking Software, you need to tailor each curriculum vitae you send to match the job on offer.

Read the description of the position carefully. Jot down all important responsibilities and required skills. Then, use those keywords on your CV.

Here’s how to do it to pain-free: How to Tailor Your CV to Match the Job Ad

Good CV Layout

That means:

  • Lots of white space
  • Uniform formatting
  • Big section headings

And, for the final word…

What’s the one thing you should never, EVER include on a CV?

Lies.

You might feel tempted to exaggerate the importance of your past positions. Embellish your achievements. Overestimate your language skills. All that just to get a shot at the interview which otherwise seems impossible to get.

Don’t.

First of all—recruiters are trained to spot liars. And once they find out you lied, there will be no second chance.

And, perhaps paradoxically—

Employers are much more forgiving than you’d think. A recent survey found that 42% of employers would consider a candidate who met only 60 percent of key qualifications for a specific role.

Unconvinced? See: Can You Lie on a Resume and Why You Cannot

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

A matching set of professional job application documents, comprising a resume and cover letter, produced with the Zety resume maker utilizing the Modern resume template, which has a two-column layout and decorative rectangles in the top and bottom sections.

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaway

Here’s what to include in a CV:

  1. Every CV should include the following sections: Contact Information, CV Profile, Work Experience, Education, Skills.
  2. Good additional sections to put on a CV are: Certifications, Associations, Languages, Extra Training and Courses, Conferences, Publications, or Awards.
  3. Things not ever to include in a CV are: date of birth, photo, salary requirements, irrelevant social media links, more than 15 years of work experience, tables, images and, obviously, lies.

If you have any questions or need further assistance about what to include in a CV and what to leave off, drop me a line in the comments and I’ll do my best to straighten out your queries. Thanks for reading!

About Zety’s Editorial Process

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team to make sure it follows Zety's editorial guidelines. We’re committed to sharing our expertise and giving you trustworthy career advice tailored to your needs. High-quality content is what brings over 40 million readers to our site every year. But we don't stop there. Our team conducts original research to understand the job market better, and we pride ourselves on being quoted by top universities and prime media outlets from around the world.

Sources

Rate my article: what to include in a cv
Average: 4.53 (144 votes)
Thank you for voting
Michael Tomaszewski, CPRW
Michael is a career expert and a Certified Professional Resume Writer. With his extensive knowledge of the job market, he provides practical advice and strategies for navigating the recruitment process and advancing your career.
Linkedin

Similar articles