How to Write a CV: Professional Examples for the UK

How to Write a CV: Professional Examples for the UK

How to write a CV? So much conflicting advice, where to even start? Our expert guide covers everything step-by-step for a CV that will get you hired.

You dust off your CV, attach it to the application and click send. 

 

Then nothing, quieter than Brighton pier on a wet December afternoon. What’s gone wrong?

 

Problem is, every vacancy attracts dozens of applicants, even for low-skilled jobs. Hiring managers and recruiters will only select the best.

 

How to write a CV that’ll make you one of the happy few called to interview?

 

We’ve got it sorted. You’re going to learn how to write a good CV. Our advice and tips will show you how to write a great CV.

 

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

 

sample cv templates

Sample CV made with our builder—See more templates and create your CV here.

 

Sample CV to Get You Inspired: Text Version

 

Julia Rudd

Office Manager

0777 777 7777

juliaruddzety@gmail.com

linkedin.com/juliaruddzety

twitter.com/juliaruddzety

 

Personal Statement

 

Office Manager with 10+ years experience looking to take on new challenges at Berkshire & Co. Proven track record of success including achieving 50% reduction in annual office supply costs through highly developed procurement and contract management skills. Also adept in working with HR teams and introduced consolidated payroll system, which saved 10 man hours per month. Seeking to leverage my experience to achieve similar efficiencies and savings at Berkshire as it grows rapidly into new markets.

 

Work Experience

 

Office Manager

Farnsworth Engineering, Manchester

June 2016–Present

  • Oversaw office operations in a medium-sized engineering firm. Line managed 3 office assistants to ensure maximum operational efficiency.
  • Responsible for cost savings for office supplies of 50% over a two year period, achieved through highly developed negotiation and procurement skills.
  • Led on acquiring a standardised payroll system that replaced two legacy systems across different teams, saving 15 man hours monthly.
  • Introduced 360-degree appraisal and feedback system for office assistant team, helping to decrease turnover by 30%.
  • Led on procurement of new travel booking system and simplified travel approval process leading to cost saving of 25% on business travel expenses.

 

Office Assistant

Treble Clef Productions, Manchester

September 2012–June 2016

  • Organised and recorded appointments for all team members.
  • Created reports for Office Manager to present to senior management. Made formatting changes that received positive feedback and reduced size of reports by 30%.
  • Answered phones and dealt with initial enquiries. Efficient working led to 20% reduction in call waiting times.
  • Took minutes of meetings and created summaries to distribute to attendees. 

 

Education

 

A levels: English, Biology, French, September 2010–June 2012

Greenford Comprehensive, London, UK

 

9 GCSEs including Mathematics and English, September 2008–June 2010

Greenford Comprehensive, London, UK

 

Key Skills

 

  • Written communication skills: Prepared monthly company newsletter based on briefings from senior managers.
  • Adaptability: Maintained high standard of service delivery during emergency office move and unexpected long term absence of team members.
  • Contract management: Kept supply and service costs within budget through effective negotiation with contractors.
  • Analytical skills: Shown in researching blockages in team processes to improve efficiency.
  • Performance management: Maintained regular schedule of 1-1 meetings and introduced new annual performance review process.

 

Languages

 

  • French—Advanced

 

Volunteering

 

  • Recruitment and Selection Volunteer for British Red Cross, July 2012–Present

 

Here’s how to write a CV:

 

  1. Use the Right CV Layout
  2. Choose the Right CV Format
  3. Create a Striking CV Header
  4. Write a Powerful Personal Statement
  5. List Your Work Experience
  6. Include Your Education
  7. Utilise Your Professional Qualifications
  8. Create a CV Skills Section
  9. Make Use of Additional Sections for Added Impact

 

What does CV stand for?

 

CV is an initialism and it stands for “curriculum vitae,” which is Latin for “course of life.” Remember that for the pub quiz! Your CV is a summary of your employment history, qualifications and education.

 

All well and good, but you’re here to learn how to write a CV, so let’s get started. 

 

1

Use the Right CV Layout

 

What’s CV layout? Simply put, layout covers how the document looks and includes font size and type, colours, paragraph length, line spacing and so forth.

 

Good layout isn’t just visually attractive. It can be the deciding factor in whether you get the job.

 

Recruiters spend only nine seconds on average looking at each CV. That’s the margin separating success from the bin.

 

Get the layout wrong and you’ve destroyed your first impression, along with any chance of getting an interview.

 

Follow these rules and get off to a flying start.

 

Fonts

 

Choose a modern, clean and readable CV font. Crimes against design like Papyrus and Comic Sans should stay in the dust bin. 

 

Our advice, stick with simple classics and avoid the most overused fonts. Here’s our top 10:

 

Best CV Fonts

  • Calibri
  • Cambria
  • Helvetica
  • Gill Sans (a favourite of the BBC)
  • Verdana
  • Garamond
  • Trebuchet MS
  • Lato
  • Book Antiqua
  • Didot

 

Once you’ve chosen one that takes your fancy then use the right font size. Don’t be tempted to go for 8 point font to cram as much in as possible, it just makes your CV unreadable.

 

For body text, go for 10 to 12 point font for the best balance between size and clarity. However, it’s better to err on the larger side to maximise readability.

 

For section headings increase the font size for CVs and choose something 4 to 6 points bigger than your body text. Big enough to give some definition, without causing distraction.

 

Subtle use of bolding and italics is a good way to draw attention to important information and can be used for emphasis where you don’t want to increase font size.

 

Underlining isn’t helpful in CV formatting as it’s visually messy. Avoid it.

 

You may want to consider using different fonts for visual impact, one for headings and another for body text for example. But make sure you do it right and have them work well together, not clash.

 

Margins

 

Set your margins to one inch on all sides. You’re aiming to create a balance between content and white space. 

 

Just as light is defined by shadow, content is defined by white space. It makes your CV more readable and directs the eye to the separate sections. 

 

Spacing

 

Set your CV spacing to 1.15. This gives a little extra room for that all-important white space but still adheres to standard business format.

 

Double-space after headings for emphasis.

 

Alignment

 

For the body of your CV our advice is to always left align only, no justification. This is standard formal business layout and reads better.

 

Length

 

How long should a CV be? When it comes to good CV examples, less is more. Stick to one page if possible, whilst still using the correct CV layout. If you have a longer work history, then two pages is fine too, but no more. The only time you should go longer is for certain specialised academic and research posts.

 

File Format

 

You need to save your CV in the right format too, so go for PDF. It’s the best way of preserving your carefully arranged layout. Do save a copy in another format though, as some employers will specify against PDF.

 

Filename

 

Use the right filename for your CV. It’s one of the first things a recruiter sees so give it the respect it’s due. At all costs avoid “CV.pdf,” your CV file will be impossible to identify and get lost with the thousands of others who made this mistake. Likewise, with initials or complex file names only you. Just use your name as an instant bit of personal branding.

 

RIGHT
  • JuliaRuddCV.pdf
  • Julia_Rudd_CV.pdf
  • Julia.Rudd.CV.pdf
WRONG
  • CV.pdf
  • JRCV.pdf
  • Rudd20202001.pdf

Pro Tip: Keep your formatting consistent throughout your CV. For example, always follow the same conventions when putting dates on your work experience section.

Those are the basic CV layout rules. Let’s move onto CV format.

 

2

Choose the Right CV Format

 

With regards to CV writing, formatting isn’t the same as CV layout. A CV format is a structure or framework to build your CV on. You still need to stick to the same layout rules, but different formats communicate your employment history, qualifications and education in different ways.

 

In the UK, there are two flavours of CV format, reverse-chronological and skills-based. We’ll cover each of them in turn.

 

Reverse-Chronological CV Format

 

Also known simply as the chronological CV, this is the format most of us are familiar with. It’s the traditional format that most employers are familiar with too. For the majority of jobs, this is the CV format to use. 

 

It’s also easily readable by the ATS software that most larger employers use to scan job applications. ATS automates the first step in filtering out unsuitable applicants. You could be an excellent candidate but if the ATS can’t read your CV then you’re finished before you’ve even started.

 

Reverse-Chronological CV Format focuses on your employment history and experience. You start with your most recent job and move back through time, listing your past jobs in order. Hence reverse-chronological.

 

Order of Sections for a Reverse Chronological CV

 

  1. Header with contact info.
  2. Personal statement.
  3. Work experience.
  4. Education.
  5. Skills.
  6. Additional sections (optional).

 

This is what we’ll focus on for our CV examples, we’ll set it out step-by-step, but there’s one more format that can be useful for some job seekers.

 

Skills Based CV Format

 

Also called functional format, this format does what it says on the tin. It concentrates on your transferable skills, your core set of skills and abilities, rather than your employment history.

 

A skills based CV can work for people with gaps in their employment history, career changers, or to write a CV for a job with no experience such as a student CV.

 

But, it’s a very risky format to use. Recruiters tend to be suspicious of skills-based CV format and often assume you’re trying to pull a fast one. They hate them because the neatly laid out job history they’re used to is missing.

 

Order of Sections for a Skills Based (Functional) CV

 

  1. Header with contact info.
  2. Personal statement.
  3. Skills summary.
  4. Education.
  5. Work experience.
  6. Additional sections (optional)

 

That’s not to say the format is completely useless, but that’s a subject for another guide. For now we’ll stick with reverse-chronological format CVs.

 

Enough theory though, let’s get writing.

 

3

 

Your CV header is the section at the top that contains your name and contact information. This is the first part of the page that gets read. You have to get it right.

 

When all is said and done your CV is a sales pitch and the product is you. So make sure your name is in bold. The header can be left or centre aligned. But do ensure the body of your CV stays left aligned.

 

Include your job title if you’re currently working, then at a minimum your phone number and a clickable email address. 

 

Speaking of email address, use a sensible personal email address. Hotstuff99@gmail.com was good for a laugh when you were 15, but it’s completely unacceptable for your job search. In fact studies have proven an informal email address has a negative impact on getting hired. Just stick with a combination of first name or initial and surname.

Pro Tip: It’s perfectly ok not to include your residential address. It just takes up space and the hiring manager just might hold it against you if you’ve got a long commute.

Best practice is to add value with clickable links to your LinkedIn profile and other appropriate online presence. An online portfolio is perfect if applicable to your career.

 

Only include links to your social media accounts, if you’ve vetted them first. No hiring manager will be impressed by evidence of your antics on your last trip to Benidorm.

 

Last of all, there’s some things you never include in a CV header for the UK job market.

  • Photo—this is common in continental Europe, but an absolute no-no in the UK.
  • Date of birth—by law, you do not need to include this and it’s illegal for employers to discriminate against you based on your age.
  • Marital status—again, by law, you do not need to include this, it has no place on a UK CV.

 

Now, here’s a perfect CV header sample that was made using the Zety CV builder:

 

CV Header Example

 

cv header

 

Follow this up with your personal statement.

 

4

Write a Powerful Personal Statement

 

Personal statement for a CV, also known as a personal profile or CV profile, functions as the introduction. It’s a short paragraph designed to grab the recruiter’s attention and keep them reading.

 

The personal statement comes immediately after your CV header. Your aim is to show your worth for the role in the instant it takes this section to be scanned by the hiring manager or the ATS.

 

Before you start, read the job description. Your CV profile must be specifically tailored to each individual job advert. Don’t even think of copy-pasting the same personal statement for every CV you send.

Pro Tip: Think like a computer. Make sure your personal statement is optimised for ATS software. Go through the job description and look for keywords in the form of responsibilities, skills and job title. For example “analytical skills,” “marketing manager,” “QuickBooks.” Then include these in your profile, making sure it sounds natural. And always include the name of the company you’re applying for and the job title.

Whilst analysing the job advert remember that your profile is going to be an advert itself. An advert for you

 

If you’re an experienced candidate, start your personal sales pitch by giving yourself a job title. Don’t describe yourself as a “highly experienced professional” or any similar generic label, be specific. Where possible, give yourself the same title as the position you’re applying for. If the advert is looking for a “qualified paralegal” then call yourself one.

 

If you’re applying for a job where education, vocational qualifications or professional memberships are relevant then include them in your personal statement. But do so in brief or using the correct abbreviation. Save the detail for the specific sections of your CV. For example MSc in Data Science, ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), RCN (Royal College of Nursing).

 

To add meat to the bones of your personal statement for a CV consider three things:

  • Motivation: Why do you want to work in this job/industry?
  • Skills & Experience: What skills and experience do you have that make you the best hire for this role? Again, tailor this to the job description.
  • Objective: Where do you plan to go in your career with this company?

 

Depending on where you are in your career, the balance between these three factors will shift. Your profile will look different when you write a CV for a job with no experience. So let’s take a look at a selection of CV profile examples. 

 

CV Personal Statement With Experience

 

RIGHT

Office Manager with 10+ years experience looking to take on new challenges at Berkshire & Co. Proven track record of success including achieving 50% reduction in annual office supply costs through highly developed procurement and contract management skills. Also adept in working with HR teams and introduced consolidated payroll system, which saved 10 man hours per month. Seeking to leverage my experience to achieve similar efficiencies and savings at Berkshire as it grows rapidly into new markets.

WRONG

Accomplished professional with 10 years experience seeking a job in an accounting firm. Adept at managing a team of office administrators, scheduling company events and making cost savings wherever possible. 

 

For an experienced professional continuing their career in the same field the key is measurable skills and experience. 

 

The right example will have the hiring manager hungry for more. It starts with the applicant’s job title and experience then moves straight onto achievements that are backed up with numbers. It finishes with an impressive statement of the applicant’s goals, showing they’ve done their research on the company’s current challenges. It also names the firm they’re applying for. The ATS will love it and so will the recruiter or hiring manager.

 

As for the wrong example, it’s going nowhere. It looks far too generic and doesn’t mention the name of the role or the company being applied to. No keywords, no evidence, no chance of success.

 

So there’s a CV personal statement for an experienced candidate. How about for someone with less experience? Let’s check this graduate CV example.

 

Personal Statement for a CV With No Experience—Graduate

 

RIGHT

Recent University of Greenwich BSc graduate with a 2:1 honours degree, seeking to obtain an Operations Graduate position with Vehiclease Systems to develop my business management and strategic planning skills in a fast-paced, cutting-edge tech environment. I aim to grow within the role and leverage my passion for the automotive industry, and specialisation in business analytics to become an expert in business process improvement.

WRONG

BSc in business management graduate looking for an opportunity to commence my career in a fast-paced tech environment. I have a 2:1 honours degree and I believe my skills would be a perfect fit for this role.

 

As you can see the balance shifts here, more focus on motivation for the role, less in the way of practical experience to draw on.

 

The first candidate still gets it right though. The personal profile covers specific and relevant details about their degree and the 2:1 honours is a measurable achievement. The last sentence covers motivation nicely and it’s clear that it’s been tailored to the job being applied for.

 

The second? Like the first wrong example, it’s generic and dull. There’s also no real focus on motivation, which is even more important when you don’t have professional experience to draw upon.

 

Speaking of which, how do you list work experience on a CV? Read on to find out.

Find out more: Personal Profile Statement for a CV

5

List Your Work Experience

 

We’ve covered the starter section, time for the main course. How to include work experience on a CV. Let’s begin by making sure your CV work experience section is correctly structured.

 

Work Experience Section

 

Your CV work experience section should be formatted as follows:

  • Job Title: This should be the header for each entry in the section. Put this in bold or a larger font for emphasis and to make it easier for the reader to scan.
  • Company/City: Immediately follow this up with the name of the company and location of the workplace. Our layout tip here is to use italics for contrast.
  • Dates Employed: The month and year will suffice. No need to put exact dates.
  • Responsibilities/Achievements: 5–6 bullet points for each position, made relevant to the job you’re applying for.
  • Keywords: Just as with your personal statement, glean keywords from the job description and include them in your experience section for a tailored CV.

 

Now let’s see how it works in practice.

 

CV Work Experience Section—Example

 

RIGHT

Office Manager

Farnsworth Engineering, Manchester

June 2016–Present

  • Oversaw office operations in a medium sized engineering firm. Line managed 3 office assistants to ensure maximum operational efficiency.
  • Responsible for cost savings for office supplies of 50% over a two year period, achieved through highly developed negotiation and procurement skills.
  • Led on acquiring a standardised payroll system that replaced two legacy systems across different teams, saving 15 man hours monthly.
  • Introduced 360 degree appraisal and feedback system for office assistant team, helping to decrease turnover by 30%.
  • Led on procurement of new travel booking system and simplified travel approval process leading to cost saving of 25% on business travel expenses.
WRONG

Office Manager

Farnsworth Engineering, Manchester

June 2016–Present

  • Office manager for a medium sized engineering firm. Led a team of three office assistants.
  • Responsible for ordering all office supplies.
  • Worked with HR team on payroll system.
  • Introduced new performance management measures for office assistants.
  • Procured a new travel booking system.

 

Where did the second example go wrong? It’s just a shopping list of responsibilities without any proof in the form of measurable achievements to back them up. 

 

It also gets the layout wrong, no emphasis of the job title. Bad formatting makes your CV harder to read and prevents the hiring manager seeing vital information. 

 

How Far Back Should a CV Go?

 

We’ve already said it, for a CV less is more and two pages is your maximum length. So what’s the cut off for work experience? How far back should your CV go?

 

If you don’t have much work experience this won’t be a problem. For everyone else there’s a simple rule of thumb that will work in most cases. A CV should go no further than 10–15 years back or your last 5–6 roles in chronological order.

 

Use your common sense though and don’t treat this rule as set in stone. For example a career changer going back to a field they worked in more than 10 years ago should definitely include their previous experience.

 

Just remember to follow the golden rule of CV writing. Keep it concise and relevant or it’ll end up in the bin.

 

What comes next? Well let’s say just ignore Pink Floyd. You do need an education and here’s how to include it in your CV.

 

Pop your CV into different templates to see how it looks. Read more here: 20+ Free CV Templates to Download Now

 

6

Include Your Education

 

Regardless of where you are in your career, you need to know how to write a CV education section. However, your stage of career will dictate how this section should be structured.

 

If you’ve got little, or no professional experience then change the order of your CV and put your education section before your work experience section. Otherwise, leave your education section immediately following your work history.

 

Still Studying

 

Do mention any education you’re currently pursuing and put it first as it’s the most relevant. Mention your area of study and the date you’re due to finish your studies. 

 

Include individual modules too, if they’re relevant to the job you’re applying for. In the absence of professional experience, this can help you stand out as a candidate. Include your start date and instead of an end date, use “expected completion date.”

 

School leaver 

 

Your GCSEs and A levels are most important, if you’ve just left school. Always specifically include Maths and English, as a pass in these is considered an essential minimum for many jobs. Other individual subjects can be mentioned if relevant. 

 

Unless specifically requested in the job advert, grades for individual subjects don’t automatically need to be included, unless they’re particularly impressive. Simply mentioning the GCSEs and A levels you’ve attained will suffice.

 

University Graduate 

 

List your degree first, with honours if you achieved them. Be sure to include your area of specialisation, e.g. BSc Psychology and you should mention individual modules if they relate to the role you’re applying for. If you have more than one degree or a post-graduate degree then use reverse-chronological order.

 

CV Education Section—Experienced Worker

 

For experienced workers with no additional qualifications your professional experience is what counts most. Your education should still be mentioned but as a brief summary, without detailed descriptions. If you have a University degree then do mention this, but in this case there is no need to also mention your GCSEs and A levels.

 

Let’s see how this works in practice.

 

Writing a CV—University Graduate

 

RIGHT

BA (Hons), 2:1, English Literature, September 2013–June 2016

University of Manchester, UK

WRONG

BA, September, 2013–June 2016

Manchester University

 

The right way of doing it is to include all relevant details including your area of specialisation, honours, and location. The use of bold and italic also helps to highlight and isolate the relevant info.

 

The second example has omitted the important details, doesn’t use layout for emphasis, and gets the name of the institution wrong. Ensure you use the full formal name of the institution you attended.

 

How to Write a Good CV—School Leaver

 

RIGHT

A levels: Physics, Biology, Chemistry. September 2010–June 2012

Greenford Comprehensive, London, UK

 

9 GCSEs including Mathematics and English, September 2008–June 2010

Greenford Comprehensive, London, UK

WRONG

A levels, September 2010–June 2012

Greenford Comprehensive, London, UK

 

9 GCSEs, September 2008–June 2010

Greenford Comprehensive, London, UK

 

The correct example gives details and adds emphasis with bold and italic. As you can see, no need for individual grades, but A level subjects are mentioned as are the crucial Maths and English GCSe passes.

 

The wrong example leaves out pretty much everything. You may as well just leave a blank space.

 

CV Examples for Education Section—Still Studying

 

BA (Hons), 2:1, English Literature, September 2017– expected completion date June 2020

University of Manchester, UK

 

Just a quick example to show you what to do if you’re still pursuing a qualification. Put “expected completion date,” followed by the month and year you expect to finish.

 

That’s an education section that’ll put Professor Brian Cox to shame, now for professional qualifications.

 

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

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

So that’s your CV done and dusted, ready to be sent off and get you the job of your dreams, right? Not quite, there’s some additional work you can do to upgrade your CV from good to great.

 

7

Utilise Your Professional Qualifications

 

If you’ve been in work for a while and have decided to upskill with a professional qualification, then include this in a separate section immediately after education. For example, Prince2 certification. The same applies for professional certification obtained shortly after completing studies, such as in the legal profession.

 

You can name the section “Certification,” “Professional Qualification” or “Professional Memberships.” Whichever is most appropriate for your attainment.

 

Writing CV Examples—Certification, Professional Qualifications & Memberships

 

Professional Qualification

  • Chartered Engineer

 

Certification, sorted. Let’s move on to your skills.

 

8

Create a CV Skills Section

 

Skills demonstrate your ability to perform tasks well, be effective in various workplace scenarios and show your expertise in your profession.

 

They go to the very heart of your potential to be a good employee, so it’s vital to include a well-crafted skills section in your CV.

 

Skills for your CV fall into two main categories, role specific or hard skills, and generic or soft skills.

 

Hard skills are those required for performing particular jobs, for example programming skills for a games developer or lesson planning skills for a teacher. 

 

Soft skills, which you’ll also see referred to as adaptive skills, are broad skill sets required for most jobs. For example, teamwork and adaptability.

 

How do you choose which ones to list? As with your entire CV, the key is staying directly relevant to the job you’re applying for.

 

Go to the advert and read the job description. The hiring manager uses this to state what they’re looking for in a new employee, so give them what they want. 

 

Desired skills can be expressed explicitly, such as “good team player” or “experience using C#.” However, others are implicit, such as sales skills for an estate agent, even if not specified on the job description.

 

Take the time to brainstorm a list of relevant hard and soft skills based on the job description. But don’t just add them as an afterthought in a plain shopping list style format. Do it properly. Here’s how:

 

How to Write a CV—Skills Section

 

RIGHT
  • Written communication skills: Prepared monthly company newsletter based on briefings from senior managers./li>
  • Adaptability: Maintained a high standard of service delivery during emergency office move and unexpected long term absence of team members.
  • Contract management: Kept supply and service costs within budget through effective negotiation with contractors.
  • Analytical skills: Shown in researching blockages in team processes to improve efficiency.
  • Performance management: Maintained regular schedule of 1-1 meetings and introduced new annual performance review process.
WRONG
  • Communication skills
  • Adaptability
  • Contract management
  • Analytical skills
  • Performance management

 

The right example uses a splash of eye-catching bold text to emphasise the skill itself then gives a practical application of that knowledge. They clearly show the employer that you actually possess that skill and know how to use it in the workplace.

 

The second example triggers one response. Prove it.

 

Some skills will vary from job to job, but others are almost universal. Here are some of the most popular. Feel free to use them to write your own CV, but keep them relevant and show the employer you know how to apply them.

 

Best Skills to Show on Your CV

 

  • Resilience
  • Teamwork and interpersonal skills
  • Self management
  • Problem solving
  • Creativity
  • Planning and research skills
  • Ability to learn

 

And there it is. You’ve demonstrated more skills than being a dual winner of Strictly Come Dancing and the Booker Prize while maintaining a successful career as a neurosurgeon.

 

We’re not quite finished though, there’s some extra you can add to promote your CV to the Premier League.

Read more: Key Skills to Put on a CV (+Examples)

9

Make Use of Additional Sections for Added Impact

 

Your layout is perfect, your format is brilliant, your work experience, skills and education sections are sorted. The problem is there are dozens of other CVs just like yours sitting on the hiring manager’s desk and you’ve got to find a way of standing out. You can do that with additional CV sections, they’re the interview winning icing on the cake.

 

As with writing other CV sections, your choice here depends on what stage you’re at in your career and relevancy to the job being applied for. The aim is always the same though. Use additional CV sections to show you have skills, knowledge or experience that will make you the solution to the hiring manager’s problems.

 

Here are some examples of additional CV sections:

 

Hobbies and Interests

 

Don’t just rush straight in and list trainspotting and beer mat collecting. Make sure it’s relevant to the job and company in question. Obviously team sports would demonstrate team work but chess could also be a great choice as it demonstrates strategic thinking and analysis.

 

Hobbies and Interests

  • Tighthead Prop for Gloucester Tigers in Gloucester 2 North league
  • Mentor for CFA UK Mentoring Programme

 

Conferences

 

Being an attendee or speaker at conferences shows off keen interest and expert knowledge in your field. It’s a great way of adding some flair to your CV that wouldn’t fit in other sections.

 

Conferences

  • Guest speaker: 2018 Housing Market Intelligence Conference.
  • Future of Housing Conference: 2014–2019

 

Awards

 

Whether internal or external, recognition of your talents is a valuable addition to your CV. Simply say what the award was for, the year received and who awarded it. 

 

Awards

  • Key member of silver medal winning team, UK Customer Experience Awards 2019

 

Volunteering

 

Contributing your time unpaid shows motivation and a desire to contribute to society. It’s also a valuable form of work experience in itself. If it’s directly related to your industry then even better, but any form of volunteer work is well worth including on your CV.

 

Volunteering

  • Pro bono work for The Law Centres Network

 

Add examples like these and it’s not just icing on the cake. It’s Great British Bake Off winning! Here are some more ideas to get you inspired.

 

Languages

 

Speaking a foreign language is a CV superpower. Language skills are needed at all levels in the workforce so if you’ve got them, include them. Simply state the language followed by your proficiency. There’s no hard and fast rules, you could class your competency as:

  • Basic or beginner
  • Conversational or intermediate
  • Advanced or proficient
  • Fluent or native speaker

 

Alternatively, you could follow the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

 

Here’s how listing a language would look on your CV.

 

Languages

  • French—fluent

 

Additional CV Sections—Examples

 

  • Publications
  • Extra curricular activities
  • Associations
  • Projects
  • Certifications and licenses

Pro Tip: One last thing—always proofread. Use Grammarly or ask a friend to check your CV for typos. You wouldn’t like to miss out on a job, because the hiring manager spots the typo.

10

Write a Cover Letter

 

There’s one more thing you need to write to craft the perfect CV. A job winning cover letter. 

 

A good cover letter is like the ketchup on a bacon sandwich. Almost half of employers will reject your application outright, if you don’t include one. Here are some tips on how to write it.

 

Always follow standard UK business letter formatting. Return address right justified, everything else left justified. Use 1 or 1.15 spacing, and stick to 11 or 12 point font. Use the same font as your CV for consistency. And choose the right cover letter length, never more than one page long.

 

For the greeting, always try to find the hiring manager's name so you can address the letter personally. “Dear Mr Jones” rather than “To Whom It May Concern.” Addressing a cover letter personally powerfully activates the reader’s brain so they pay more attention to what follows.

 

Remember that it’s not a bragging contest and target your cover letter to the job you’re applying for. Use your skills, experience and achievements to position yourself as the answer to the employer’s hiring needs.

 

Then for a powerful finishing touch, end your cover letter with a powerful call to action, requesting a phone call or meeting.

Read more: How to Write a Cover Letter—Complete Guide

 

And for even more expert CV tips, see this guide: 20+ Job Winning CV Tips and Advice

 

Now your CV is ready to snag you the career of your choice, but here’s a little reminder to refresh your memory.

 

Key Takeaway

 

That’s it, you’ve got a CV that would have Lord Sugar saying “You’re hired!” Writing a CV needn’t be a nightmare, just follow our advice and tips and the interview is yours. Here’s a summary to refresh your memory:

  • Use the right CV layout. Fonts, white space, margins and spacing all contribute to readability. Keep the recruiter reading and you’ve passed the first hurdle.
  • Use a template with clear sections and the right length. Dividing up your CV clearly and keeping it brief focuses attention on your job winning qualities.
  • Choose the right CV format. In the vast majority of cases, reverse-chronological is best.
  • Write an attention grabbing CV personal statement. Get the hiring manager hooked from the start.
  • Serve up a stunning main course of experience, skills and education. This is the meat and potatoes of your CV that plays the biggest part in selling you as a candidate.
  • Land the knockout punch with additional CV sections. Go above and beyond with bonus information to seal the deal and land that interview.
  • Attach a cover letter to your CV. Show how the company will benefit from hiring you.

 

Do you have more questions about how to write a CV? Perhaps some job specific problems or advice on your own personal circumstances? Ask away in the comments section, we’d love to help.

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Jacques Buffett
Jacques is a career expert committed to delivering top-notch job hunting advice. His guides will empower you to craft winning resumes and cover letters.

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