213 free CV templates in Microsoft Word

Choose a CV template from our collection of 213 professional designs in Microsoft Word format (with CV writing advice)

Updated: 21st September 2019 | By: Jen Wiss-Carline

In a competitive job market, we know that creating the perfect CV is a tough task. That's why we've created this CV library of 213 best free CV templates and resume templates to help you. Each of our professional CV templates contains placeholder information to inspire you when writing your own curriculum vitae. We've also included plenty of advice on writing a winning CV that will land you more job interviews. In our CV writing guidance, we cover what to include in each section, and how to make your CV stand out from the crowd. We also answer your FAQS.

Jump to: CV guide | CV content | CV sections

Please note: These free professionally-designed CV templates in Microsoft Word format are for your personal use in finding a job. You can find our terms of use here. If you find a template that you like, we'd appreciate a review or a 'Facebook Like' and we'd absolutely love it if you shared this page!

Latest CV templates:

NEW! We've updated our Waitress, Accountant, Legal, UK Sales Assistant and UK Teaching Assistant professional Word CVs for 2019! We've also added a brand new Academic CV (#213).

Acting CV

New! Acting CV (Free UK CV Template in Microsoft Word format)

CV ref #212: Our Acting CV is a crisp one-page easy-to-edit template in Microsoft Word. It sets out the information that is expected by directors when casting for a role, from your essential stats and Spotlight number through to your past roles and experience. Download our Acting CV template
Free Waiter CV template

Free Waiter CV template

CV ref #211: Our super stylish waiter/waitress-themed CV in Microsoft Word format uses a 'menu' background and a beautiful traditional menu-style font to set the scene.

Sections have stylish headers in a complementary colour together with subtle use of font-spacing.

Although the sample content pertains to a waiter or waitress, this is also a great template for other hospitality and restaurant-type roles.

Download our Waiter CV template
TEFL template

Free TEFL CV template

CV ref #210: A lovely fresh template with a crisp font, neat paragraph borders and some subtle style details that beautifully presents your information. Completed with example content for a TEFL position but equally suitable to almost any job role. Download our TEFL CV template
Free Nursing CV template

Free Nursing CV

CV ref #209: Our nursing-themed template is a fresh two-page design with subtle styling including paragraph borders, decorative headers and font spacing.

This CV is so easy to use and edit - no awkward text boxes or complicated columns to deal with. We've included a guide on the download page which will help you edit some of the most common elements in Word, and we've also included a link to our popular template editing guide.

This CV design is suitable for a multitude of professions both within the care industry and beyond. The sample content has been tailored to a nursing application but this CV is suitable for a very wide range of industries.

Download our Nursing CV
Free Hotel worker CV template

Free hospitality CV template

CV ref #208: A simple, one-page Résumé or CV template with sample information for a hotel worker or hospitality role. This easy-to-use template can be adapted for just about any role where a simple one page CV is required without too much detail. Download our hospitality CV template
Free Office Administrator CV template

Free Office Administrator CV template

CV ref #207: This brand new fresh CV template has been built in Microsoft Word (.docx format) using tables, making it incredibly easy to use and edit. With lots of white space and a few splashes of elegant blue, it's a clean, spacious design that will create a superb first impression with prospective employers. The typography is Open Sans with a minimal use of Acme (both free fonts), ensuring your information is presented in a crisp, clear and easy-to-read format. Although the example information in this two-page CV is tailored to an office administration role, it's highly suitable for almost any position. Download our Admin CV template
Blue layout CV (updated 2019)

Blue Layout CV template (updated 2019)

CV ref #206: We've taken our old 'Helvetica Blue Layout' CV and given it a brand new fresh look, with better spacing, a great choice of font and lots more sections in line with current trends. Wow prospective employers with quotes from your references or achievements - whilst presenting the core information they're looking for in an attractive and easy-to-read format. Download 'Blue Layout' General CV template (2019 update)
Classic Centred CV or resume

Free Classic Centred CV or resume

CV ref #205: This is a professional ATS-friendly CV or resume template, currently set out on one page but easily adapted to span two or more as required. We've used the classic Times New Roman font but added spacing to give it a fresh modern feel, coupled with shading and paragraph styling for a stylish layout without graphics or text boxes. Download our one page CV
Cornered CV format

'Cornered' CV template in MS Word

CV ref #204: A brand new fresh CV design using a traditional font choice, some subtle design details and lots of spacing to create a layout that is both elegant and eye-catching. Created with ATS software in mind, this template contains no tables, text boxes or other elements that may confuse CV reader software, making it a superb choice for applying to organisations large and small. Download our Professional CV template
Arial Narrow Professional Word template

Free 'Arial Narrow' Professional Free CV or résumé template

CV ref #203: While 'Arial Narrow' is perhaps an unusual choice for a CV, we use extra spacing to ensure your text is both beautifully presented and easy-to-read. All other features on this template are designed with ATS software in mind, with styling applied at paragraph and font level only. Cleverly putting your skills and achievements right in the spotlight, this is a lovely template with a fresh, spacious layout and a clean, modern feel. Download our Free ATS CV
Classic ATS template

Free Microsoft Word ATS-friendly CV template with 'Classic' design

CV ref #202: Another super-smart machine-friendly free Word template that neatly balances the need to make the document parseable with the fact that a human will review your CV or résumé once it passes the machine test. All style details are incorporated through paragraph styling with no tables, columns or graphics to confuse automated CV software, giving you a better chance of landing that all-important first interview. Download our ATS friendly CV template

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CV template guide

There are many possible layouts and formats when creating your curriculum vitae. On this page we discuss the format of a CV generally before looking at the CV format that is expected by employers in the UK. Our step-by-step guide walks you through creating each section of your CV template. For each part, we explain what information is required to write a great CV and how it should be laid out.

There are three main types of C V format:

  1. Reverse chronological
  2. Functional (or 'skills based)
  3. Combination

The most common format for CV writing used in the UK is reverse chronological.

1. Reverse Chronological

Contents of a reverse chronological CV:

  1. Name and professional title
  2. Contact details
  3. Personal statement
  4. Work experience (majority of content)
  5. Education
  6. Skills
  7. Additional sections (if applicable)
  8. References

Note that the work experience section is listed in reverse chronological order (most recent first).

"This type of CV template makes it easy for employers to identify potential candidates. It allows you to provide clear details of your qualifications, work history and responsibilities, which match the criteria provided in the job description." ~ Prospects.ac.uk.

Here is an example of the Reverse Chronological CV format:
CV - reverse chronological format
CV reverse chronological format - page 2
The only deviation from the standard format here is that the contact information appears down the side of the CV. This example care assistant CV format is free and can be downloaded here.

2. Functional (skills based)

Contents of a functional (skills based) CV:

  1. Name and professional title
  2. Contact Information
  3. Personal statement
  4. Skills (majority of content)
  5. Work Experience
  6. Education
  7. Additional sections (if applicable)
  8. References

This format of CV places a lot of focus on the skills that are most relevant to the role applied for. The skills section appears after the personal statement rather than towards the end of the CV. It is typically much longer than would be included in a reverse chronological CV.

A functional C.V format is mainly used by two types of candidate:

  1. Candidates with little formal work experience. In this case, the skills section may even be larger than the work experience section.
  2. Candidates applying to roles where skills are more important than work experience. In this case, the candidate will want to draw the skills to the attention of the employer first.

Here is an example of a functional CV format:
Functional skills based CV format - page one
This example CV format is free and can be downloaded here.

3. Combination

A combination CV is as it sounds: it combines the reverse chronological and functional CV formats, placing equal emphasis on both skills and experience. The layout for this type of CV is more flexible and can be adapted to the job position. So, if you want to put your work experience first, that's fine. If you'd rather put skills first, that's fine too.
The difference between this format and the reverse chronological format is that with this format, the skills and work experience section could be the same size. With the reverse chronological format, the skills section would be much smaller.
As the combination format puts emphasis on both work experience and skills, there may be less room for other sections such as interests.

Contents of a combination CV:

  1. Name and professional title
  2. Contact Information
  3. Personal statement
  4. Work Experience (major focus)
  5. Skills (major focus)
  6. Education
  7. Additional sections (if applicable)
  8. References

Here is an example of a combination CV format:
Combination CV format - page one
This example CV format is free and can be downloaded here.

ATS CV - highlight design

'Highlight' ATS CV design

CV ref #201: Using a range of simple design techniques, our ATS-friendly 'Highlight' CV presents your information in a simple machine-readable way without compromising on style. Boasting a classic fresh design which puts your skills and achievements in the spotlight, this template is a super choice for a whole range of industries and careers. Download our ATS compliant CV template
Simple ATS-friendly CV template

Simple ATS-friendly CV in Word format

CV ref #200: If you've been browsing around for an ATS-friendly CV template that doesn't look like it was knocked together in the 1980s, look no further - our simple template is clean and professional with a super slick machine-friendly design that doesn't compromise on style. Download our ATS proof CV to edit in Word
ATS-friendly free CV

Free ATS-friendly smart CV template in Microsoft Word format

CV ref #199: If you're applying for a job with a large organisation, there's a good chance they'll run your CV through ATS software before the HR manager even takes a look. This software can sometimes be temperamental, resulting in perfectly suitable candidates being overlooked. For this reason, you should choose an ATS-friendly template when applying to a FTSE 200 or Fortune 500 company, or an organisation of a similar size. Our latest ATS-friendly template is free and easy to complete. Download our free ATS system CV
Colour blocks CV template - 2019 update

Free Colour blocks Word CV template : 2019 update

CV ref #198: 'Colour Blocks' was one of our first templates, first published in 2019, has had a brilliant overhaul. It now utilises the modern Open Sans font family, with lots more space and a second page for your information. Still in easy-to-edit Microsoft Word format, this template uses tables so it's very simple to use. Download our colourful CV template (2019)
School leaver CV template

School leaver CV template

CV ref #197: Writing your first CV can be daunting, particularly if you have no paid work experience. Our simple school leavers CV template demonstrates how to put the focus on skills you've acquired through your education and extra-curricular activities. We also show you how to present alternative types of work experience, demonstrating skills that are transferable to the workplace. Download our school leaver cv template

Free administrator CV in Word

CV ref #196: Our 'Administrator' layout is one of our CV examples with a fresh one-page two-column design that can be used for a variety of roles. Neat icons present your contact info, while vertical text keeps the headings to one side. The template uses a crisp easy-to-read font and an attractive bullet point list, giving it an overall highly professional appearance. Download our Administrator CV

'Connect' Quotes CV template in Microsoft Word

CV ref #195: This smart skills based CV template is designed to grab a prospective employer's attention with an impressive quote or achievement, right at the top of the CV. This is a two-page template that primarily has one column but sometimes splits into two, making best use of the space. Get our skills based CV template

'Connect' Lite Word template

CV ref #194: A lovely alternative to our standard Connect template, this two-page CV layout places emphasis on your career objective, achievements and skills. It's a fresh design that jumps between one and two columns to present your information clearly, with a soft-grey header for easy printing. Get 'Connect Lite' free CV

Free professional Wave Word CV

CV ref #193: This highly original CV layout has an attractive wave background and contrasting headers. The template uses a single column layout and spans two pages. It has lots of classy features which include an easy-to-read font and great use of bullet point lists to organise information. Get our accountant CV in Word (free)

Free Word 'Flourish' CV or resume template

CV ref #192: This subtle template uses design features to split up your information in a way that makes everything easy-to-read. A two-page layout that jumps between one and two columns, it's very easy to work with for a great result. Download 'Flourish' CV

Free International or PR themed Word template

CV ref #191: The layout of this two-page single-column template is perfect for plenty of roles. We've included placeholder content with an international theme but the template is easy-to-customise for almost any career. If you don't want to include a photo, simply replace it with your name in a larger font. Download our international or PR CV template
Free retail sales CV template in Microsoft Word

Free Retail sales CV template/résumé

CV ref #190: This lovely one-page two-column has a clean, fresh design that makes the contents easier to read. If more space is needed, the photo can simply be deleted so that the content moves up the page. This template is ideal for entry-level candidates and those early in their career. Download our Retail CV
Free Accounts and Finance themed CV template in Microsoft Word

Free Finance themed CV

CV ref #189: Although we've used placeholder information for a financial accountant, this lovely two-column two-page template works exceptionally well for any job role. There is space to add key achievements or quotes from references to hep you make more of an impact on the first page. Download our Finance CV template
Free Legal Executive professional Word CV template

Free Legal Executive CV template

CV ref #188: A superb one-page two-column example CV with eye-catching fade-in headings and shaded sub-headings. Although we have included sample content for a UK Legal Executive, this template would work just as well for any professional position. Get this free Legal Executive CV in Word
Free Paralegal professional template for CV

Free Paralegal template

CV ref #187: This example CV has a lovely soft blue background separating the top and bottom sections. It's a one-page two-column design with room for quotes from references or key achievements to help you stand out from the crowd. Don't want to use a photo? It's easy to remove and the content will just move up to fill the space. We've included sample content for a UK paralegal but you can easily edit this CV to work for any role. Download our Paralegal CV template in MS Word
Free Solicitor professional CV example

Free Solicitor CV or resume template

CV ref #186: This is a wonderful fresh one-page CV example which uses a two-column layout. It has a friendly, approachable feel which makes it well-suited to positions within the service sector. We've included example content for a UK solicitor but this template is a great choice for a host of roles and professions. Download our free Solicitor CV

CV content: what to include on your CV template

Every CV template needs to have a few core sections - and there are some optional ones too. Here's what a UK employer will always expect to see on your CV:

  • Name
  • Contact details (address, phone number and email address)
  • Social profiles (these can be used to elaborate on your work history and add credibility - see our article 'Building a killer LinkedIn profile to complement your CV')
  • Work experience (reverse chronological, i.e., most recent first)
  • Education
  • References

These sections are always expected on your CV and the above order is typical. However, there are some other sections that we recommend you include to make more of an impact. These are:

  • Personal statement (sometimes called a profile or career objective). This section typically goes after your contact details.
  • Skills (both hard and soft). This section typically goes either after your personal statement (for CVs that are more skills focused) or after your education (for CVs that are more experience focused).
  • Hobbies and interests. This section typically goes before your references.

Finally, there are some sections which you might like to include where they are relevant to you. These are:

  • Memberships (of professional industry-relevant organisations)
  • Awards
  • Achievements
  • Publications

These sections would typically appear before the hobbies and interests section.

Click here to jump to our guide on what to include in each of the core sections. You can also find out more about what goes into each of these sections together with the different CV layout and format options in these guides:

Featured careers:

Each of our featured careers sections includes a library of CV templates with example content for that career plus a comprehensive industry-specific 'how to write a CV' guide.

Free Sports themed cv free template in Word

Free Sports themed Word CV

CV ref #185: Our free sports-themed CV or resume template is perfect for candidates seeking an active sports or fitness type role. The two-page layout incorporates an impressive icon font, allowing a different activity to be represented in each section. As each icon is represented by a character (e.g. A, B, C), the icons can be fully customised by simply choosing alternative letters.Download the Sport CV
Free Operations Manager professional template for CV

Free Operations Manager Word CV template

CV ref #184: This CV template uses a variety of layouts - single, double and triple column - to present information in an easy-to-read format. Spanning two pages, it has some great features including vertical headings, space for key achievements and subtle use of graphics. As one of our CV examples, there is sample information included for an Operations Manager but this template works great for mid-career and onwards business professionals. Download our Operations Manager CV
Free Product Manager professional CV example

Product Manager CV or resume template

CV ref #183: This CV example has a number of noteworthy features that make it highly adaptable. First, contact details are presented in two vertical bars - this directs the prospective employer straight to your personal statement, allowing you to make the most of the few seconds most recruiters spend looking at each CV. Second, it prioritises skills, making it perfect for roles which depend heavily on applicants having a key skill set. Third, the work history is styled to span two pages (and can be extended), allowing those with more extensive work experience to present their information effectively. There are plenty more design details which make this adaptable template a super choice for both entry level applicants and those with more experience. Download the Product Manager CV
Nursing and Health Care professional CV or resume template for free

Free Care Assistant curriculum vitae template

CV ref #182: This stylish CV template puts your contact details to one side, directing recruiters straight to your personal statement. Spanning two pages, the key sections are presented on page one with room for your interests and references on page two. A superb professionally designed layout, this sample CV is ideal for a Healthcare Assistant, Care Assistant, Support Worker, Nursing Assistant, Registered Nurse, Community Care Worker, Auxiliary Nurse or similar job role. Download our Free Care Assistant CV template

There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work than follow your passions – in a way that serves the world and you.
~ Sir Richard Branson

Food services assistant professional CV template for free

Free Food Services Assistant Word C.V template

CV ref #181: This lovely free CV template includes sample content for a food-services role such as a job position in a restaurant, cafe or coffee shop. However, take away the themed icon and this layout would just as well suit any other role. This template spans two pages and uses columns effectively to break up the information whilst still controlling the reader's flow. Download this CV for fast food
Free Secretary professional free template for CV

Free Secretary CV template (2019)

CV ref #180: A simple, understated example CV that uses primarily one column but splits the information where it makes sense to do so. Spanning two pages, the template uses contact icons, eye-catching headings, shading and other design features, encouraging recruiters to read further into your CV. Although filled out with sample content for a secretary, this template works perfectly for any job role. Download our Secretary CV sample (2019)
Free Estate Agent professional free template for CV

Free Estate Agent CV or resume template

CV ref #179: This themed template is perfect for anyone seeking a property or housing type role. Using a two-column layout, it presents all of your information on a single page, ensuring the recruiter can quickly assess your suitability for the role. The subtle graphic and neat 'windows' bullet point list gives the template a property-focused feel. Get this Estate Agent CV
Free Business Manager professional Word CV template

Free Business Manager Word CV template

CV ref #178: This two-page template aims to make a great impression right from the start. With an impressive title, space for a punchy objective and room for four quotes or achievements, it's the perfect template for grabbing the HR Manager's attention where there are lots of other applicants for the role. The easy-to-customise layout means you can expand the work experience section onto page two if you need to. This layout is perfect for business roles with the subtle 'cog' graphics giving it a strong operations focus. Download the Business Manager CV
Free Business Development professional CV layout

Business Development CV format

CV ref #177: For some job roles, skills are more important to the recruiter than a formal education. This template places a huge emphasis on the skills section, dropping it in right after your hard-hitting personal statement. The skills-first layout also makes this design well-suited to school leavers or those with little formal experience. The template is set out over two pages and includes sample content for a business development job role, although you'll find it easy to adapt for any position. Download the Business Development CV
Free Accountancy and finance professional CV form

Free Accountancy curriculum vitae template

CV ref #176: This crisp two-page template is a superb choice for business, finance or analyst type jobs. The bold header makes an impact, while the subtle style details guide the recruiter through your key information. Designed with a professional job role in mind, there is an optional section for professional memberships which may be used, adapted or easily deleted if not required. Download Accountancy CV template
Free Fashion themed professional CV layout

Free Fashion-themed Word CV template

CV ref #175: Fashion and dressmaking roles are often ignored when it comes to CV template layouts - so we hope our stylish fashion-themed template will fill the gap! A one page design which largely makes use of two columns, this creative template uses an eye-catching central graphic and subtle splashes of colour. The graphic can easily be replaced with one of your own designs if required - simply right click on the image and choose 'change picture'. Download our Fashion CV
Free Office Manager professional CV form

Free Office Manager CV template

CV ref #174: Designed with an office-based job role in mind, this template has clever 'tab' headers to divide up your information in a subtle yet eye-catching way. Spanning two pages, the template has lots of subtle style details including soft grey shading to emphasise details and some really neat hobby icons. Download the Office Manager CV
Free Hospitality themed professional Word CV template

Hospitality CV

CV ref #173: This absolutely stunning CV template uses elaborate scroll dividers to frame your information beautifully. The rest of the design is subtle to avoid overcrowding the eye, with the exception of the bold heading at the top which gives you a full five star rating in keeping with the 'hospitality' theme. Download our Hotel manager CV example
Free Administrator professional format for CV

Free Administrator Word CV or resume template

CV ref #172: This two-page CV template has an office-based theme with lots of eye-catching features. There's a smart icon at the top and 'data' style background, both of which can be removed if preferred. Two slots on the left provide space for key achievements or quotes from your references, ensuring your CV makes more of an impact in those few valuable seconds employers spend going through the pile. Finally, this CV puts your skills straight after the personal statement making it a great choice for skills-focused roles and for job seekers with limited work history. Download the Administrator CV template (free)
Free Teacher example of a good CV

Free Teacher curriculum vitae template

CV ref #171: This beautiful skills-first CV template is themed with graph paper and a teaching graphic, making it ideally suited to education-based roles. Both are easily removed if a simpler layout is preferred. The template has space for key achievements or select quotes from your references to ensure page one of your application makes the best possible first impression. Download the example Teacher CV template
Free Science example of a good CV

Free Word Science-themed CV template

CV ref #170: Our science-themed CV template has a molecule background and microscope graphic, making it ideally suited to laboratory and other science-type roles. Both are easily removed if a more basic layout is desired. Set out over two pages, the addition of key quotes or achievements on page one gives you the opportunity to 'sell' your best points to prospective employers. Get our free Science-themed CV template
Free Engineering professional CV or resume template in Word

Engineering CV template

CV ref #169: A lovely two-column two-page CV template with an optional engineering theme that is easy to edit out for other roles. This template has a strong skills focus, making it ideal for practical skills-based roles and also entry-level applications.Get our Engineering CV (free)

Nursery assistant CV template

CV ref #168: Our nursery assistant CV template has been designed for nursery workers with education and early years teaching and childcare roles in mind, through and through. The top section includes a career-specific values section for you to showcase principles that are in line with the prospective employer's ethos. The Simple Print font gives this template a friendly, approachable feel but we've confined its use to headings to ensure key information is easy-to-read. Download the Nursery assistant CV (free)

Connect professional Marketing CV

CV ref #167: Our 'Connect' template with example marketing content boasts a professional design and a huge focus on skills and achievements, making a great impression from the start. It's a great choice for those whose need to put the spotlight on their past accomplishments over and above other parts of their CV. Spanning two pages, the sections are very easy to edit and if desired, the order can be changed or further sections added in. Download 'Connect' Marketing CV

'Meet me' free curriculum vitae template

CV ref # 166: Our 'Meet Me' Business Analyst CV or resume template features a really unique one-page layout. It's well suited to roles where hard-skills are a focus, with space provided to list these at the top. The CV packs a lot of key information in the top section including your personal statement and education, ensuring employers quickly see that you meet the job specification. Don't miss the subtle design details that help divide up core details, like the vertical text, letter spacing and soft grey shading.Download our 'Meet me' Business Analyst CV example

Sections Microsoft Word CV template

CV ref #165: Recently revised in response to your feedback, our Sections CV template features a one-page two-column layout with broken line dividers and bold black headers. Although this template features all the usual sections that you'd expect, the work experience and related skills sections dominate the space. It's therefore a good choice of CV for mid-career candidates although the sections are easy to edit and can be swapped if desired. A little splash of colour is included but totally optional and could be traded for grey or a black-and-white layout.Download the free Sections CV

Two column bordered CV template (alternative)

CV ref #164: A different take on our two-page bordered CV template, this layout features a mid-grey border and header background, with smart black and grey section dividers. Qualifications, skills, interests and references are all featured on the second page, each with the same smart split-dividers. Download Two column bordered CV (alternative)

Free Medical CV template

CV ref #163: At CV Template Master we love creative fresh original CV designs and this medical-themed CV or resume template is no exception. It features a themed molecule background and graphic, both of which are ideal for healthcare-type roles but easily removed if a simple layout is preferred. The template begins with a space for your objective, followed by a key skills section which should focus on those mentioned in the job advert. The left-hand column is used to highlight two quotes from your references although if required, this space could also be utilised for achievements or awards. Download our free Medical CV

Free Developer Word curriculum vitae template

CV ref #162: There are some wonderful themed details in this fresh, modern looking CV template. These include a super-smart header, vertical sub headings and 'Page down' / 'Home' keys framing the page. There's also a 'binary' background taking the developer theme one step further although this is easily removed if not required. This smart design would suit any keyboard-based role, including Back-End Engineers, Full Stack Developers, Java Platform Engineers and other similar job roles. Download free IT CV

Labels Microsoft Word CV template

CV ref #161: Spanning two pages, our 'Labels' CV template uses some nice style details to present your information in a clear and focused manner, without any clutter or fuss. Kicking off with a career objective and launching straight into your work history, this template is incredibly easy to edit and expand to suit just about any job position. Download free Labels MS Word CV

Steps Word CV template

CV ref #160: This two page CV template uses a 'stepped' layout for each section - flushing first to the left, then to the right and so-on. It's a very neat original design that leads the employer's eye through your information, encouraging them to find out more. To get the full benefit of the stepped layout, it's best suited to candidates who don't want to devote much more space to their career history than the example content. Download steps Word CV

Three column professional Word CV template

CV ref #159: With just a few seconds to impress your prospective employer, sometimes it pays to put all your info onto one page. This smart design achieves exactly that, splitting your details into a neat and well-organised grid layout that is easy to digest. The shaded headers help keep your details easy-to-read and the achievement sections ensure your CV packs a lot more punch. Download our three column professional CV

Highlights professional curriculum vitae template in MS Word

CV ref #158: With its classic font and soft grey background, this free template simply oozes style! There's ample space for all your details and sections can be merged or resized to suit your specific needs. Download our Highlights professional CV

Centered focus Word CV template

CV ref #157: There are so many subtle style details in this eye catching curriculum vitae template: a smashing header font, airy letter spacing, smart boxed headers, tiny bullet points and a crisp font, to name a few. Spanning two pages, interests and references appear at the end - but you can easily adjust the sections to meet your exact needs. This fantastic template would suit a very wide range of roles but especially works for creative-type positions. Download our Centred focus Word CV

Slick headers professional Word CV template

CV ref #156: This professional CV template features some really nice layout details, including a bold heading, subtle sub headings and neatly spaced dividing lines. It spans two pages with the second page utilising a stylish three-column layout for 'past projects', 'interests' and 'references'. The past projects section can be used for almost anything: awards, achievements, memberships or even a quote or two from your references. It's a super two-column design that is readily adaptable to any type of job role.Download our Slick Headers professional CV

Certified Word CV template

CV ref # 155: This two-page two-column template has lots of stylish features: including a soft lilac/blue header and shaded left column, attractive dividers, a great choice of fonts and carefully thought out letter spacing. The column continues on the second page, offering plenty of space for skills, awards, achievements, certifications or anything else you'd like to include. Like many of our templates, the layout is very easy to edit. It incorporates space for a CV photo but this is easily removed if it is not required. Download our 'Certified' Word CV

Smart free curriculum vitae template

CV ref #154: Our simple 'smart' CV or resume template uses two columns to present your information over two pages, with lots of style details. A subtle grey header, attractive dividers and great spacing make for a highly professional, eye-catching design that leaves a great first impression. Download our 'Smart' free CV

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208 free CV templates in Microsoft Word Overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 3601 reviews.

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Popular CV layouts:

Guided CV template

CV ref #153: Our 'guided' CV template is a one-page two-column design that uses soft grey headers and subtle details to guide the reader through your information. A key aspect of this template is that it puts your work history first, making it ideal for positions where work experience is the main priority of the recruiter. There is also a generous skills section which should be filled out with the job specification in mind. Overall, this template packs a lot of information into a small amount of space, without feeling cluttered or disorganised. Download our 'Guided' CV

Acme CV template

CV ref #152: Our 'Acme' CV template is a snappy one-page design which puts equal focus on work experience and skills. It's a great choice for well-defined technical roles where it is not necessary to go into too much detail to explain past roles. Download the Acme CV layout

CV length

The length of a CV depends on what role you are applying for.

The industry standard is two pages, which is what you should certainly be aiming for if you want to attract the attention of an employer. Any more than two pages tends to lose the attention of the reader.

Keep in mind most hiring managers like to be able to quickly scan through a CV to ascertain whether or not the candidate is right for the role. With literally hundreds of applications to read, the hiring manager has to make a quick judgement call on which CV to add to the 'shortlist' pile for a potential interview. Having three or more pages CV could mean that yours is overlooked!

If you're struggling for room, edit your content for relevancy. Don't decrease the font size to cram in more info - you want the CV to be easy to read.

For further information on the correct length of a CV, read our article 'How long should a CV be?'

Subtle CV template

CV ref #151: Our free 'subtle' CV template is a really polished professional two page design with lots of lovely details. Soft lilac top-and-bottom borders, purple dividers and headers, coupled with a spacious and well-thought-out layout make this a fantastic choice for just about any job role. Download our 'Subtle' CV

Two page bordered curriculum vitae template

CV ref #150: There's so many super details that make up this eye-catching CV template, from the bold header to the splash of zesty colour that's used to split up the sections. It's a two page universal template that you'll find incredibly easy to edit, making it perfect for almost any position. Download our free Two-page bordered CV

Designer CV template

CV ref #131: Few of our CVs have enjoyed the level of feedback we've had on our Designer CV template - a wonderful and surprisingly simple one-page design with a lot of creative flair. This template uses the gorgeous Jenna Sue font, introducing you to prospective employers and later inviting them to contact you. Aligned to the centre with two subtle dividers, this template is so simple and yet, one of our most popular. Download our 'Designer' CV

Achiever Professional CV template

CV ref #130: In the early days of our site, the 'Achiever' CV template was one of our premium templates. Now, like all of our templates, it's available for you to download and customise without even registering. This superb two-page template utilises a two-column layout with stylish icons, elegant brackets and subtle dividers. It comes with a complete guide (on the download page) to customising the layout, should you need to do anything beyond simply adding in your content. Download our 'Achiever' Professional CV

Legal CV template

CV ref #129: Although we dubbed this template 'legal' thanks to its example content, it's well-suited to a host of professional roles. With a one-page two-column layout that uses mint headers and neat icons, it has an understated elegance that speaks volumes. The addition of the social section reflects that many employers expect working professionals to be active participants in discussion within their industry. Download our free Legal CV

CV template for a 13, 14 or 15 year old teenager

CV ref #128: So few template websites cater for younger job applicants looking for part time work that fits around their studies. Our teenager template is ideal for this purpose with a basic layout and some great sample content to inspire you. Download our CV template for a 13, 14 or 15 year old teenager

Elegance template

CV ref #127: Our 'Elegance' template has more positive reviews than any other template we've launched. It uses two incredible free fonts - Coventry Garden for the headings and classic Garamond for the text, giving it a wonderful truly-elegant appearance. This one-page two-column layout has space for a photo but this can be deleted in favour of creating more room for skills, if preferred. Download our 'Elegance' free template CV

Fresh two column CV format

CV ref #126: This is another one of our most highly reviewed templates and it's easy to see why. The fresh one-page layout has some really nice style-details that help it to stand out from the crowd. A splash of blue and lots of white space keep this template looking clean and modern, while the simple dividers make it easy for the eye to navigate. Download our Fresh two column template

Basic CV template

CV ref #125: For those looking for a fuss-free design with no graphics and not too many style elements, our basic CV template really does the job. Your details are boxed at the top with each additional section separated by a subtle grey line. There's not a great deal going on here but that's why this format is perfect for a clean, fresh and simple look where the focus is on your information. Download our Basic CV template

Curvaceous template

CV ref #124: Not everyone has reams of experience to include on their CV - which can sometimes leave this all-important document rather bare. Our curvaveous CV template aims to solve that, by beautifully presenting your information within curved brackets with a generous helping of white space. It's perfect for school leavers and entry-level candidates looking to catch their first employer's eye with something a bit different. Download our Curvaceous free template CV

Featured boxes CV format

CV ref #123: Often the best way to 'sell yourself' is through your accolades - and this template lets you do exactly that. This template will suit job seekers who have already proven themselves in the workplace and want to shine the spotlight on their achievements. Alternatively, why not drop in a quote or two from your references? Download our Featured boxes CV sample

CV example template

CV ref #122: A fresh and modern CV template that we originally created to showcase some of Microsoft Word's best features. Utilising drop caps and text boxes, this CV template has just the right amount of creative flair to catch an employer's eye without detracting from your key information. Download our example CV template

How can I make my CV stand out?

With so much competition for every job, it's harder now than ever before to get your CV noticed. Everyone has a degree - everyone has work experience - so how will you make your CV stand out from the crowd? The answer is in highlighting achievements, whether these were part of a paid work position or gained in some other capacity. Achievements that prove you have skills transferable to the role you're applying for will make the best impression. Whether you've beaten your sales targets, set up a community project, coached your local football team or raised money for charity, achievements are a great way to prove you have the key soft skills that your prospective employer values the most. An easy way to showcase your achievements is to add a fancy text box into your CV layout - in this video, we show you how.

Smart Division Professional Microsoft Word CV template

Smart Division template

CV ref #120: Our 'Smart Division' CV template has a very simple appearance with beautiful clean headers dividing up each section. Although the example content spans just one page, it's designed to expand out as you add in your own details. The classic font and traditional layout make this a great choice if an uncluttered, fuss-free look is sought. Download our Smart Division CV template
Profile Professional Microsoft Word CV template

Profile CV format

CV ref #91: The picture placeholder and lovely grey and blue colour scheme is eye catching without being overwhelming - while the three columns helps to present your work experience in a way that is engaging while keeping things brief Download our Profile template

Click here for more CV templates

Core sections of your CV

Each of the core sections mentioned above will be considered in turn.

Personal details

CV format - photo

The standard CV format will start with your personal details at the top. Here is what you would usually expect to see:

Name

Your name should be in a larger font than the rest of the CV so it stands out. After all, this is your chance to market yourself! If the employer can clearly see who they are reading about, it will help to keep your name fresh in their mind.

Middle names are optional, and you obviously need to avoid any nicknames like Mike 'Speedy' Smith. Always keep the format of your CV professional, and remember that you have no clue who will be reading it and how they will perceive any informalities.

Title is optional (Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms) and rarely used.

Professional letters (such as those denoting degrees) should be included if relevant to the role.

Contact details

Include a phone number and email address - however, for obvious reasons don't put down your current work contact details. Also, it is good idea to create a new e-mail address specifically for your CV to ensure it looks professional.

For example:

'jennifer.lounds@gmail.com'

...looks far more professional than:

'loundsyjay888@gmail.com'

Creating a new e-mail specifically for your CV will also make it easier to spot any messages. Can you imagine if you received an e-mail requesting an interview and it went into your junk folder along with a million others and you missed it? If you're worried about checking two email accounts, set up forwarding from one account to the other. You can then log into your professional email account to reply.

It's essential to put a phone number on your CV that you know you will be able to either answer immediately, or at the very least reply to very quickly. Don't forget to also remove any jokey answer machine message.

If you are worried about answering the call whilst you are at work, you could state some times on your CV when you are available.

Finally, most people include their address. Few UK employers send out interview invites by post these days, but it's good to include an address just in case.

Marital status and family (optional - not recommended)

CV format - large family

Talking about your family on your CV may lead an employer to wonder if you struggle with family commitments - even if there is no actual cause for concern.

These details do not have to be included on your CV; however you may decide that it would benefit how the employer will perceive you. For example, if you are working with children, being a family man/woman may help establish that you are comfortable around them. But it really depends on the role you're applying for and the organisation you're applying to.

Remember, giving details about marital status and family is completely optional and it's best to leave these out if you have any doubts. Only include them if you're entirely confident that including these details will benefit you.

The employer cannot make a decision on whether to hire you or not from this information as per the Equality Act. However, be aware that some UK employers may discriminate 'behind closed doors' and you will have no way of knowing if this is why you didn't get an interview.

Date of birth (optional - not recommended)

Similar to your marital status and family life, your date of birth is not compulsory for a CV. You cannot be discriminated against based on age when employers are making the decision to hire you or not.

Again, deciding whether or not to include your date of birth comes down to personal choice and your potential knowledge of the industry. If you are worried that your age may put off an employer from requesting an interview (too young or too old), then don't put it down.

UK employers should not filter candidates for an interview based on age, gender or such other protected characteristics. However, it's impossible to know whether good practice has been adhered to or not. It is therefore better not to take the risk.

Nationality (optional - not recommended)

Your nationality is of no concern to the employer and doesn't need to be stated unless it is 100% relevant to the role. An example of where nationality could be relevant is for a translator or language teacher role. The same legislation above also prohibits discrimination on the grounds of nationality or race.

Additional information

You may need to provide additional information depending on the job you are applying for. It could be a driving job, so stating that you have a full UK driving licence will show you are already ticking that box.

Another great example is if you are applying for a computer or website based role. For such roles, you would use this section to showcase your talents with links to website or ventures you've created yourself.

Photo

There are mixed opinions about whether it is a positive or negative to include a photo on your CV. Certainly, if appearance is important to your job, it makes sense to include a professional headshot. For more considerations of the pros and cons, read our article 'Should I include a CV photo?'

Personal statement (3 - 4 lines)

Sometimes the personal statement is known by other names such as 'objective', 'profile', 'career goal' or 'introduction'.

This is one of the most important parts of your CV as it's essentially the crux of your job application. A good statement can increase your chances of the employer noticing your CV. On the flipside, a poorly written statement will lower the chances of them wanting to know more.

It should set out:

(a) who you are;

(b) how you meet the job spec; and

(c) what you are looking for.

Here is an example of a good personal statement:

Accountant personal statement or personal profile

Here is another example:

Admin personal profile or statement

And one more...

Business analyst personal statement or personal profile

When you're writing your personal statement, focus on the job specification and pick out the most important points the employer is looking for.

Work experience

Voluntary work experience

If you're short of work experience, consider volunteering.

As noted above, work experience (or 'employment history') is most commonly listed in reverse chronological order (with the most recent position first). It's fine to include part time and voluntary roles in this section.

When listing your work experience, a typical CV format to use is:

  • Job title
  • Months/years that you have held the position
  • Company name.
  • Some people include the location - this is optional but more important if there is some relevance in the location (for example, if the Company has multiple branches).

Here is an example of the structure to use:

Office Manager (job title) - Jan 2013 - March 2016
Bricks & Mortar (company name)

(Insert a brief description of what the company does)

My responsibilities included:

(Bullet point list)

Achievements included:

(Name or list one or two key achievements)

Highlight relevant work experience

Remember to highlight parts of your work history that are relevant to the role/industry you are now applying for. There is no need to create a huge list of tasks and responsibilities under each role if they will not make an impact on this new position.

For example, if you are applying for a sales job and you have some sales experience, this is a great opportunity to highlight these roles and present some fantastic results. Were you the top salesman for three consecutive months? Make sure you highlight this.

For more on work experience, particularly when you don't have much to list, read our article 'Building your work experience'.

"Using bullet points can help to give your CV more impact, especially if combined with ‘Action Verbs’ such as achieved, accelerated, accomplished, completed, improved, delivered, enhanced, finished, negotiated, obtained, produced, secured, increased, doubled or implemented." ~ Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine

Qualifications (highest level to lowest level)

This section is quite self explanatory, but it's worth noting that you can again consider what is the most important and relevant to the role you are applying for. You may wish to exclude lower level or irrelevant qualifications.

Don't forget to also show what grade you achieved IF this would enhance the qualification.

The typical format for higher level qualifications is to give the qualification and institution where you studied - for example:

BSc Computer Science (Upper second class honours) - Jan 2013 - March 2016
University of Liverpool

For lower level qualifications, such as GCSEs and A Levels, it isn't absolutely necessary to name your school or college. You certainly do not need to name earlier schools.

Skills

CV format - skills

Skills should be either directly relevant to the role, or useful to your employer.

When creating a skills section for your CV:

  • Present skills as a list
  • Divide hard skills (i.e. typing) from soft skills (i.e. communication)
  • Avoid fluff, i.e. 'I work well in a team'. Try to give real examples instead.
  • Focus initially on key skills mentioned in the job advert.
  • Do also mention any skills that, whilst not directly relevant to the job, could be beneficial to your employer. For example, most legal organisations would value the ability to write legal blog posts.
  • Think about what skills you've acquired from your past work experience and how they can be used in the new role.
  • Consider ways of presenting the list to make it more readable - for example, two columns with hard skills on one side and soft skills on the other.

Focus primarily on skills that are either directly related to the role or are transferable - like computer skills, spreadsheets, databases, bookkeeping etc.

You may find our list of hard skills helpful.

Interests and hobbies

CV format - interests

Listing sports or fitness activities amongst your interests tells your employer that you take an interest in your health=fewer sick days!

When writing your hobbies and interests section:

  • List 3 - 5 hobbies
  • Emphasise any health-enhancing activity (sports, fitness etc)
  • Choose hobbies that put you in a good light from an employer's perspective
  • Avoid overly quirky hobbies - save these for when your new colleagues have got to know you better!

Although this section may seem quite insignificant, you'd be surprised at how often a recruiter looks at this section with a keen eye. This is one of the best areas of a CV for an employer to get an idea of your personality.

For example, you may enjoy volunteering at the local woodland park at the weekend. This would give employers a sense that you are someone who is helpful and generous. It also suggests you like to work hard without expecting a huge reward other than job satisfaction. You can also use hobbies to demonstrate soft skills such as teamwork and communication.

You can see how important this section can be when the employer is trying to build up a picture of what you are like in their mind. Whilst mundane hobbies won't usually harm your chances of an interview, desirable hobbies and interests may help.

What to avoid:

You must avoid stating these kinds of hobbies:

I like socialising on the weekend

This basically means you like to get drunk on Saturday night!

I like hanging out with my friends

It might be true, but it doesn't sound very interesting!

For more on preparing the interests and hobbies section, read our article 'Does the hobbies and interests section of my CV really matter?'

References

  • Give two references - one should be your most recent employer and the other should be a personal reference (ideally a professional person, and not a family member)
  • If you don't want to give your most recent employer just yet, write 'References available on request'.

You may have a fantastic long list of references from past managers and supervisors. No doubt every one of them would provide you with a glowing recommendation. However, you need to narrow it down to the people who would make the greatest impact on the new employer.

For more information on how to create an amazing reference section, read our article 'Choosing the right CV references - what to include'.

Additional CV sections

Other sections you might want to include in your CV (depending on relevance) are:

  • Achievements
  • Awards (relevant to the role)
  • Memberships (relevant to the role)
  • Publications that you've contributed to (relevant to the role)
  • Endorsements

Achievements

Include achievements either within your work history, in a separate section or a combination of both. They can also be dotted around your CV where there is space (although take care not to clutter the layout). In this example two-page template, you can see how achievements work well in their own section:

Operations Manager CV format - page 1

Operations manager CV format - page 2
The above free CV format can be downloaded here.

Awards

If you've received an award that's relevant to your role, go right ahead and boast about it! Awards help build your credibility and demonstrate your achievements They are a third-party endorsement and they can therefore give your CV a valuable boost.

Memberships

Being a member of a professional body shows that you're interested in the industry and involved with its development. It can also help to demonstrate that you're staying up-to-date with industry developments. You'll see that we recommend various professional bodies in our featured careers sections (links above).

Publications

Whether you're a regular contributor to your company blog or you've penned something for an industry mag, now's the time to brag about it. A publications section can demonstrate you're interested and actively involved in your target industry. It demonstrates to the employer that you have knowledge, passion and great written communication skills.

Endorsements

Endorsements don't need their own heading - they can go wherever there is space. Alternatively you can add them underneath your references. They are a brief testimonial which may come from your references or from some other credible person. Like awards, they are third-party proof that you're a worthy candidate. A strong endorsement can give your CV a valuable boost.

Top tip: tailor each and every CV

"You should focus on the reader’s core requirements and adjust or adapt your CV to their (and therefore) for each specific application." ~ University of Oxford

Too many people simply write a generic CV for every role they apply to. Failing to tailor your CV to each and every job role is a huge mistake that can cost you a lot of interviews. Even if you're applying to lots of positions with the same job title, you need to study the job advert carefully and adjust how you present your skills and experience. This is because each UK employer has a different set of values and requirements that they prioritise.

Let's take the position of store assistant as an example. From Aldi's recruitment pages we can see that the store values a 'muck in and do what needs to be done' attitude. They're looking for people who are 'naturally friendly, respectful and thoughtful' with a positive attitude. Great! We can give examples of how in previous roles or projects, we've demonstrated those traits.

But wait. What if we also want to apply to Sainsbury's. Can't we use the same CV? Well, from the Sainsbury's store pages, we can see that Sainsbury's values people who are united in doing the right thing for their customers. They want people who can deliver happy, positive and helpful service, and who take pride in going above and beyond what’s expected. Brilliant! So now we can create a second copy of our CV and tweak it to include examples of where we've demonstated those traits that are relevant to the role. For example, we could say in past roles we've always gone 'above and beyond', then give brief examples of when we actually did this.

It's not that Aldi doesn't want people to go above-and-beyond; or that Sainsbury's doesn't want people to muck and do what's needed. No doubt, both of those qualities are universally desirable to store assistant roles! However, focusing in on the person specification in the job advert and providing relevant examples of how you meet that specification is a powerful way to land more interviews.

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