Latest CV templates:
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
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
Free TEFL CV templateCV 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
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 hospitality CV templateCV 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 templateCV 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 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)
Free Classic Centred CV or resumeCV 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 template in MS WordCV 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
Free 'Arial Narrow' Professional Free CV or résumé templateCV 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
Free Microsoft Word ATS-friendly CV template with 'Classic' designCV 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
Scroll down for more CV templates!
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:
- Reverse chronological
- Functional (or 'skills based)
The most common format for CV writing used in the UK is reverse chronological.
1. Reverse Chronological
Contents of a reverse chronological CV:
- Name and professional title
- Contact details
- Personal statement
- Work experience (majority of content)
- Additional sections (if applicable)
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:
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:
- Name and professional title
- Contact Information
- Personal statement
- Skills (majority of content)
- Work Experience
- Additional sections (if applicable)
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:
- Candidates with little formal work experience. In this case, the skills section may even be larger than the work experience section.
- 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:
This example CV format is free and can be downloaded here.
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:
- Name and professional title
- Contact Information
- Personal statement
- Work Experience (major focus)
- Skills (major focus)
- Additional sections (if applicable)
Here is an example of a combination CV format:
This example CV format is free and can be downloaded here.
'Highlight' ATS CV designCV 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 in Word formatCV 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
Free ATS-friendly smart CV template in Microsoft Word formatCV 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
Free Colour blocks Word CV template : 2019 updateCV 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 templateCV 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 WordCV 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 WordCV 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 templateCV 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 CVCV 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 International or PR themed Word templateCV 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/résuméCV 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 Finance themed CVCV 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 CV templateCV 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 templateCV 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 CV or resume templateCV 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
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:
- 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)
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)
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:
- How to write a CV: a step-by-step guide to writing each section of your CV.
- CV layout masterclass: a complete guide to your CV layout options, with lots of advice to help you avoid some common layout mistakes.
- How to write a winning cover letter - what to include.
CV writing guides:
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 Word CVCV 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 Word CV templateCV 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
Product Manager CV or resume templateCV 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
Free Care Assistant curriculum vitae templateCV 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
Free Food Services Assistant Word C.V templateCV 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 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 CV or resume templateCV 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 Word CV templateCV 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
Business Development CV formatCV 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 curriculum vitae templateCV 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 Word CV templateCV 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 CV templateCV 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
Hospitality CVCV 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 Word CV or resume templateCV 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 curriculum vitae templateCV 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 Word Science-themed CV templateCV 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
Engineering CV templateCV 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 templateCV 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 CVCV 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 templateCV 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 templateCV 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 templateCV 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 templateCV 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 templateCV 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 templateCV 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 templateCV 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 WordCV 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 templateCV 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 templateCV 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 templateCV 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 templateCV 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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Did our CV library help you out today? We would love it if you could rate us. You can also rate individual templates on their download pages.
Popular CV layouts:
Guided CV templateCV 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
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 '
Subtle CV template
Two page bordered curriculum vitae templateCV 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 templateCV 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 templateCV 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 templateCV 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 teenagerCV 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 templateCV 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 formatCV 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 templateCV 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 templateCV 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 formatCV 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 templateCV 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 templateCV 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 CV formatCV 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
Each of the core sections mentioned above will be considered in turn.
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:
Here is another example:
And one more...
When you're writing your personal statement, focus on the job specification and pick out the most important points the employer is looking for.
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.
Interests and hobbies
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?'
Additional CV sections
Other sections you might want to include in your CV (depending on relevance) are:
- Awards (relevant to the role)
- Memberships (relevant to the role)
- Publications that you've contributed to (relevant to the role)
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:
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.
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).
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 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.