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How to write a receptionist CV
This guide explains how to write a CV for a receptionist role.
Use it with our free receptionist CV template in Microsoft Word format, available to download for personal use on this page.
Layout tip: We’ve set out our example CV using just one-page but you can easily add additional pages. Just put your cursor at the bottom of the smaller right hand column and hit return – you’ll see it automatically takes you to the top of page two where you can start typing further sections. Copy and paste in the previous headers to emulate the same styling.
1. Include the right personal details
- Include your first and last name. There’s no need to include your title (Mr, Mrs etc), middle name or initials.
- You don’t have to include the job title ‘Receptionist’ – this is completely optional. However, if you’re seeking a Receptionist role and your current job title is slightly different, it may be worth including as it will help your CV show up in keyword searches.
- If you have professional letters after your name (such as BSc or BA) you can include these if you want to. They help an employer quickly identify that you have professional qualifications that may be desirable.
- Include your address, personal phone number and personal email address. Ensure the email address is just your name and not something unprofessional (such as firstname.lastname@example.org).
CHECK that your contact info is correct!
TIP: DON’T include any personal information that might give a prospective employer the opportunity to discriminate against you in the recruitment process (for example, age, nationality, religion, disability etc).
2. Write an advert-focused personal profile
The personal profile (or personal statement / objective as it is sometimes called) is where you set out in a few lines why you’re the perfect fit for this receptionist job.
Our sample CV content will help inspire you when writing this section, but it’s important to look first at the job advert, figure out what’s most important to the employer and tell them why you meet that criteria.
For example, if the employer is looking for a receptionist to cover the front desk, make sure you highlight that you’ve had experience working at a front desk in your statement. A good CV will always be tailored to the exact role you’re applying to.
3. Include examples of how you’ve acquired / used key skills
The skills section is optional but it allows you to demonstrate to an employer how you have acquired/used key skills relevant to the job. If the advert isn’t too specific, look at some receptionist job profiles (such as the National Careers Service) for examples of important key skills for this type of role. Typically, a receptionist will need a combination of soft skills (such as great communication and customer service) and hard skills (such as IT literacy and the ability to use a phone system).
TIP: You CAN list off ‘hard skills’ – these are skills that are specific and measurable such as the ability to use Microsoft Word or to type at a certain speed. However, avoid simply listing off soft skills such as teamwork. Anyone can say they have these skills, but such statements mean nothing to a prospective employer. Instead, provide short simple examples of how you have used the skill that they’re seeking.
4. Write your work history around your target role
List your work history in reverse chronological order – most recent first.
For each role, give your job title, company name and the dates you have worked in the position (month/year from – month/year to). For your most recent role, you can write:
Start month / Start year – date
“January 2014 – date”
A receptionist typically has many responsibilities which may vary from day-to-day, so try to focus on what the prospective employer is looking for.
It may also help to review the employer’s website. Are they heavily image focused, or is it more important that they offer a friendly, welcoming service? Emphasising that you’re capable of delivering the values they’re looking for can help show you’d be a great fit for their company.
If you have any achievements for each role, include these. These might be, for example, introducing ideas to your workplace that saved time/money or improved their service. Alternatively, they might be workplace accolades such as employee of the month, or targets that have been exceeded.
Finally, for your most recent role, it may be worth noting why you’re looking to move on – depending on the reason. Try to phrase this in the positive – for example, rather than write:
“I want a new role because my current role is a dead end position with poor pay”,
you might instead write,
“I’m looking for a new challenge with the opportunity for additional responsibility.”
5. Offer additional details with your education
A lot of job applicants simply list off their education with dates and training providers. Whilst there is nothing wrong with this, it can be a missed opportunity.
If you’ve undergone training that included modules relevant to your role, offer additional details in the education section.
If you’ve only achieved basic qualifications, don’t list grades unless they are impressive. For example, you could write:
9 GCSEs including English (C) and Maths (C)
9 GCSEs including English and Maths
Employers do like to see that you’ve attained a GCSE in English and Maths. If you haven’t got these qualifications, it may be worth taking some additional training to bolster your CV. Many courses can be completed online, such as Pitman Training’s Advanced Word course or Study 365’s Receptionist Diploma.
6. Consider including optional sections
Our Receptionist CV Example doesn’t include a number of sections that you might sometimes see in other peoples’ CVs. For example:
- Hobbies and interests: This section is optional but can provide the opportunity to further demonstrate soft skills that the employer is looking for, such as teamwork (e.g. sports, community projects). It can also help show that you take an interest in your health and well being (e.g. going to the gym, sports, fitness activities). Finally, it’s a great way to show off some of your personality. Read more about including hobbies on your CV here.
- References: References really aren’t necessary on your CV since the employer will ask for them if anyway if they want to offer you a job. However, sometimes if you can offer an impressive reference, they can give your CV a little boost. For example, if you’ve been working as a receptionist for an MP and the MP is willing to endorse you, this may give you a small competitive edge over other candidates.
- Memberships: There are a few bodies that represent receptionists – for example the British Veterinary Receptionist Association (BVRA) – and if you’re a member of one of these, it’s worth mentioning. Being a member helps to show that you’re passionate about what you do and committed to standards for your profession.
- Contributions: If you’ve contributed to blogs, magazines, newspapers or online websites professionally, it’s worth including this section. Your contributions can help demonstrate to an employer that your written communication skills are to a good standard.
Originally published 29th March 2020.