Whether you’re creating your first CV or revamping your existing one, it’s helpful to look through CV examples that other people have made. Using an example of a good CV can help you write a CV that helps you to stand out from the crowd.
Here is an example CV for an Operations Manager:
This is a typical CV that might be used in the UK - there may be some small differences in the expected format for job applications in other countries. For example, the work experience section for some non-UK countries may be expected in chronological (earliest - latest) order.
The sections to include per this example CV are:
Include your first and last name. You may also include any letters after your name. It is unusual in the UK to include your title (Mr, Mrs, Ms etc).
This is optional but usual if you have a profession such as 'solicitor'.
Your objective is 2 - 4 lines to introduce your CV. It is sometimes called a personal statement or personal profile.
This section states:
(i) who you are,
(ii) the main ways in which you meet the job specification, and
(iii) what you are looking for.
This section isn't mandatory. However, having this at the start of your CV will provide a nice introduction to your CV.
There's more about writing this section here.
It is worth spending a little time perfecting this section as it is likely to be the first that the employer reviews. The key to getting this section right is to ensure it shows the employer that you fit the job specification.
It is normal in the UK to provide a reverse chronological CV, listing experience with the most recent position first. It's quite common for an employer to want to see your most recent roles, as they are more likely to be relevant.
For each position, give your job title, the name of the company, the dates that you worked at the company and a description of your duties. Some people also like to include the location of the company.
In addition, a good CV will include relevant achievements (such as targets met or initiatives introduced) although in this example, a separate section has been used for achievements.
To provide an indication of your past performances you could also include more specific examples. Depending on the role you're applying for consider including:
When trying to stick to a two page CV you may need to consider providing less information for irrelevant roles. An employer is mainly interested in your most recent and relevant positions. Only expand on the roles which deserve attention.
State the qualification achieved, the grade attained and where you studied. If you have a degree or high-level professional qualifications, you may wish to leave off lower qualifications (such as GCSEs). Depending on the role you may need to focus more upon either your education or your employment history - or even both. Check out our CV format guide for more help with this.
Work experience is extremely valuable in any position, but a qualification may be required in order to apply. If this is the case, make sure you highlight your qualifications so an employer can clearly see you are the right person for the job.
Focus on those key skills that are important to the employer i.e. those contained in the job description (typically hard skills). This section can be bullet pointed to make it easier for the hiring manager to read and navigate.
If you have little to no work experience, you may wish to consider writing a functional CV which is skills based, and listing out any key achievements which relate to your skills (whether paid employment-related or otherwise).
A recent school leaver will need to focus upon their soft skills and demonstrate to an employer that they can function effectively in a workplace environment. Arguably the most common soft skills an employer would expect a candidate to have are :
As a school leaver, don't be worried about using examples that are not from paid-employment to demonstrate these skills. These might be from:
This is an optional section but one that you should consider including if appropriate to the role. It gives you the opportunity to SHOW the employer you have the skills you claim to have, rather than simply telling them, by detailing your achievements.
Where possible, list interests that put you in a good light (such as fitness activities) and those which show you to be an interesting person out of work too!
Your hobbies are a great way to further demonstrate your soft skills - creativity, leadership, team working, communication and dedication.
Mundane hobbies - walking the dog, going to the cinema, socialising with friends - will not add value to your CV and could be omitted entirely. In fact, hobbies such as socialising suggest Monday morning hangovers!
It is usual in the UK to give 2. Typically the first will be from your current or most recent job and the second will be from a previous role or from a recent academic supervisor.
Consider contacting a reference before you apply and ask them for their permission. It may also be beneficial to discuss your plans with them and prepare them for who might call.
Always try to add a reference that you have worked closely with, so they can provide an accurate review. Avoid choosing someone high up the chain just because it may look good on your CV. Only use such a reference if you're confident they will remember who you are and have comprehensive knowledge of your performance.
You'll find lots more examples below, all of which are job specific. The best way to use these examples is to pick the one that is closest to the role you’re looking to apply for and tailor it to your own needs.
Once you've finished writing your CV, don't forget that you also need to put together a cover letter that addresses the job description too.