1. UK CV Format: Best Examples & Templates for 2024

UK CV Format: Best Examples & Templates for 2024

LiveCareer Editorial Team
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Changing jobs is stressful. Going through hundreds of job listings can take hours. And then, all these doubts about your job application: Is it professional enough? Is the CV format right?

Let’s address them straight away. In a matter of minutes, you’ll understand how to format a CV for any profession in the UK.

This guide will help you to understand what does a good CV look like in terms of structure. You'll also learn about 2 main UK CV formats to consider for your application and the pros and cons of each.

Create an effective CV in minutes. Choose a professional CV template and fill in every section of your CV in a flash using ready-made content and expert tips.

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The LiveCareer online CV maker lets you build a professional CV fast and download it as a PDF or DOC.

Want to read more about CV writing? Check these guides, too:

 

What is a CV format?

CV format is the structure that determines how your CV looks. It helps to keep your CV in check to make it look neat. A typical CV format has the following sections: contact information, personal statement, education history, work experience, skills, and added sections like hobbies and interests.

Besides that, CV formatting relates to headings, CV fonts, bullet points, spacing, etc.

UK CV formats: 2 types

two cv format types

When deciding on your CV format, you have these 2 options:

  • Reverse-chronological CV format, which focuses on work experience.
  • Functional CV format, which gives a spotlight on the candidate’s skills.

Now, let me explain chronological and functional CV formats in more detail:

1. Reverse-chronological CV format

Reverse-chronological CV format is considered the most popular one. It emphasizes work experience and career achievements, starting with the most recent positions and continuing with previous jobs. This professional CV format is easy to adapt for candidates of all experience levels.

What does the reverse-chronological CV format look like? It should feature the key CV sections in the following order: header, personal statement, work experience, education, skills, and added sections.

Let’s see the example:

CV format template—reverse chronological CV 

George Bailey

Project Manager

+447975111222

g.bailey@livecareermail.co.uk

linkedin.com/in/george.bailey

Personal Statement

Highly adaptable project manager with 5+ years of experience. Certified in Agile Project Management. Eager to utilise professional expertise to increase team efficiency while decreasing project costs at PunKing Ltd. Identified opportunities to cut costs by 18% and increase KPIs by 11% through outsourcing when coordinating a marketing project in 2022.

Work Experience

Project Manager

BillyTree, Leeds

January 2021–Present

Key responsibilities:

  • Coordinated a company expansion project worth £1,250,000 and achieved the project objectives before the deadline.
  • Developed project workflows in collaboration with marketing and customer service departments.
  • Built business relationships with internal and external stakeholders to establish effective communication for all project updates.
  • Mentored the assistant project manager during weekly shadowing and bi-weekly 1:1 feedback sessions.

Key achievement:

  • Boosted the KPIs of the marketing department by 11% while cutting costs by 18% through outsourcing to external contractors.

Assistant Project Manager

TwoTimesThree, Leeds

July 2018–December 2020

Key responsibilities:

  • Assisted the marketing project manager in delivering an advertising campaign worth £350,000.
  • Collaborated with project stakeholders to establish key performance indicators and create progress reports.
  • Planned project schedules, reviewed milestones, and established priorities for involved teams.

Key achievement:

  • Cut down delays in project completion by 12% by implementing new project trackers in Excel and using JIRA to monitor progress.

Education

B.Sc. in Project Management

Leeds University, Leeds

September 2015–June 2018

2.1

  • Published a dissertation on the impact of the company culture and the local community’s background on project management based on interviews with three mid-sized businesses in Objective magazine.

Skills

  • Project management: experienced in using various project management frameworks.
  • Agile methodologies: understanding and application of various Agile principles.
  • Risk management: identifying potential risks that could impact project objectives.
  • Project planning: creating comprehensive plans to execute projects successfully.
  • Conflict resolution: managing and resolving conflicts and fostering positive, conflict-free environment.
  • Effective communication: communicating clearly and concisely through verbal and written communication.
  • Time management: prioritizing tasks and developing effective project plans.
  • Microsoft Excel: using Excel for data analysis, report generation, and data visualization.
  • JIRA: using Jira for effective project tracking, progress monitoring, and reporting.

Certifications

  • Agile Project Management Certificate, APMG International, December 2019

Associations

  • Member of the Association for Project Management since January 2020

As you can see, this CV format highlights the candidate’s professional experience, displaying his most recognizable accomplishments. It also presents tangible examples of his work to underline his engagement and impact. 

Should you choose the reverse-chronological CV format?

The reverse-chronological format is widely accepted by recruiters, and it emphasizes work experience, which is often the most sought-after by employers. Using this CV format will help you draw a recruiter’s attention and provide exactly what they expect.

At the same time, the reverse-chronological CV format might unnecessarily underline some deficiencies, such as limited work experience or frequent career changes. So first, I recommend that you check if this CV format matches the dynamics of your work history. What gets you the job might not always be your work experience.

Pros & cons of a reverse-chronological CV format

Pros:

  • This CV writing format is known by all recruiters.
  • It fosters clarity and simplicity, and it’s the easiest one to navigate for the reader.
  • It highlights your career progression and most recent accomplishments first.
  • It can be easily scanned by Applicant Tracking Systems.

Cons: 

  • It makes career gaps and unusual career choices easy to spot.
  • Might not be the best for freelancers who work on short-term projects.
  • It is not recommended for individuals who switch careers often.

Now, let me showcase an alternate CV format that is definitely better suited for those with limited experience or nonlinear career paths.

A strong CV summary will convince the recruiter you’re the perfect candidate. Save time and choose a ready-made personal statement written by career experts and adjust it to your needs in the LiveCareer CV builder.

Create your CV nowcv builder

2. Functional CV format

Functional CV format, also called skill-based CV, highlights mostly the applicant’s qualifications. The work experience section is minimized in this CV format, and most of the attention is given to a candidate’s skills and abilities.

What does the skills-based CV look like? It starts with a personal statement, followed by the key skills section containing key hard skills and soft skills with short descriptions. Below, it displays your work experience, education levels, and additional information you want to include.

Before you decide if you want to write a skill-based CV, see this functional CV format example:

CV format template—functional (skill-based) CV

Edith Foxbridge

Creative Designer

+447975000111

edith.fox@lcukmail.com

linkedin.com/in/edith.foxbridge

www.edithfoxonabridge.com

Personal Statement

Innovative creative designer experienced in digital and traditional illustration, seeking a Creative Lead position. Shortlisted for the World Illustration Awards in 2022. Eager to develop a unique artistic vision and inspire the creative team at Tulip Plus.

Skills Summary

Book Illustration

  • Shortlisted for the 2022 World Illustration Awards for mixed-media illustrations created for Natureland magazine.
  • Created a series of 12 digital illustrations in ProCreate for a bestselling children’s book, Where Does the Rain Go?
  • Collaborated with Bar Fly Publishing to design book covers for 20+ classic American novels.

Concept Art

  • Designed 5 fantasy characters in ZBrush and Marvellous Designer for a video game based on live-action photographs and conceptual sketches.
  • Created immersive environment artwork depicting underwater scenes using 3DS Max and Photoshop.
  • Illustrated 100+ cartoon-style 2D game elements, including icons, backgrounds, characters, and GUI elements.

Leadership

  • Managed a team of 5 graphic designers to ensure smooth cooperation and prioritise business objectives. 
  • Coordinated multiple short-term creative projects within specified budgets and deadlines. 
  • Implemented a buddy system to provide guidance and feedback to junior graphic designers.

Work Experience

Design Lead

Capybara Books, London

June 2022–Present

Visual Designer

Cherry Tree Publishing, London

September 2021–May 2022

Concept Artist

Bubble Games, London

January 2021–August 2021

Graphic Designer

Mimosa Advertising, Birmingham

May 2020–December 2020

Education

B.A. in Fine Art

Birmingham City University, Birmingham

September 2017–June 2020

Certification

Adobe Certified Professional in Graphic Design and Illustration Using Adobe Illustrator, 2020

In the functional CV format, your work experience is woven into the skills section. It’s an efficient way to draw a recruiter’s attention to your unique abilities while still keeping enough focus on your professional achievements.

Should you use the skills-based CV format?

Whether you choose a traditional, reverse-chronological CV format or a skills-based CV format will depend on your circumstances. I often recommend a widely-known chronological CV structure, but there are some cases where you might find a skills-based format more accurate.

This CV format works well for individuals with non-standard career paths, such as:

  • Freelance artists, consultants, or gig workers.
  • People switching from one career to another.
  • Recent graduates or entry-level individuals.
  • Those with career gaps in work history.

Pros & cons of a functional CV format

Pros:

  • It’s ideal to showcase your strong skill set.
  • It might help to shift the focus away from your work experience when needed.
  • It’s perfect if you have diverse experiences and many transferable skills. 

Cons:

  • It’s more difficult to scan for people and ATS systems than the classic CV style.
  • It minimises the work experience, which is mostly sought after by recruiters.
  • It’s not ATS-friendly, so it might impact your visibility to employers.

How to format your CV?

Most job seekers sit to their CVs with a question: What should a CV look like to stand out? First, take care of the basics, such as structure and formatting. If you prefer making your own CV layout (e.g. in Word) rather than using downloadable templates, you must know the golden formatting rules.

Here’s how to format a CV:

Key CV formatting tips

  • Apply one-inch margins on all sides of the document.
  • Choose a classic CV font such as Calibri or Verdana.
  • Use 10–12 pt. font size for paragraphs and 13–14 for headings.
  • Set line spacing to 1 or 1.15.
  • Align the text to the left side of the document.
  • Use bullet points to list information.
  • Keep the CV length limited to 2 pages maximum.
  • Save the CV in PDF to preserve formatting.

I advise that you browse through sample CV layouts to understand how a CV should look in 2024. You want to make an impression, so keep the appearance of your CV tidy.

If you want to save time, you might opt for free CV templates. They’re quite easy to find, like, for example, Word CV templates. Since they’re pre-formatted, you just need to choose the one you like and fill it out with your information.

You don’t have to be a CV writing expert. In the LiveCareer CV builder you’ll find ready-made content for every industry and position, which you can then add with a single click.

Create your CV nowcv builder

Best CV format examples

Still, there’s a choice of professional CV builders that help you build your CV from scratch with little effort. They handle your CV formatting correctly and provide suggestions on each section to make it shine. You only need to put your information right there and pick the CV style that reflects your idea.

Here’s a selection of CV templates you can find in the LiveCareer CV builder—they’re extremely easy to use and adjust, so leave your worries away if making a CV is witchcraft for you.

1. Trendy 4 CV template

CREATE YOUR CV NOWTrendy 4 CV template from LiveCareer

This Trendy 4 CV format leaves the majority of space for work experience, making it the highlight of your application. It also has a distinctive coloured column displaying key contact details, the candidate’s profile summary, and skills, ensuring they’re well visible, too.

2. Modern 8 CV format template

CREATE YOUR CV NOWModern 8 CV template from LiveCareer

My next pick is this Modern 8 CV format containing an upper bar with the candidate’s bolded name. Showcasing a candidate’s name prominently has become an effective way to grab attention. The rest of the information is ordered in a typical reverse-chronological format to keep this CV neat and easy to read.

3. Trendy 3 CV template

CREATE YOUR CV NOWTrendy 3 CV template from LiveCareer

Job seekers tend to choose bookmark-styled CVs as they add an appealing touch to their applications. Besides the aesthetics, the navy blue bar in this Trendy 3 CV format helps to highlight the candidate’s professional summary and skills.

4. Professional 5 CV template

CREATE YOUR CV NOWProfessional 5 CV template from LiveCareer

Apart from formatting, it is important that you pay attention to your CV colours. They also significantly impact your CV's visual part, conveying information about your personality and attitude. For example, an orange colour might imply energy and productivity, like in this Professional 5 CV format. 

5. Creative CV format template

CREATE YOUR CV NOWCreative CV template from LiveCareer

My last choice is the Creative CV format. It’s quite minimalistic and, hence, clear and readable. Contrary to the previous CV formats, it features a different set-up, displaying skills, education, and certifications on the right. Since it has no distinctive graphic elements, subtle orange accents make this CV more interesting.

That’s all there is to know about CV formats.Do you have any questions regarding the differences between the reverse-chronological and skill-based CV formats? Would you like to share your insight on the topic? Let me know in the comments below.

How we review the content at LiveCareer

Our editorial team has reviewed this article for compliance with Livecareer’s editorial guidelines. It’s to ensure that our expert advice and recommendations are consistent across all our career guides and align with current CV and cover letter writing standards and trends. We’re trusted by over 10 million job seekers, supporting them on their way to finding their dream job. Each article is preceded by research and scrutiny to ensure our content responds to current market trends and demand.

About the author

LiveCareer Editorial Team
LiveCareer Editorial Team

Since 2013, the LiveCareer UK team has shared the best advice to help you advance your career. Experts from our UK editorial team have written more than one hundred guides on how to write the perfect CV or cover letter.

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