CV Outline: Template for the UK Job Market

The right CV outline will have a huge impact on your CV as a whole. And as it affect your CV, it also affects your chances of getting a job interview and, with that, a job.

 

So no pressure, but a lot depends on how you outline your CV. Luckily, this article is here to help you choose the right CV format and then learn how to outline a good CV around that format. The CV below is better than nine out of ten out there, follow this guide and yours can be at least as good.

 

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CV outline template

 

Kian Johnston

070 3333 3333

kian.johnston@lcmail.co.uk

linkedin.com/in/kianjohnston

 

Personal Statement

 

Highly motivated and dynamic sales manager with over 5 years’ experience working in the sale of various financial products and services. Achieved at least 5% growth and hit 98% of sales targets by successfully managing the HJV UK sales team. Seeking opportunity to employ proven negotiation and CRM skills while helping Wiedmann Financial Services continue its explosive growth on the market.

 

Work Experience

 

Sales Manager

HJV UK Ltd, Bath

June 2018–present

  • Designed and implemented a strategic business plan that expanded the company’s customer base by 13%.
  • Built and promoted 37 strong, long-lasting customer relationships by partnering with them and understanding their needs.
  • Presented over 30 sales, revenue and expenses reports and realistic forecasts to the management team.
  • Identified 3 emerging markets and market shifts while being fully aware of new products and competition status.

 

Sales Team Leader

CuraLife, Bath

December 2015–April 2018

  • Led and coached team to meet and exceed business objectives, ensuring that financial and operational targets were achieved no less than 93% of the time.
  • Coached, developed and motivated 43 Sales Agents and Team Performance Coaches.
  • Proactively arranged and facilitated training and coaching to maximise performance, seeing an estimated 3% improvement.
  • Ran over 30 webinars and system demos to train advisers.

 

Education

 

BA (Hons) Business and Management (Marketing) (2:1), 2012–2015

Bath Spa University, Bath

 

Skills

 

  • Leadership: strong track record of sales leadership in a fast-paced, inside-sales environment.
  • Communication: presented in front of and influenced key stakeholders at all levels of the organisation, including executive and c-level.
  • Software: solid experience with CRM software, Salesforce, and LibreOffice and MS Office suites (especially spreadsheets and databases).
  • Adaptability: able to adapt quickly in a dynamic and demanding sales environment and maintain a high-performing culture.
  • Marketing: demonstrated knowledge of PPC, Remarketing, Social Media, Direct Mail and Email Marketing methods.

 

Awards

 

Sales Professional of the Year, CuraLife, 2017

 

Languages

 

Spanish – B2

 

Now that’s the right way to write a CV! Let’s see what the ingredients are.

 

1. Start with the right CV format

 

No single decision will affect how you outline your CV more than your choice of a CV format. If you’re applying for a university position (teaching and/or research), then the academic CV format is for you. Otherwise, you have three main options from which to choose, depending on your background and needs.

 

Your options are a (reverse-)chronological (or traditional) CV format, a skills-based (or functional) CV format, and a combination or hybrid of the two. A chronological format is by far the most common and the one to which you should always default. It’s with this format that recruiters are most familiar.

 

It’s also what ATSs (Application Tracking Systems) are set-up to handle most readily. A chronological format is actually written in reverse-chronological order and puts the spotlight on your work history, with only a brief rundown of your skills. This article assumes a chronological CV format.

 

People who have worked primarily on a freelance basis or bounced from gig to gig might be better off using a skills-based format. As the name suggests, a skills-based CV highlights and elaborates upon your skills first and foremost, with only a cursory rundown of your work history. Recruiters don’t love it, though.

 

Career changers, including military personnel transitioning back into civilian life, can also benefit from a combination CV format. It’s closer in structure to a traditional, reverse-chronological format, making it more palatable to recruiters and applicant tracking systems alike. 

 

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.

 

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2. Write an attention-grabbing personal statement

 

Other than your personal details—which just sit there for later reference—your personal statement is the first substantial element of your CV outline. Use it to grab the recruiter’s attention by introducing yourself, showing what you have to offer, and describing how your goals align with the company’s.

 

State how much experience you have and where (what industries, specialisations or niches) you gained that experience. Describe what benefits you managed to bring to your current or previous employer. This will make it clear to the recruiter what your new employer can expect from you if you’re hired.

 

Write up your achievement by taking a single sentence to describe an action you took and how your employer benefited from that action. Briefly characterise the context in which you acted if necessary—such actions are often taken in response to a problem or challenge. Quantify everything you can.

 

Show that your goals line up with the company’s stated goals simply by focusing on what it is that you hope to be able to achieve for the company. Perform some background research to find out what it is that it claims to be striving after. Align your goal accordingly. Don’t lie in your CV, but do shift your focus to the company.

 

Get past ATS algorithms by mentioning the name of the company and the position for which you’re applying as it appears in the job advert. Try to mirror the keywords used in the job advert in your personal statement, but don’t force it. If you can manage it by substituting synonyms, then do so.

 

There’s a lot happening in a well-structured personal statement, but the whole thing should only be 3–4 sentences or 50–150 words long. The personal statement comes first in your CV, but you should definitely write it last. You’ll be able to do a much better job after you’ve prepared your job descriptions (that’s why it’s also knowns as a CV summary).

 

CV outline: example personal statement

 

Highly motivated and dynamic sales manager with over 5 years’ experience working in the sale of various financial products and services. Achieved at least 5% growth and hit 98% of sales targets by successfully managing the HJV UK sales team. Seeking opportunity to employ proven negotiation and CRM skills while helping Wiedmann Financial Services continue its explosive growth on the market.

 

3. Set your work history out properly

 

The chronological CV format definitely puts your work history in the limelight. Make sure it’s structured properly, helping your reader get a sense of the big picture of your working life while being able to jump easily from job to job. Use the following template to create a subheading for each job description:

 

[Job Title]

[Company Name, Location]

[Dates of Employment]

 

Add up to six bullet points under each subheading. Each bullet point you add should contain a single achievement from that job. You can use something like the APR (Action-Problem-Result) method to structure each achievement. Remember to quantify everything you can, benefits to your employer first and foremost.

 

If you’re looking for information on how to outline a CV without any work experience, then first of all focus on any internships, placement work (belongs on a CV, too), and volunteer work you’ve done. If you don’t have any experience at all, then consider writing a student CV instead.

 

How to outline a CV: sample job descriptions

 

Sales Manager

HJV UK Ltd, Bath

June 2018–present

  • Designed and implemented a strategic business plan that expanded the company’s customer base by 13%.
  • Built and promoted 37 strong, long-lasting customer relationships by partnering with them and understanding their needs.
  • Presented over 30 sales, revenue and expenses reports and realistic forecasts to the management team.
  • Identified 3 emerging markets and market shifts while being fully aware of new products and competition status.

 

Sales Team Leader

CuraLife, Bath

December 2015–April 2018

  • Led and coached team to meet and exceed business objectives, ensuring that financial and operational targets were achieved no less than 93% of the time.
  • Coached, developed and motivated 43 Sales Agents and Team Performance Coaches.
  • Proactively arranged and facilitated training and coaching to maximise performance, seeing an estimated 3% improvement.
  • Ran over 30 webinars and system demos to train advisers.

 

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

 

4. Briefly outline your education

 

The education section is a part of each and every CV structure for a reason. Not every job has education requirements, but your education is always an important part of how to structure a good CV. Make sure yours is clear and complete without going into unnecessary detail—less is more here.

 

Detail your education in reverse-chronological order, meaning that you start from the most recent and work your way back from there. Include your high school education only if you don’t have a university degree. You can safely skip it if you have a degree or other tertiary qualification and some work experience.

 

Use the following template for both university degrees and other tertiary qualifications:

 

[Degree Type] [Degree Name](Degree Class), [Years Attended]

[Institution Name], [Institution Location]

 

Use the following templates to detail your high school education:

 

A-levels: [Subject Name 1], [Subject Name 2], [Subject Name 3]

[School Name], [School Location], [Years Attended]

 

[The number of GCSEs you completed] GCSEs (including Mathematics and English)

[School Name], [School Location], [Years Attended]

 

If you’re still finishing up a given academic qualification, then include an expected graduation date. If you don’t have much work experience to speak of, then you could add bullet points here, highlighting your academic achievements and areas of excellence (extracurricular activities can be put on a CV, too). You can also put this section above your work history.

 

CV outline: example education section

 

BA (Hons) Business and Management (Marketing) (2:1), 2012–2015

Bath Spa University, Bath

 

5. Showcase your skills

 

The outline of your CV will essentially tell you where to put your skills section but it won’t tell you exactly how to cobble it together. There’s an important element of the internal structure of your skills section that will really take your CV to the next level. One way in which it’ll do this is by tailoring your CV.

 

Tailoring your CV means that each recruiter who picks up your CV will think you’ve written it especially for their opening. And, in many ways, they won’t be wrong. You can achieve this in your skills section with far less effort than you might think. A little work invested now will have you copying and pasting later.

 

Open a new document and make a list of all the relevant work skills you can think of. Then go back over these skills and add a sentence to each one in which you describe how it is that you’ve demonstrated the given skill in a work context. Any skill for which you can’t do this drops off the list.

 

Save this document, it’ll be your skills master list for this and future CVs. Go back to the job advert and copy across 5–10 skills from your master list that at least cover what’s explicitly required in the advert. 

 

CV outline: skills sample

 

 

6. Make use of additional sections

 

The chronological CV format is not something with which you should experiment when it comes to changing the order of the sections willy-nilly. The core outline is definitely something to which you can add, though. Work history, education and skills can only go so far in painting a portrait of a worker.

 

These sections will do a very good job of describing you as an employee, but there’s always room for improvement. Flesh out your self-portrait by adding extra sections to your CV. You could add sections that list your additional qualifications, accolades, awards. Even hobbies and interests can make a good addition to your CV.

 

The only rule here is that whatever you choose to include, it has to be directly relevant to the job at hand. Something that’s virtually always considered relevant is the ability to speak foreign languages. So add these to your CV no matter what kind of job you’re applying for and what languages you speak.

 

Sample CV outline: extra CV sections

 

Awards

 

Sales Professional of the Year, CuraLife, 2017

 

Languages

 

Spanish – B2

 

7. Keep these formatting rules in mind

 

In addition to large-scale considerations, there’s the small-scale to consider—making sure spelling and grammar mistakes don’t let you down. But first, there are some things you can do to let your CV outline shine.

 

Use subheadings and plenty of white space to separate out and define the different sections of your CV. Stick to a one-page maximum per decade of experience, not going over two pages even if you have more than two decades of experience. Choose a professional-looking and readable CV font and fix the size at 11–12 pts.

 

Always use PDF when saving or exporting your CV to preserve all the effort you’ve put into formatting it. When it comes to ATS compliance, the best CV templates are those without infographics (visual CVs can be a good choice if you’re applying to small companies that don’t use CV scanning software).

 

All this is to make your CV more readable and navigable once someone already has it in their hands. It’s by including a cover letter that you can give your CV the best possible chance of getting picked up in the first place. Always include a cover letter unless you’ve been explicitly asked not to. Also, make your CV layout match the layout of your cover letter.

 

Your full address and the date of birth don’t belong on a CV. The only personal details you need to include are your name and surname, telephone number and email address. Optionally, you can add your LinkedIn URL.

 

One final piece of CV advice: follow up if you haven’t heard back after a week. A quick phone call or email is a simple gesture that sends all the right messages and can make a much bigger difference than you might think.

 

And that’s it! Now you know how to write the perfect CV.

 

A cover letter alone simply won’t be enough—you need an impactful CV, too. Create your CV in minutes. Just follow our wizard and fill in every CV section with ready-made content. Get started by choosing a professional CV template.

 

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

 

Create your CV now

 

I hope this article has given you a good understanding of how to structure a CV. It’s not rocket surgery but that doesn’t mean it’s not easy to get wrong. Is there anything here you’d like more information on? Please let us know in the comments section below, and anything else you’d like to share.

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LiveCareer Editorial Team
LiveCareer Editorial Team

About the author

Since 2005, the LiveCareer Team has been helping job seekers advance their careers. In our in-depth guides, we share insider tips and the most effective CV and cover letter writing techniques so that you can beat recruiters in the hiring game and land your next job fast. Also, make sure to check out our state-of-the-art CV and cover letter builder—professional, intuitive, and fully in line with modern HR standards. Trusted by 10 million users worldwide.

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