How to Write a CV: Good Examples & Professional Template

Curriculum vitae. Now, that sounds intimidating already. All it means is “course of life” in Latin. That’s what makes it difficult to know what to include in your CV. The trap most people fall into is providing too little, and too much information at the same time. 

 

They give too little about what’s relevant—providing boring descriptions of past responsibilities, instead of listing stats and metrics that can really let the employer know how good they are. Then, they give too much—going too far back in their education, or listing irrelevant hobbies.

 

In this guide you will learn how to write a CV that gets jobs. You will also see a CV sample you can use for your own purposes.

 

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.

 

cv builder

 

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

 

Create your CV now

 

How to write a CV—template

 

Morgan Howe

PC Technician

 

9 Russell Rd

Shepway

ME15 3YD

07886369215

morgan@howe.com

 

Systematic Computer Technician with 5+ years of experience in investigating and settling hardware and software issues across 1,000+ devices on location and remotely, 7 days a week. Responsible for 24/7 support of 400+ employees. Liable for equipment and system onboarding for recently recruited employees, approx. 40 individuals every year. CompTIA A+, CCNA, CISSP, MCSA, ACA certified.

 

Experience

 

PC Technician

BigCorp, London

2015–2020

  • Reacting to all on location and remote issues through Jira ServiceDesk, day in and day out for 400+ representatives.
  • Sustaining 400+ desktops, 750+ laptops, 40 printer/scanners, and the whole company network and intranet knowledge base.
  • Made FAQs on the organization’s Jira to take care of basic issues quick and to diminish ticket volume by 25%.
  • Liable for equipment and system onboarding for recently recruited employees, 40+ individuals per annum.
  • Trained 1 Junior PC Technician on methodology and regular issues.
  • Introduced and set up 35 Cisco devices and cabling.
  • Updated all machines to Windows 10.
  • Automated updates in Citrix to spare 3hrs/week.

 

Apple Genius

Apple Store Bond Street

2015

  • Followed Apple protocols and instructions to resolve 250+ specialized issues every week.
  • Obtained in-depth technical knowledge of Macs and other Apple products.
  • Helped out the sales team with expert advice to upsell.

 

Education

 

2.1 in BSc Computer Science

Leeds University

2011–2014

 

Key Skills

 

  • Jira Service Desk
  • Cisco Hardware Installation
  • Citrix
  • Apple Products
  • Windows 10, Linux
  • Communication Skills

 

Certifications

 

  • MCSA: Windows 10 — 2017
  • CompTIA A+ Technician — 2015
  • Apple Certified Associate — 2015
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate — 2015

 

Now let’s see how to make an effective CV step by step:

 

1. Get everything ready

 

To make your job easier, get these things ready before you start:

 

  1. The list of schools, colleges, and universities you’ve attended, and all the qualifications you received.
  2. The names of the companies you’ve worked for, together with the dates.
  3. All your extracurricular and professional certifications, training, licenses, together with dates.
  4. The full job ad of the position you’re applying for, and the employer’s website—you should craft a targeted CV for each employer. 

 

2. Put yourself in their shoes and choose the right CV format

 

The CV isn’t about you. It’s about just how suitable and perfect you are for the role they’re trying to fill. That’s a much more effective angle to take. Which is why you need to try as hard as you can to think from the employer’s perspective, not yours. 

 

Here is a list of questions that once answered, will help you know exactly how to compose the perfect CV:

 

  1. What is the most important quality / skill for this position? What’s the second? The third? — Scour the job ad, try to think like the employer, and even as their potential client. Note down the keywords. 
  2. What problem could the company be facing, and trying to solve? — Here, the company website could prove more useful than the job ad.
  3. What experience and skills do I have that clearly prove I can handle those most important aspects, and solve that problem?

 

Answering the last question will help you decide on your CV format. There are two main types of CV in the UK:

  • A chronological (or traditional) CV
  • A skills-based (or functional) CV

 

The first type focuses on your experience, the second one on your skills. Let’s take a closer look at both of them.

 

A chronological CV is also known as the reverse-chronological format, because it lists your most recent position first and then moves back through your previous roles. It’s perfect for both experienced and inexperienced candidates. Students and school-leavers can use it, too— in order to give prominence to their education section, they can move it above the work experience section (which can be totally omitted in their case).

 

A chronological CV is the CV style most liked by recruiters and hiring managers. Why? First, they’re most familiar with it. Second, it’s easy on the eye and lets them find the most interesting bits of information with ease. Third, it’s scannable by the ATS software used to scan job applications.

 

The only flaw of the chronological CV format is the fact that it exposes any gaps in employment. If that is your story, you may opt for writing a skills-based CV.

 

Skills-based CV format, also known as a functional CV, focuses on your core set of skills rather than your work experience. It’s a good choice for career changers, gig workers, and ex-military personnel. But—recruiters don’t like it. It may also not be readable by ATS scanners. 

 

How to write a CV for a job application—order of sections

 

Chronological CV

Skills-based CV

Header with contact info

Header with contact info

Personal statement

Personal statement

Work experience

Skills summary

Education

Work experience

Skills

Education

Additional sections

Additional sections

As the chronological CV is the most popular type of CV in the UK, the following CV sections will be presented in this order.

 

3. Write a CV header

 

The header of any CV should contain:

  • First name and surname.
  • Physical address for jobs that have physical locations. If it’s a remote, digital position, you can omit this part.
  • Your telephone number, and a professional email address.
  • LinkedIn profile—make sure it’s up to scratch, and is an expansion of your CV, not a direct copy. 
  • Website or portfolio URL, if it’s relevant to the position.

 

How to make a good CV header

 

Morgan Howe

PC Technician

 

9 Russell Rd

Shepway

ME15 3YD

07886369215

morgan@howe.com

 

4. Add a CV personal statement

 

It’s actually super easy, if you do it last. We have this section here so that it doesn’t confuse you in terms of order—it should definitely come after your header—it will be a breeze to write once you have completed the other sections. 

 

Here’s the formula for each sentence for a perfect personal statement:

 

  1.  A [power adjective] [job title] with [years of experience]+ years of experience, and proven expertise in [most important skill to them].
  2. At [previous employer name], I [describe your experience/expertise with regards to the most important skill you just listed], which resulted in [describe achievements/improvements/gains/savings using metrics].
  3. [Most Important Skill 2] is also personally important to me, and I have [describe experience/expertise], managing to [describe achievements/improvements/gains/savings using metrics].

 

This section should only total 6 lines of an A4 of a size 11 font, at most. The function of this statement is to entice the employer to read further. If you still have a couple lines left, or perhaps you don’t have as much experience, you can opt for one, or, space permitting, both:

 

  1. Graduated [University Name] with a [1st/2:1] class degree in [Degree Name].

 

If you got a 2:2, or a 3rd, it would be wise not to list it—not because it’s something to be ashamed of, but because some recruiters are prejudiced and you cannot help it. You might persuade them with other arguments, and by the time they ask about in the interview, it might not be an issue anymore. 

 

  1. Hoping to leverage my [most important skill 1] skills to [the problem you’re going to solve/the results you’re going to get for them] at [Target Employer Name].

 

Sentence 5 will turn your personal statement into a CV objective. It’s a good way to show you know what the company is about, and what’s important for them. 

 

How to write a perfect CV personal statement

 

Systematic Computer Technician with 5+ years of experience in investigating and settling hardware and software issues across 1,000+ devices on location and remotely, 7 days a week. Responsible for 24/7 support of 400+ employees. Liable for equipment and system onboarding for recently recruited employees, approx. 40 individuals every year. CompTIA A+, CCNA, CISSP, MCSA, ACA certified.

 

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

 

5. Create a powerful work experience section

 

The work history isn’t about listing a list of boring responsibilities. They know what your job entails. It’s about:

  • Proving that you know, and can handle exactly what the job requires you to do. 
  • A list of four to eight bullet points for your most recent or relevant role. 
  • For each bullet point, don’t just describe what you did. Quantify your impact by justifying each point with a statistic, metric, or achievement. Numbers will make you stand out.
  • Use compelling verbs and adjectives: e.g. developed, organized, directed, enabled, facilitated, etc. 
  • For older and less relevant positions, keep it down to three bullet points, unless they are things that correspond with the employer’s requirements that didn’t crop up in your most recent job.

 

How to write a CV work experience section

 

PC Technician

BigCorp, London

2015–2020

  • Reacting to all on location and remote issues through Jira ServiceDesk, day in and day out for 400+ representatives.
  • Sustaining 400+ desktops, 750+ laptops, 40 printer/scanners, and the whole company network and intranet knowledge base.
  • Made FAQs on the organization’s Jira to take care of basic issues quick and to diminish ticket volume by 25%.
  • Liable for equipment and system onboarding for recently recruited employees, 40+ individuals per annum.
  • Trained 1 Junior PC Technician on methodology and regular issues.
  • Introduced and set up 35 Cisco devices and cabling.
  • Updated all machines to Windows 10.
  • Automated updates in Citrix to spare 3hrs/week.

 

6. List education on your CV

 

It’s an easy section to overlook, but hiring managers still expect to see an education section on a CV. So:

  • List your highest formal education level first. If you have a uni degree, skip your GCSE and A-Level grades. If not, mention individual subjects for your A-levels, and Maths and English for your GCSE.
  • List the names of the institutions and the graduation dates. If you’re still studying include an expected graduation date.
  • Listing your degree classification may not be required—if you’re more than two years out and have some experience, we would save the space. The easiest way to know whether to list it is to check the job ad if they require a specific degree class.

 

How to make a CV education section

 

2.1 in BSc Computer Science

Leeds University

2011–2014

 

7. Add CV certifications, awards, skills and additional sections

 

You will benefit from adding additional sections to your CV, as long as they are relevant and thought out. Nobody cares if you do yoga twice a week, or like photography. Even if you have relevant things, if you mix them with fluff, they might get lost.

 

Therefore, start with a Key Skills section. There are many schools of thought on how to list them—some list right under their work experience, but the newschool approach seems to be to add a little tab to the side, with some even adding graphical representations like sliding scales.

 

Whatever you do:

  • List between 5 and 10 skills.
  • Make sure they are highly relevant to the job requirements. 

 

This will allow your CV to coast through the applicant tracking software, which is designed to pick up keywords. Secondly, if you are in an industry where a lot of the knowledge is gained and proven through certifications, list those second.

 

List the full certification name, institution that certified you, and the date you gained the certification. These two sections should be sufficient for most CVs, but if you have more things that you think are relevant and will convince your potential employer, you can think about the following sections:

  • Awards
  • Foreign Languages
  • Relevant (!) Hobbies and Interests
  • Volunteering
  • Professional References

 

How to write CV additional sections

 

Key Skills

 

  • Jira Service Desk
  • Cisco Hardware Installation
  • Citrix
  • Apple Products
  • Windows 10, Linux
  • Communication Skills

 

Certifications

 

  • MCSA: Windows 10 — 2017
  • CompTIA A+ Technician — 2015
  • Apple Certified Associate — 2015
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate — 2015

 

Now that everything has been exhausted, jump back to our CV profile section, and complete that. It will be a breeze by now.

  

8. Format your CV

 

Formatting your CV is something that may not get you additional points if you get it right, but can definitely land your CV in the bin if it’s messy. Therefore, keep this in mind:

  • Font—Choose a classic, legible font such as Arial, Calibri, or Garamond in a 10-12 size.
  • Length—One page per decade of work experience, and a maximum of two decades of experience total. Chances are, if it’s a job from that long ago, there won’t be anything relevant anyway. For best chances of someone making it all the way through, try to keep it to one page.
  • Spacing—Use 1-inch margins on all sides, and space sections out—or use LiveCareer’s CV Builder and don’t worry about it.
  • Format—Different employers may require different formats, most likely being .pdf and .doc. It’s important to obey what they require, as they may be using an applicant tracking system that only takes that format.

 

9.What else to remember about when writing a CV?

 

First of all, more than half of employers say cover letters a must-have. So complement your CV with a well-formatted cover letter. It doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) be long. 200–400 words will suffice.

 

Secondly, proofread your CV. Getting your spelling right will not win you extra points, but getting it wrong will land your CV right in the bin. You can use a grammar and spell-check tool such as Grammarly. Or ask a trusted person to read your CV to pick out any errors you may have missed.

 

Thirdly, follow up with the employer by email or phone about the status of your application if you haven’t heard back within one week.

 

And that’s it! You’re ready to get your foot in the door!

 

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

 

Thank you for reading. Writing a CV doesn’t have to be hard. Do you have more questions on how to make a CV? Let us know in a comment!

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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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