How to create
a CV

Having the right CV can make all the difference between instant rejection and getting your job application through to the next stage. Those who are able to get all of the relevant information they need, in the most succinct way possible, can put themselves to the top of the applications pile.

And this is where we can step into help! Follow our quick guide below to find out how to put together a killer CV.

What is a CV?

CV is short for curriculum vitae, which is a latin phrase meaning "course of life". It's essentially a summary of your education and professional life to date. It tells an employer exactly what skills and strengths you've acquired through your life.

When to use a CV

A CV is often used as the backbone of your application. You'll use one when you need to give a more detailed description of your career.

Where are CVs used

This can vary a little depending on where you are. In the US for instance CV's are primarily used in formal job applications in academia, scientific or medical fields and are sometimes more credential based. In Europe, the CV will usually be the core of all job applications.

CV vs Resume

A resume tends to be a very short, sharp summary of your skills, usually no more than one page long. It's usually very focused on one specific type of job or industry too. A CV on the other hand details your entire career history and can run to two pages or more.

Layout of a CV

A CV layout should be easy to read, have clear headings and be in reverse chronological order with your most recent experience coming first.

CV Sections and descriptions - How to create a CV

Every CV will have the same core sections, usually in the following order:

  • Name and contact details - Pretty self explanatory, your contact details should be at the very top.
  • Personal statement - A quick summary outlining your best skills in just one or two sentences
  • Work experience - List each of the roles you've had in reverse chronological order, meaning the most recent first. Outline the key roles and responsibilities you had along with skills learned.
  • Education - List any qualifications and degree certificates here
  • Hobbies and interests - This is an optional section, we'd recommend filling it in only if it's relevant to the job you're applying to.

Use a CV Template

We'd highly recommend using a template for your CV. It'll save you time if you've got a lot of jobs to apply for and can help organize your thoughts.

Include relevant skills

Tailor your CV to the job you're applying for and highlight relevant skills.

Don't skip the personal statement

Some candidates leave this out to save space, but it can be vital for grabbing a recruiter's attention and saving them time.

Don't leave gaps

If you've had career breaks or periods you weren't working, make sure you explain what you were doing and what you learned.

Use numbers

Try and back up your achievements with statistics. This helps add to the story of your CV.

Keep things short

Use short, easy to read sentences. You don't want the recruiter to be reading walls of text.

Be keyword friendly

A lot of applications go through keyword scanners these days before landing on a recruiters desk. Make sure you've listed specific skills they're looking for.

Need more advice?
We recommend you head on over to There you'll find a host of useful CV templates across a range of careers to get you started.
Learn more
How to create
a CV