How to Write a Good CV in the United Kingdom

Written by rebekah richards
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How to Write a Good CV in the United Kingdom
A polished CV will help you get a job. (pen image by Mikhail Olykainen from

In the United Kingdom, a curriculum vitae, usually referred to as a CV, is a one-page or two-page document that job seekers use to present themselves to employers. A CV in the United Kingdom is comparable to an American resume, not a longer American CV. Your CV should highlight your education, skills, and work experience, and is usually included with a cover letter. Your CV and cover letter must be typed. The aim of sending a CV and cover letter is to secure a job interview.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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  1. 1

    List your full name and contact information at the top of the page, centred. Your name should be in a larger font than your contact information. Include your complete mailing address (including postcode), e-mail address, and telephone number.

  2. 2

    Organise your educational qualifications, listing the most recent first, and place them underneath a header that says "Education." This section--and the rest of the CV--should not be centred. Include the universities you have attended, dates of your diplomas or certificates, which diploma or certificate you earned, and your area of study. Ensure that your dates are written day-month-year in the European style rather than month-day-year. Do not use the American words "major" and "minor"; simply list your areas of speciality. If you have earned academic honours or prizes, mention these along with the date. Do not list specific numeric grades or grade point averages, as the British grading system differs from the United States. List information rather than writing it in sentences; short lists are easier for employers to read.

  3. 3

    Add a section titled "Language Proficiency" and list each foreign language you have learnt. Specify your written or spoken level in each foreign language. If you do not speak any foreign languages, do not include this section.

  4. 4

    Create another section titled "Work Experience" and list your job history, beginning with your most recent job or the job you have now. For each job, list the company, your title, the location, the dates you worked there, your responsibilities, and your achievements. Use bullet points when listing your responsibilities and achievements. If you have worked several jobs, include the most prestigious jobs and the ones most relevant to the jobs to which you are now applying. Remember that the CV should only be one or two pages long.

  5. 5

    Specify your legal work status, such as "Student Visa" or "EU citizen," in a brief section titled "Work Status."

  6. 6

    Finish your CV with a section titled "Leisure Interests." Briefly list your interests and hobbies, keeping in mind how they reflect upon you. For example, listing that you like to read and that you volunteer on weekends may present you in a favourable light. Employers are likely to ask about your interests in a job interview, though, so never lie or exaggerate.

Tips and warnings

  • Set your spellchecker to "British English" before you spell check your CV.
  • Use high-quality paper to make your CV stand out.
  • Have a friend or family member check your CV for spelling or grammar errors.
  • Never include irrelevant personal information, including your photograph, height, weight, political affiliation, or religious affiliation.

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