Use a CV Template to Make Sure You Stand Out From the Crowd
Use the right CV template to maximise your CV, which is the first chance an employer has to get to know you. Research from recruitment specialists uncovered statistics that should make you think twice before deciding you can get by without using an online CV template:
- 118 people apply for a job on average
- 20% of those applicants get as far as an interview.
Choose the wrong CV template and your chance of landing that job drops from 1 in 118 to zero. A recruiter isn’t going to spend time reading your CV unless you spend time making sure it stands out.
- The time spent looking at a CV is 6 seconds on average
- A single spelling or grammar mistake will see your CV rejected
- 76% of CVs are ignored if the email address supplied is unprofessional. You may have thought glitterbabepixie was a great user name a few years ago. The head of Financial Services could take a different view.
Your CV is all about building the strongest possible profile. It has to sell you to future employers. It also has to be tailored for:
- The industry in which you want to work
- The specific role in that industry
There are some rules that apply to all CVs. These include keeping it as short as possible and only including facts that are relevant. A fact that isn’t relevant to an employer, however, will be the point at which they put your CV to one side. Only include career specific content, something made much easier when you use a professional CV template to guide you.
Common Questions Asked by UK Jobseekers
Amongst the Most Common Mistakes People Make When Writing a CV Are the Following:
What is the format of a CV?
In the UK, the format of a CV is:
- 1-2 pages A4 pages long.
- Divided into 5 key sections: your contact details, personal profile, employment history, education, and skills.
- Clear and concise, designed to be easily skim-read by recruiters.
- Typically delivered in either a PDF or Word format.
- Able to be scanned by Applicant Tracking Software (ATS), which filters CVs based on the presence of important keywords.
How Do You Write a CV?
You write a CV by:
Reading the job ad carefully and identifying key skills and experience that will be valued by the recruiter.
Selecting a professional CV template.
Highlighting your experience and achievements that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Quantifying your achievements where possible – sharing statistics or numbers to show the impact you’ve made.
- Proof-reading your CV before you send it out.
Our CV templates and CV builder will help you to construct a CV that is tailored and specific. It will also help to weed out mistakes that might otherwise cause you to fail. You’re the expert in you, we’re the experts in CV templates. Together we can create the perfect CV.
Check Out 30 of the UK’s Most Popular CV Templates
Take a look at the CV templates we offer and you’ll see that there’s one for virtually every position you could imagine. That’s because each industry has specific requirements and expectations. By using a template designed for the sector in question, you’ll instantly look like a match for the best of your peers.
According to management consultants McKinsey, there will be a global shortfall of 85 million qualified workers by 2020. That’s a fantastic opportunity for anyone who can build a quality CV that shows they have what employers are looking for. These are just some of the CV templates we offer:
Academic CV Template
A CV template that sets out your qualifications and experience in a clear and concise manner. Describes the life and employment skills needed to stand out in the academic field, using appropriate references and structures.
Accountant CV Template
A CV template that lets you set out the qualifications which are vital to working in accountancy. In addition, it offers space for relevant work experience and professional achievements to make you stand out.
Acting CV Template
An acting CV template that lists past credits, achievements, qualifications and relevant experience. Vital personal details also included as well as the media in which you’ve worked and any special skills you might have.
Admin CV Template
Work in admin needs efficiency and methodical methods. This CV template will reflect that. It will list core qualifications, relevant professional skills and employment history. A carefully crafted CV will set you apart from your peers.
Artist CV Template
A CV template that showcases artistic ability in a clear and easily digested manner. Relevant qualifications and experience will be listed, together with skills, work completed and materials worked with. A CV to create an instant impact.
Customer service CV Template
A strong CV template to highlight your experience of working with customers and any roles you’ve filled. In a crowded field, your CV will need to stand out with high impact achievements, qualifications and soft skills.
Design CV Template
A design CV template will need to look the part. Clear lines, use of space and the right fonts will showcase your skills. Include the employment, education and the personal achievements needed to stand out.
Electrician CV Template
An electrician CV template will highlight qualifications gained above all else. It will include employment details, relevant projects completed and extra personal skills. Include specialities to set you apart from the rest.
Engineering CV Template
An engineering CV template solidly built from the ground up. Qualifications, employment history and projects completed. Personal skills bolted on for that something extra.
Executive CV Template
An executive CV template that highlights experiences in detail. Top level employment history and a more in-depth career summary than many CV templates. Awards and achievements listed in a professional context.
Finance CV Template
A CV template with the clarity and level of detail expected in the world of finance. Sets out your employment history, qualifications and professional achievements and creates the impression of a safe pair of hands.
Football CV Template
Cutting through in the world of football recruitment is results driven. This CV template lists your results through your employment history, qualifications and achievements. Add personal skills and details to showcase your winning ways.
Graduate CV Template
A graduate CV template will front load your educational achievements. Exams, prizes and other achievements listed, as well as personal skills and experience such as volunteering. A CV that showcases entry-level potential.
Graphic design CV Template
A graphic design CV template has to be clear and uncluttered. It needs to look professional, stylish and clear. Qualifications, experience and skills will be set out in an informative, high impact manner.
IT CV Template
A CV template for IT recruitment will list qualifications, employment history and projects delivered. It will be set out to demonstrate clarity and data presentation, while presenting relevant technical details.
Law CV Template
A law CV template will set out legal skills that meet the demands of the job in question. It will do so by listing qualifications, employment history and additional personal details.
Legal CV Template
A template for a legal CV will create a structure to showcase the right skills for the position being sought. Previous employment and relevant qualifications will be listed. Set out with the clarity the industry demands.
Manager CV Template
Though it may be slightly longer, a manager CV template should still be a maximum of 2 sides of A4. It needs to include the range of positions in which you’ve provided oversight. Specific achievements, qualifications and projects delivered will also be highlighted.
Marketing CV Template
Marketing is a results-driven sector. Your marketing CV template will reflect this. You will list employment history and relevant qualifications, with figures collected to prove your marketing abilities.
Media CV Template
The world of the media is about creating an impression. A media CV template will cut through to your peers. Previous projects in the right media will be highlighted, as well as qualifications and personal skills.
Medical CV Template
A medical CV template needs to generate trust and reassurance. It will clearly list your qualifications, experience and personal skills. It will project an image of competence and meet relevant industry standards.
Nursing CV Template
A career in nursing requires specific qualifications and experience. A nursing CV template will set out the posts you’ve filled and the skills you’ve developed. It will show that you meet the standards expected.
Project manager CV Template
As well as employment and educational details, a project manager CV will need to detail individual projects. The type, scale and results will be set out clearly and concisely. The focus will be on skills and delivery.
Retail CV Template
A retail CV template will clearly set out the work you’ve done in the retail industry. Additional features will be soft skills relating to working with the public and relevant sales figures.
Sales CV Template
Working in sales is all about hitting targets and a sales CV template will reflect this. The jobs you’ve done and results you’ve delivered will be listed. Relevant qualifications and skills will be set out.
Teacher CV Template
A teacher CV template will show that you have the right qualifications in the relevant subjects. It will also detail your record of working with a range of pupils and extra skills you bring to the role.
Teaching CV Template
An effective teaching CV template will focus on the skills needed for the level of teaching which is involved. A professional summary, details of qualifications and extra-curricular activities will be included.
School leavers CV Template
As a school leaver, your CV template will focus on educational achievements and qualifications. In addition, it will include details of hobbies and activities such as volunteering. It will paint a full picture of your potential.
Part-time job CV Template
A part time job CV template will concentrate on availability, previous experience and qualifications. It will list extra skills relevant to the industry. It will present the factors that make you ideal for part time work.
Career break CV Template
Coming back from a career break requires a CV template that focuses on solid educational achievement and extra skills. Personal activities outside employment such as hobbies and volunteering should also be highlighted.
Why Use a CV Template?
The main reason for using a CV template is pretty simple – writing a CV is difficult. First of all, the pressure is immense. This is your chance to create a personal profile that lifts you above the crowd. You have to decide what to include and what to leave out. You don’t want to sell yourself short, but anything longer than 2 pages is likely to be ignored in most cases.
The most common mistakes people make when writing a CV include:
- Including irrelevant detail
- Choosing a format that it is difficult to scan quickly
- Making grammar or spelling errors
- Switching between fonts
- Putting information in the wrong order
An effective CV needs to include all of your experiences that are relevant to the opportunity in question. It will also need to present skills and achievements in a way which is highly specific. For example, don’t just say that you ran a successful social media campaign – give details of the increase in engagement you drove, using actual numbers.
Getting all this information together and editing it down to the right length is daunting enough without having to worry about how it’s going to look on the page. That’s why the right professional CV template is so important.
The Benefits of Using a Tailored Format
An online CV template will take much of the stress out of writing a CV, by making the process quick and easy. It will use a format tailored to the industry. It will leave you free to concentrate on the content of the CV. A CV template will be designed to appeal to recruiters in any given industry. In those vital first 5-7 seconds, it will create the impression that you are a serious candidate who knows exactly how to approach the position in question.
5 Top Tips for Choosing the Right CV Template
Once you’ve decided that you’re going to save time and take the stress out of writing your CV by using a CV template, the next question is exactly which template should you use? From a wide range of choices there may be several that seem appropriate for the position in question. Or perhaps the CV is required for entry into a sector rather than a specific position. Get the choice right and you’ll greatly increase your chances of success. These tips will help you focus in on the perfect CV template:
Look to Your Peers
Chances are that you know people who work in the industry or sector in question, or would like to. Ask them about the kind of CV they have put together. If they’ve been successful in finding a position or even getting asked in for regular interviews, make note of the style of CV they used. There’s every chance they made use of a CV template when writing a successful CV, taking advantage of the expertise on offer. Study the ways in which the CV template they used helped them to capture their personality:
- Does it emphasise education?
- Is it more focused on employment history?
- Do personal skills and achievements play a big part?
These will vary depending upon the position in question and whether they have recently left education or have a long term employment history. The right CV template will make sure the emphasis is in the right place.
Do Your Research
Research both the company in question and the wider industry. Concentrate on the way in which information is shared. This particularly applies to written information. Examine how formal their written material is. Look at the way they present content such as blog posts, brochures, leaflets and their website:
- Is the content set out in a way that is stripped down and minimal?
- Or are they more creative in their use of formatting, text and fonts?
Carrying out this research will have two advantages. In the first instance, it will mean you choose a CV template that is the best possible match for the corporate culture in question. Secondly, it will arm you with the kind of in-depth information that will help you to shape the content of your CV, and come in very useful during any interview.
Don’t make the mistake of opting for the first CV template that you think matches the industry or position. Take a look at several CV templates. Remember, the template you choose is going to be a reflection of who you are as well as the type of employer you’re trying to impress. Think about what you regard as your key assets in relation to this position. Then ask yourself if the template in question draws enough attention to those assets.
Remember, an employer will be skim reading your CV, particularly the first time they see it, so you want to opt for a CV template that puts your best points front and centre. If your work experience outweighs your educational qualifications, for example, you don’t want a template that leads with exam results.
Road Test Online CV Templates
If you’re still uncertain exactly which online CV template to use then try ‘road testing’ a selection. It’s quick and easy to fill in a template, so do it and then put yourself in an employer’s shoes. Skim-read the CV as anyone recruiting would and ask yourself:
- Does it look appealing at first glance?
- Is it clear and concise?
- Are your strengths the first thing they’ll notice?
- Does it include everything asked for on any job specification?
- Is it a good fit for the image of the company?
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘No’ then it’s time to take a look at another template. Road testing CV templates in this way won’t just enable you to choose the best professional template. It will also play a part in fine tuning the content of your CV. If the information you’re including won’t work with a number of different templates, then maybe stricter editing is needed.
Ask for Advice
One of the key difficulties in writing an effective CV is that you’re too close to the subject matter. Since the subject matter is you, you couldn’t really be closer. This can make it tricky to choose the correct CV template. The CV format and layout options (Link to “CV Format & Layout” page) that we provide are varied enough to cover any position you might be looking for. Even so, it might be difficult to correctly gauge your own strengths and weaknesses.
That’s why the opinions of others will come in useful. The combination of personal experience and our expertise can make the best CV even better. The people you ask will probably have filled in CVs of their own. Some of them might even have looked through CVs in a working capacity. Get them to take a look through your online CV and they’ll be able to give an honest evaluation of your best (and worst) points, and which CV template is the best fit. Combine all of these tips and you’ll be able to choose the CV template that gives you the very best chance of taking the next step in your career.
Explore Some of the Best Professional CV Templates
Choosing the right professional CV template means taking note of the following aspects:
- It resonates with peers in the industry
- It has a tone and appearance that suits the sector or specific company
- It presents the relevant information through a quick skim-read
- It highlights your strengths
- It presents the information with the right emphasis – i.e. leading with education or employment history
The following CV templates each represent a fantastic option in a range of situations:
PROFESSIONAL CV Template
A professional CV template should be chosen to fit with the profession in question. It should emphasize the skills needed for this profession, and the experience you already have. It should be presented in a style that matches the approach taken by professionals already working in the field. A professional CV template will create the impression, at first glance, that you are fully aware of what is expected of anyone working in a particular profession.
BEST CV Template
The best CV template is one that matches both the position and the applicant. An entry level application, for example, may emphasise educational achievements. Those for managerial or executive positions will focus more on work history and project delivery. Choosing the best CV template means combining the nature of the role with your level of professional experience.
BASIC CV Template
A basic CV template will include sections for the following information: name, clear contact details, employment to date, education and qualifications achieved, additional experience beyond work (i.e. volunteering), and a personal profile.
Since a basic CV will usually only be a single page long, it is vital to choose a template that lets you fit in all the relevant details without it looking crowded or untidy. An over-full CV will be cast aside without even being read.
GOOD CV Template
Choosing a good CV template involves thinking carefully about the nature of the position being applied for. Is it factual, rules based and methodical in nature? Or is it based in the creative arts? Were specific accredited qualifications mentioned in the job specification? Or is the employer looking for soft skills demonstrated by less formal activity? A good CV template will be one that presents your personal profile in a way that ticks the right boxes.
MODERN CV Template
A modern CV template will be one that presents the information in a less formal manner. Ideally suited for professions that call for more creative input, a modern CV template might make use of varied colours, different fonts and stylistic flourishes. A modern CV template is one that combines clear, contemporary appearance with ATS friendly structure and content.
SIMPLE CV Template
‘Keep it simple’ is something to bear in mind whenever you sit down to create a CV. A simple CV template will do much of the work for you. It will present the information in a clear, concise and easily scanned manner. Starting with basic contact details, it will list the assets you could bring to this role. It will be the ideal choice for an entry level position, or for when your work history comprises a few key roles which you want to highlight.
FREE CV Template
A free CV template is one that enables you to use a CV builder to put together your perfect CV. By selecting the right template you’ll be able to compose a CV that stands out from the crowd. It will be visually clear, encouraging skim-reading. The information will be presented in an order that makes it more likely a reader will pick up on the most relevant points.
WORD CV Template
Although sending in a CV as a PDF is often recommended for a number of reasons, some companies still insist on Word documents. In addition to this, a Word CV template may feel more comfortable to work with. Most of the documents we create use a system like word, so a Word CV template will feel like second nature, leaving you free to concentrate on the content.
BLANK CV Template
A blank CV template offers the most freedom when it comes to creating a CV to perfectly match applicant and position. It may sound like more work than some other professional CV templates, but using a CV builder will take the stress out of the process, making it quick and easy. A blank CV template combined with a comprehensive CV builder is the perfect mix of freedom and support.
What Makes Up the Standard UK CV Template?
Although CVs are as varied as the people writing them and the positions being applied for, there are certain basic rules. A CV is useless if it doesn’t include your contact details, for example. The standard UK CV template will include everything that simply has to be included on your CV. In the form of simple bullet points for you to fill in it will list:
- Educational details
- Employment history
- Key skills and competencies
- Personal profile
- Your contact details
Choosing how to set out this basic information will make the difference between a successful CV and one that doesn’t pass the 6 second test. Our UK CV templates make it possible to choose the appearance that is a great match for the position in question. From traditional to modern, from designer to executive, we’ll have a CV template that fits. Ask yourself:
- Will the CV be in colour or monochrome?
- Will it include a sidebar or will headings be above each section?
Once you’ve chosen a CV template that matches your answers, then consider the level of experience you currently have. Options include:
- Entry level
Your selection will shape the format of the finished CV. If you combine the CV template with our CV builder then you will then be guided, page by page, through the CV. Prompts and advice on content will be given, and as you fill in the details your CV will take shape.
Why is this important?
Your CV has to give a prospective employer a clear idea of who you are and what you could bring to the position. Given the demand for any worthwhile position, that employer may well have to look through literally hundreds of CVs. If your CV doesn’t use a template that meets industry expectations and presents information clearly and concisely, it simply won’t cut through.
The pressure of writing a CV is huge. The knowledge that this document could be your ticket to the next stage of your career can make even simple decisions extremely difficult. By taking those decisions out of your hands, or presenting options designed by experts and proven in the real world, a UK CV template will ease that pressure. Under less stress, safe in the knowledge that your CV is going to look the part, you’ll be far more able to pick and choose the details that paint the very best picture of you.
How To Write Your Own CV
Even the best CV template can only do so much. You have to know how to pick and choose the information to include on your CV, and how to set it down. The following 10 tips will make sure the content is every bit as good as the format:
1. Choose the Right Template
Choose a CV template that matches the position you’re applying for and the level of experience you have. An executive CV template will not really be suitable if you only have entry level employment details.
2. Include Contact Details
Make sure your contact details are correct. If you have an ‘amusing’ email address, it may be best to set up a new one specifically for job applications. Include the phone number you’re most likely to answer.
3. Be Specific
When writing about achievements pertinent to the role, be specific. Don’t say that you ‘boosted sales in the North West region’ when you could say ‘My management increased sales across the North West region by 75% over three months’.
4. Make Use of Social Media
Social media is often seen as a minefield for applicants, but it can be useful. Limited space means that won’t be able to list every single achievement on a CV, but a link to a LinkedIn profile or online portfolio will mean an interested employer could explore further.
5. Tell the Truth
You may be tempted to ‘exaggerate’ on your CV. According to a recent survey, 47% of UK office workers had lied on their CVs about past employment. The Higher Education Degree Data (HEDD) survey found that a third of students and graduates had ‘embellished’ their qualifications. Use the right CV builder (Link to “CV Builder” page), however, and you won’t have to make things up.
6. Reference the Job Specification
Your prospective employer will be looking for evidence that you have read and understood the job specification. Don’t be afraid to make a list of keywords in the specification and tick them off as you include them in your CV. Which leads us to….
7. Beware of ATS
The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is an automated system that scans CVs to ensure that they include a specified set of keywords. If they don’t include the words in question your CV will never even be read by a person.
8. Avoid Jargon
Increasingly, according to recruitment specialists, companies are also drawing up lists of words to be avoided, such as ‘hard’ and ‘learning’. Since this is also likely to become a part of ATS, the best advice is to keep your language as simple and plain as possible, and avoid using jargon and buzzwords.
9. Keep it Short
Every time you go over the content for your CV, try and find a way of saying the same thing with fewer words. The more concise you are, the better your CV will look at first glance and the more information it can pack in.
This seems obvious, but so many people spend hours working on their CV, only for a simple spelling mistake on the first line to mean that nobody bothers reading further. Check spelling and grammar, check it twice, then check it again.
Student CV Templates
It might seem ironic, but the people who most need a strong CV are probably the ones who think they’ve got the least to write about. Students don’t usually have much of an employment history to fall back on, and so any CV template has to make the most of what they can offer. Whether you’re just leaving education, or still involved, a student CV template will help you to set out into the world of employment with maximum confidence.
A template of this kind will place the emphasis on educational achievements, naturally, but also on your personal profile. Activities that you’ve taken part in outside of education can often be used to demonstrate a range of attributes. These might include:
- Soft skills – employers are increasingly looking for skills such as the ability to work as part of a team. If you’ve ever volunteered then you’ll have demonstrated exactly these sorts of skills, as well as a desire to contribute.
- Commitment – any club, group or school society you attended will demonstrate your commitment. Simply showing up regularly is a key part of any job, and if you can show that you did it even when you didn’t have to, then a prospective employer will be impressed.
- Hobbies – the fact that you played lead guitar in a rock group may not seem like the best thing to mention when applying for a job in finance. Perhaps you were in charge of booking the rehearsal rooms, however, or arranging travel to and from gigs. Maybe you can show that you helped to source the cheapest way of getting the band posters printed, or went out posting flyers door to door.
Anything that demonstrates initiative, hard work and organisational skills should be placed front and centre of your student CV.
Above and beyond any individual aspects, the fact that you took the time to use a student CV template and to pull together the content will demonstrate a methodical approach to problem solving, a resolve to produce the best and the ability to see a task through. Whether you opt for a simple CV, a modern CV or a blank CV, getting it right will lift you head and shoulders above all the other students.
The Advantages of Using CV Templates
No matter what stage of your career you’re at – whether you’re a student or an executive – few things are more terrifying than a blank piece of paper that needs to be filled. Writing a CV from scratch means taking your entire life and boiling it down to a few hundred words. What should you include? What should you leave out? Even if you already have a CV, you’ll be wondering if it needs updating, to reflect changes in the industry and your circumstances.
A Helping Hand
CV templates can’t write your CV for you, but they can do a lot of the heavy lifting. By providing a carefully designed structure they can start to bring a mass of content into focus. Once you see the sections of a CV divided into their separate parts, you begin to realise just where each piece of information should be slotted. You also get a sense of how much information is too much information, just by seeing how it looks on the page. This will then prompt you to go back and make the information more concise, or pick and choose what to include more carefully.
A Template Combined With a CV Builder
Even with the best CV template, you might still struggle to know exactly how to set something down. After all, you’re an expert in your chosen profession, not in writing CVs. A CV builder will provide that expertise, offering examples of content chosen with your level and industry in mind, and allowing you to edit them to the perfect fit. By pulling it all together you’ll have a CV that is uniquely yours, but perfectly designed for the position you’re seeking.
Create the CV You Need and Deserve
Your CV is important. It’s your calling card and record of achievement. If you were a brand, it would be your billboards and your website. You’re not a brand, you’re a person, and your CV is an attempt to take the whole of that person and put it onto a couple of sides of paper.
Put like that, it sounds impossible. The truth is that the right CV template, especially when combined with a CV builder, makes it not just possible but quick and easy. The online CV creating process has been carefully designed to make sure you only include the facts that are relevant. The right CV template will set those facts out in a way which is clear and concise. The finished CV will be built to work with ATS and to grab the attention of a recruiter at first glance.
A choice for virtually every sector you could think of will make sure that your CV matches all industry requirements. Fine tuning for your level of experience will present the information in the right way, and prompts with the content will mean that you’re never stuck for how to present yourself.
Specific, relatable and coherent, a CV based on a CV template will present a personal profile of you that can be tweaked and altered to match the next career move you have in mind. Putting it together will be quick and easy, leaving you free to concentrate on how you’re presenting yourself.
Information is power, but information correctly presented is twice as powerful. Take a look at our CV builder now, and find out just how powerful the self-portrait you create could be. If you’re not 100% happy in your current job then there’s no need to settle for the status quo. Our CV templates and CV builder put control firmly in your hands, making it quick and easy to create the CV you need to move your career, and your life, onto the next level.