A free CV template provides insightful content on what jobseekers may wish to include in their CV. Jobseekers can choose CV templates for almost any job, or they can download a general CV Template, which outlines information that an employer would expect to read in a CV.
Any jobseeker who is actively looking for work may wish to use a CV template. People who benefit are often school leavers, graduates & people returning to work.
A free CV template provides focus, guidance, and can spur jobseekers into action, and ultimately save time when writing their CV.
Using a modern CV template helps job seekers to create a unique CV by providing guidance on what is required. A free CV template helps job seekers by suggesting content which is aligned to their job search, and ensures that no work history, relevant skills, or key information are overlooked.
A professional CV template or CV builder helps by sharing information on the structure of a CV, it suggests what are appropriate titles for each section of the CV, the order the CV should be written in, and reaffirms what is relevant to the reader, employer, or hiring manager.
A best CV templates inspire jobseekers and aid them in thinking about, and providing further information on, their professional experience and achievements gained in the workplace, in their education and considers other personal successes or interests that are appropriate to mention.
These may include information about charity work, hobbies, publications, presentations, awards and honours that they may have received.
Overall a CV template works as a complete guide on what content to include and what format the CV should follow. The format helps the individual create a customised CV, which is tailored specifically to their persona, their experiences, and their personal achievements.
Firstly, only use a free CV template as a guide - do not copy the CV template, or anyone else’s CV for that matter.
Be sure to review several free CV templates before writing your CV. You will be able to find hundreds online, so invest time in drafting your CV to ensure it is unique and describes the most enticing and relevant parts of your experience.
Free CV templates are a great tool, but you need to make sure it fulfils your objectives. Ensure it is relevant to your industry and occupation. Also, consider your CV length and layout, whether it is concise, and how it can help you tell your story.
Also, be sure to distinguish between a UK CV template and an American resume. Resume templates create a basic CV, so these simple templates may not be appropriate or effective in the UK.
You can view, download, or personalise our professional CV templates or edit them using an application such as Google Docs.
A CV is a document that people use when applying for a position and typically, it is the first thing a prospective employer will read about you; therefore it is the first impression they will have about you.
A CV allows you to summarise your hard and soft skills, achievements, experience, education, hobbies and interests.
Normally a CV will be created and shared with potential employers that you seek work with, however, there are other uses:
The most relevant time to update your CV is when you have decided to look for a new job, or perhaps you are returning to the workplace after a period away.
Other appropriate times to refresh your CV is when you hope to gain promotion, or when you achieve something significant at work; a good example is completing a specific project.
It is good practice to update your CV at least once a year.
CVs typically adhere to the following structure and include:
Start with personal information; this should include:
You do not need to include your address, however, do share the town or city in which you live.
For many jobs, it may help if you include how far you are prepared to travel, or whether you are willing to relocate. Modern cv templates may also give you the option to clarify if you are prepared to work remotely, on a permanent or hybrid basis.
You do not need to include your home telephone number, but it is recommended that you leave a mobile number and email address for a recruiter, employer, or hiring manager to contact you.
It’s widely regarded as less important to include information about your status - whether you have children, your date of birth and if you hold a driving licence. In some instances, information such as your age, religion, and relationship status may inadvertently encourage employer discrimination. However, if you feel that it will help your job application, then include any information that you feel is pertinent.
If you speak more than one language, and you feel it is relevant, then include your language skills. For many positions, speaking several languages may be an advantage.
If you have social media pages that are relevant to the job you are applying for, and which are appropriate to share, then you may wish to include links to your social media pages. Creative CV templates will also give you the opportunity to include a link to your portfolio of design work or writing projects.
Many people choose to include a personal statement after their personal information. You might like to write a short description of yourself – perhaps explaining why you have chosen to follow the career path that you have, or what you would like to achieve in the future.
This overview can be adapted to fit the role you are applying for, and you can tailor your skill set to the position you are applying for.
It’s important not to write too much, but to be concise, positive and balanced.
When writing your CV, you need to grab the reader’s attention. Some people aren’t comfortable being boastful, so be careful - choose what you wish to include carefully to ensure you set the right tone.
When sharing key achievements, you need to choose examples of work that you are proud of and mention points of interest that are relevant to employers. Consider the company, the job and the industry.
Your most recent/current role is of most relevance to a prospective employer, so that’s where you need to start.
Detail the company name, start and end date of employment, provide information about the role/s you held within the company and include your job title.
If you held several positions within one company, you should list the job title, start, and end date of each position and indicate whether these were promotions or a change of career direction within the company.
Highlight the experience in previous positions that is most relevant to the job you are applying for.
List your main responsibilities, the relevant skills required for the position and pick out some achievements whilst in that role.
If you have any gaps in employment, for whatever reason, you should indicate what you were doing in this period. For example, include a statement like, ‘raising my family’, ‘unemployed’, ‘studying’, ‘travelling’ etc. If a prospective employer wants more information, they will ask you at the interview stage, so be prepared for that.
We know employment gaps can feel like a challenge to overcome and we have detailed specific advice and free CV templates to download in several articles.
Depending on how many companies you have worked for, and for how many years you have been working, you may have a very long list of previous employment.
The accepted rule of thumb is to provide detailed information (as above) for the last 10 years of employment. Some choose not to include any work history at all beyond that, whilst others choose to list their older jobs, back to their first job, very briefly.
Starting with your most recent qualifications and/or education, detail your education and professional qualifications, including grades achieved.
You may choose to provide lots of detail in the education section if a specific qualification is particularly relevant to the position you are applying for. You may therefore decide to place the education sector above work history.
If you are not an experienced candidate and have limited work experience, your education is more relevant. A school leaver applying for an entry level position is a good example of when education should be placed below their personal information. To create the perfect CV if you have little work experience, explore and download skills based CV examples such as our School Leaver CV Template or Graduate CV Template.
You can make your basic CV more compelling by sharing further insight about yourself, and a good way to achieve that is by sharing information on your pastimes. Be thoughtful about your choices and include something that is relevant to the position you are applying for, or something that demonstrates you are dedication and commitment.
For example, competing in triathlons might illustrate some of your positive characteristics, demonstrate you are motivated, and committed, which will be of interest to future employers.
Remember, however, that what you may find interesting about yourself may not be of interest to a potential employer. So, be careful not to distract the reader’s focus away from your strengths, skills, and suitability for the position.
Modern CV templates follow the latest hiring standards and practices. Today, recruiters don’t consider providing references appropriate at this stage of the application process.
The modern CV layout reflects this, so you will likely not see a reference section in the CV template or CV builder, or a statement will be included, saying ‘references available on request.’
Free CV templates rarely dictate your CV length. The best CV template will allow you to enter all your relevant information, skills, past employers, and education. A one-page CV is the standard CV advice because all of your crucial information can be viewed easily.
However, you shouldn’t avoid using two pages if you have extensive experience and skills. White space is crucial for readability and creating eye-catching CVs or cover letters.
Weigh up if each statement quantifies your case for a job interview, and if it does, use a second page to give you more space. If you are set on a one-page CV, a CV template that uses bullet points can be extremely helpful.
Various industries, such as jobs in academia or scientific jobs, warrant a more extended professional CV template. A template format that stretches onto two pages, with a detailed skills section, might also be crucial for company directors and senior executives.
Choosing keywords and phrases is vital as hiring managers use Applicant Tracking Systems to screen your cover letter and current CV. A CV builder or free CV templates will give you an idea of keywords and phrases to use on your bespoke CV. This powerful software also enables recruiters to search a CV database for the best candidates, so carefully consider your word choices.
As you can imagine, creative industries focus on different phrases to administrative sectors. So, use the professional CV templates that you can view or download below to gain keyword insights for various industries and help yourself overcome any case of writer's block. You can view our list of the best words to use to create the perfect CV or cover letter.
Our top advice for anyone seeking to create the perfect CV is to highlight the skills and traits mentioned in the employer's job description and prioritise these when forming a professional layout and start to write your CV.
Looking for job application guidance on creating a cover letter? Read Cover letter structure: 6 essential steps.
Browse and download 576 modern CV template examples for hints and tips to improve your CV and help you get your next job
Browse 576 CV template examples for hints and tips to improve your CV and help you get your next job