What sections should be in CV?
CVs typically adhere to the following structure and include:
- Personal Information
- Profile Overview / Personal Statement
- Key Career Achievements
- Employment History
- Education / Qualifications
- Interests / Hobbies
How to start a CV
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
For many jobs, it may help if you include how far you are prepared to travel, or whether you
are willing to relocate.
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 or line 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. However, if
you feel that it will help your application, then include any information that you feel is
If you speak more than 1 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.
What should be included in a CV?
Profile or Personal Statement
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 suitable for the audience. 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 dates 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 and dates of
each position and indicate whether these were promotions or a change of career direction
within the company.
Highlight any experience in previous positions that is most relevant to the job you are
List your main responsibilities, the 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.
How many years of employment history should you include?
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 employment history at all beyond that, whilst others choose to list their
older employment history very briefly.
Education and Qualifications
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 if a specific qualification is particularly relevant
to the position you are applying for, and therefore decide to place the education sector
above work history.
If you have limited work experience, your education is more relevant, so this is a good
example of when education should be placed below your personal information.
Hobbies and Interests
You can make your 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 your dedication and commitment. For example, competing in
triathlons might illustrate some of your positive characteristics and demonstrate your
motivated and committed character and these will be of interest to a future employer.
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 and suitability for the position.