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How to Write a Curriculum Vitae (CV) for Any Job in 2021

CV writing made easy. See best CV examples, ready-to-use CV templates, and actionable tips. No need to hire a professional CV writer: become one yourself!

Michael Tomaszewski
Career Expert
How to Write a Curriculum Vitae (CV) for Any Job in 2021

In a minute you’ll learn how to write a CV that wins you that job, because—


This is *the* job you have been seeking for months.


You have the necessary skills. You know you’d be a great fit. Your whole life led up to this opportunity.


And your CV has to show that.


Cause if it doesn’t—kiss that dream job goodbye.


This guide will show you:

  • A CV example better than most.
  • How to write a CV that will get more interviews.
  • Expert CV writing tips on how to describe your work history, skills, and achievements.
  • Battle-tested CV template and format that highlights your top strengths.


Save hours of work and get a CV like this. Pick a template, fill it in. Quick and easy. Choose from 18+ CV templates and download your CV now.


sample cv templates


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I had an interview yesterday and the first thing they said on the phone was: “Wow! I love your CV.”

I love the variety of templates. Good job guys, keep up the good work!

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Free CV Template


Contact Information


Lucy Waters
Marketing Manager


Address: 25 South Street, Liverpool, L4 1SE
Phone: 07323 764000




As an analytically-minded senior marketing manager with 6+ years of experience, I am eager to join XYZ Corp to help manage the strategy development and lead cross-functional teams. In previous roles, I increased website traffic by 300% in 10 months and developed SEO strategy that brought in 10K monthly users for the most strategic sales landing pages.




Marketing Manager

  • Documented and maintained content specifications (incl. outlining content components and guidelines to ensure a consistent experience across various touchpoints.)
  • Partnered with IT to understand the technical implications of content and helped implement content accessibility standards.
  • Cooperated with UX and designers to conceptualize high-quality, innovative digital content and ensured the ideas come to life while staying within budget and scope.

Key achievement:

  • Led A/B testing for content. Improved CRO by 28% and increased monthly traffic by 300% resulting in £33,000 increase in monthly revenue.


Marketing Specialist
Canon Inc. 

  • Recommended marketing plans and activities for products and product lines to establish, enhance and distinguish product placement. Increased the sales of production photo Inkjets by 20%.
  • Conducted market research, monitored competitive activity and identified customer needs.
  • Prepared materials for internal and external presentations and communication. Delivered presentations in 10+ industry events.
  • Participated in coordinating trade show activities, website development, e-commerce strategies and tracking of marketing campaigns. Set up 10 landing pages that increased website traffic by 150%.

Key achievement: 

  • Collaborated with business team members to plan, develop and produce promotional tools. Developed a content marketing and SEO-based strategy that brought in 10K monthly users to the company key landing page.




MSc in New Media Marketing, Distinction
University of Liverpool


Key Skills


  • Technical and creative SEO (Google Search Console, Google Analytics)
  • CRO
  • SEM (Google AdWords, SEMRush)
  • A/B Testing (VWO)
  • Email marketing (Mailgun, Sendgrid, Mailchimp)




  • 2016, CIM: Mastering Digital Channels
  • 2014, Inspire College London: Digital Marketing Advanced Level 4 Diploma


If you’re looking for a job in the US, Canada, or Australia, switch over to: How to Write a Resume: Writing Guide & 20+ Examples and check out how to format an American resume


Applying for an academic post? Check out: Academic CV Template & Writing Guide


Not sure what document to use in your application? Find out: CV vs Resume: What Are the Differences & When to Use Which


Reading from outside the US? 


Need help with a different kind of resume? Explore our other guides:


Read on to find out how to create a professional CV for a job in the UK, the rest of Europe, or New Zealand!


1. Use a Professional Curriculum Vitae Template and Format


Bad dream:


The hiring manager casts a glance at your CV. After a split second, she tosses it to the side of her desk and never looks at it again.


What went wrong?


Your CV format and template weren’t easy to follow.


Don’t worry. The dream isn’t real. Here’s how to format your CV so that it gets across your value proposition fast.


What’s the Best CV Template?


The right curriculum vitae template boils down to dividing your CV into sections in the right order.


For experienced candidates:


  1. Contact Information (it is convention to include the address as well)
  2. Summary Statement (check out our post about Resume Summary Examples
  3. Work Experience
  4. Education
  5. Skills
  6. Additional Sections (Certifications, Publications, Awards, Conferences)


For fresh graduates and entry-level job seekers:


  1. Contact information
  2. Career Objective
  3. Education
  4. Work Experience, Internships and Volunteer Experience
  5. Academic Achievements, Scholarships or Extracurricular Activities
  6. Skills


How to Format a CV


  1. Use one-inch margins on all four sides.
  2. Choose a professional font and stick to it throughout your CV. Use 11 to 12 pt size for all contents. Make your name at the top and section headings slightly larger.
  3. Remember that white space is your friend. Divide sections by a single blank line.
  4. Unless the job ad requires them, get photos off your CV.
  5. Save your CV in the PDF format to keep your CV layout intact.

Expert Hint: How long should a CV be? If you have less than 5 years of professional experience, do your best to keep a CV one-page. For candidates with more extensive work history, two-page CVs are fine.

2. Get Your Contact Information Right


That’s pretty plain, innit?


Well, not exactly. Contact information on a CV got a tad trickier in the digital era.


Here’s what to list:


Contact information on a CV: Template


  1. Full Name
  2. Job Title
  3. Address
  4. Phone
  5. Email
  6. Personal Website (if applicable)
  7. LinkedIn Profile
  8. (Optional) Other Social Media Handles

Expert Hint: As for your social media handles, LinkedIn is a must. Almost 90% of recruiters use it, reports show. If they can’t find you there, you’ll automatically look suspicious. Other than that? Link to those profiles you use for professional or semi-professional purposes. Looking for a job in tech? Link to your GitHub account. An artistic or creative role? Tumblr, Pinterest, or even Instagram are good ideas. Journalism or PR? Twitter. You get the drill, right?

The key thing is to keep your contact details professional. That mostly refers to your email address.


Here’s just how important it is:


A recent study found that almost 76% of CV’s are ignored if you have an unprofessional email address.


That means two things:


  1. Retire that “” email address you used in high school.
  2. Use a sophisticated email provider: either Gmail or your own domain. YahooMail or Hotmail will make you look like a time-traveller from the Victorian era.


The ResumeLab builder is more than looks. Get specific content to boost your chances of getting the job. Add job descriptions, bullet points, and skills. Easy. Improve your resume in our CV builder now.


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Nail it all with a splash of color, choose a clean font, highlight your skills in just a few clicks. You’re the perfect candidate and we’ll prove it. Use the ResumeLab builder now.


3. Write a Catchy CV Personal Profile or Career Objective




The hiring manager hasn’t read your CV yet.


You need to make them.


Just below your contact information, put a CV personal profile (also called a summary statement) or a career objective. Make it a sneak peek of your best achievements.


Got years of relevant experience? Write a CV personal profile. Make it a highlight reel of your professional journey so far and show what value you bring to the table.


Not much experience yet? Go for a CV career objective. Say what skills you’ve mastered so far and how well you’ll fit in.

Expert Hint: Although this section is at the top of your CV, write it last. Think about it as a trailer for the rest of your curriculum vitae. You want the best bits to be there, but first, make sure you have enough to choose from.

Whichever one is right for you, keep one thing in mind—


It’s not about you. It’s about them. Don’t say what you want out of the job. Focus on what you have to offer.


But enough theory. See what I mean on these examples:


How to Make a CV: Personal Profile Samples

As a software engineer with 8+ years of experience developing and optimising mobile apps and online software, I would like to join XYZ Company to help you with your upcoming challenge of redesigning your flagship daily productivity software. In my previous roles, I increased ABC’s mean annual NPS to 63.1 and cut Acme’s Customer Effort Scores by a quarter.

See this? “I’m good at my job and I know how to help you achieve spectacular results.”

I am an experienced software engineer skilled in mobile app development seeking to leverage my skills in a fast-paced work environment.

Everyone knows who you are. It’s in your job title. And leveraging skills is expected. Thanks, but no thanks.


How to Make a CV: Career Objective Samples 

Hard-working King’s College graduate in Journalism and Social Communication seeking to leverage two years of internship and freelancing PR experience to help Newton Software Communications Team maximise your digital marketing output. I am experienced in producing engaging online content and press releases for tech start-ups and local IT companies: see my portfolio at this link.
I do not have much professional experience yet, but, as a graduate of King’s College programme in Journalism and Social Communication, I know I am ready for a challenging position in a PR or digital marketing team.

Quite a difference, right?


Notice two things in particular—


First of all, both good examples use the company name. Bad ones are generic. Remember: address a particular employer in your CV personal profile or career objective.


That means you cannot spam around one identical CV to every company within a 50-mile radius—and that’s the point. Personalisation works wonders.


Secondly, while it’s fine to use personal pronouns in your CV, see just how many of these are there in bad examples. If you’re only about me-myself-and-I on your CV, that doesn’t make you very hireable (or likeable for that matter).


4. Describe Your Work Experience on a CV the Proper Way


If there’s a single most important CV section, it’s this one: the work experience.


How to Write a CV Work Experience Section


  1. List your jobs in reverse-chronological order.
  2. Enter your job title, the company name, and dates worked.
  3. Under each job, add up to 5 bullet points outlining your responsibilities and, more importantly, professional achievements.
  4. Use action verbs such as “analysed,” “supervised,” or “implemented,” instead of “responsible for analysis / supervision / implementation.”
  5. Quantify whenever possible. Saved your company money? Say how much. Boosted sales? State by what percentage. Trained other employees? How many exactly? Numbers pop!
  6. At the bottom, add a “Key achievement” subsection. Show off your best win.
  7. Tailor every CV to the specific job description. Pick phrases from the job ad and use them when you write your CV.


See these CV examples:


How to Make a CV: Work Experience Examples


Executive Assistant
Royal Bank of Scotland

  • Handled top executive assistant duties for 5 execs in a fast-paced multinational firm. Integrated complex logistics, communication, and calendars.
  • Saved each top-level exec 11 hours per week, equating to £25,000 a week at current salaries. Execs used the time to land $£1.7 M in new work.
  • Provided executive project support, administrative help, and data tracking.

Key achievement: Designed a new automated travel arrangements system: Slashed executive time lost to travel problems by 48%.

Numbers, achievements, action verbs—all check. 


Royal Bank of Scotland 2013 - 2018
Executive Assistant


  • Assisting with scheduling, communication, and logistics.
  • Office administration.
  • Data tracking.
  • Project support.
  • Travel arrangements.

Could you be any more generic? Come one—these are the duties every exec assistant performs. Nothing about it makes this candidate unique.


5. Make the Most of Your CV Education Section


Good news: putting education on a CV is usually easy.



  • Graduation year
  • Your degree
  • School name
  • Sub-honours (if applicable)

Expert Hint: If you’ve graduated with a first, or a 2:1, include that on your CV. Leave lower honours off.



What if you’re writing your CV with little or no work experience?


In this case, it’s your education that can make up for it. Consider two things:


  1. Put education above work experience.
  2. Add more details to your education section: dissertation title, relevant coursework, academic achievements, or extracurricular activities.


6. List Most Relevant Skills on a CV


What are the best skills for a CV?


In short: those that your employer wants from you.


Remember when I mentioned tailoring your CV to match the job description? Here it comes again.


How to Put Skills on a CV


  1. Make a spreadsheet with all of your professional skills.
  2. Include “hard” job-related skills, as well as soft, transferable skills (this Harvard study has revealed that combining technical and soft skills is becoming more and more important nowadays).
  3. Read the job ad carefully. Look for skills-related keywords and note them down.
  4. Go back to your spreadsheet. How many of your skills match those from the job description? Quite a few, right? Voila—these skills have to appear on your CV.


Note that it’s never a good idea to copy-paste ready CV skills list. But in case you feel you could use some inspiration, a recent survey revealed what transferable skills are most sought after by employers:


Best Skills to Put on a Curriculum Vitae


  • Positive Attitude
  • Good Communication Skills
  • Teamwork Skills
  • Strong Work Ethic
  • Interpersonal/Customer Service Skills
  • Flexibility/Adaptability
  • Honesty/Integrity
  • Time Management Abilities


7. Spice Up Your CV with These Extra Sections


Here’s the deal: all job seekers lie on their CVs.


Recruiters and hiring managers know that.


The twist?


With little effort, you can make them actually believe yours.


Add additional CV sections that validate your worth on the job market. List verifiable achievements.


What to Put in a CV Additional Section


  1. Conference participation
  2. Certifications
  3. Courses
  4. Industry awards
  5. Publications
  6. Affiliations
  7. Extra training


Don’t have any of the above? Well—get some. Do an online course, apply for a couple of industry conferences, get additional training. Most of these things won’t take more than 2 weeks to complete and they can make a hell of a difference for your curriculum vitae.


Still—you can think of other extra sections if the above examples don’t work.


Sample CV Additional Sections for Entry-Level Candidates


  1. Hobbies and interests
  2. Volunteering experience
  3. Personal blog
  4. Influencing on social media
  5. Academic achievements and accolades


Expert Hint: Are cover letters necessary? Yes they are. The results of our study show that a whopping 83% of recruiters deem them important for their hiring decisions.


Double your impact with a matching CV and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.


create your cover letter now




Want to try a different look? There’s 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.


Key Points


To write a CV that gets jobs, follow these key strategies:


  1. At the top, just below your contact info, put a CV personal profile or a career objective.
  2. In the work experience CV section, focus on quantifiable achievements, not just duties and responsibilities.
  3. List both soft and hard skills.
  4. Add extra sections that prove your qualifications: certifications, courses, conferences, etc.


Doubts? Questions? Concerns. I’m here to listen and help you out. Drop me a line in the comments. Let’s chat!

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Michael Tomaszewski
Michael Tomaszewski is a resume expert and a career advice writer for ResumeLab. Michael works with candidates across all career stages—from entry-level job seekers to executive coaches. His insights have been featured in CIO and Best Life Online. His mission is to help you tell the story behind your career and reinforce your professional brand by coaching you to create outstanding job application documents. More than one million readers read his career advice every month. For ResumeLab, Michael uses his connections to help you thrive in your career. From fellow career experts and insiders from all industries—LinkedIn strategists, communications consultants, scientists, entrepreneurs, digital nomads, or even FBI agents—to share their unique insights and help you make the most of your career. Michael has a degree in Liberal Arts and specializes in personal and professional storytelling.

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