(Other than ‘Title’, use these sub-headings or similar)
Simply your name followed by the word or ‘CV’ or ‘Curriculum Vitae’ (‘Resume’ is used more in the USA).
See the notes about CV/Curriculum Vitae in the heading above.
Personal Profile (and/or Attributes)
Five to seven high impact statements that describe you. These are effectively your personal strengths. Be bold, confident and positive when you construct these key statements. Orientate the descriptions to the type of job you are seeking. If you have a serious qualification and it’s relevant, include it as the final point. Look at the examples shown to see how these statements use powerful words and professional business vocabulary. See the examples of CV words and phrases below.
Experience (and/or Specialisms or Capabilities)
This is not your career history. It’s a bullet points description of your experience and/or your capabilities. Make sure you orientate these simple statements to meet the requirements of the reader, in other words ensure the experience/strengths are relevant to the type of job/responsibility that you are seeking. Again try to use powerful statements and impressive language – be bold and check that your chosen language and descriptions look confident and positive. If you are at the beginning or very early stage of your career you will not have much or any work experience to refer to, in which case you must refer to other aspects of your life experience – your college or university experience, your hobbies, social or sports achievements, and bring out the aspects that will be relevant to the way you would work. See the notes for writing CVs with no work experience. Prospective employers look for key indicators of integrity, enthusiasm, passion, determination, initiative, creativity, originality, organisational ability, planning, cost-management, people-skills, technical skill, diligence, reliability, depending on the job; so find examples of the relevant required behaviours from your life, and encapsulate them in snappy, impressive statements. Go for active not passive descriptions, i.e., where you are making things happen, not having things happen to you. See the examples of CV words and phrases below.
High impact descriptions of your major achievements. Separate, compact, impressive statements. Ensure you refer to facts, figures and timescales – prospective employers look for quantitative information – hard facts, not vague claims. These achievements should back up your Personal Profile claims earlier – they are the evidence that you can do what you say. Again they must be relevant to the role you are seeking. See the examples of CV words and phrases below.
A tight compact neatly presented summary of your career history. Start with the most recent or present job and end with the first. Show starting and finishing years – not necessarily the months. Show company name, city address – not necessarily the full address. Show your job title(s). Use a generally recognised job title if the actual job title is misleading or unclear.
If you have little work experience you can combine Career history into one section. See the separate notes about writing CVs where there is very little or no actual career history. See also the examples of CV words and phrases below.
In most markets including the UK, modern employment discriminantion law has reduced the need and expectation for many personal details relating to age, ethnicity, marital status, etc, to be included in a CV. Aside from obviously necessary contact details, the level of personal detail you must include is now optional. This is a particular consideration if you are posting or allowing your CV to appear on the web, where privacy can more easily be invaded, or identities stolen. Therefore be cautious and sensible about how much personal detail you show in a CV. See the notes about CV personal details. Potentially this section enables sub-headings to provide details of full name, sex (if not obvious from your name), address, phone, email, date of birth, marital status, number of children and ages if applicable, driving licence (hopefully clean – if not state position), education (school, college, university and dates), qualifications, and emphasise clearly that references are available. Keep all this information very tight, compact and concise. Being at a more advanced stage of your career is another reason for reducing the amount of personal details shown, as some will be implicit or not relevant. On the other hand, there is an argument for giving as much detail as possible for senior positions as an indication of confidence. As for some other debatable aspects of what to include, it is your decision, and one probably best made considering the precise circumstances of the CVs purpose and likely exposure. The best position for your address and contact details is a matter of debate. Many people suggest these should be at the top of the CV below the heading, however this template structure recommends that they be shown lower down the CV in the personal details section. See the notes on where to put CV contact and address details. It’s your decision – there are arguments both ways. Date the CV, and save as a file with some indication of what type of job it was orientated for, as you should ideally develop a number of different versions of your CV.
Education and Qualifications
Depending on the person and the job vacancy and the employer’s expectations it is often better to show education and qualifications in a separate section, rather than within the Personal Details, as a way of giving them greater emphasis and clarity. If so then this section can be placed after or before the Personal Details, or given higher prominence if the situation warrants it. The level of detail and type of detail in this section should change as your career progresses. For example your school/college exams subjects and grades would be highly relevant when you are seeking your first job, but after working for 5-10 years, especially if you’ve achieved further training and qualifications, your school/college qualifications warrant far less detail and prominence. As ever,,include and emphasise details according to the jobs you are seeking, and what the employers will find most relevant and useful.