CV writing is a skill in itself that can take a while to get used to and a fair amount of trial and error. It will get easier the more you do it, and once you’ve got a solid basic CV, you can continue to build on it as your career progresses.
To give you a hand, The Big Issue has teamed up with our Jobs & Training partner FutureLearn to come up with some CV outlines that will help make your name stand out.
What is the best template for a CV?
You may wish to come up with your own template for your CV, so that you can continue to build it over the course of your career. The most common general template to use is chronological, putting your most recent experience at the top. If you have multiple different experiences, you may wish to leave off the ones that aren’t relevant for a particular role.
It also helps to put your most relevant experience at the top, so that the first thing the recruiter sees is the role that has best prepared you for the job you are applying for.
You could edit your CV according to the sector you are applying to – if you’re applying for a role in a creative field you might wish to show your understanding of design or colour.
But if you are somewhat of a perfectionist, or unsure where to start when it comes to designing your CV, using a template might help. A ready made template can help save you time and ensure all the essential information relevant to the roles you’re applying for is included as well.
Whether you’re retraining as a teacher, getting into nursing, applying your programming skills, or just looking for guidance, we’ve got the CV template for you.
Find guidance for teaching assistants, graduates, interns, nurses, engineers, web developers,Use these CV examples as a basis for building your own document that’s sure to impress the right people.
Let’s start by looking at a general CV. We’ll cover all of the essential things that you should include in every CV or resume and then we’ll get into some specific examples with specific jobs and the areas where you may want to focus.
Contact and basic info. Your name, contact info, professional (not personal) social media, and any other useful links like a portfolio or website, if that’s relevant.
Personal summary. Summarise who you are and what you’re all about, preferably in one neat sentence. Tell them who you are.
Achievements. From problems you’ve solved and targets you’ve reached all the way up to awards you may have won, this is where you show off unique highlights that make you stand out.
Education and qualifications. All you need here is a brief overview of your studies and qualifications to date. You don’t need huge detail, and your most recent/relevant ones should go first.
Experience. This section is often what recruiters will spend most time on looking at. As well as giving key information about where and when you worked, you should outline your responsibilities and achievements. You can repeat from the achievements section above.
Key skills. Show them you’re qualified to do the job you’re applying for. You should include hard and soft skills that are related to the role.
Interests. Give an insight into your personality, hobbies, and passions outside of a work environment.
References. If you include reference details as part of your CV structure, you’ll want to select professional people who know you well. Otherwise you can just say “Available on request”.
Job hunting after you’ve graduated can be exhausting. Make sure you give yourself the best chance possible of getting an interview. Here are some areas to focus on:
Experience and placements. Many jobs require experience, but you can only get said experience with a job. This paradox has long haunted all types of graduates. So, if you can highlight some relevant experience, formal or otherwise, it can go a long way to making you stand out.
Skills. Make sure you tailor this section to the required skills outlined in the job description. Try and give examples of where you’ve put these skills into practice.
Interests. If your experience is limited, showing you pursue a range of relevant interests related to your profession can balance things out a little.
A strong internship CV can help you get that ever-valuable experience that permanent jobs often require. It can also Often, you’ll be competing against many other students, so if this is your first serious application, you’ll want to find ways to bring in additional experience that sets you out from the crowd. Your degree alonge is unlikely to be enough.
Education. Internship recruiters often pick the best and brightest to join their ranks. As such, you should make your education section as polished as possible. As well as highlighting your grades, make sure to note any particular achievements and responsibilities you took on.
Previous experience. Although job-specific experience helps, think about other instances where you’ve worked on skills that might be relevant.
Interests. It’s often just as important that you’re the right fit for the company culture as you are experienced. Make your personality shine through.
All apprenticeships offer the chance of gaining a qualification once they have been completed – some which can be equivalent to a degree – and often apprenticeships can lead to a full-time job too.
But not all guarantee a full time job at the end, and it can be daunting to head into the jobs market after spending years as a trainee.
In terms of your CV, here are some things to look out for:
Work experience. This is your greatest strength and you will have a lot of real-world experience under your belt that you can flag on your CV.
Up to date. Always keep your CV up to date. Make sure it’s a record of your achievements. These could be anything from completing a project you have been working on to delivering a presentation to senior leaders.
Skills based. Focus on the skills you have gained through the apprenticeship and give specific examples.
We asked Jennifer Coupland, chief executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, which supports employers to develop quality apprenticeships, how to go about finding work at the end of an apprenticeship. Here’s what she said.
The pandemic and redundancies that have come with it mean many people are looking to teaching as a second career. As a teacher, your career profile will be continually evolving and improving. Education and experience are, of course, important, but there are other areas that need some attention too:
Personal statement. This section should really sell you and your teaching ethos. Although relatively short, it should still hit all the career highs and key skills you possess.
Professional memberships. Your professional memberships can show that you have specific interests that you pursue outside of the classroom.
Continuing professional development (CPD) and training. You don’t necessarily have to include everything you’ve done throughout your career, but the most recent and relevant points should be included. Again, this shows your dedication to improving as a professional.
Many of the same principles apply here as with a teacher. You’ll want to highlight things like your personal attributes as well as your experience and education. Some sections worth looking at in greater detail include:
Personal statement. This area gives you a chance to show your personality and enthusiasm for the role. You want to mention your career highlights so far, as well as what it is that makes you the ideal candidate for the roles you’re applying for.
Professional experience. In this section, you can highlight the most relevant and recent roles you’ve worked on. Prioritise formal work directly linked to the role you’re applying for, but also mention any casual work you think is relevant.
Education. Here you can list your formal education as well as your professional qualifications. You could also list any CPD highlights in this section or in its own subsection.
For nurses, your CV structure should be fairly similar to other medical professionals: concise and carefully crafted around the job you’re applying for. Clarity is curical as you’ll want to make sure the most important and impressive details are easy to spot. Here are some of the essentials you’ll want to include:
Personal summary. Talk about your nursing ethos and philosophies, as well as your strengths and passions.
Registration. Make sure this piece of information is included with your personal details, giving a quick reference to those looking at your CV.
Professional training. You don’t have to list everything here, but things like courses, workshops, published articles, and volunteering that is relevant to the role you’re applying for should be included.
Marketing is an industry where both results and knowledge matter. As such, you’ll need to prove to your potential employers that you have a proven track record of both. Your marketing CV should be a piece of advertising in itself, so there are some areas you want to pay particular attention to:
Achievements. Marketing roles tend to be results driven. Highlighting your achievements in terms of improving key performance indicators and targets can impress those who are reviewing your CV.
Professional experience. Showing a range of experience is essential when you’re applying for marketing jobs, especially if it’s relevant. Whether it’s formal or informal, make sure to include dates and details.
Tools and software. Marketing is an area that’s rapidly developing when it comes to technology. Outlining the technical tools and software you’re proficient in shows that you’re keeping up with these changes.
When applying for any managerial role, you’ll need to show a range of skills and experience when it comes to leading and being responsible for others. Along with the general abilities required, you should also highlight job-specific competencies in your CV. Here are some areas where you can do just that:
Achievements. This section serves as a kind of highlights reel for your career. Make sure to list some relevant achievements that show your leadership abilities. It could be things like implementing change, managing adverse conditions, or building relationships.
Professional qualifications. Any certificates, courses, exams, and other qualifications that are specific to your industry should be highlighted here. Again, linking them to the role you’re applying for can go a long way.
Professional experience. One of the key requirements for any management role is experience. As well as giving details of your responsibilities, make sure to give context to your successes.
A data analyst CV should focus on the skills and experience you’ve developed during your studies and work. For those who lack formal experience, you should have plenty of personal projects and school or university work to fall back on. Here are some areas to pay close attention to:
Achievements. Data analysts are usually goal-orientated professionals, which is what this section should be about. Highlight particular times where you’ve excelled or exceeded targets in your work.
Professional experience. Again, a proven track record of data analysis will go a long way to securing you an interview. Make sure to give sufficient detail about your roles and experience but avoid anything overly long.
Tools and software. As this is a technical role with many elements, giving a rundown of the technology you’re familiar with can provide a quick reference point for potential employers.
Programmers and software developers are in high demand at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need a top-notch CV to find a job. Employers look for those candidates with a good mix of soft and hard skills, as well as plenty of experience.
Achievements. This section doesn’t have to centre solely on your professional achievements, although they certainly help. Personal projects related to role show a level of dedication and self-learning that always impresses.
Professional qualifications. When it comes to your education, make sure to include any industry-relevant courses, exams, training, and other qualifications you have taken.
Professional experience. Programming is an industry where experience is everything. Make sure you flesh out the areas where you have the most experience linked to the role you’re applying for.
Tools and software. As with many jobs in the IT industry, the more tools and software you can use, the more valuable you’ll be.
Like programmers, web developers are highly sought after at the moment. Despite that, you still need a web developer CV that’s going to get the attention of a hiring manager or recruiter. Pay particular attention to these areas:
Achievements. In many respects, web developers are creative problem solvers. Your achievements should reflect this, whether they’re professional or personal ones linked to your career.
Professional experience. Like many roles in this industry, experience is one of the things that determines who gets an interview and who doesn’t. Make sure yours is concise and clear, giving details on the most important points.
Tools and software. You’ll want to list out the various technologies you’re proficient in, as well as the level to which you can use them. It gives recruiters a chance to see the extent of your learning and abilities.
Engineers work across a wide range of areas, so their CV may change considerably depending on the role. You’ll want to tailor your resume to the niche you’re applying for, but there are some constants that you should focus on:
Achievements. In this section, you can focus on the tangible results you’ve accomplished in your previous roles. Use numbers and figures where appropriate, and pick out ones that are applicable to your new job.
Professional qualifications. In this field, continuing development is vital. You can highlight some of your more recent professional qualifications alongside those that qualify you to do the job.
Tools and software. Again, given how diverse engineering is, you’ll likely have a broad knowledge base for all kinds of technologies. List out the ones that will be most impressive here.