United Kingdom CV Tips & Format Requirements

Applying for a job in the United Kingdom? This guide has the tips, examples, & format requirements needed to write the perfect UK CV. Create your VisualCV today!

UK CV Requirements

Applying for a position in the United Kingdom requires a specific CV format. When you are looking for work in the UK, make sure that your CV is suitable for a UK audience and will meet the expectation of recruiters.

Browse our gallery of resume examples here.

UK CV Image

How to Format a CV?

To best format the CV, you need to select the best layout based on your relevant past experience and the type of role you are applying for.

There are three general CV layouts in UK that are popular:

  • Reverse chronological CV format
  • Combination CV format
  • Functional CV format

Reverse Chronological CV Format for UK

A reverse chronological CV format is the best choice if you are applying for a job in the UK with a considerable relevant work experience. Here is what a UK CV format following reverse chronological order looks like:
reverse chronological uk cv format

Functional CV Format for UK

A functional CV format is more suitable for those who have little to no work experience. This CV format allows you to showcase your skills to compensate for the lack of experience when you apply to jobs in the UK. Here is what a UK CV functional format looks like:
functional cv format uk example

Combination CV Format for UK

A combination CV format is helpful if you are applying for a job in the UK where you wish to display with clarity how your past skills and experience are transferable to the job you are applying for.

A combination CV format further allows you to be very selective about the skills and experience you wish to highlight to a recruiter. Here is what a UK CV functional format looks like:
combination cv format for uk

UK CV Examples

Administration UK CV Example

administration uk cv example

Retail UK CV Example

retail uk cv example

Professional British CV Example

professional uk cv example

Engineer UK CV Example

civil engineer uk cv example

Marketing UK CV Example

marketing uk cv template

Management UK CV Example

management uk cv example

Accounting UK CV Example

accountant uk cv template

UK CV Tips and rules:

CV, not Resume: The term ‘CV’ is most common in the United Kingdom. The terms ‘resume’ and ‘curriculum vitae’ are rarely used.

Language: Be sure to write your CV in proper British English - for example, write ‘labour’ rather than ‘labor’ and ‘optimise’ rather than ‘optimize’.

Length: Your UK CV should not exceed two pages - “no longer than two sides of A4”, according to Rachel Swain at Prospects.ac.uk.

Resume template: Browse through our gallery of UK resume templates.

UK CV Format, Order and Layout:

Photo: A photo is not expected on your UK CV. While common in the rest of Europe, it is rare to see a picture on a CV in the United Kingdom. In certain roles, such as some sales positions or a creative job where visual presentation is key, a picture may be acceptable, but be sure to research the company first.

Personal Information: The only personal information required for a UK CV is your contact information - your name, home address, mobile phone number and email address (which should be some variation of your name: firstname.lastname@example.com or something similar). No other personal information should be included.

Personal Statement: Your CV should begin with a brief description, no more than five lines of text, that describes who you are, what you can do, and what you bring to the position you are applying to. Your personal statement should be tailored to the job description - focus on the skills and experience that make you suited for this particular job. Personal statements are not mandatory, but they are a great way to grab an employer’s attention. According to Michael Cheary at reed.co.uk, “a well written personal statement can mean the difference between standing out from the crowd and your application being rejected.”

Work experience: Display your previous jobs in reverse chronological order, beginning with the most recent. Use this space to showcase your achievements in each position - important milestones and quantifiable data are more impressive than daily duties. Use proactive action words to make your experience sound interesting and dynamic.

Education: Education should also be listed from most recent to least recent. Include all relevant certifications, including institution names and dates. Your education section should come after your work experience, unless you graduated very recently.

Other sections for your UK CV:

Skills: It is common to include a simple list of skills kept separate from your work history. This provides a quick, at-a-glance look at what you excel at, without delving into your experience too much.

Volunteer experience: Volunteering experience should be noted on your CV. If you prefer, you can include volunteer experience in your Work History section, but remember to specify when a role is a volunteer position.

Languages: Feel free to note any languages you are fluent in. This is particularly important when the job calls for multiple languages.

References: It is not necessary to include references in your CV. Instead, follow up with references to an employer separately when asked.

How do I Write a UK CV in 2022?

To write a UK CV in 2022 follow these steps:

  • First, select the right UK CV format based on your experience level. A reverse chronological CV format is good for experienced professionals, and a functional UK CV format is perfect for most entry level professionals.
  • Second, right the perfect CV header.
  • Third, write your UK CV summary or objective.
  • Fourth, describe your work experience on your CV.
  • Lastly, list any skills or achievements you’ve in a CV skills or an accomplishments section.

What is a UK CV Format?

The UK CV format requires your CV to be:

  • A maximum of two pages long.
  • In an A4 format.
  • Either be a reverse chronological or a functional CV.

How do I Write a Good UK CV?

To write a good UK CV ensure that you start with the right CV format and then customize the CV based on the job you are applying for. Pick up keywords and skills that are mentioned in the job description and modify your UK CV to show relevant skills and experience.

What Font Should a CV be in the UK?

The following fonts are preferred for a UK CV - Roboto, Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman. To give your UK CV a modern look you can select a Sans serif font e.g. Roboto, and for traditional looking CVs you can go for a Serif type font e.g. Times New Roman.

What Font Size Should my CV be in the UK?

A font size between 10 to 12 is considered easy to read. So make sure that your UK CV’s font size isn’t less than 10, but not greater than 12 either.

Conclusion:

Though CVs in English-speaking countries are very similar, each country has its own nuances that must be observed for best results. When writing a UK CV, pay attention to the specific requirements of each employer and if possible, have someone you trust read over your CV before submitting your application.

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