How to Write a UK CV (Tips + Example)

Kellie Hanna, CPRW
By Kellie Hanna, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: May 10, 2024

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According to Tony Wilson, director at the Institute for Employment Studies, the UK has seen a sharp rise in unemployment in 2024. Indeed, redundancies are rising, inflation remains high, and the unemployment rate is expected to be at 4.4% and remain there through 2025. 

As the labor market in the UK has grown cooler, competition between job seekers has intensified. You need the proper tools to get ahead in today’s job market, and we’re here to equip you with the best UK CV format. 

In this guide, we show you how to write an impressive UK CV, provide professional UK CV examples, and offer tips for perfecting your CV.

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 UK CV Examples for top jobs

Before we dive into the essential elements of a great UK CV, take a moment to review this UK CV example, or browse our collection of CV examples for more inspiration. 

Sales Associate Uk Cvexample

How to choose a UK CV format

The UK CV is similar to the US resume, except the UK CV allows for more pages and information. And while the US resume is often written in one of three resume formats, a UK CV typically relies on two formats: skills-based and reverse-chronological. Here’s how to choose the best CV format for a UK job application.

Reverse-chronological CV

The reverse-chronological CV format, also known as the chronological CV format, is the most widely used UK CV format and one that recruiters and hiring managers recognize as standard. Why? Because it’s easy for ATS programs and employers to scan.

This CV format emphasizes your work history, so it’s the better option if you have at least one year of professional experience and want to display your work accomplishments.  

Skills-based CV 

This UK CV format focuses on your job-relevant skills. Create categories and under them For example, if you are a chef, you might add culinary arts to your skill set and then describe the various culinary arts skills you have mastered, such as food preparation, cleanliness, knife skills, butchery, sauteeing and sauces.  

Choose this resume format if you are applying for your first job, changing your career or have been out of work for a long time. 

Ready to write your CV? Start with one of our expertly designed CV templates. Our ATS-friendly templates have been designed to present your job qualifications clearly and professionally — with style. 

What to include in a UK CV

Header

Show off your professionalism right from the get-go with an eye-catching header. Include your name, phone number, email address and professional website, portfolio, or networking profile if you have them. 

Professional statement

Your professional statement is your chance to introduce yourself to potential employers. In three to five sentences, tell them who you are and why you’re the best person for the job. Use keywords from the job description to grab the hiring manager’s attention, paying close attention to your job-relevant skills. 

For example:

“Passionate educator with six years of dedicated teaching experience across various grade levels. Proven track record of fostering a positive and inclusive learning environment that engages students and enhances their academic growth. Proficient in curriculum development, lesson planning, and implementing innovative teaching strategies to meet diverse learning styles. Dedicated to inspiring a love for learning and empowering students to reach their full potential academically, socially, and emotionally.”

Work history

If you are using the chronological UK CV format, hiring managers will scour your employment history for details about what you’ve done over the course of your 

career. Highlight your achievements — not your responsibilities — to stand out.

To display your work experience, add the employers you worked for, their location and the dates you worked for them. Under each role, add three bullet points with your quantifiable achievements.

In three to five bullet points, describe your accomplishments for each job, tailoring them to the job description. Combine your work accomplishments with action verbs for impact.

For example:

Registered Nurse, Premier Hospital, Anytown, U.K. January 2018 – Present

  • Implemented evidence-based nursing interventions resulting in a 20% reduction in patient readmission rates within the surgical unit.
  • Led a multidisciplinary team in developing and implementing a new protocol for post-operative pain management, resulting in a 30% decrease in opioid use among patients while maintaining high levels of pain control.
  • Conducted patient education sessions on wound care and infection prevention, which resulted in a 25% decrease in post-operative wound infections.
  • Achieved a 95% patient satisfaction rating through attentive care, clear communication, and compassionate bedside manner.
  • Collaborated with physicians and allied health professionals to streamline patient care processes, reducing average patient discharge time by 15%.

Skills

Hiring managers and recruiters seek job candidates with a mix of hard and soft skills for their industry. 

Hard skills show potential employers that you have the knowledge it takes to perform the essential functions of the job. They are specific to a role and include aptitudes such as data analysis, spreadsheets and writing. 

Soft skills tell employers that you have the personality traits and qualities to help you stand out from others with similar technical aptitude. Examples include verbal communication, active listening and adaptability. 

 

Top hard skills

  1. Social media marketing
  2. Data visualization tools
  3. Color theory and design
  4.  Administering medications
  5. Programming languages
  6. Video editing software
  7. Foreign languages
  8. Curriculum development 
  9. Budgeting and forecasting
  10. Menu development

Top soft skills

  1. Collaboration
  2. Time management
  3. Diversity, equity and inclusion
  4. Conflict resolution 
  5. Presentation 
  6. Problem-solving 
  7. Leadership
  8. Creativity 
  9. Negotiation 
  10. Critical thinking

 

Education

Education is vital for a UK CV, no matter how long you’ve worked. On the chronological UK CV format, place your education section under your skills section. To list your education credentials, start with your highest level of education and work backward if you’ve received more than a degree. Add the school’s name, location and graduation date. Include a bullet list of relevant coursework and awards or honors you received at each institution. 

For example: 

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

University Name, City, State

Graduated: May 20XX

Relevant Coursework:

  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Object-Oriented Programming
  • Software Engineering Principles

Awards

  • Deans List
  • Programming Completion Award of Excellence

If you’re still completing your education, include it and add “In progress” or the date you expect to complete your studies. Include a bullet list of job-relevant courses you have taken. 

Optional sections

Adding optional sections to your UK CV can help you shine. Since it’s acceptable to use a two-page UK CV format, consider adding one or more of the following bonus sections to your CV if you have room:

  • Volunteer work demonstrates your passion, values and commitment, highlights your transferable skills, and fills gaps in your employment. 
  • Awards distinguish you as an exceptional job candidate, indicate work ethic, and highlight job-relevant strengths and achievements. 
  • Professional memberships indicate your commitment to your industry and professional development and add credibility to your UK CV. 
  • Hobbies provide a glimpse into your personality, show you’re well-rounded and make you a more interesting job candidate. 
  • Publications and presentations indicate expertise in your field, set you apart from other job candidates, and enhance your credibility.

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Modify your US CV for a UK job

If you already have a US CV, you don’t have to start a new CV from scratch to apply for a job in the United Kingdom. Use our CV Maker and follow these tips to turn your US CV into an impressive UK CV. 

  • Try UK NARIC (National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom) to find the UK equivalents for your US educational and professional credentials.
  • Re-craft your CV to align with a UK CV format. Shorten your US CV to two pages, keeping the critical elements intact and tailoring them to match the job you seek. 
  • Localize your CV. Use business and industry terminology typical for the United Kingdom and UK units of measure, spelling and grammar conventions. 

Modify your UK CV format for the US job market

If you are in the United Kingdom and applying for work in the United States, follow these tips to adapt your UK CV to match the US equivalent and increase your chances of getting your dream job. 

  • Use a credential evaluation service, like the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) to find the UK equivalents for your US educational and professional qualifications.
  • Use US terminology, spelling and grammar in your CV. For example, use “ZIP code” instead of “postcode,” “program” instead of “programme,” and month-day-year for the date. 
  • Include your work authorization status. If you require work authorization to work in the US, include your work authorization status in your resume so employers know you are eligible to work there.

Tips to write an effective UK CV

  • Choose a UK CV format that fits your career stage.
  • Use a CV template to ensure your UK CV is formatted correctly and easily read. 
  • Customize your CV for every job you apply to. 
  • Include resume keywords throughout your CV to ensure it’s ATS-friendly and catches the hiring manager’s attention. 
  • Avoid graphics and personal information such as your age and home address.
  • Proofread your UK CV. Use spell-checkers, online tools and another pair of trusted eyes.
  • Include a cover letter to complement your UK CV. 

 Key takeaways

  • A UK CV is similar to the US resume, except the UK CV allows for more pages and information
  • The first step to creating an impressive UK CV is choosing the right UK CV format for your career stage.
  • Tailor your UK CV to the job description to emphasize your qualifications.
  • Spotlight your measurable achievements instead of your job duties.
  • Ensure your UK CV is ATS-friendly by using keywords from the job description and formatting your CV correctly.

Resources for your UK resume format

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