Creating CVs

Types of CV

There are two basic types – a Chronological CV and a Skills-based or Functional CV.

Key Steps
  • A good CV gives the facts required and conveys an impression of what you’d be like as an employee.
  • Your CV should be accurate, relevant to the job you’re applying for, and not too long.
  • Present it simply and clearly so it’s easy to read, engaging and looks professional.

You should include

  • your contact details
  • a ‘personal profile’ or short paragraph highlighting your key skills and career aims to catch the eye of your potential employer
  • your education and qualifications
    • degree subject, class (attained or expected), modules studied
    • A levels/Highers, giving dates and grades, summarised
    • GCSE/O levels/standard grade or CSEs – You could leave out GCSE qualifications, unless they are relevant to the work you are looking for, and when you attended secondary school. Employers are probably more interested in relevant vocational qualifications such as NVQ level 2.
  • your work experience (paid or unpaid), with responsibilities and achievements developed in these posts
  • your key or transferable skills
  • any additional relevant activities or interests, such as languages or IT
  • your referees (you can name them or say you’ll supply their details ‘on request’) – be sure you ask their permission before naming them. Note that references may not be needed until you’ve secured a firm job offer. This gives you the chance to select your most suitable referees, brief them about the role and check they are still available.


You don’t need to include

  • your nationality, unless you will need a UK work permit
  • your age
  • your marital status
  • your health status
  • school and university addresses, examining boards
  • minor qualifications unrelated to the post applied for.
CV building tools


If you have an account with the professional networking site LinkedIn, you can access the LinkedIn Resume Builder. This takes information from your LinkedIn profile and drops it into a template of your choice to create a CV. You can then customise it further and save it as a pdf.

Other CV tools and services

The English National Careers Service CV builder is an accessible online . Note that in order to save your CV you’ll first need to create a Lifelong Learning account.

Word processor

Using a word processor to produce your CVs is the most flexible option and also the simplest for users of accessibility technology. With programs such as MS Word you can experiment with the structure and content, import images, add links and personalise the design. See Save a Word document as a template.

A range of pre-designed templates is available online, for example Microsoft Word CV templates. However check whether they’re compatible with your version of Word.’


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