Writing a CV

The purpose of a CV is to help you to secure an interview with a prospective employer. While there are no specific rules for creating an effective CV, there are some widely accepted principles and guidelines that will help you. On this page, we look at the different sections you will need to include on your CV. We’ll also provide some suggestions for creating a structure and layout that is professional, clear and concise. 

Name and contact details

It’s important that an employer knows how to get in touch with you, hopefully so they can offer you an interview! But it’s also important to put your location on the CV, as they might be recruiting people in a specific area.

As important as this information is, its important to not take up too much space on the CV with your contact details though.

CV contact details

In the above example, lots of space is used up by very little information. This seven lines, could be enough space to give a lot of depth about a previous job, or your education. Don’t waste it here.

With a little nudging, the same information can be presented in much less space. It even gives the space to add a link to an online portfolio, or LinkedIn page, as shown in the examples below.

CV example


CV example

Things to note:

  • You do not need to write CV or Curriculum Vitae in this section. Recruiters know what a CV looks like already. Save the space.
  • Your name should be in a large, bold font at the top and centre of the first page.
  • It should be in a larger font size than any other text on the page. (around 16-20 is a good range).
  • Your address and contact details are important, but can be smaller than the rest of the text on the page (it’s ok to go to size 9 for these, though avoid small text for the rest of the CV).

Personal profile

This section is an opportunity to say in a short paragraph of two or three lines, why you’re the best person for the job. More than any other section, this should ideally be rewritten for every job if possible.

Looking at what the job advert or the person specification is looking for, explain why you would be perfect for it.

Some tips to help with this:

  • Keep it brief: No more than two sentences briefly saying your main skills.
  • Tailor it to the job: What skills are they asking for in the job advert that you have?
  • Be specific: It’s normally a given that you’re “trustworthy” or “punctual”. Unless they’re specifically asking for these things, try and focus on skills they need, rather than general
  • Focus it on the job.

I’m an outgoing and energetic person, with strong organisation skills, which I developed as part of my GCSE studies. I have developed skills working with the public through my volunteering with the RSPB. This combines with my GCSE’s in English and Mathematics to create the perfect candidate for your till operator position.

I’m an experienced receptionist with 3 year’s experience of working in a busy customer service environment. I’m an organized and committed people person, with a strong attention to detail. This, combined with my level 2 Customer Service qualification, combine to make the ideal candidate for your medical receptionist position.

I’m a recent Biomedical Science graduate with a passion for research and innovation. During my studies I gained a strong foundation in a range of scientific techniques, specifically cell culture and PCR testing. I also completed a research project on the effects of good gut health on immune responses to COVID-19, which gave me experience in data analysis, project management and working to a deadline. This combines with my communication skills developed in my customer service role at Subway, to create the perfect candidate for your biomedical research assistant position.

Key skills and training

Under your profile, it’s a good idea to draw attention to your key skills or training that would be useful in this job. These should be targeted the specific job you’re applying for. Looking at the job advert and identifying the skills they’re looking for is a great way of making sure demonstrating the skills that they’re looking for.

It’s useful to put them in bullet point lists, each bullet point listing things they’re likely looking for.

Though remember! Don’t waste space. Once you’ve made the list, try and arrange it in two columns to save space.

Example 1 

The below example shows how this could look for a Warehouse Operative position

CV example

Example 2

The below example shows how this section could look for a web developer position. Take note, how some of the skills are the same as above.

CV example

It’s important to make sure that you’re mentioning skills that they’re likely to look for. Some tips to help make sure you do this are:

  • Read through the job advert, description or person specification, and make a list of the skills they’re looking for. If you have them, put them here.
  • If you have a skill that they haven’t mentioned, if you think its likely that it would be useful, then put it. If its unlikely that it would be useful, or is irrelevant, leave it off the list.
  • Review and change this section every time you apply for a job.


This section of your CV helps an employer to understand what you have been doing and how it relates to the job that you are applying for. This is important because an employer can see at a glance how your experience has helped you to develop the skills that are necessary for the role in your previous paid employment, volunteer work or other job-related activities.

Each experience should be headed with the dates, company and role that you would like the employer to know about. You should clearly and concisely detail the context of your experience in a couple of sentences, followed by a brief bullet-pointed list of your duties and the skills that you developed in that role.



Your education history tells an employer which qualifications you have attained and gives them an indication of your ability to learn and study. This can be useful when applying for a role in a profession that requires a specific level of qualification such as a nurse or an engineer. It can also be helpful in roles where you are required to learn new things on the job, as part of an apprenticeship. You should clearly detail the time frame of the qualification, the place where you studied, as well as the area or course of study undertaken. You should also include a brief bullet-pointed list of the knowledge and skills that you acquired.


Achievements and interests

This section can help an employer to understand more about you as a person. It not only helps them to gauge what interests you in a job, but also what motivates and excites you outside of work. You should include anything that you think might be directly relevant to the role, but also things that help to build your character or personal attributes.

When including achievements and interests that are not directly related to the job, however, try to ensure that you link the qualities that you have developed to areas of the role, eg. time management, planning, organisation.

You should head this section with dates of the achievements or interest, the context or place that you did them and the specific event or achievement that you undertook.

achievements and interests


This section is where you provide the names of people who can verify your experience, education or achievements as stated on your CV so far. They are people who usually know you in a work or education setting and have first-hand experience of the things you have stated on your CV.

Unless stated otherwise on the job description, references should not be included on your CV, but shown here as ‘References Available On Request’.

Following these guidelines may help you to create a CV that will summarise your skills, experience and achievements and interests. Remember to create a new version of your CV for each role that you apply for. Try to match it closely to the job description and person specification attached to the role and ensure that you carefully proof-read for spelling mistakes or typos before you send it.

Save your CV with a name that clearly identifies to the recruiter who you are, and if there is room, maybe also consider including an abbreviated version of the name of the role you are applying for.

Finding the right job for you

Searching for jobs can be a difficult process, but the right job can bring you fulfillment and independence. Here are some of the stages you’ll go through to find the right job for you.

Financial support

Cystic fibrosis can bring its own financial burden. We provide a range of grants for people with cystic fibrosis and their families, support for those applying for benefits and information about prescription charges.

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