Writing a CV for the UK or Ireland
If you are writing a CV for a position in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland, here are a few tips:
Name and Contact Details:
- Clearly state your name, postal address, telephone number (either mobile/cell or landline), and email address at the top of your CV. You may also add your customised LinkedIn URL.
- Date of birth, place of birth, marital status, similar personal/family details, and passport number should not be used anywhere on a CV.
- If there is a reason for the reader to doubt your permission to work in the UK/Ireland, indicate the documentation that allows you to work in the UK/Ireland, such as your nationality, type of visa, or immigration status.
- Never use anything other than your name to start the CV. For instance, do not head it with Curriculum Vitae because applicant tracking systems may parse it as your name.
- Do not use a photograph on your CV. Unlike some other European countries, such as Germany, Belgium, and France, it is not the norm in the UK and Ireland. Exceptions would be for roles in which the way you look is a job criterion (e.g., model or actor). However, the potential employer may find you online, so use a high quality professional photograph on your social networks, such as LinkedIn.
- Use a summary, personal profile, or profile statement after your contact details. Be sure that the information in this section is also documented within the experience section so the potential employer can see your experience in context.
- Your work experience is the most important element. In the UK/Ireland, employers expect the reverse chronological format (most recent experience first). Start and finish dates should include both months and years. Explain large gaps in your experience, such as career breaks, education breaks, or gap years.
- The ‘Interests’ section is still used on some UK/Irish CVs. This section should be extremely brief for experienced candidates (if used at all) and should only include interests that reflect characteristics that match the job specifications. For students and recent graduates, this section can be much longer if used to highlight workplace skills, such as working within a team, writing, public speaking, taking instruction, and leadership – especially if they are not demonstrated in the experience section.
- Depending on the target job, language skills can be important for a job in the UK/Ireland. If used, they should be qualified using terms such as fluent, business, or conversational. Unless a job criterion, basic skills should not be mentioned.
Length and Paper Size:
- CVs can be anywhere from 1 to 4 pages depending on the target job and job seeker’s relevant experience. The norm is 2 pages.
- The page size is A4 for the UK and Ireland.
- Set your proofing language as English (U.K.). As opposed to U.S. spelling, words like organise are spelt with ‘ise’ and many words like travelling use ‘ll’.
- References should not be part of the CV, but a separate document to be presented at the interview stage.
University of Kent – Careers and Employability Service.
Europass CV Template – English CV template for the UK.