How to Write an Attractive CV in UK English to Find a Job in 2022

In today’s competitive world, job seekers are constantly looking for new ways to stand out from other candidates. But in the end, no matter how fancy your business card is or how many qualifications you have, the best way to catch recruiters’ attention is to have a great CV.

A well-structured, appropriate, relevant resume remains the best tool to help you find the job of your dreams. It’s the only document that allows you to summarise your education, skills and relevant work experience, and helps you persuade employers that you are the right person for the job. 

Below, you will find a few useful tips on how to create a UK CV that will wow headhunters and fill your competitors with envy!

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Picture of a UK CV

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Contact Details

Your work history might be flawless and your university record impressive, but if recruiters have to struggle to find how to contact you, you won’t stand a chance! 

Contact information is the first thing that you need to include in your UK CV, and it needs to be at the top of the page, where it will be easy to spot.

This section must include your full name, address or location, phone number and email address. A profile picture or headshot, however, is unnecessary unless you are applying for a modelling or acting job. Similarly, it’s not customary to include your date of birth in a modern UK CV. Remember: it is your experience, not your age, that matters.

Personal Statement

A personal statement or profile is a short paragraph that summarises your key abilities, enabling you to stand out from the pool of candidates looking for the same kind of job. All you have to do is (1) pick out a few impressive-sounding skills and achievements, and (2) express what professional goals you want to pursue next. 

The most important thing to bear in mind when writing a personal statement for a UK CV is that it should focus on the industry or area you’re applying to. In other words, don’t ramble and start speaking about skills and objectives that have nothing to do with the target position! To avoid going off-topic, keep your CV profile short and sweet. 100 words is usually the perfect length. 

Work Experience

What are the previous jobs that make you the perfect fit for the position you’re applying for? 

In this section, you will list your work experience in reverse date order, so that recruiters can learn about your career and make sure that it has prepared you for the job you’re applying for.

Every entry should include the name of the company or organisation, the job title, start and finish dates, and main responsibilities.

If your work experience is particularly extensive, it is better to put this section before Education, but remember: if you’re applying for a job as a teacher, it makes no sense to talk about that time you worked as a barista while you were staying at your grandparents’ for the summer. Your UK CV should only include experience that is relevant for the kind of job that you aspire to get in the future.  

Education

A UK CV wouldn’t be complete without a detailed section about your educational background. This is the part where you get to show off your professional qualifications, degrees, and of course, your university record. 

All you need to do is list and date all your academic achievements starting with the most recent one. Make sure you include qualification types, the dates when you got each degree, and refer to specific modules only if you believe it will be relevant to do so. For example, one wouldn’t instantly assume that a sociology degree would be relevant if you’re applying for a job as a data analyst. However, most sociology programs include courses that specifically teach students to gather, analyze, and give out information. If you believe that it is relevant to provide information about specific modules in your program, go ahead!

Skills and Achievements

Do your friends roll their eyes every time you bring up that French course you took 5 years ago? Well, this is the section where you can brag about it. 

This is also the section where you can list the IT packages that you can handle and the marketing courses that you’ve completed. However, be careful not to exaggerate or lie about your skills. If you are hired on the basis of the things you say in this section, you will face a big problem when they realize you have dressed up the truth.

Tips to Make Your CV Stand Out

Now that you know that kind of information you need to include in your UK CV and in what order you should do it, let’s read a few extra tips that you can put into practice to make your resume really stand out in 2022. 

Picture of a headhunter interviewing a candidate

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Optimise for the Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

The Modern CV has one central opponent: the applicant tracking system (ATS). This is software used by recruitment agencies to filter applications that search for specific keywords in resumes and automatically reject applicants based on the results of this search. Though it is surely a great technological advancement for recruiters, for candidates it often means an automatic rejection even before an actual human has seen their CV. Therefore, if you want to craft an effective, modern UK CV, you have to do it with ATS in mind.

The only way to do this is to predict the keywords that recruiters will search within your resume. Usually, these keywords will be listed in the job description. For example, if the job ad lists data analysis as an essential skill, it is likely that they will only pay attention to CVs that contain this term. 

Use Power Verbs

if you want to catch the attention of potential employers, you can’t use vague, insipid vocabulary. You have to make sure that the words you use in your UK CV are powerful and expressive. Of course, the power verbs you use will depend on the kind of job that you are aiming at. For example, if you’re applying for a creative role in a company, you will want to use verbs like “created”, “designed”, “compiled”, whereas someone aiming for a managerial position may want to make use of other words such as “developed”, “oversaw”, “reduced”, or “implemented”. 

Get the Help of a Native British Professional

You may have noticed that, throughout the article, we have been talking about UK CVs. This is because every country has different conventions for this kind of document. For example, while in most Spanish-speaking countries it is totally acceptable to include a headshot at the top of your resume, in England this can be seen as an offensive attempt to get hired on the basis of your looks instead of your skills.

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For this reason, if you want your UK CV to be flawless, the best thing you can do is to have it proofread by a British person. At Language Trainers, we work with fully qualified teachers who also happen to be native speakers of British English. So, if you’re looking for someone who can spot both spelling and structure errors in your UK CV, or even someone who can help you build your CV from scratch as well as prepare you for job interviews in English, contact us now and we’ll pair you up with a British teacher for an individual trial lesson! We have the feeling you’ll want to come back for more.