CV layout refers to how you structure the appearance of your CV, such as your font size, line spacing, and margins, and the CV design you choose.
Usually, you’ll use a standard CV format (also known as a chronological CV format) that emphasises your relevant work experience.
Keep scrolling to view a standard CV example and learn four tips on how to lay out your CV.
The standard CV layout
We’ve outlined the best CV layout for most UK job applicants. If you’re only interested in the layout, look at the example in our CV layout infographic below. Or read on for more information about how to set out each CV section.
- CV Title
FIRST AND LAST NAME
Email: [email protected] | Phone: 07123 456 789 | Address: 123 Your Street, Town, Postcode | Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/yourproﬁle
- CV Personal Statement
Knowledgeable [industry] professional with [number of years] years of experience. Aiming to utilise my [relevant skills] to fill your [position name] position. A skilled worker looking to contribute positively and achieve [Company’s Name]’s goals.
- Work History
Most Recent Job Title
Employer Name / Location / Start Year–End Year
- Explain your job responsibilities in 2–4 bullet points
- If possible, include numbers and examples to provide context
Earlier Job Title
Employer Name / Location / Start Year–End Year
- Start the bullet points in your work experience section with CV action verbs
- To be concise and avoid repetition, don’t use pronouns
(Writing the start and end dates of your work history is optional)
University, Location | Start Date–End Date
- Key Skills
- Include a bulleted list of your job-related skills
- Quantify your skills with hard numbers and details
- Provide context by being as specific as possible (e.g., mentioning the actual names of software or tools you’ve used)
- Additional Experience
Add other relevant sections such as your hobbies and interests, languages, volunteer experiences, or publications
1. CV title
Set out your CV with your personal details at the top, no matter what type of CV layout you use. Important contact information to give employers includes your:
- email address
- mobile phone number
Extra details you can put in your CV header — if they make you more hirable — are your:
- LinkedIn profile
- professional website or portfolio
- postal address
- current job title
2. Personal statement
A CV personal statement (also called a CV personal profile) is a three-sentence paragraph (or 3–4 bullets) you put under your personal details. Your statement should provide the reader with a quick overview of what to expect in your CV by summarising your:
- professional experience
- main career goal
3. Work experience
Professional experience is usually more relevant to your job hunt than your educational background. So if you have plenty of experience related to your desired job, place your CV work experience section right below your personal statement.
Begin with your most recent job title at the top, and continue chronologically. Go as far back as necessary.
Each job title you list should also include:
- the dates you worked there
- bullet points detailing your duties and achievements in the position
- hard numbers to add colour and context (e.g., rather than ‘trained new employees’, say ‘trained four new employees over 2+ years’)
Place your highest degree at the top and go backwards in order. For example, if you have a Master’s degree, place it above your Bachelor’s.
For your university degree, include your:
- university’s name
- degree title and classification
- dissertation topic
- relevant modules
When listing your A-levels and GCSEs, name the school where you studied for them and provide your grades.
The skills you list in your CV’s skills section should be your most job-specific professional abilities. On a standard CV layout, list your skills as bullets in one or two columns.
6. Additional sections
You can also include minor additional sections at the bottom of your CV to highlight other professional information. Just ensure the placement of those sections in your CV’s layout is based on their relevance to the job you want (with the most relevant listed first).
Some details you can put in these additional sections include:
- professional certifications
- associations and memberships
- additional training and coursework
- conferences you’ve attended
- hobbies and interests
However, note that when these extra details are more vital to a specific job, you should place them higher on your CV. For instance, if you’re writing an academic CV, your publications should directly follow your education and experience sections.
How to lay out your CV
In addition to the structure of your CV, the formatting details (like font, font size, margins, and line spacing) of your CV design are important. These details affect the employer’s first impression of you and set the tone for your application.
Here are four tips on how to write a CV with standard formatting in 2022:
1. Choose an appropriate CV font
The best font for your CV is:
- easy to read
- appropriate for the job you want
For the majority of your CV, the font size should be between 10 and 12 points. Just make sure everything is readable because some font styles are smaller than others.
If you’re worried the font you’re using on your CV is hard to read or too informal, pick a different font. Here’s a list of professional CV fonts that work for any industry:
- Times New Roman
To be consistent, use the same font, font size, and font colour for each section. Consistent formatting makes it easy for the reader to search through the pages of your CV and find the information they’re curious about.
2. Use 1.27–2.5 cm margins & 1–1.5 line spacing
The standard margin size for UK CVs is 2.5 cm. But if you’re trying to fit more of your professional details onto the pages, you can reduce the margins to 1.27 cm on all sides. Just don’t shrink them any more than that, or your CV will appear jam-packed.
Also, use single or 1.5 line spacing to neatly space information without making your CV feel too tight (or spread out).
3. Include an appropriate number of CV pages
Wondering how many pages a CV should be? The standard CV length is two pages long, so make sure you include all of the necessary CV sections before submitting your application.
However, if you’re a writing a graduate CV or a student CV, employers will understand if you provide them with a one-page CV. Just remember to fill out your one-page CV with additional sections such as your hobbies and interests, certifications, or foreign languages.
Writing a three-page CV or longer is appropriate if you’re:
- applying for executive or senior positions
- working in an academic or medical field
- addressing a specific skill set
- Including previous projects and publications related to your target role
4. Proofread and save your CV as a PDF
Congratulations for reaching the end of the CV-creation process! After going through your CV and proofreading it for spelling or grammar errors, remember to save your completed CV as a PDF.
Submitting your CV as a PDF retains your CV’s original formatting and ensures that whoever downloads your documents won’t have any issues reading it.