How to Create a CV: UK's Definitive Guide

No kidding, according to a survey by New College of the Humanities, a whopping 34% of UK employers spend less than 60 seconds glancing at a CV. What’s more mind-boggling? The Ladders found that recruiters only dedicate about 6 seconds to each CV! That’s less time than it takes to make a cup of tea!

But how to create a CV? And what distinguishes a CV that sinks and a CV that sails? Details, my friends, details. As a CareerBuilder survey reports, a staggering 79% of employers say a personalised CV is the primary reason they pick a candidate for an interview.

Compare this:

Good Example: Sales Director | XYZ Ltd | 2018-Present

  • Overachieved annual sales targets by 20% in 2019 and 25% in 2020.
  • Expanded customer base by 30% through innovative networking and development strategies.

Versus this less-than-stellar one:

Bad Example: Worked at XYZ Ltd. Met sales targets. Expanded customer base.

Spot the difference? The first example is the Prom Queen, loaded with specifics and stats. The second? More like the wallflower - vague and lacks any oomph.

This article? It's your backstage pass, helping you compose your professional story in a way that commands attention, highlights your value, and leaves potential employers eager for an encore. Ready to take centre stage? Let's show you how to create a CV that sings!

Don't be fooled. Your CV isn't just another piece of paper. It's the VIP pass to the backstage of your potential employer's world. Consider it as the golden ticket that gets you in front of the eyes that matter. Each CV you send should be your unique song, fine-tuned for the role you're shooting for. Your CV's mission? It's to grab the attention of the decision-makers in those precious few seconds they spend on it. So, make it worth their while!

Now, let's talk about the stage setting - the format, the layout. In general, the UK job market fancies the reverse chronological order. But, if you've got some employment gaps or you're transitioning careers, then a skills-based format might just be your secret weapon. Keep the font clean and professional, think Arial or Times New Roman, size 11 or 12. Your headings should stand out, and your bullet points should command the stage. And remember, consistency is your best friend!

If the thought of crafting your CV is making you break out in a cold sweat, no worries. There are excellent online services like TopCV,, and CV-Library that can step in and lend a professional hand. They can take your CV from garage band status to headliner, providing the edge you need in today's cutthroat job market.

The opening act! Your name, phone number, email, and LinkedIn profile - this info needs to take centre stage. And let's not forget the personal statement! This is the opening number of your CV, setting the stage for the rest of your professional story. It should highlight your relevant skills and experiences and make the recruiters want to stick around for the show.


Jane Smith
123 High St, London, SE1 2AA
(123) 456-7890

Personal Statement: Dynamic and results-driven marketing lead with over a decade's experience in boosting profits, reducing costs, and driving growth in competitive markets. Proven track record in devising and executing strategic marketing plans and overseeing product launches. Looking to bring skills and experience to a challenging role in a forward-thinking organisation.

Now it's time for the main act. Nail down your job titles, company names, dates. Use action verbs and specific accomplishments to take the spotlight. Shine a light on your educational background, certifications, and professional development. This forms the backbone of your CV.


Work Experience: ABC Ltd, London
Senior Marketing Lead | January 2015 - Present

  • Led a diverse team of 12 and managed a £4M budget to drive marketing initiatives.
  • Launched 3 successful product lines, resulting in a 20% increase in overall sales.
  • Implemented a new social media strategy, growing online engagement by 30%.

Education: Bachelor of Business Administration | University of Manchester, Manchester | Graduated with First Class Honours, 2010

Certifications: Chartered Marketer - Chartered Institute of Marketing, 2020

You've got to ensure your CV harmonises with the job you're applying for. Use the keywords from the job ad to strike the right chords and ace that pesky ATS screening. Highlight skills and experiences that resonate with the job role.


In response to a job posting requiring skills in leadership, product launch, and social media strategy:

Job Title: Senior Marketing Lead

  • Demonstrated effective leadership by managing a diverse team of 12 at ABC Ltd.
  • Successfully launched 3 product lines, resulting in a 20% increase in sales.
  • Developed and implemented a social media strategy, leading to a 30% increase in online engagement.

Your achievements are the grand finale of your CV. Flaunt them! Got figures that prove you increased sales or streamlined processes? Highlight them! Received awards? Parade them! This isn't about bragging; it's about demonstrating your value to potential employers.


  • Key Achievements:
  • Led the successful launch of 3 product lines at ABC Ltd, resulting in a 20% increase in overall sales in the first quarter post-launch.
  • Implemented a social media strategy that boosted online engagement by 30% within six months.
  • Awarded 'Manager of the Year' for exceptional performance and dedication to the team in 2017 and 2019.

Before taking your final bow, consider additional sections like volunteer experience, relevant projects, or professional affiliations. These are the encores that leave a lasting impression. Proofread your CV, seek feedback from trusted mentors, or hire a professional CV writer. This final touch can make all the difference!


Volunteer Experience: Volunteer Marketing Consultant | Local Animal Shelter, London | 2018 - Present

Assist in developing and implementing marketing strategies to increase awareness and fundraising efforts.

Languages: Spanish – Fluent French – Conversational

There you have it, ladies and gents, your comprehensive step-by-step guide to how to create a CV that stands out in the UK. Whether you're new to the scene or an old hand, there's always room for improvement. Remember, every job application is a new opportunity to perfect your CV and showcase your potential.

But remember, an outstanding CV is just part of the performance. To land your dream job, you also need to know where to look. That's where Workclass comes in. It’s a top job search platform that connects you with countless opportunities across the UK. With Workclass, you can put your newly honed CV writing skills directly into action.

So, go forth, use this guide, craft that show-stopping CV, and take it for a spin on Workclass. Remember, success is a combination of preparation and opportunity. Keep learning, keep growing, and keep crushing your career journey!

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