How To Write Your CV

When applying for any job or role in the future, you’re going to need a CV, your curriculum vitae, to sell yourself to potential employers. Your CV should outline your qualifications, your previous experience and generally what kind of employee you’d make.

Think of your CV as a piece of advertising. You’re selling yourself as a potential asset to a company, so what do you have to offer?


First, let’s talk about CV structure. Although you can format a CV however you want, it might be easier to use the following structure:

Your Details

Personal Profile


Employment History

Key Skills

Hobbies/Interests/Useful Info


Your details include your government name, current address and all relevant contact details. Cover all bases, home number, mobile number, email address- make it very easy to contact you.

Your personal profile should be a brief description of who you are and what you can do. It might be helpful to plan out some points first. What university/colleges/schools have you gone to (usually anything from secondary school is relevant), what have you been doing recently, what are your career development goals? You don’t have to cram everything into your personal profile, as you will explain in more detail your exact qualifications and employment history.

Your qualifications should be relevant to the phase you are currently it. If you’re applying for an apprenticeship, your GCSEs, A-levels and any supplementary certificate you received while studying is essential. If you’re applying for a job, you might want to omit your GCSEs and lower level qualifications, instead include any higher education you’ve undertaken, including college and university-related qualifications.

Next, you’ll want to detail your employment history. It’s important to maintain a balance of honesty and positivity, never criticise or insult another business, if you didn’t like a previous place of employment, you can detail how you would have improved your situation.

For key skills, list off some great things that you would bring to a team. Are you a good communicator? Do you have strong customer service abilities? Can you adapt quickly to different workplace situations?

When you’re listing your hobbies or interests, you might want to get into the employers shoes and look at how your hobbies or interests would look to them. Could a hobby of yours benefit the business at all? If you’re favourite thing to do of an evening is skydive- perhaps not. But if you have a passion for videography or graphic design, that’s potentially an asset to a business.

For references, if you’re in still school you could cite your teachers or mentors to your academic abilities. If you are out of university or have an already-established employment history, you can use the names of former employers or professors. For personal references, don’t put down school friends or

Here’s a brief example skeleton of a CV to show you basically what your finished piece should look like:


Sarah Smith

12 Example Road, Example Town, Exampleton, AB1 CDE

01234 567890

My name is Sarah Smith and I am in my final year of Sixth Form study at Example School. During my time in Sixth Form, I have developed a passion for Science subjects, taking additional Science options at the end of my last year. I believe Biology and Chemistry are my strongest subjects and my academic career was further supplemented by work experience at a pharmacy.

Outside of school, I enjoy cycling. I recently competed in the Exampleton 2019 Cycling Marathon early this year.

Maths A2 Level: B*

Chemistry A2 Level: A

Biology A2 Level: A*

Chemistry AS Level: A*

Biology AS Level: A*

History AS Level: C

English Lit A Level: C

In 2018 I completed two weeks of work experience at a pharmacy, where I had a great mentor and made regular reports to my school’s project co-ordinator. I am also currently working part-time as a sales assistant at Boots.

Exampleton Pharmacy 2nd - 15th Aug 2018

- Customer Service - Organising Products - Strong knowledge of medicine and healthcare products

Boots Nov 2018 – Jan 2019

- Customer Service skills - Working within a team of people - Working with management in a professional setting - General upkeep of shop

Key Skills

- Motivated to develop career further by additional study - Able to work effectively in a team of people - Highly interested in expanding knowledge of science and scientific innovation - Good time-keeping qualities, as my school record will show - Comfortable speaking in front of groups or audiences - Excellent presentation skills

My hobbies include cycling and a regular gym schedule. I also enjoy swimming, as I swam competitively two years previously. I have a strong interest in photography and photographic design. I am keen to improve my design and Photoshop skills in order to enhance my photography portfolio.

Academic References:

Mrs Peevis, former work experience manager- 23456 768867

Mr Day, school counsellor-

Sarah Smith’s CV is much more ‘bare bones’ than usual and in the CV you’ll eventually write, you’ll have a lot more to say, but this a great initial structure to add to your reference. After you’ve completed your CV, you might want to have someone to look over it, either a friend or maybe a teacher.

If you’re interested in applying for an apprenticeship, check out our Apprentice Area to find out more.