In the UK there are certain rules that apply when you are creating a CV. You must abide by these rules and adapt your CV accordingly. It is essential to take a few minutes to change your curriculum vitae to meet British expectations. Otherwise, your job application may be discarded after the first glance of your CV!
Tips for the British CV
No Photo on the UK CV
Typically, on CV’s in the UK, you do not need to include a photo. Two key tips for a UK curriculum vitae are to use a simple design and make the document stand out through the content. Therefore, including a photograph of yourself is unnecessary and will not make you more likely to get any job. It will only serve to waste crucial space on a document that must be clear and concise.
Simple design for the UK CV
In the UK, most employers just want to see the key information presented nicely with a clear layout. You should use bold, underlined headings, and put the information under these titles in bullet point format. Also, use web-standard fonts such as arial, tahoma, or verdana.
Similarly, you should not make your CV too long. It should be around one page length. If you use long, fancy words throughout and describe in-depth all your experiences, then your CV will go on forever. A long CV does not show you are more accomplished than anyone else. The real challenge is in keeping it short and letting the reader know what skill-set you have, which you can then expand upon if given the chance to interview.
No summary or introductory statement
In the UK, there is no need for an introductory statement. A summary of your personal attributes or aspirations will, similar to a photograph, waste essential space. The key reason for not including a summary statement is because you will show a personal side to yourself in the cover letter than you will send to an organisation alongside the CV. Therefore, an introductory blurb about how desperate you are to “work with this company” is pointless.
On UK CV’s it is essential to include several elements of your personal information. Firstly, your full name is a must. Your home address is also crucial. You have to also include your marital status, birth date and place, email address, and telephone number.
The structure of your CV for the UK job market should be in a chronological order. The chronological-style, traditional CV is the most typical in the UK. Starting with your personal information: name, home address, email, place of birth, and marital status.
Then you would display your educational background because this is the first stage in the life-long learning process. Begin with the first school you attended and continue until the last school you left. Write any significant academic grades (usually just GCSE’s and A-Levels) alongside the schools that you attended. Next comes your work experience and then your other skills.
Support your cover letter
Remember that your cover letter must support the content of your CV. This also works the other way around. If you have written about a certain skill or experience on your UK cover letter and it doesn’t appear on your CV then the prospective employer will not take your application seriously.
If you would like to learn more about the different structures you can use for a CV then consult our CV Templates page or consult our advice about how to write a CV.
Back to the CV in the UK