If you’re struggling to write a CV, here are some examples to help you stand out whether you’re a graduate, career changer, freelancer or ladder climber
stack of paper documents.
Here’s a selection of CV templates to help your job application stand out. Photograph: Alamy
Every jobseeker, no matter how experienced, needs to make a great first impression with their CV.
But starting the writing process can be tricky – how do you know what format would suit your career choice? What do recruiters find easy to read? Well, help is at hand — once you’ve identified which career description best fits your circumstances and experience from the options below, click on a word document CV template and start scribing.
Graduate or first-jobber?
If you have recently qualified, either as a postgraduate or in further education, a qualification-style CV is for you. This format showcases your qualifications and further skills where relevant, placing experience or work history second — handy if you lack direct work experience.
Don’t be tempted to rely on a good grade, though. Any way that you can back up your ability to apply the theory in practice will be what interests a prospective employer the most. Showing life skills that are also good work skills will impress too so focus on demonstrating how you get things done. Your future boss will be interested in finding out how you would do the job, and you can communicate that even with a qualifications-based CV.
Going for promotion?
This CV type used to be the most common, as it favoured individuals that had progressed their career in one sector and possibly with one main employer. The reverse chronology CV template lists linear work histories starting with the most recent first.
If you are continuing to climb the career ladder in the same industry or with the same organisation this CV template is for you. Guard against being pigeon-holed as a workhorse, there’s no reason why this should be true. In fact, staying motivated and fresh in the same sector or with the same employer is a real achievement. Everybody admires endeavour and commitment; these are yours to claim.
More recently organisations have rewarded and encouraged flexibility, not just in working hours and work locations, but also in role diversification. A more project-based approach to work has helped to fuel a demand for career changers in the market, too. Here the focus is on a mix of skills, expertise, qualifications and above all attitude.
This skills-based CV template demonstrates your ability to apply knowledge and skills to different or developing sectors and roles. Don’t let personal motivations for a career change – for example, to support a dependant or care for children – concern you here, just use this CV template to smooth your transition. The good news is that you don’t have to start out in a junior position. Your previous experience will stand you in good stead, as long as you tell your prospective employers all about them.
Freestyle guru or consultant?
This CV type is for individuals who freelance, contract and have a degree of expertise which makes them a valuable commodity. Be it a plumber, vision mixer or interim manager, this portfolio CV template is designed to elevate your expertise and show how your superior knowledge helps businesses to get things done well, on time and to budget.
If you work in the creative sector you might want to consider how you present your CV. Perhaps, as well as a paper document, you could point prospective employers to your YouTube channel, website or online profile so that they can see your work or watch a video clip. Demonstrating your expertise through the way that you promote yourself will also impress – a one-and-a-half minute video clip conveys an awful lot more about you than a four page CV.