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How to Write a CV: Download Free CV Template

December 23, 2020 - Posted to Resume Tips

Content how to write a cv download free cv template

CV stands for curriculum vitae. It is a document used when applying for jobs. It enables you to summarise your education, skills and experience successfully to sell your abilities to potential employers. So, knowing how to write a CV is one of the most important aspects in your professional career. And that is why you need to take your time in building the best CV possible. 

A completed CV aims to impress recruiters. CVs are valuable and important because they are your first and maybe only direct communication with a potential employer. Did you know the average recruiter only spends around 6 seconds looking at your CV? Therefore, writing a great CV may just as well determine your fate whilst getting a good job. So, it is extremely important to have a well-rounded CV which elevates your abilities.

If you need help determining how to write a CV, it can be helpful to consult a template. In this article, we will provide you with all the information you need to write a CV in the best possible way. Thus helping you stand out to your recruiters.

What is a CV/Curriculum Vitae?

A CV is short for the Latin phrase curriculum vitae, which means “course of life”. It is a detailed document highlighting your professional and academic history. CVs usually include information like work experience, achievements and awards, scholarships or grants you’ve earned, coursework, research projects and publications of your work. You may be asked to submit a CV when applying for jobs in academia or a job outside the US.

Difference between a CV and a Resume - Don’t Get Them Mixed Up!

A CV focuses on the job you're applying to. While some information might appear in both documents, a CV usually focuses more on present and future objectives, and a resume represents previous jobs and accomplishments.

A resume is a document that shows your employment history. It sums up the jobs you have had, the educational background, certifications, skills, and other quantifiable information.

There are clear distinctions between the structure and intent of these two documents. Job seekers should view their cover letter and resume as a complementary but unique pair of documents. That is, your cover letter should be more than just bullet points regurgitated from the resume.

The key 3 differences are stated below:

  • Format: The CV is a professional communication structured in full paragraphs. Whereas the resume has sections with bullet points that convey specific details of experience and backgrounds.
  • Content: A resume is a broad overview of your educational and career history. It lists most or all of the relevant skills and professional experiences that apply to your current job search. A CV focuses mainly on the job you’re applying to. While some information might appear in both documents, a CV usually focuses more on present and future objectives, and a resume represents previous jobs and accomplishments.
  • Purpose: Your resume should convey a wide array of information in one or two pages. Employers use resumes to assess your skills perfectly. Your CV allows you to create an extensive view of yourself as an applicant.

CV Writing Essentials:

Let's now walk through the 5 essentials of CV writing:

  • Ensure that your CV is clear, accurate, authentic, correct, simple and easy to read.
  • Always use Professional Contacts.
  • Always try to make a personal statement. You may write down your statements after contact information in short but a powerful way.
  • Make sure to highlight your Achievements.
  • Try to leave a mark on your recruiters’ mind. Be as Unique as you can.

How to Write Your CV Perfectly: Overview

Research indicates that on average, recruiters look at CVs for up to 6 seconds at most. Usually, they glance it over for a few seconds and move on. 

Now how is a document supposed to stand out in such a short time! You might think its luck but actually, it’s not.

It’s about grabbing their attention at that time. The perfect CV will help you do so.

If you want a perfect CV, you have to make sure every little detail is polished to perfection. It might be a bit tedious, but trust us, it’s worth it.

After all, it’s a small price to pay for landing the dream job you’ll be looking forward to.

By building a near-perfect CV, you’re essentially investing in yourself and your future.

Now we describe the various sections you need to understand to build the perfect CV.

  1. Correct CV format
  2. Standard CV layout
  3. Add necessary contact information
  4. Grab the recruiters’ attention with your CV objectives
  5. Accurately highlight your work experience
  6. Relevant skills within the CV
  7. Add Education section within your CV
  8. Add additional sections


Let us now dive into the details of these sections.

1.Correct CV Format

Picking the right CV format is essential to instantly catch attention. We will show you the golden rules to follow to build and have the right cv format.

The Must-have Sections to Include in a CV:

  • Contact information
  • CV Summary or objective
  • Work experience
  • Skills
  • Education

Optional Sections to Include in a CV:

  • Certifications and awards
  • Languages
  • Personal projects
  • Volunteer experience

 What Not to Include in a CV:

  • Don't submit a CV longer than 2 pages
  • Spelling mistakes
  • Generalising and rambling
  • Don't highlight duties, highlight achievements
  • Avoid using clichés
  • Poor design

Make you sure to always remember these basics while formatting your CV.

2. Standard CV Layout

What do you think is the first thing a job recruiter notices about any CV? Your answer is the CV layout!

Now let’s go through the things like that might grab his attention the most:

  • Is everything easy to find in one glance?
  • Are the colours, fonts, and headings consistent?
  • Is all the information well-organised?

Now we need to make sure our CV is compatible with all those above questions. The layout is something you need to think about and get it right. It is a very crucial part of having a well-built CV.

A few things to consider are:

  • Try to keep the length in one page - Only go for 2 pages if you’re confident enough to pull it off. It is mostly in the case of experienced people who you can’t summarise in 1 page. Don’t write extra elaborate stuff. As it is highly likely that they won’t be read.
  • White-space is your friend - Make sure there are enough margins and space between the text so that the whole thing is easy on the eyes.
  • Keep the heading section neat and clean - Consistent colours, font size, headings makes it easy on the eyes. We recommend using a font that stands out, but not too much. Do use: Ubuntu, Roboto, Overpass, etc. 
  • Keep the details clear - pick the right font size (14-16pt for section titles, 11-12pt for normal text).

Always save your CV as a pdf, because words might change the formatting.

Decide on what type of CV you want Traditional or modern.

3. Add Necessary Contact Information

Many will argue that your contact information is the most important part of your CV. Because, even if you get everything right, it’s not going to matter much if they can’t contact you.

That is why make sure to double-check everything in your contact information.

Contact Section of Your CV Should Include:

  • Full name - Clearly write your official full name.
  • Phone number - Include your country code if applying outside your country.
  • Email address - Use your professional email id.
  • [name][last name]@email.com in this fashion.
  • Title - Your professional title. It may either be your desired job or the one you’re applying to.                         
  • Location - Use your Permanent residence and also add a temporary one if both are not the same.

Aside from the basic contact information, you might consider putting your social media handles such as:

  • LinkedIn - Many recruiters ask for a LinkedIn link when applying for a job. Include your LinkedIn URL in your C
  • Twitter - Add Twitter if you're active there and have a decent number of followers.
  • Anything else - if you have a relevant personal website, youtube channel, blog, feel free to add them. Use your discretion if it’s relevant.

4. Grab the Recruiters’ Attention with Your CV Objectives

Your CV objective should depict what kind of career you are seeking. Showcase your skills and experiences that make you ideal for that job.

  • Start with a strong trait, add 2–3 skills, describe your professional goals, and say what you hope to do for the company.
  • State the position to which you're applying and use the name of the company.
  • Keep it short.
  • Avoid first-person pronouns.

How to Write a Compelling Resume Objective?

Your resume objective may be the first thing your potential future employer ever reads about you. Therefore, you want to make sure it’s powerful and accurate.

Items to keep in mind when writing a resume objective statement:

  • Keep it short and sweet. Making your resume objective short and strong will be more successful in holding the employer's attention. So try removing filler words, such as ‘a’, ‘the’, and ‘like’. This helps keep the reader focused on the more important parts of your resume. 
  • Mention any licenses, certifications or degrees relevant to the position. While your education experience will be listed elsewhere on your resume, including any important certifications or degrees in your resume objective can more immediately put you in a good position with the employer. This is especially important to include if you’re new to the job market or you’re changing careers or industries.
  • Explain how you’ll add value as an employee. The most important thing recruiters want to know is whether you can add value to the team. So, highlight all your skills.
  • Build the pathway for the rest of your resume. You have to write a resume objective that should immediately grab the reader’s attention. By highlighting a few essential skills and your current goals, you give the recruiter or hiring manager a taste of what’s to come in the rest of your resume.
  • Lead with your strongest attributes. Always try highlighting your best skills, even if it is not relevant to your job position.
  • Make it fit the position you're applying for. Instead of writing a general objective statement, adapt it specifically for the job you’re applying for. Always read the job description and highlight skills that align with your best features.

5. Accurately Highlight Your Work Experience

It is a key aspect of your cv. And recruiters will most probably emphasise on this part.

Here is what you should be including 

  • Job title.
  • Company name
  • Your City or country
  • Employment dates 
  • Company description
  • Brief description of job responsibilities.
  • Key achievements

Keep note that you don't miss any of these.

6. Relevant Skills within CV

Usually, there are 2 types of skills. Soft skills which include your personal attributes. Skills you learned through experience, such as leadership, management, etc. Hard skills which include your professional or educational attributes, such as HTML, C programming, etc.

  • Resume skills according to the targeted job.
  • Key skills located in separate skills sections.
  • Professional skills in another dedicated section.
  • Weave in the relevant skills into your resume profile as much as you can.
  • Always try to add the most recently demanded skills.

7. Add Education Section within Your CV

Let's go through the sections you might want to add in the education column:

  • School name
  • School location school
  • Obtained degree (if applicable)
  • Field of study
  • Graduation year
  • Your CGPA

This is basically all you need to add.

8. Add Additional Sections

You may also want to add the following sections in your CV. These additional sections also play a great role in highlighting your skills. 

  • Certifications and licences
  • Training 
  • Language skills
  • Awards or commendations
  • Publications
  • Testimonials
  • Performance reviews
  • Hobbies

Now Let's Go Through A Few Examples Of How Your CV Should Look Like

Here we at first show a template of CV for a software engineer as an example.

Now here is another style of CV with the same field of software development.


If you follow all the above sections in detail, you should have a pretty good-looking modern CV. This will surely give you an edge over others you're competing against for the job. So, feel confident. It may seem to be a daunting task at first but trust us it's worth the hard work. And to further smoothen out this process we suggest you take the course on CV Writing Masterclass” by One Education.