A well-written CV can increase your chances of getting hired. Our traditional CV template helps you craft a quality resume that will get the attention of a potential employer. Hiring managers often have to make quick decisions about whom they will bring in for an interview, so it is important to have an airtight document that hits all the right marks. CVs that lack important information or are filled with errors will often turn off a potential employer. The template and guidelines included here supplement the actual example, making it easier than ever to build your own CV.
Sections to Include in Your Traditional CV Template
A CV has various sections that each play an important role. The traditional CV template and writing guidelines include a section breakdown to help you tackle each one confidently.
Contact and Personal Information
Double-check your contact information to make sure it is error-free. A transposed letter or number can cost you a position if the hiring manager isn’t able to reach you. Make sure that your email address reflects your professional identity rather than something overly casual or joking. Unlike a resume, you can also include certain personal information in your CV, such as marital status, nationality and age. If you have a professional website or portfolio, you may want to include this as well, especially if it helps demonstrate your fit for the job. The traditional CV template included here can help you easily input all necessary information.
A professional summary is your place to let hiring managers know why you are the best fit for the job. Use this space of the traditional CV template to provide an overview of your background and strengths. Professional summaries are especially important for those who are transitioning to new fields, lack significant work experience, or are attempting to move to a higher position. In the summary, include your years of experience (if it would work in your favor), specific areas of interest and relevant characteristics. Try to include keywords that hiring managers generally look for when searching for applicants.
Below are two examples of a strong professional summary:
I am a library clerk with five years of experience in both public and private libraries. My strong attention to detail makes me a fast clerk, and because I love what I do, I don’t get easily distracted. Through continued education, I have acquired the academic background needed to become a library assistant. I completed my schooling specifically with this career in mind. My personable nature and desire to help others allow me to connect with patrons in a meaningful way.
I have three years of experience teaching SAT prep to high school students, both one-on-one and in a classroom setting. While I have enjoyed this line of work, it stems from my love of words and my desire to pursue my own writing endeavors. To that end, I am excited to begin the next phase of my career as a writer-for-hire. I am extremely self-motivated and reliable, and my strong foundation in grammar and style means that my work won’t need heavy editing. I look forward to pursuing this passion with your company.
Writing Your Work Experience Section
While your professional summary tells a company why it should hire you, the work experience section provides facts to back that up. When utilizing our traditional CV template, insert current and previous jobs to highlight your qualifications. Even if your work experience isn’t relevant to the job you are applying for, the information shows the employer that you can hold down a job and are likely to be a responsible employee.
- List your most recent job first, and then work backward. It is fine to leave off a secondary job that doesn’t fit with the position you’re applying for; for instance, if you are applying for a job as a bank teller and currently work both as a teller and a waitress, you don’t need to mention the waitress position.
- Don’t include jobs you haven’t held for over 10 years, unless your CV would look sparse without them. If you do list them, leave off the dates of employment.
- Use bullet points when describing your job duties, and start the list with those that are most important. It is fine to use sentence fragments for this section.
Below are some examples of well-written work experience sections (note: you should include at least 4 to 6 bullet points for each of your past roles):
Veterinarian, Balboa Animal Hospital, Phoenix, AZ, 2010-2014
- Treated both domestic and farm animals for routine care, oral hygiene, acute care and chronic conditions.
Sales Associate, Barnard Corporation, Salt Lake City, UT, 2006-2008
- Assisted customers both on the sales floor and as a cashier.
- Named Sales Associate of the Month, June, 2008.
Customer Service Representative, Best Media, San Jose, CA, 2007-2008
- Filled customer orders with fast-paced attention to detail.
- Answered customer questions in order to ensure satisfaction.
High School Teacher, Little Rock, AR, 2011-Present
- Teach honors English to high school students using personalized curriculum aimed at optimal retention.
- It can be helpful to include coursework if you didn’t complete your degree, or if you completed coursework relevant to the job but not to the degree you earned.
- Don’t include a high school diploma unless it is your highest level of education. Otherwise, a high school diploma is implied and takes up unnecessary space.
- List your most recent education first and work your way backward, including all post-secondary education.
- List the most relevant skills first.
- Use measurable terms when possible, such as 100 WPM.
- Include personality traits and skills that are common for the position to boost your search engine optimization.
This example of a skills section for a Regional Marketing Director can help you build your own:
- Proficient in Oracle databases
- Working knowledge of Spanish to help Spanish-speaking clients
- Leadership training
- Strong work ethic and commitment to exceptional service
Writing Your Scholarship and Awards Section
The scholarship and awards section can really help you stand out from other applicants, especially those with similar backgrounds. Employers look to hire workers who go the extra mile and work diligently to achieve success, and the information in this section of the traditional CV template can really show that off. Feel free to include distinctions you’ve gained at work, scholarships for any education level, and awards relevant to your work ethic. Providing a short description of the award can help to place it in context. You should never be shy about your accomplishments in this section. The distinctions you’ve earned can be what lands you the interview above other candidates, and your ability to promote yourself can pay off exponentially by furthering your success.
2015. Named “Top Sales Associate” at Competitive Solutions for bringing in the largest yearly commission.
2012. Received “Young Inventors Scholarship” from Bright Future Enterprises for undergraduate education.
Writing Your Hobbies and Interests Section
Including hobbies and interests is optional on a CV, but the information can help you catch the hiring manager’s attention. This information gives the reader an inside look into your personality outside of work. It can also help strengthen your work-related skills, especially if your hobbies coincide with your career pursuits. CVs can contain personal information like marital status and religion, which makes including hobbies and interests easier for some applicants. Our traditional CV template provides space for this section, so it’s easy to include it in your own CV.
- List courses you’ve taken for fun, such as woodworking, coding or animal husbandry.
- Any hobbies or interests that place you in a leadership position are especially helpful for a CV, as they further demonstrate your work ethic and personality.
- Sports, clubs, and volunteer work are all relevant activities to include in this section.
Check out this example hobbies listing to guide writing your own:
Coach children’s soccer team on weekends. Mentor students in creative writing at local afterschool program. Moderator of online Facebook group for pets with special needs.
Education and Training
In this section of the traditional CV template, input your education and training to help demonstrate your qualifications. Include any awards, academic achievements or relevant test scores. Advanced education shows a hiring manager that you can see a program through to completion and have the mental capacity to succeed. Even if you didn’t finish an educational program, your interest in pursuing additional education can look favorable, especially when the education isn’t needed for the position.
Here are some examples of what to include in this section:
Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Hartford College, Hartford, CN, 2008
Associate of Arts in English, Brewster College, Springfield, MI, 2010
Writing Your Skills Section
Listing relevant skills helps hiring managers envision your capabilities for the position. They provide a quick overview of your characteristics and capabilities, and when listed as bullet points, they are easy for the hiring manager to read. Our traditional CV template provides space for inputting your skills, which is often a crucial component of a well-written CV.