Professional CV Template and Writing Guidelines

When applying for a job, you have a single chance to make a memorable first impression. This professional CV template is a valuable resource that demonstrates how to organize and articulate compelling content. With a straightforward and eye-catching document, as shown in the sample, you can confidently highlight your most impressive skills and accomplishments. Use this comprehensive writing guide and the suggested tips as a guideline to help you articulate your own captivating CV and make the most of your next application.

Sections to Include in Your
Professional CV Template

The professional CV template will take you step by step through this critical document to ensure you don’t overlook any valuable components. As you mirror these best practices in your own CV, you can create content that is both informative and memorable.

  • Contact and Personal Information

    From the start of your professional CV, it is critical to highlight your personal contact information in a way that is easily found and readily noticed. Important information like your name and phone number should appear at the top along with your physical address, email address, and website address if you have one. You may also consider linking your professional portfolio to give a firsthand demonstration of your skills. Oftentimes the job description or basic information about the company can give you an idea of what personal data to include. Referencing this type of content can help you avoid the oversight of missing details or the misstep of sharing too much. This professional CV template demonstrates a useful layout to help you effectively organize this information in terms of importance and interest to your readers.

  • Professional Summary

    The professional summary is your primary chance to describe why you are the ultimate fit for the position you are applying for. The professional CV template establishes how this can be done by using compelling action verbs to make an impressive statement. A notable best practice is to incorporate language found in the job description when describing your skills and why you are a perfect fit.

    As you begin writing your professional summary, avoid filling it with irrelevant information. Rather, maintain a focused approach and keep your content brief, descriptive, and persuasive.

    Here are a couple shining examples of effective professional summaries:

    Example for a Customer Service Representative:

    I have spent the past 10 years working in various customer service positions, where I have excelled in dealing with customer complaints and resolution. My approach incorporates interpersonal communication and active listening to create viable solutions. I have completed countless customer service trainings that allowed me to master valuable skills like listening, negotiating, and mediating. My success has enabled me to better win consumer satisfaction, secure return business, and gain loyal customers.

    Example for a Sales Manager:

    Highly motivated sales professional with over 20 years of experience in educating consumers. I have an insatiable desire to learn everything about a product and to confidently and informatively share that data with interested buyers. My consistent track record of exceeding quotas is the result of my understanding the market, what consumers want to hear, and how to incorporate honest sales tactics to gain customers. I am currently seeking opportunities to continue to refine my skills as a sales leader.

  • Writing Your Work Experience Section

    The work experience section is the area where you get to talk about your work history, as well as the responsibilities you undertook in each position you have held. The example provided in the professional CV template is an excellent reference for formatting your work experience to highlight your career accomplishments.

    • Utilize numbers in your work experience section. By quantifying things, you can provide hiring professionals with a visual of the impact of your contributions. For example, instead of saying that you “managed a sales team,” state that you “managed a team of 15 sales associates.”
    • Fill your work experience with action verbs that concisely denote the steps you took to accomplish a task. For example, rather than write that you “provided administrative support,” specifically say that you “filed documents, scheduled meetings, and arranged logistics.”
    • Select desirable keywords from the job description and distribute them throughout your work experience to demonstrate your working knowledge of required skills and abilities.

      Here are some examples that show how this is done – keep in mind you’ll want to actually include at least 4 to 6 bullets per previous position:

      Janitor, Rockwell School District, Bristol. 2010-2016.

    • Maintained two facilities and performed routine upkeep and needed repairs. Reduced repair expenditures by 10% by executing quality maintenance in a timely manner.

      Loss Prevention Specialist, Reeds, Birmingham. 2014-2016.

    • Greeted customers and monitored consumer activity to discourage theft. Decreased merchandise loss from 10% to 5% through vigilant awareness and regular customer interaction.

      Sales Manager, Garbette Inc., Manchester. 2008-2015.

    • Managed a team of 12 sales professionals and led weekly trainings where quotas were forecasted and assigned. Regularly exceeded quotas by upwards of 25% in both personal and team requirements.

      Accountant, Foster & Associates, Plymouth. 2002-2007.

    • Calculated financial statements and maintained detailed ledgers for discussion in quarterly meetings. Oversaw two interns each year from 2005-2007.
  • Education and Training

    Sharing your educational background and specific training accomplishments is always a good idea. However, it is especially important when the position you are applying for requires certain degrees or specialized certifications. The professional CV template is an example of the kind of educational information you can share in your description. Consider these suggestions before you begin:

    • Share educational scholarships or recognitions you have received.
    • Include industry-specific certifications or trainings you have completed.
    • List your educational history beginning with the highest level at the top.

    Here are a couple of examples for reference:

    Masters in Accounting, Liberty University. Graduated with Honors.

    Business Management Certification, Business Training.

  • Writing Your Skills Section

    You may notice that the professional CV template includes a designated section for listing skills. This portion is an opportunity for you to highlight your most prized skills and to showcase them in a way that is tailored to the job you are applying for. You want your prospective employer to be able to tell right away that you are the person they are looking for. Follow these best practices for optimal results:

    • Briefly denote how you attained a certain skill or what you have done to refine it.
    • Focus on specifics rather than general skills that are natural characteristics.
    • Talk about languages you speak and proficiency.

      Here is an example of the types of skills you may include in a skills section for an Operations Manager:

      • Effective communication and listening skills.
      • Proficient in tracking and measuring organizational growth.
      • Expert at projecting sales and analyzing budgets for optimal financial performance.
  • Writing Your Scholarships and Awards Section

    Sharing scholarships and awards you have won is an excellent way to demonstrate your dependability, expertise, and integrity in your industry or field of study. In your professional CV template, you have the chance to list these types of awards to give your potential employer yet another reason to want to hire you. Often, talking a bit about the steps you had to take to achieve such accomplishments and the kind of talent you were up against is an excellent way to add depth to your description and make your content that much more compelling.

    Here are a couple of examples of information you could include:

    2012: Awarded the Nightingale Award for outstanding patient care and inspirational leadership in the health care industry.

    2014: Presented with the Regional Sales Master Award for having the highest numbers in the Northwest Region. One of four region winners out of 15,000 participants nationwide.

  • Writing Your Hobbies and Interests Section

    While the professional CV template includes a section for your hobbies and interests, it certainly isn’t required. However, sharing some of your extracurricular interests is an excellent way to add personality and character to your CV. Additionally, you may never know when hiring managers will find a similarity which could pique their interest in you. The kind of information you could include ranges from certain clubs or associations you are a part of, to leisure activities you enjoy or teach. Here are some ideas of the type of content you can include:

    • Leadership experience in local clubs, community settings, and volunteer work.
    • Favorite sports, books, musicians, or historical figures that could open conversations at the start of an interview.
    • Accomplishments in your online social space like blogs or podcasts.

    Here is an example of what this section may look like:

    2013-current: On the educational board of directors at Wallberg School District. Maintain an informational blog about home improvements and DIY projects. Enjoy coaching intramural sports for the local YMCA. Passionate about barbeque and golf.

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