When writing your CV or résumé, it’s always a good idea to look at examples to see what other people are doing. We’ve compiled 20 of the best examples to help you craft a job-winning document.
In fact, we’ve compiled an all-inclusive list of the best CV examples across a wide variety of professions and career situations to guide and inspire you when putting together your very own CV.
Whether you’re applying for an executive role, changing careers or transitioning from the military to a civilian job, we’ve got you covered.
A traditional CV is the safest route to take when applying for a job. This style of CV follows a straightforward and simple format, thus avoiding complicated layouts and vivid colour palettes. However, a considerable drawback to this is that it will look identical to dozens of other CVs. The content itself, then, needs to be unique and grab recruiters’ attention.
As you can see from this example, a traditional CV follows a simple chronological order, starting from the most recent experience to the oldest and then continues with an education and a skills section. It makes effective use of bullet points, ensuring the entire CV is easily scannable and, as a result, giving recruiters an in-depth impression of the candidate’s skills and abilities.
As a high school student, gaining some work experience is a great idea. You might wonder, however, what do you put in a CV if you’re a teenager with limited work experience? Lots of things! The key here is to utilise what you have and highlight your skills via extracurriculars, high school courses, achievements and volunteer work.
Take a look at the following example. It neatly encompasses these elements, which are also separated in concise and orderly segments. Detailing the main responsibilities under each entry is also a nice touch, as the jobseeker provides potential employers with a better idea of the main skills and abilities they bring to the table.
3. Career break
There are many ways to deal with employment gaps on your CV, but there’s no better way than to be completely open and honest about it. Indeed, ignoring the elephant in the room can only do more harm than good – remember, people have wild imaginations, and recruiters might assume the worst about you if they spot an employment gap you didn’t address.
In the CV example below, the jobseeker lists her employment gap among her work history, where she briefly explains the reason for her time off (looking after her baby daughter). She then expertly shifts the focus to what she has done during that time, including volunteering and setting up an online business.
4. Career changer
If you’re changing careers, you likely don’t have any relevant experience in your target role and industry – at least not on first impression. Indeed, if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that the skills and experience you’ve gained along the way might be transferrable to your target career.
Consider this CV. Its owner Cora works in sales but is now looking to break into copywriting, and she’s done a great job in spinning her CV and making it relevant to her target job. Take note of the bullet: ‘Created content for and presented a pitch deck that secured a $15M deal’ – this was previously: ‘Prepare and execute presentations/demos and provide solutions to customer inquiries’.
You’ll need to adopt a combination (or hybrid) CV format to achieve this, as wonderfully demonstrated in the following example. The jobseeker here provides an overview of their career in a well-written summary, followed by a dedicated achievements section and a list of core competencies, before detailing their executive experience.
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If you’re applying for a job in academia, whether an educational or research position, you’ll need to abandon the ‘normal’ CV and instead opt for an academic CV.
Unlike non-academic CVs, academic CVs place emphasis on education, teaching experience, research work and publications, rather than on skills and work experience. They’re generally far more comprehensive, too, often exceeding four A4 pages.
Below is a great example of an academic CV, which presents all the important information in a clear and logical manner.
Internship programmes are often quite competitive, which is why a generic CV won’t make the cut. It’s important, then, to tailor your CV to the programme you’re applying for and include information that will emphasise your suitability for the particular role.
First, start with key skills. This should be followed by a detailed work experience section that summarises previous projects, competitions and job roles related to the internship you have your eyes on. As for your education, it’s important to list your qualifications in reverse chronological order and include a predicted grade for your degree subject.
Take a look at the following CV. Here, the candidate emphasises his skills and previous marketing projects, creating a résumé that is perfectly tailored to a specific marketing internship.
If you’re in the early stages of your career, a strong entry-level CV will grant you access to your first professional role. A graduate CV usually includes a brief profile section, where you can list your achievements and highlight your career objective. This is followed by a rundown of your educational background, which typically encompasses key details about your degree, including relevant modules, grades and other achievements.
For reference, take a look at the résumé example below, which is based on one of our many professionally handcrafted CV templates. The main body consists of two well- balanced sections that place equal emphasis on the candidate’s education and work experience, before proceeding to other things such as language proficiency, skills and references.
Read more: How to Write a Graduate CV
9. Sales manager
As a sales manager, your CV will have to lay out your most notable skills and experience if you want to grab the hiring manager’s attention from the get-go. The way to go about this is to start with an impressive résumé summary that includes details about relevant experience and achievements.
As for the rest, follow a reverse chronological order, starting from your latest job role. It’s important to include bullet points below each position to showcase your responsibilities and accomplishments. Ideally, these will also be tailored to the prospective job’s own requirements.
The below example is a perfect illustration of a sales manager CV, which provides the employer with essential information regarding the jobseeker’s experience in past roles.
10. Military to civilian transition
If you’ve decided to leave the military and enter the civilian job market, you might find writing a CV a little daunting. The trick, though, lies in knowing how to translate your military experience for civilian recruiters and hiring managers. Indeed, while someone in the military industry most likely knows that an E6 is a staff sergeant, it will leave your average Joe scratching their head in confusion.
Here’s a great example of military-to-civilian CV. Here, the jobseeker avoids using military-specific language and instead opts for everyday language that everyone can understand.
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Receptionist positions can be quite competitive, so it’s essential to distinguish your strengths in your CV. For example, if you specialise in a specific field, it’s crucial to emphasise this and mention any industry-specific skills.
A simple and informative structure will put your most recent experience upfront, making it more likely for your résumé to make a lasting impression. Using your résumé objective to expand on your skills and highlight key experiences will also boost your application.
Take Maggie Place’s CV for example – her introduction at the top of the page is informative and focuses on promoting her abilities, thus grabbing the reader’s attention from the start!
12. Customer service
If you’re looking for a job in the customer service sector, you need to model your CV specifically to that role. Providing a list of professional skills is a good idea, but providing evidence that will back up your claims is an even better one. If you want to go the extra mile, adding quantifiable achievements will be a great touch.
Consider the CV sample below. The jobseeker here not only provides detailed descriptions of previous duties under each role but also includes statistics that emphasise her achievements.
13. Civil engineer
Civil engineering CVs are often on the more conservative side of things. Hiring managers will be looking for a detailed and straightforward format that can provide them with the most essential information about your professional and educational background.
Here’s a good example of a civil engineering CV. While maintaining a clean look, the jobseeker provides concise points about previous positions and lists key skills and attributes. He also includes relevant modules, projects and assignments, which enhance his profile, making him a more attractive candidate.
As a teacher, your CV needs to focus on your teaching experience, qualifications and educational background. Including a bulleted list under previous roles will be vital to clearly showcase responsibilities and transferable skills. It’s also important to include the month and year of the start and end date for every entry in your teaching experience section.
In this CV sample, the jobseeker provides a detailed experience section that emphasises her key duties. She also utilises her career summary to elaborate on information that isn’t mentioned in the main body of the CV – a smart approach to enhance her candidate profile further.
An acting CV is very different than other ‘normal’ CVs. Indeed, unlike a CV for a receptionist position, for example, an acting CV should focus less on your professional and educational background and more on your training and skills.
It should also include personal information like your hair colour, height and weight, as well as a professional headshot – things you wouldn’t normally include in a professional CV. They are, however, essential in an acting CV, as they help producers and casting directors determine whether you fit the physical requirements of the role you’re applying for.
Check out the sample CV below. The actress here not only includes her portrait photo and her height and other physical attributes, but she also provides a rundown of her recent performance experience, along with special skills that employers might find useful.
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16. Graphic designer
As a graphic designer, your CV will serve two purposes: one, to document your qualifications and professional experience and, two, to demonstrate your design skills. Indeed, your CV (and accompanying portfolio) is your opportunity to shine and show potential employers what you can do.
Take a look at Errol Veloso’s CV – it’s, quite simply, living proof of his skills. Not only does it clearly showcase his education and employment history, but it also ever so superbly demonstrates his creative style, as well as his typographic, layout and illustrational skills.
See also: How to Structure Your CV
17. IT manager
To wow recruiters with your IT résumé, it’s important to put a spotlight on previous experience and professional skills. It’s also necessary to list the different software you’re proficient in.
In the particular example below, the jobseeker has created an informative CV that demonstrates an extensive experience section, a detailed educational background, and a thorough list of skills and software knowledge. Overall, the résumé considers the information that is necessary to match the position’s requirements.
If you want your nursing CV to be in top form, tailor its contents to the requirements of the specific position. Start by utilising your professional summary to talk about your area of speciality, previous experiences and crucial certificates and qualifications. On a side note: feel free to use medical jargon, as it’s widely accepted by medical recruiters.
Depending on whether you’re a qualified or registered nurse, the contents of your CV will vary. However, in both cases, it’s important to follow a reverse chronological order when listing your qualifications and work experience.
Have a look at the following sample for reference.
There are a few requirements that your pharmacist CV should meet. To begin with, ensure that it focuses on the field you specialise in. You can do this by mentioning your area of focus under previous positions and stating your specialisation in your professional summary.
On another note, you should avoid including references in your CV. Meanwhile, mentioning the dispensing systems you are familiar with and including your pharmacy licence number will definitely boost your profile.
Gabriel Miller’s CV makes an excellent example for all these points, as he carefully embeds them in every relevant section.
International CVs are essentially the same as any other CV – they’re both used to showcase your skills, qualifications and experience – but instead of targeting local jobs, they’re written for an international job search. This means that, in addition to tailoring your CV to the specific job and company you’re applying for, you also need to tailor it to the unique requirements of the country in which you’re applying.
This can include things like adding a photo of yourself if you’re applying for a job in Germany, or listing personal details (like your date of birth, nationality and marital status) if you’re looking for jobs in the UAE. CV writing conventions vary from country to country, and sometimes region to region, so it’s best to carefully study – and understand – those conventions before you set out to write your CV.
Here’s a great example of an international CV:
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Tailoring your CV to the position and industry you want to enter is a smart move. It’s important to consider the different elements and content your CV should include in order to keep recruiters happy and, ultimately, land the job of your dreams!
Before you go, make sure to check out our CV & Résumés section for expert tips and advice on writing, formatting and designing your CV for job search success. And if you’re not too confident about your CV writing skills, don’t forget that our professional CV writers are just a click away, ready to do all the work for you!
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This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 6 September 2017. It was written in collaboration with Chris Leitch and Joanna Zambas.