You’ve spent the last few years studying the past, but now you’ve graduated it’s time to look to the future.
If you want to make the most of your history degree, you need to know how to show it off on your CV.
So check out our history graduate CV example below, along with our expert advice on how to make this stand out on any application.
History Graduate CV example
This CV example demonstrates the type of info you should be including within your History Graduate CV, as well as how to format and layout the content in a way which looks professional and is easy for time-strapped recruiters to read.
This is the look and feel you should be aiming for, so remember to refer back to it throughout your CV writing process.
History Graduate CV layout and format
Your CV is the first impression you’ll make on anybody who reads it.
A disorganised, cluttered and barely-readable CV could seriously decrease your chances of landing interviews, so it’s essential to make sure yours is slick, professional and easy to navigate.
You can do this by using a clear structure and formatting your content with some savvy formatting techniques – check them out below:
Tips for formatting your History Graduate CV
- Length: Recruiters will be immediately put off by lengthy CVs – with hundreds of applications to read through, they simply don’t have the time! Grabbing their attention with a short, snappy and highly relevant CV is far more likely to lead to success. Aim for two sides of A4 or less.
- Readability: Help out time-strapped recruiters by formatting your CV for easy reading. Using lots of bullet points and lists will help them to skim through your info, while clearly formatted headings will allow them to navigate towards the content which is most useful to them.
- Design: While it’s okay to add your own spin to your CV, avoid overdoing the design. If you go for something elaborate, you might end up frustrating recruiters who, above anything, value simplicity and clarity.
- Photos: Don’t add profile photos to your CV unless you work in an industry or region which prefers to see them. Most employers in the UK will not need to see one.
Quick tip: Creating a professional CV style can be difficult and time-consuming when using Microsoft Word or Google Docs. To create a winning CV quickly, try our partner’s CV Builder and use one of their eye-catching professional CV templates.
When writing your CV, break up the content into the following key sections, to ensure it can be easily digested by busy recruiters and hiring managers:
- Contact details – Always list these at the very top of your CV – you don’t want them to be missed!
- Profile – An introductory paragraph, intended to grab recruiters attention and summarise your offering.
- Work experience / career history – Working from your current role and working backwards, list your relevant work experience.
- Education – Create a snappy summary of your education and qualifications.
- Interest and hobbies – An optional section to document any hobbies that demonstrate transferable skills.
Now you understand the basic layout of a CV, here’s what you should include in each section of yours.
Start off your CV with a basic list of your contact details.
Here’s what you should include:
- Mobile number
- Email address – It’s often helpful to make a new email address, specifically for your job applications.
- Location – Share your town or city; there’s no need for a full address.
- LinkedIn profile or portfolio URL – Make sure the information on them is coherent with your CV, and that they’re up-to-date
Quick tip: Delete excessive details, such as your date of birth or marital status. Recruiters don’t need to know this much about you, so it’s best to save the space for your other CV sections.
History Graduate CV Profile
Recruiters and hiring managers are busy, so it’s essential to catch their attention from the get-go.
A strong introductory profile (or personal statement, for junior candidates) at the top of the CV is the first thing they’ll read, so it’s a great chance to make an impression.
It should be a short but punchy summary of your key skills, relevant experience and accomplishments.
Ultimately, it should explain why you’re a great fit for the role you’re applying for and inspire recruiters to read the rest of your CV.
CV profile writing tips:
- Make it short and sharp: It might be tempting to submit a page-long CV profile, but recruiters won’t have the time to read it. To ensure every word gets read, it’s best to include high-level information only; sticking to a length of 3-5 lines.
- Tailor it: Not tailoring your profile (and the rest of your CV) to the role you’re applying for, is the worst CV mistake you could make. Before setting pen to paper, look over the job ad and make a note of the skills and experience required. Then, incorporate your findings throughout.
- Don’t add an objective: Career goals and objectives are best suited to your cover letter, so don’t waste space with them in your CV profile.
- Avoid generic phrases: If there’s one thing that’ll annoy a recruiter, it’s a clichè-packed CV. Focus on showcasing your hard skills, experience and the results you’ve gained in previous roles, which will impress recruiters far more.
Example CV profile for History Graduate
What to include in your History Graduate CV profile?
- Experience overview: To give employers an idea of your capabilities, show them your track record by giving an overview of the types of companies you have worked for in the past and the roles you have carried out for previous employers – but keep it high level and save the details for your experience section.
- Targeted skills: Make your most relevant History Graduate key skills clear in your profile. These should be tailored to the specific role you’re applying for – so make sure to check the job description first, and aim to match their requirements as closely as you can.
- Key qualifications: If the jobs you are applying to require candidates to have certain qualifications, then you must add them in your profile to ensure they are seen by hiring managers.
Quick tip: If you are finding it difficult to write an attention-grabbing CV profile, choose from hundreds of pre-written profiles across all industries, and add one to your CV with one click in our partner’s CV Builder. All profiles are written by recruitment experts and easily tailored to suit your unique skillset.
Core skills section
In addition to your CV profile, your core skills section provides an easily digestible snapshot of your skills – perfect for grabbing the attention of busy hiring managers.
As History Graduate jobs might receive a huge pile of applications, this is a great way to stand out and show off your suitability for the role.
It should be made up of 2-3 columns of bullet points and be made up of skills that are highly relevant to the jobs you are targeting.
Important skills for your History Graduate CV
Research and analysis – Researching and analysing historical data using a range of sources and analytical methods, such as archives, primary sources, and secondary sources.
Critical thinking – Critically evaluating and interpreting historical events, ideas, and theories, and assessing their significance and impact.
Academic writing – Communicating effectively in written form, such as writing essays, reports, and dissertations, and presenting complex historical arguments in a clear and concise manner.
Stakeholder communication – Communicating effectively with a range of stakeholders, such as colleagues, clients, and members of the public, and to present historical research and findings in a clear and accessible manner.
IT proficiency – Using a range of IT tools and software, such as databases, spreadsheets, and digital archives, to manage and analyse historical data.
Interdisciplinary knowledge – Integrating knowledge and methods from other disciplines, such as anthropology, archaeology, and sociology, to enrich and contextualise historical research.
Language proficiency – Reading and interpreting historical documents and sources in different languages and communicating effectively with colleagues and stakeholders from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
Quick tip: Our partner’s CV Builder has thousands of in-demand skills for all industries and professions, that can be added to your CV in seconds – This will save you time and ensure you get noticed by recruiters.
Work experience section
By this point, employers will be keen to know more detail about you career history.
Starting with your most recent role and working backwards, create a snappy list of any relevant roles you’ve held.
This could be freelance, voluntary, part-time or temporary jobs too. Anything that’s relevant to your target role is well-worth listing!
Structuring each job
The structure of your work experience section can seriously affect its impact.
This is generally the biggest section of a CV, and with no thought to structure, it can look bulky and important information can get lost.
Use my 3-step structure below to allow for easy navigation, so employers can find what they are looking for:
Firstly, give the reader some context by creating a punchy summary of the job as a whole.
You should mention what the purpose or goal of your role was, what team you were part of and who you reported to.
Next, write up a punchy list of your daily duties and responsibilities, using bullet points.
Wherever you can, point out how you put your hard skills and knowledge to use – especially skills which are applicable to your target role.
Round up each role by listing 1-3 key achievements, accomplishments or results.
Wherever possible, quantify them using hard facts and figures, as this really helps to prove your value.
Sample job description for History Graduate CV
Help ensure the legacy of captured, recorded, and preserved historical materials, for a university that provides outstanding services and resources to support world-class research and education, while connecting the world with UCL through programming and engagement activities.
- Gather and examine the authenticity of historical data from sources, such as archives, court records, diaries, news files, and photographs, books, and periodicals.
- Trace historical development in social, cultural, political, and diplomatic aspects.
- Conduct theoretical research as a basis for the identification, conservation, and reconstruction of historic places, materials, and time periods.
- Acquire skills necessary to interview people about historical events.
Quick tip: Create impressive job descriptions easily in our partner’s CV Builder by adding pre-written job phrases for every industry and career stage.
Education and qualifications
Although there should be mentions of your highest and most relevant qualifications earlier on in your CV, save your exhaustive list of qualifications for the bottom.
If you’re an experienced candidate, simply include the qualifications that are highly relevant to History Graduate roles.
However, less experienced candidates can provide a more thorough list of qualifications, including A-Levels and GCSEs.
You can also dedicate more space to your degree, discussing relevant exams, assignments and modules in more detail, if your target employers consider them to be important.
Hobbies and interests
This section is entirely optional, so you’ll have to use your own judgement to figure out if it’s worth including.
If your hobbies and interests could make you appear more suitable for your dream job, then they are definitely worth adding.
Interests which are related to the industry, or hobbies like sports teams or volunteering, which display valuable transferable skills might be worth including.
An interview-winning CV for a History Graduate role, needs to be both visually pleasing and packed with targeted content.
Whilst it needs to detail your experience, accomplishments and relevant skills, it also needs to be as clear and easy to read as possible.
Remember to research the role and review the job ad before applying, so you’re able to match yourself up to the requirements.
If you follow these guidelines and keep motivated in your job search, you should land an interview in no time.
Best of luck with your next application!