So, are you looking to apply for a job overseas in a new English-speaking country when your native language is different?
You will need a well-written CV to prove to recruiters you’re suitable for jobs and it will also help you speculatively approach companies you want to work for.
Our example English CV and in-depth writing guide will help you develop a great CV and secure lots of interviews.
- English CV example
- Structuring and formatting your CV
- Writing your CV profile
- Detailing work experience
- Your education
- Skills required for your English CV
English CV example
This a good example of a English CV which contains all of the information that an employer would need to know, and presents it in a well- structured, easy-to-read manner.
Take some time to look at this CV and refer to it throughout the writing of your own CV for best results.
English CV structure & format
Your CV is the very first impression you’ll make on a potential employer.
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.
- Length: Whether you’ve got one year or three decades of experience, your CV should never be more than two sides of A4. Recruiters are busy people who’re often juggling numerous roles and tasks, so they don’t have time to read lengthy applications. If you’re a recent graduate or don’t have much industry experience, one side of A4 is fine.
- Readability: Columns, lists, bullet points, bold text and subtle colour can all help to aid the readability of your CV. Your overarching goal should be to make the content as easy to read and navigate as possible, whilst also aiming to make your key skills and achievements stand out.
- Design: Don’t waste time adding fancy designs to your CV. It generally adds no value to your application and may even end up distracting recruiters away from the important written content.
- Avoid photos: It’s tempting to add a profile photo or images to your CV, especially if you’re struggling to fill up the page – but it’s best avoided! They won’t add any value to your application and, as are not a requirement the UK, so recruiters do not expect it, or want to see it.
Structuring your CV
Divide your CV into the following major sections when writing it:
- Name and contact details – Head your CV with your name and contact details, to let the reader know who you are and how to contact you.
- CV profile – A brief paragraph which summarises your skills and experience and highlights why you’re a good match for the role.
- Core skills list – A snappy, bullet-pointed list of your most relevant skills.
- Work experience – A structured list of your work experience in reverse chronological order.
- Education – A summary of any relevant qualifications or professional training you’ve completed.
- Hobbies and interests – An optional section, which should only be used if your hobbies are relevant to the jobs you’re applying to.
Now I’ll guide you through exactly what you should include in each CV section.
CV Contact Details
Write your contact details in the top corner of your CV, so that they’re easy to find but don’t take up too much space.
You only need to list your basic details, such as:
- Mobile number
- Email address
- Location – Don’t list your full address. Your town or city, such as ‘Norwich’ or ‘Coventry’ is perfect.
- LinkedIn profile or portfolio URL – Remember to update these before listing them on an application.
English CV Profile
Recruiters and hiring managers are busy, so it’s essential to catch their attention from the get-go.
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.
Tips for creating an impactful CV profile:
- Keep it brief: Recruiters are busy, so to ensure your profile is actually read, it’s best to keep it short and snappy. 3-5 punchy lines makes for the perfect profile.
- Tailor it: Recruiters can spot a generic, mass-produced CV at a glance – and they certainly won’t be impressed! Before you write your profile (and CV as a whole), read through the job advert and make a list of any skills, knowledge and experience required. You should then incorporate your findings throughout your profile and the rest of your CV.
- Don’t add an objective: If you want to discuss your career objectives, save them for your cover letter, rather than wasting valuable CV profile space.
- Avoid cliches: 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.
What to include in your English CV profile?
- Summary of experience: Start with a brief summary of your relevant experience so far. How many years experience do you have? What type of companies have you worked for? What industries/sectors have you worked in? What are your specialisms?
- Relevant skills: Employers need to know what skills you can bring to their organisation, and ideally they want to see skills that match their job vacancy. So, research your target roles thoroughly and add the most important English skills to your profile.
- Essential 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 spelling and grammar are not a strong point of yours, make use of a writing assistant tool like Grammarly. It’ll help you avoid overlooking spelling mistakes and grammar errors and, best of all, is completely free!
Core skills section
Next, you should create a bullet pointed list of your core skills, formatted into 2-3 columns.
Here, you should focus on including the most important skills or knowledge listed in the job advertisement.
This will instantly prove that you’re an ideal candidate, even if a recruiter only has time to briefly scan your CV.
Work experience/Career history
By now, you’ll have hooked the reader’s attention and need to show them how you apply your skills and knowledge in the workplace, to benefit your employers.
So, starting with your most recent role and working backwards to your older roles, create a thorough summary of your career history to date.
If you’ve held several roles and are struggling for space, cut down the descriptions for your oldest jobs.
Structuring your roles
If you don’t pay attention to the structure of your career history section, it could quickly become bulky and overwhelming.
Get in recruiters’ good books by creating a pleasant reading experience, using the 3-step structure below:
Provide a brief overview of the job as a whole, such as what the overriding purpose of your job was and what type of company you worked for.
Utilising a specialist knowledge of products to boost profits, maximise customer experience and develop team members. Responsible for coordinating a team of 5, conducting staff appraisals and leading training courses.
Use bullet points to detail the key responsibilities of your role, highlighting hard skills, software and knowledge wherever you can.
Keep them short and sharp to make them easily digestible by readers.
- Managing and mentoring 5 Customer Assistants, ensuring high performance levels
- Leading store openings and closures and acting as one of three emergency call-outs for the store
- Conducting six-monthly and yearly appraisals, identifying strengths and opportunities for training
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.
- Reducing workplace accidents by 40% after 3 months, saving the company £2,000
- Streamlining stock replenishment orders, reducing store expenditure by £4,000 each year
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 English 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.
Interests and hobbies
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.
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Essential skills for your English CV
There is always demand for someone who can help bridge a language gap between different people, more so today than ever before. So, if you are applying for a job in a second language, there are lots of skills you’ll be able to show off. Remember though, your CV should also include essential skills that are tailored to the particular job you’re applying for.
Multi-tasking – Changing between tasks at any moment is important for any job and your ability to skip between languages also improves your ability to skip between tasks.
Decision making – Whether it’s responding to a customer in the right manner or deciding on whether to send an email or not, decision making is important for all jobs. Your multi-language skills will improve your ability to think analytically, so big this up on your CV.
Dedication – Every job takes this and it will be worth you proving to potential employees who may wrongly have reservations about English not being your first that you are willing to do whatever it takes.
Communication – Again, any job will mean you’ll need to be confident in communicating with various staff and stakeholders and lucky for your being bi-lingual, you already have skills to show off.
Creativity – When you learn a second language, you are opened to new ideas and ways of doing things – show
Writing your English CV
Once you’ve written your English CV, you should proofread it several times to ensure that there are no typos or grammatical errors.
With a tailored punchy profile that showcases your relevant experience and skills, paired with well-structured role descriptions, you’ll be able to impress employers and land interviews.
Good luck with your next job application!