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Top Tips for a UK CV

Did you know that most graduate recruiters and placement providers advertise their opportunities in September and October for start dates the following summer? But I have only just started the year, or arrived in the UK, I hear you cry!

It is important that you understand the recruitment cycle in the UK early on, and what employers are looking for when hiring, to give yourself the best possible chance of success. Our blog will focus on what you need to know when creating a CV and getting noticed on LinkedIn.


CV stands for Curriculum Vitae, which in Latin translates to ‘course of life’. A CV is a document that you can use to showcase how your skills and experience match what an employer is recruiting for. CV’s are tailored to every role that you apply for. You must make sure that you evidence to an employer why you meet the job criteria as this will help you stand out.

Your UK CV will vary depending on your skills and experience, however you should:

  • Include your name, address and contact details including your email address and UK phone number. You could include a link to your LinkedIn profile for employers to find out more about you.
  • Information about your skills, evidencing these. Including details of additional skills including languages or professional courses can help to make your CV stand out.
  • Your education and work experience, detailing any projects or dissertations that are relevant to the job.
  • UK employers appreciate an interests section where you describe what you like to do in your spare time. Just make sure that these are professional.

“You must make sure that you evidence to an employer why you meet the job criteria as this will help you stand out”.

You should not include the following:

  • Personal information about you including your marital status, date of birth, fathers name, ethnic background, religion or anything similar. This is because, in the UK, we have a Law called the Equality Act 2010. This protects against any form of discrimination in the recruitment process based of 9 ‘protected characteristics’. For more information, you can click here.
  • A photo should not be used on your CV. This relates to the above point.
  • Any information about why you left your previous job. This is not necessary information for the CV. Although employers might ask this question at some point in the recruitment process.

How to Get Started

You can read our full blog on this topic here – UK CVs for International Students – Midlands International Group

Your careers services are available to support you with creating a winning CV, so remember to book 1-1 appointments with relevant members of their teams.

At the University of Nottingham, students can book onto a workshop to find out how to produce an effective CV and cover letter or book a one to one careers consultation for a personalised CV review.  Further information and advice on CVs can be found on the Careers and Employability Service webpage

The University of Derby provides access to CV360, a CV checking software that can point you in the right direction for what to include on your CV.

Keele University offers all students (and for 3 years after graduation) access to CV360 as well as other online resources available through Keele Careers Online.  Once you have run  your CV through CV360 you can book a one to one appointment with a Careers Consultant for further support.  Workshops are also offered throughout the year. 

At Coventry University, you can log on to Talent Connect ( to book an appointment with the Talent Team. You can also have a go at completing our CV Pathway for bitesize information on how to build your CV.

You can also make use of online resources including Prospects and Target Jobs which have reliable information that you can use.