CV Format Guidelines With Examples To Get You Noticed

CV Format Guidelines

Are you feeling indecisive about how to make a good CV? Congratulations! You have reached the right place on the web. Before we begin, I want to appreciate your approach to a job selection. You already know that a CV is essential. 

A good CV must have a proper structure and a complete piece of relevant information that should be presented to your recruiter to make you stand out in front of other candidates. 

So, how to create that well-formatted CV? Nowadays, automatic tracking systems tend to reject your CV if it doesn’t fit well with their criteria. Moreover, It is even more complicated if you are a fresher. Don’t worry! In this article, I will list out all the dos and don’ts of creating a professionally articulated CV. Let’s get started!

Be ostentatious and flaunt your curriculum vitae!

CV Layout – The Right Anatomy

We shall begin with giving the basic structure to the CV, like what exact sections will be there? And then, we will start with in-depth information. 

  • Basic contact details
  • CV Summary
  • Describe your previous job experience
  • Educational background
  • Key skills
  • Other optional sections

Yeah, but not accurately in the order mentioned above! We will discuss this in much more detail in the upcoming section. Stay tuned!

Beatrix Potter once mentioned, “The shorter and the plainer, the better.”

Be savvy and sail the ship of your career!

Yes, In That Order!

In the above section, I told you about the anatomy of the CV. But, in what order? It depends upon the situation. Yes, the CV order of a person likely to change their job is far different from the one who is a fresher. 

Stay tuned to learn and achieve!

The General one:

Mostly, you can use the following format to make the right start.

  • Basic contact details
  • CV Objective
  • Describe your previous job experience
  • Educational background
  • Key skills
  • Other optional sections

The Newbie:

Freshers having no prior work proficiency or experience can find themselves in a dilemma, and internships cannot get counted as experience. The idea is to highlight what you have successfully achieved.

Put your education above the experience, or you can choose to remove the work experience section. Yes, in this way, you can divert the attention of the recruiters to what you have instead of allowing them to find the loopholes. 

  1. Contact Information
  2. CV Objective
  3. Educational Background
  4. Key Skills
  5. Optional Sections 

         5.1 Work Experience / Internships

         5.2 Extracurricular Activities

         5.3 Projects

 Don’t feel behind anyone, even if you are fresher. Be confident and believe in your skills; you are just waiting for the brilliant opportunity.

For Job Switchers:

Here, you need to play smart. Whatever the reason, explain it wisely, and a CV is an initial step in the procedure. Showcasing your critical assets hold precedence over everything else. 

Organize your CV in the following manner:

  • Contact Information
  • CV Objective
  • Key Skills Summary
  • Previous Experience
  • Optional Sections

Writing the Curriculum Vitae – Strategize and Execute

Still, feeling uncertain? No worries! Find your query resolved below! We have a set of a few commonly asked and frequently added questions.

Should I rely on the CV template?

Why not? It is the technological era, and if you are keen on moving ahead with your career, you can try out the new templates. But, please make sure that you are going in the right direction. Select quality over anything! Don’t opt for anything on the internet.

It will save your time, and you will get a professionally formatted CV in only a few minutes. Proceed with filling up the details. One more value-added advantage of the CV templates is that it allows customization. You can add sections and arrange them as per your accordance. 

Is it mandatory to include my hobbies and interest?

No, it is not mandatory. But, I would suggest adding them. Flaunting your fundamental interests and hobbies will make your impression as a creative person who loves to do other things, even professionally. On the other hand, it depends. You can hit or miss a shot by rightly mentioning it in a good or bad way. Your hiring managers may want to know your personal self too, and this can be the right action to describe yourself by establishing a good rapport with your manager. 

We would recommend,

  1. Include your hobbies and interests only if you feel that they will add some real value to your CV.
  2. If your CV doesn’t have space, it’s better to skip this section and add something more integral. Overflowing of words creates a mess and reduces your chances of selection.

Which is the suitable CV format?

There are two significant kinds of CV formats, 

  1. A reverse chronological CV: It primarily focuses on your educational background and work history. 
  • The layout is traditional and professional.
  • A good option for experienced professionals
  • Easy to scrutinize
  1. Skill-based CV: It fundamentally emphasizes the candidates’ skills.
  • Curated with a non-conventional and creative approach.
  • A suitable choice for career changers and freshers
  • Emphasize on skills

I recommend you go with the reverse chronological CV format as it offers everyone a universal and general approach. 

Also, it is a popular one and is preferred by most recruiters. Another value-added advantage is that it is friendly to the Applicant Tracking System or ATS, increasing the chances of your CV screening.

What To Add in Each Section?

When you are writing the different sections, it may keep you in a quandary to try to find out the appropriate way of filling up the details. 

There is contact information to mention, but precisely what pieces of information should go in the structure? 

I will help you out! Let’s get underway!

1. Contact Details

This is the initial section of your CV. It will be on the very top of your document and can make a good impact. Begin accurately and go with the flow! 

You must add the following fragments;

  • Your Name
  • Job Position
  • Your Email Address
  • Location
  • Contact Number
  • Your Website (If any)
  • Social Accounts (Optional)

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Write your full name
  • Use your professional email address instead of your current work email address
  • Don’t add Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook. Instead, try adding LinkedIn and Twitter. It will create a long-lasting impression on your recruiters. 

A pro tip: Always update your LinkedIn page with work-related thoughts to engage in the community. 


Mary jane

Content Strategist

[email protected]

New Jersey


2. CV Objective

It gets placed just under the contact information and is the very first thing to read about you. Here, you are introducing yourself in precise and minimal words. 

Unfortunately, recruiters often stop there if this section is poorly written and segmented.

Make a splash!

In this tranche of your CV, you need to summarize your goals, skills, work experience, and education. Play up with your writing skills and make a clear write-up. 

Use the following format to dazzle your recruiters,

[A summary statement] + [Preferred role] + [Educational details] + [Skills]

Dos and Don’ts

  • Explain one point in only one sentence.
  • Limit your count up to 60-90 words.
  • Add the impressive bits only. Don’t take it as an opportunity to explain everything. 


An MBA fresher specializing in sales and marketing, knowledge, and three years of hands-on experience in developing strategies and implementing online sales plans seeks the job role of online sales and marketing manager in your reputed organization to execute the industry’s best practices for the marketing. 


Result-oriented professional having a deep understanding of the latest and technical aspects of writing wishes to work as a content developer in the ABC Corporation to efficiently handle the different types of content developing responsibilities to upscale the profit. 

3. Work Experience

This section is entirely dedicated to outlining the previous job experiences in your career. You can catch this opportunity to add the other relevant experiences associated with your role. 

So, what should you include?

Refer to the following format;

  • Job Title
  • Company Name
  • Date
  • Location
  • KRAs and Rewards

Now you know the format but still might be stuck with the question, “How much work experience should I mention?”

The answer to this question is hidden in case-dependent scenarios. Let’s go through them one-by-one;

If you’re a senior professional, you must mention your exact years of experience and the associated duties and responsibilities. You need to grab the confident tone. 

If you’re a mid-level professional, you may not have years of experience, so you must bridge the gap with a quality job description. Add every job role you’ve performed. 

If you’re a fresher: Don’t worry! It’s not a drawback at all, even if you don’t have heavy years of working years to write. Add internships, freelance work, part-time jobs, etc., every job that allows you to learn and gain experience.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Use bullets to describe 
  • Segregate the information precisely
  • Mention metrics and data 
  • Don’t write paragraphs

A pro tip: Don’t generalize but be specific

The wrong way: Added profits to the company

The right way: Upscaled the project sales from 17 to 45%.


Suppose you’re an accountant, so how shall you describe your work experience?

Senior Accountant | November 2019 – Present 

  • Retained $600 by resolving a reporting error related to tax
  • Ensured compliances
  • Curated, formatted, and analyzed the financial reports and data
  • Gained and maintained customer confidence 
  • Migrated balance sheets from one to another workstation
  • Maintained the confidentiality of financial reports

4. Educational Background

Consider this part as a chance to tell the recruiters about all the formal and informal pieces of education you have received till now. 

What is the suitable format?

  • Degree type
  • University 
  • Duration

So, this is the portion to ace your screening procedure in case you are not an experienced professional. To impress, you can add the following details,

  • GPA
  • Rewards
  • Achievements
  • Certifications

Dos and Don’ts

  • Add your GPA only if it is impressive

Don’t rely on the full-time degree courses only. Give value to the certifications and diplomas too.


BCA in Software Application Architecture

The University of Edinburgh


GPA – 3.7/4.0


Enterprise Architecture



Design Pattern

Every time a recruiter starts the screening process, the question,” Is this candidate qualified enough?” is mandatory to hit their mind. Answer them rightly!

5. Skills

Your personality may be full of skills, but relevancy is crucial. Add the targeted skills that add value to your candidature. 

The days are gone when candidates get selected only based on degrees and diplomas. Today, hiring managers thoroughly look for the skills, including soft and hard.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Add each skill and divide them into sections
  • Don’t forget to add proficiency
  • Try to align the skills with the ones mentioned in the job description
  • Don’t exaggerate

Focus on complex skills as compared to soft ones. For soft skills, you can just write a one-word skill and move ahead, but you have to be informative and well-prepared with the hard skills. Be wise! For example, if you mention “Cloud Security,” they may ask you in-depth questions regarding the same.

6. Optional Sections

As the name says, this section is not necessary for your CV. But can be smartly used to fill the gap or replace something important.

The “optional” sections can be much more beneficial and work in your favor if you are a newbie in the industry. Here, you can add critical specifications of your professional persona, including,

  1. Training or internship experience (don’t forget to add projects)
  2. Certifications
  3. Hobbies
  4. Rewards and recognitions
  5. Extracurricular activities
  6. Achievements (big or small, it doesn’t matter)

Why did I specify internship experience and achievements? It will help your recruiter understand even if you are a fresher and have worked and achieved something. 

Finding it difficult to write a cover letter? Read out, How to write a cover letter?

Things To Avoid

A wrong word can break your first-ever impression of the recruiter. You have to beware of the negative things and avoid them at the very initial stage. 

  • Don’t bluff: Do not say anything that makes you sound overconfident. Be authentic and try to only wrap it up in a few precise words.
  • Avoid Infographics: You don’t have to add pie charts, graphs, etc., to your CV. It doesn’t make any difference.
  • Too Short or Too Detailed: Your CV is not a written round. Don’t give one-word bullets or give them a long-page story to read.
  • Short-term or Irrelevant Experience: If you don’t have a solid reason for explaining leaving your short-term job, it’s better to avoid mentioning the same. 
  • Address or Date of Birth: This wastes time and makes your CV look unprofessional. There is no need to add the complete home address or your date of birth.

A Quick Recap!

Let’s get back to the start and revise what we have grasped today. CV writing is a skill, and you can master it with less but focused effort. CV is the first step towards making the right impression on your recruiter. After all, it is from where you get selected or rejected for the following process. 

So, we learned,

  • It is crucial to give the proper format and structure to your CV.
  • The information should be catchy, relevant, and precise.
  • We can fill the voids with optional sections.
  • Adding metrics and numbers is advantageous, but infographics must be avoided.
  • The language should be very formal and to the point.

Sarah Farroukh Sarah is a content writer with two years of experience specializing in educational content. She has a passion for writing informative pieces that are both engaging and thought-provoking. In her free time, she enjoys reading and experimenting with recipes.


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