How to Structure your CV

Employers and recruitment agencies receive countless CVs for each job vacancy. In such a competitive job market it is vital that your CV stands out from the crowd.

How your CV is structured can be just as important as its contents – it needs to be clear, concise and relevant in order to appeal to potential employers.

Your CV should contain no more than 6 sections:

Section 1 – your personal details. Include your name, address, phone number and email address. You do not need to include your date of birth, a photo or your marital status.

Section 2 – your personal profile and key achievements – this is your opportunity to sell yourself. Use just a few short sentences to highlight your attributes and the skills you can bring to the role

Sections 3 & 4 – your education and work experience. You can alternate these sections, depending on which is strongest or most relevant to the job you are applying for.

Always list your qualifications and experience starting with the most recent.

For your work history, use bullet points to highlight your achievements and duties in the role. Use clear headings detailing your job title, the company name and your period of employment.

Section 5 – your hobbies and interests. This is an important section to include as it gives potential employers an opportunity to develop an image of you as a person as well as an employee.

Section 6 – your referees. It is perfectly acceptable to either list your referees or to state that they are ‘available upon request’.

So, now you know how to structure your CV, here are some important points to keep in mind:

  • Keep it clear, concise and relevant – it should be no more than 2 – 3 A4 pages
  • Always tailor your CV to the job you are applying for.
  • Keep the format consistent.
  • And finally – proof read! And get a friend to proof read!

For more tips on how to write a great CV and to download our CV templates, visit our Jobseekers Guide


Colin Byrne

Recruitment Consultant

Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group