• Skills based CV

    This is a less traditional CV, but can be very effective. By moving your work experience to a less prominent position on the second page, the focus moves to your transferable skills on the front page.

    You can sell yourself really well by matching the skills you select to those required for the job you are applying for, for example, those on the job specification.

    It is really important to tailor your CV to each post.

    Each skill needs a clear example (some evidence), but this can be taken from your degree, voluntary work, extracurricular activities and employment.

    When should you use a Skills based CV?

    Usually if you have very little or no directly relevant experience, or if you might be trying to break into a new career, or making a significant change of career direction.

    Skills-based CV template

    Your name

    Your address

    Your email address, phone number and LinkedIn Profile (Optional)

    Nothing else! No marital status, NI number, age, or gender.

    Top Tips

    • 'CV' or 'Curriculum Vitae' or a photo at the top are all big 'no, no's'!
    • Think: do you have a professional-sounding email address and voicemail?


    Not essential. Some employers like them and some don’t. It must be short - no more than two/three sentences, including relevant experience, qualifications, skills (but not a long list of them) and your career aim.

    • A profile takes time to write well, you don't want yours sounding like everyone else's.


    If this is relevant to the role you are applying for keep your education on the front page, if not you can move it to the back page. For example if you are applying for a summer job at a supermarket where they are looking for customer service skills and retail experience your degree isn't always going to be your best selling point! The front page needs to attract interest.

    • In the 'Education' section you should always list your most recent qualifications first and include relevant technical expertise such as CAD, SAGE and lab techniques.


    Choose no more than 5/6 relevant skills for the post you are applying for. Use the job specification to help you, and then think of specific examples of when you have demonstrated these skills. These can be from extra-curricular activities, paid employment or work experience and from being at university. Begin your evidence with an action verb, always in the same tense:

    • Communication: Represented the English department at university and successfully negotiated with academic staff for a change in course work submission dates through meetings and verbal presentations.
    • Customer Service: Achieved ‘Waitress of the Year Award’ at Pizza Hut from consistently delivering an exceptional level of service to customers.
    • You will have to change the skills for every role you apply for depending on what the employer wants.

    Work experience

    As the emphasis is now upon your transferable skills your work experience should go on to the second page. Remember to include details of the tasks and achievements for each job, especially where relevant.

    • If you have already covered this in the 'skills' section, you don’t need to repeat it in great detail in the 'work experience' section.


    Yes, employers are interested in these, but just a paragraph will do. Try to show a variety of interests that might catch an employer’s attention but be mindful of the impression your hobbies give.

    • If you don't have many interests don't lie, you could be asked about it at interview


    'Available upon request' or two full references including name, job title, address, phone number and email.

    • Always ask your referees first.