Table of Contents
One of the key aspects of a best-practice CV is its alignment with the target location. If you are a job seeker in the UK, having a good understanding of how to write, format, and structure your British CV is imperative to ensure your application won’t be ignored. In this article, we will give you some practical tips to make your CV suitable for the UK job market.
1. Avoid adding details that are too personal
Personal information is a critical component of a British resume. However, don’t go overboard by including details that are too personal, like your birth date, marital status, nationality, or age. In fact, these details are considered protected characteristics under UK’s Equality Act 2010. This means it is illegal for any UK employers to discuss these details during the recruitment process or use them as a basis for hiring. So, adding these to your resume is a big no-no.
In addition to your full name, the only information that must be present in your CV is your phone number and a professional email address. You may also include links to your online presence, such as your LinkedIn profile or personal website if you have one. When it comes to the address, the combination of city, state, and postal code is sufficient.
2. Do not include a photo
It may be a common practice in some European countries, such as France, Belgium, and Germany, to include a photo in a CV but not in the UK. UK employers strictly adhere to the rules surrounding discrimination in hiring. So having a photo in your CV may not work in your favor and even put you at a disadvantage. As a matter of fact, some fields, such as investment banking, automatically reject a CV with a photo in it. The only exemption to this rule is when you’re applying for a creative role, or an employer specifically requires or asks for it. Hence, it is important to do some research before deciding whether to include a photo or not to make sure your CV puts you in the best light possible.
3. Use the appropriate language
When applying for any job in the UK, your CV must obviously be in British English language. So having a good knowledge of the differences between languages is important to ensure consistency throughout your document. Remember to be careful of the terminologies and spelling you use. To avoid confusion, we suggest using spelling checker tools, such as Grammarly, Ginger, and Zoho Writer.
4. Use the correct paper size
The standard resume paper size in the UK is A4. Making sure your CV aligns with the proper paper size can go a long way in showcasing your ability to pay close attention to the smallest details. Thereby allowing you to get one step ahead of the competition. So, we suggest checking the paper size of your CV more than once before starting your job application.
5. Keep your CV to the proper length
The length of a British CV varies depending on your experience level or the job you’re applying for. The standard length of a British CV is two pages if you are targeting a specific role in the industry, such as tech, engineering, and finance. As a rule of thumb, it must be succinct, detailing your experience, achievements, and skills that are most relevant to the position you’re applying for. Nonetheless, one size doesn’t fit all. It can be shorter or longer, depending on what stage you are at in your career. A one-page CV is ideal if you are fresh out of college or a junior employee. On the other hand, if you are mid to executive-level professional with many relevant experiences to showcase, your CV can go up to three pages long. While it is important to keep it concise, make sure you’re not selling yourself short.
A CV tailored for an academic or research-oriented position can be a lot longer than an industry CV. This is because it focuses not only on your experience but also on your academic achievements. Hence, it often requires more than three pages and typically includes additional sections like research interests, honors and awards, teaching experience, publications, and references, among others.
6. Add a professional summary, not a career objective
Most UK employers see a career objective as an outdated and irrelevant part of a CV because it doesn’t give them new or useful information. When you send them your application, they already know what your objective is – to potentially earn the job offer. Hence, you don’t have to convey it by adding a separate section that can just take up valuable space in your CV.
Instead of just stating you want a job, demonstrate to employers the reasons why they should hire you through a professional summary. Tell them who you are and what you can do by providing them with an overview of your experience and accomplishments related to your target role. If you are still confused about the difference between these two, check out the examples below for clarity.
Highly analytical, resourceful, and results-driven Head of Finance with extensive experience in providing strategic and global financial leadership and spearheading business development efforts. Have a proven track record of improving cash flow, realizing high-impact savings, and maintaining financial efficiency. A hands-on leader is strongly committed to empowering and mentoring teams to achieve their greatest potential through a growth-driven culture. Adept at conveying results and articulating complex messages to influence key financial decisions. Possess outstanding organizational abilities to balance multiple responsibilities, prioritize workload, and meet tight deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
Highly experienced and results-driven finance professional seeking an executive-level position with a multinational corporation to apply financial leadership and contribute to improving cash flow, generating high-impact savings, and maintaining financial efficiency.
7. Consider adding your interests and hobbies
While it is not mandatory, including a separate CV section for your hobbies and interests is highly acceptable in the UK. However, don’t add any hobbies or interests that are irrelevant. Make sure to highlight those that can help you demonstrate the value you can bring to the table. For example, if you’re applying for a content writing job, you can mention that you enjoy creating blogs for your personal website. In addition to showcasing a bit of your personality, it can help you convince employers that you’re a perfect fit for the position and company.
Your CV is the best tool to make a great impression on employers. Thus, having an in-depth understanding of the dos and don’ts during your job search in the UK is an important part of the process. So, make sure to take note of everything there is to know in writing an effective British CV to increase your chances of getting through to the next stage of the recruitment process. If there’s anything else you would like to check or clarify, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.