What sections to include in your CV (and what to exclude)

    There aren’t set rules in CV writing but there are guidelines. Here is an outline of what to include.  As the most common type of CV, I’ll focus on the sections for a reverse chronological CV.

    Personal Details

    • Name
    • Headline (your current or targeted role)
    • Town and county (full address not needed)
    • Contact number/s
    • Email address
    • LinkedIn URL

    You don’t need:

    • The title of “CV” as it is obvious what the document is
    • DOB
    • Marital status
    • Religion
    • Photo
    • Driving licence (unless requested on job ad)


    • Short, interesting, and tailored to the role applying to
    • 4-5 lines
    • Relevant experience, knowledge, qualifications, training, and personal attributes
    • Personality (you can write this section in the 1st person)

    Key Skills

    • 4-6 relevant skills: this ensures the recruiter can easily see them and the keywords are picked up by screening software
    • Depending on the CV format you choose, this might be a bulleted list with just the skill or a more detailed bullet with a line or two demonstrating how you evidence this skill

    Career History

    • Don’t include everything about every role you’ve ever had – every single thing you include must be relevant to the role you’re applying to and add value
    • If you have a lot of experience, and the last 10 years are relevant, flesh these out and reduce the information on anything older  
    • For those with a lot of experience or worried age might go against them, add an “Early Career” section with job titles and companies, leaving out the details and the years worked there

    Voluntary Roles

    • Include if the role adds value to your CV by showing transferable skills or fills an employment gap

    Education, training, and qualifications

    • Relevant training: dates, name of course/qualification, and institution 
    • Students and graduates should add this section before the Career History/Work Experience section


    • It’s personal preference if you want to include interests – I suggest only adding activities that are relevant to the role or industry, are particularly interesting, show your personality or values, or are a good talking point at the interview stage


    • Page number and name in case CV is printed and pages get separated
    • Don’t include important information here such as contact details


    • No need to include as it will be assumed you have these