UK Resume [Format, Tips & Templates for 2024]

27 December 2023
12 min read
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Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and continental Europe, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a great place to find a job.

During your job search, though, you might struggle with your UK resume.

Whether you’re a UK native or a foreigner, you might be at a disadvantage when applying if you’re not familiar with its specific requirements.

How long should your resume be, for example, and should you include a picture?

Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

That’s why we’ve prepared the ultimate guide to writing a UK resume!

The topics we’ll break down for you include:

  • UK Resume Example
  • What Makes UK Resumes Different from US and European Resumes
  • How To Write Your Own UK Resume

Let’s dive in!

UK Resume Example

UK Resume Example

Here’s what this UK resume example does right:

  • Reverse-chronological format. This format shows your most recent work experience first, and it’s the most popular resume format in the UK by far.
  • Relevant contact details. The candidate lists the most critical contact details, including their first and last name, job title, email address, phone number, location, and links to their profiles on LinkedIn and GitHub, as well as to their personal website.
  • Captivating resume summary. The resume summary in this resume example perfectly summarizes the candidate’s experience, essential skills, and top accomplishments.
  • Quantifiable achievements. This candidate quantifies their achievements by using the Laszlo Bock formula (“Accomplished X as measured by Y by doing Z”).
  • Bullet points. The use of bullet points instead of paragraphs makes the resume appear more organized and easier to read.
  • Additional sections. Certificates, language proficiency, and interests all show greater depth to the candidate, which could make a difference if they’re competing against someone with similar professional background and skills. 

Free UK Resume Templates

Making your resume from scratch can be a hassle.

You need to tweak the margins, keep the fonts uniform, carefully align every element you add, and make sure it never spills over to page two.

So why not make your life easier?

Write your UK resume in minutes by using one of Novoresume’s tried-and-tested resume templates, free of charge. Each of our templates is created in collaboration with hiring managers to match industry standards and help you land a job.

uk resume templates novoresume

UK Resume Specifics

You might think the UK resume is very similar to its US equivalent, and you’d be correct. But there are a few differences that might hinder your job search if you don’t take them into account.


Before you start preparing your UK resume, here’s one thing we need to clear up from the get-go:

A resume and a CV are the same in the UK.

In fact, most of the world uses the terms “CV” and “resume” interchangeably, including New Zealand and Australia. In the USA and Canada, however, a CV and a resume are two different things, with a CV being preferred for academic or research-oriented positions.

UK vs US Resume

There are a few key differences between resumes on the two sides of the Atlantic.

While the rule of thumb for resumes in North America is to be no longer than one page, the length of a UK resume is ideally around one and a half to two pages. But for recent graduates and less experienced candidates one to one and a half pages is more than okay.

Another important difference between US and UK resumes is the language used. When applying to universities or companies in the UK, be sure to use British English grammar and terminology.

For example, if you worked as an attorney in the US, in the UK you might be called a barrister or solicitor, depending on your area of expertise.

In terms of spelling, many words in British English contain a “u” where American English has dropped it, such as “colour” and “favourite”. Other things to watch out for are the use of “s” instead of “z” in words like specialise and industrialise, and the spelling of theater and center as theatre and centre, respectively. 

Consider using a grammar checker like Grammarly or QuillBot before submitting your resume, just to make sure everything is spotless.

UK vs European Resume

Like people in the UK, continental Europeans use the terms “CV” and “resume” are synonyms in continental Europe.

The Europass CV is fairly popular in Europe, but not mandatory. Europeans can use as many creative resume templates as UK candidates can.

The main difference between UK and other European resumes is the amount of personal information a candidate is encouraged to share.

You shouldn’t reveal your age, gender, marital status, or other information that may be used to discriminate against you in a UK resume. This also goes for including a photo on your resume - unless specifically requested, don’t add one.

By contrast, recruiters in countries like Germany and Switzerland may expect pictures of the candidate and other personal information, such as their date of birth.

9 Steps to Writing a UK Resume

Now that you know about all the specifics of UK resumes, it’s time to start working on yours.

Just follow along with the steps we’ve outlined and use Novoresume’s builder for convenience and tips as you fill in your chosen template.

Here are the steps to a perfect UK resume:

#1. Choose the Right Format

Before you jump into filling in the contents of your resume, let’s address how to format your UK resume the right way.

Essentially, there are three resume formats you can choose from:

  • Functional resume format
  • Reverse-chronological resume format
  • Combination resume format

Your best option, however, is to pick the reverse-chronological format for your UK resume.

Generally speaking, the reverse-chronological format is the safest choice. It effectively highlights your work experience by listing your most recent jobs first, and it is recruiters’ favorite format.

Here’s what it looks like:

uk resverse chronological resume

Only if you’re a recent graduate with zero work experience or you’re looking to do a big career change, you might consider trying the functional resume format instead.

#2. Take Care of the Layout

You only get to make a first impression once, and the same goes for your resume. If your resume looks cluttered and unorganized, the hiring manager will be less likely to want to dive into its contents. 

Stick to these tips to make your UK resume layout pop:

  • Use separate resume sections for all the information you want to add. Use 14-16 point font size for section headings and 11-12 points for the copy. 
  • Choose a resume font that’s professional but easy to read, such as Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman, or Roboto.
  • The font size should ideally be 10 to 12 points and the recommended color is black.
  • Opt for using describing your achievements and responsibilities in bullet points instead of in blocks of text.
  • Make sure your resume is saved for an A4 document size. With the Novoresume editor, you can easily change this using the “Layout” option in the top menu.)
  • Export your resume as a PDF unless the employer specifically requests a different format. 

#3. Contact Information

Somewhere at the top of your resume, the recruiter should be able to see your name and contact information.

Here’s what this section should contain:

  • Name and surname. There’s no need to list any middle names or more than one last name.
  • Phone number. If possible, add a UK phone number. Note that the UK dialing code is +44, so if you provide a non-UK phone number, the employer might not be able to call you. When listing your number, add the dialing code, whether it’s a UK number or any of the other variants across the world.
  • Address. If you’re a UK resident, you should write your full address, including the postal code.
  • Email address. Make sure you provide a professional email address.

If applicable, you can add links to your LinkedIn, Github, online portfolio, or personal website. Provide social media only if requested by the employer.

Whether you’re looking for a remote position at a UK-based company or are looking to relocate for the job, make sure to mention this in your resume profile so recruiters will know from the start.

#4. Add a Resume Summary or Objective

Hiring managers only have seconds to spare on each resume. This means you need to catch their attention from the get-go. 

Adding a resume summary or objective at the top of your resume is the way to do that.

These are two-three sentence paragraphs that are supposed to sum up your career or highlight your professional goals.

A resume summary gives the hiring manager a brief recap of your years of experience, one or two of your top skills, and a couple of your most impressive achievements.

If you lack experience in the field you’re applying for, you can include a resume objective instead. That way you can showcase your skills and career goals, as well as your motivation to get that particular job. 

Here’s how you can write a great resume summary, visualized:

resume summary formula

#5. Focus on Your Work Experience

The most important section of your resume is your work experience.

This section lets you expand on your past achievements and responsibilities and shows the recruiter that you have what it takes for the job.

Here’s how you should structure your work experience section:

  • Start from your most recent job and move backward in time. Don’t include jobs from ten years back and jobs that are not relevant to the job you’re applying for, unless they’re you’re only experiences. 
  • Add your job title. The hiring manager will know if you have the necessary experience for the job by reading your job title.
  • List the company name and location. You can optionally include a brief description of your previous employer if they aren’t a household name.
  • Include your period of employment. Stick to the mm/yyyy format, as there is no need to specify concrete dates.
  • Opt for accomplishments over responsibilities. Use 4-6 bullets to describe your most recent work experience and 2-3 bullets for older jobs.

To make your work experience really stand out, quantify your achievements whenever possible. Numbers and data always do a better job of painting an impressive picture of you as a candidate.

Check out the following two examples:

Correct Example

Social Media Marketing Manager

XY Company

02/2021 - Present


  • Prepared marketing campaigns
  • Managed a team of five employees
Incorrect Example

Social Media Marketing Manager

XY Company, Glasgow

06/2021 - Present


  • Conceptualized and launched promotional social media campaigns that increased sales revenue by 15%
  • Trained and managed over 15 marketing and sales specialists, making sure their targets were always met

Which candidate would you pick as a hiring manager? That’s what we thought! 

Just getting started in your chosen field? Learn how to write an internship resume here. 

#6. Keep the Education Section Short

Unless you have very little work experience, keep your education short and to the point. Hiring managers care much more about your professional achievements and skills than about your degree. 

So, only mention the most important information in your education section. Start with your latest degree and list the details as such:

This section should clearly list the following information, in this order:

  • Degree title. Start with the degree level (e.g.: Bachelor’s, Master’s, etc.) and then the program name.
  • University name. We recommend adding the country the university is located in, especially if it’s from outside the UK.
  • Years attended. There’s no need to specify months or exact dates.
  • Notable achievements and courses. This part is optional and should be tailored to the position you’re applying for. (e.g.: If you’re applying for a job as a graphic designer, you can add your course on Typography and Page Layout or Graphic Web Design). If you have professional Graphic Design experience, though, there’s no reason to mention a class you took years ago at all. 

Here’s an example showing how your education section should look:

education section on uk resume

#7. Skills & Qualifications

The skill section of your UK resume tells recruiters what you can bring to the company.

This makes the skills section one of the most important UK resume sections

Ideally, you should list your most important skills somewhere at the beginning of your resume, close to your work experience.

Now, to make this section pop, you don’t need to mention every skill you’ve ever learned. The trick here is to list skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Here are a few tips for listing skills on your UK resume:

  • Include skills the company is looking for. Carefully read the description of the job advertisement and write down the required skills. Out of those, add the skills you possess to your UK resume to prove you’re a perfect fit for the position.
  • Research in-demand industry skills. If you can’t decide what skills to include on your UK resume, do some research. Learn what skills are currently valued the most in the industry you’re applying for, and highlight the ones you have on your resume. 
  • List hard skills and soft skills separately. By splitting your skills by category, your resume will look more organized and allow the hiring manager to navigate it easier.

#8. Take Advantage of Optional Sections

If you have some space left to fill up, you can take advantage of optional sections.

While they are not as important as your work experience and skills, these sections can give you an advantage if you’re competing with a candidate with a similar background as yours. 

  • Languages. This section shows you’re capable of communicating in more than one language, and can be a potential asset for international roles or projects.
  • Internships. Adding any relevant internships to your UK resume shows you have some know-how and hands-on experience in the field.
  • Volunteering. Any volunteer experience tells the hiring manager that you’re a person who gives back to the community and that you have a strong work ethic.
  • Hobbies and interests. What you do in your free time reveals more about you as a person, and demonstrates qualities like teamwork or creativity.
  • Certifications. Any extra qualifications show your commitment to continuous learning and professional development, as well as specialized skills you may have.
  • Publications. This section demonstrates your expertise and in-depth knowledge of the field, as well as your dedication to research and industry advancement. 
  • Awards. Adding awards to your resume lets potential employers know that you’re a high-achiever and helps you stand out from other candidates.

#9. Cover Letter

You’re now one step away from landing that coveted job interview. All you need to do is write a compelling cover letter to go with your resume.

Knowing how to write a cover letter shows off your communication skills and dedication to the job, which can increase the odds of you getting an interview.

Make sure your cover letter includes:

  • Header. Include your contact information and proofread this section twice to make sure it matches what you’ve added to your resume. Make sure you add the employer’s contact information here, too.
  • Greeting line. Knowing how to address the hiring manager shows professionalism.
  • A strong start. Your introductory paragraph should be a brief summary of why you’re writing the letter and mention your interest in the company’s vacant position. Describe a couple of your biggest accomplishments to catch the hiring manager’s attention.
  • A compelling body. The breadth of your cover letter should emphasize your work experience, education, skills, qualifications, and motivation. Explain what makes you the right candidate for the job and how you’re the right fit for the company.
  • A concise finale. Finish your cover letter with a call to action in the closing statement and an appropriate signature line.

FAQs About UK Resumes

If you need any more information, look through the answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions about UK resumes.

Q — 

1. How do I create a UK resume as a student?

When creating a resume to impress UK employers or universities, focus on your strengths instead of your lack of work experience.

For example, if you’re a recent graduate with no work experience, focus on your academic achievements and any projects or courses that are relevant to the field you’re applying to.

Don’t go into details about how you don’t have relevant experience. Fill up the space on your resume with volunteer work, personal projects, and any internships you may have completed.

Q — 

2. Is a CV or a resume used in the UK?

In the UK, “CV” and “resume” are two terms that refer to the same document.

You’re likelier to hear “CV” more often than “resume” but rest assured they’re used interchangeably in the UK. So if you know how to write a CV, writing a UK resume won’t be any different.

However, in countries such as the US and Canada, there is a difference between resumes and CVs. The CV (short for the Latin “Curriculum Vitae”) is a much longer and more detailed document that’s used for academic purposes and senior-level positions.

Q — 

3. Should a UK resume include a photo?

We advise that you do not add a photo to your UK resume. The UK has anti-discrimination laws which protect candidates from unfair hiring decisions based on any features that can be recognized in a photograph, including age, race, or gender.

As such, photos are generally not included on UK resumes and employers don’t expect them from candidates. However, it’s okay to add a picture when applying to acting and modeling positions.

Q — 

4. How do I create a UK resume as a healthcare assistant?

To create a strong medical assistant resume, pick a professional resume template and use the reverse-chronological format. Include your name, location, and professional email address in the contact information section, followed by a captivating resume summary.

When listing your work experience, education, and skills, make sure to mention your proficiency with Electronic Health Record (EHR) software and certifications like First Aid or Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Emphasize your accomplishments in healthcare and any related qualifications, like volunteer work, patient care, and time management skills.

Key Takeaways

And that’s a wrap! By now, you should be ready to build a solid UK resume.

Before you go, here are the main points we covered in this article:

  • The standard UK resume length for a seasoned professional is around two pages.
  • Don’t add a picture to your UK resume. Employers don’t expect photographs of candidates and it may seem unprofessional as it breaks UK resume conventions.
  • Separate your resume’s information into clear sections for contact information, work experience, education, skills, and other optional sections you might want to add.
  • The biggest difference between UK resumes and their US equivalent is the terminology and grammar. Make sure your resume is written in British English before you submit it.