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Basic CV Template: Finding the right one

4 minute read

On average a recruiter spends roughly 5-7 seconds assessing a CV so you need to make a good impression fast.  This is where a clear and impactful template can help.  Your CV needs to be easy to read, well laid out and also have your most impressive achievements and skills stand out so people can pick up key information at a glance.  CV templates can help with all of this.

CV templates are helpful not just if you’re starting from scratch, but they can also be good to help update your existing CV. You might want to give it a total overhaul, or maybe you just need some creative inspiration on how to make yours look that little bit better. CV templates can help with both of these needs.

Deciding on a CV format

Before you start looking through templates, it can be helpful to think about your CV layout and in particular which format might be best for you. If you’re not familiar with the different types of CV formats, you can read a brief intro to three of the main types – Chronological (or Traditional), Skills-based (or Functional) and Combined – on our blog post ‘CV Layout: Getting Started‘ here.

CV Template: Some questions to think about

Once you’ve decided on your format and you want to start looking through templates, it can be good to think about some questions upfront to help guide you on the best one for your career goals.

  • Who is the audience? For example, is the company you’re applying to quite formal and traditional versus more laid back and forward thinking?
  • Are there any skills that I can demonstrate through my choice of template?
  • What are the key things that are most important to this role that need to stand out to this employer?

CV Template: Places to look

Once you’ve decided what CV format you think might work best for you, and you’ve had a think about the above questions, it’s time to start searching.

CV Templates: Searching by format

A good place to start is to search by your chosen CV format, this can not only bring up templates, but also lots of tips and advice about that format to consider. 

Chronological or Traditional CV Templates

These are probably the most common online and you’ll find thousands of traditional CV formats suitable for all types of roles and experience. Just a couple of examples for basic CV templates online can be found in these two sites;

Skills based CV Templates

Again, there are a lot of this format online, but a couple of good places to start for basic templates to consider are below;

CV Templates: Finding a style best suited for your experience or dream role

Places will also often break down the types further to recommend what types of CVs might be best for specific industries or roles, for example teaching. Some will even breakdown templates based on what type of experience or position you’re starting from, for example school leaver specific CV templates.  If you happen to be a school leaver looking to create a CV, head over to our article ‘Creating a great CV for a school leaver‘ to read some more tips and guidance to help you with the process.

Below are some places where you can find some good basic CV templates that drill down a bit more into your specific needs.

  • – offers a range of CV templates to help at each stage of your career, and also offers some templates specifically tailored for various industries
  • FutureLearn – a great selection of templates organised by the job roles you might be applying for
  • Total Jobs – easy to navigate list of options suitable for every stage of your career, be it your first ‘starting out’ CV, to a career change CV, to one that works best for long term unemployed
  • Canva – a good site for more creative templates you can use and develop within Canva
  • Guru – they do have some templates to download, but also importantly have a great round up of some great creative CVs to inspire you if you’re looking to go a little more unique

These are just some of the 1000s of places online to find CV templates so have an explore online. Try searching for example templates relevant to the roles you’re going for or the industry you’re applying for. Or even try those specifically for where you are on your career journey.  There are so many out there to choose from so happy hunting!

Feeling inspired? Take the THIS IS HOW Quiz to find out more about what you’re good at and possible job roles that could be a match for you!