CV Templates: How to Use Them

Written by Coursera • Updated on

When you are applying for a job, using a CV template can help you create your CV quickly, saving you time and effort. Discover five reasons to use a CV template and the essential components of any CV.

[Featured image] A person fills in a CV template on a laptop computer while sitting outdoors.

The job market is competitive throughout many industries, and applicants should always strive hard to create a positive impression. The common aim of every job candidate is to draw the attention of employers. The most important way of achieving this goal is by creating a highly compelling and comprehensive CV. The CV will reveal your identity, skills, experience, and talents. It will show how you will be beneficial to your potential employers. But how will you create the first CV?

One of the easiest options for you is to use a CV template. Here, we give you the main components you should include in your CV. But first, let us talk about the advantages of using a CV template.

Read more: 8 Tips and Tricks for Writing Effective Cover Letters for Job Openings

What are the advantages of using a CV template?

Many downloadable CV templates are available online. However, you must use caution when using them—they should only be used as a guide. Your CV should be unique and contain information that you create, and that pertains only to you. You should also consider revising your CV each time you apply to a position to ensure the information in your CV is relevant to the requirements of the position.

Therefore, use a CV template as inspiration to guide the writing of your own CV. With that in mind, here are some advantages candidates appreciate about using a CV template:

Organize your CV without effort.

Your CV content will be highly organized, and you may easily fill it out. A well-organized CV reflects your professionalism. Moreover, CV templates can help you organize your thoughts. You can call up relevant details and add them to your CV.

No need to have experience.

If you're applying for your first job or don't yet have as much work experience, templates give you the formatting necessary to add other relevant details, like your academic achievements. If you do not like the overall arrangement, you may modify it to suit your needs.

Impress the recruitment manager.

Your CV creates the first impression for the potential employer. It discloses the skills and talents you have. It also includes other relevant information important for an employer to make the recruitment decision. Improperly written CVs may not give you the chance to receive calls from interviewers. With a properly designed CV, you can showcase your special skills to your recruiter.

Save valuable time.

It can be time-consuming to design a CV on your own. You need effort to do it properly. Of course, there are professionals to build your CV and resumes. However, you need to pay their service charge. As a job applicant, you can take advantage of a free CV template. Thus, you will save money and time by referring to digital templates.

Choose the right template design that suits the industry standards. Remember that the CV format needs some modifications based on your chosen job. With the help of a template, you will design multiple versions of your CV.

How does a CV differ from a resume?

You can find the major differences in their layout, length, and purpose. A CV is a highly descriptive document showing your work history. On the contrary, the resume summarizes your skills. A standard resume may cover a single page. But CV may comprise multiple pages.

Furthermore, you can present your CV in chronological order. You can include everything from educational qualifications to work history.

In some cases, the terms CV and resume are interchangeably used. Employers may accept any of the formats. While checking job ads, you can notice that many private firms have chosen the term resume. But, for government jobs in India, CV is the most common term.

You may contact the recruitment manager to decide on the right format for your needs if it is not specified in the job ad.

Read more: CV Cover Letter Template (Examples + Guidance)

What should you include in your CV?

The major components of the CV templates are your personal details and contact information, a personal summary, work history, educational qualifications, and your skills and accomplishments.

Personal details

In this section, you will show your email address, name, phone number, and home address. The employer can easily reach you by using your contact details. Some candidates also mention their gender and age. However, you can avoid adding lots of personal details to your CV.

You must put your signature and self-declaration at the bottom of your CV. Your declaration needs to be precise and easy to understand.

Personal summary

In this section, you will include your career objective. Describe your accomplishments and key skills in this section. To write the summary, you must try to answer the question, "Why should employers hire me?"

The length of the summary should be about three to four sentences (no more than 200 words) [1]. You may talk about your ambition in this section. You can also say why you love this profession.

Work history

You can choose the reverse-chronological order to show your work history. You have to mention your previous positions in this section. Include the start and end dates of every position. Moreover, you must mention the name of the company where you have worked. Use bulleted formats to show your responsibilities and achievements. Make sure that you have added data to back up your information.

Educational qualifications

While presenting your academic qualifications, you have to present your latest certifications first. Mention the name of academies, the course duration, and other academic achievements.

Additional CV information to include

  • Skills: Your recruiters will check your workplace skills while you describe your accomplishments and responsibilities. Therefore, consider making a separate section in your CV to list your skills. Alternatively, enumerate your skills in your other sections where it makes the most sense.

  • Language: It is essential to mention the languages you know. Include your mother tongue and other languages in which you can read, write, and speak.

  • Photo: Although it is not mandatory to add a photo, you may want to include one if you are applying for a job in which your appearance is an essential component, such as a news anchor or actor. Make sure that it is a passport-sized, professional-looking photo of your face. You may shoot a photo, especially for CV and job application. Put on formal attire and snap a photo. Photos with a white and blue background are highly acceptable. Also, your hair must not cover your face.

  • References: If you are comfortable adding the names and contact information of past employers and associates who highly recommend you, include a referrals section in your CV. Otherwise, leave this section out and provide referrals during the interview process.

These additional details will make your CV more attractive. You can distinguish your CV from other candidates’ job applications.

Use a CV template to inspire how you will create your CV

A CV template is a useful tool for candidates applying for a job. It enables you to present your personal and professional details. The well-organized CV is also easy to interpret. Consequently, you may draw the attention of your employers with your CV.

Article sources

  1. Indeed. "How To Write a Personal Statement on a CV (with Tips and Examples)," Retrieved January 26, 2023.

Keep reading

Updated on
Written by:



Coursera is the global online learning platform that offers anyone, anywhere access to online course...

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.