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A well written and skillfully constructed CV is one of the key components of a successful job hunt. There are several CV formats used in the UK:
In this post, we will focus on the former, the one page CV format.
Did you know that the one page CV format is currently considered the standard in the UK? A one page CV is what recruiters expect to see when they open any application - unless the advert says otherwise. A one page CV is a professional document that you should send along with a cover letter when you apply for a job. Such a CV will be appropriate regardless of whether you are a young person just entering the job market or a seasoned expert with years of experience. Although brief, a one page CV should contain the most relevant information for a recruiter about your work profile. Think of it as your first contact with a potential employer. Use your CV to introduce yourself and highlight your strengths. After all, your CV is what the hiring team uses to decide if they want to invite you for an interview.
However, when you consider all the elements you should include in your CV, it can be challenging to fit them all on one page. How to draft a one-page CV? What sections to include? What mistakes should you avoid? Here, you will find the answers to these and other questions!
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What is the structure of the One Page CV Format: Text version
As you might guess, a one page CV is a CV that fits on a single page. However, this doesn't mean that it is not complex. A standard structure of one page CV format includes 5 basic (and crucial) sections:
[They are usually placed just below the job seeker's name. In most cases, you should give your exact home address, but just a city and postal code are also acceptable. It is also necessary to provide a telephone number and email address (preferably with a handle containing your full name, e.g. email@example.com). Additionally, but not obligatorily, you can provide links to social media or an online portfolio.]
Professional summary, also known as a personal statement:
[This is a short paragraph designed to convey three basic pieces of information: who you are, what your key achievements are and how you achieved them or what your goals are.]
Work history section:
[List your work experience, starting with the most recent. If you have extensive work experience, focus on the last three positions. Include dates of employment, place of work, i.e. company name and location, and a few responsibilities or accomplishments.]
[Despite popular belief, this part is just as important as experience. It tells you about what you can actually do. Include 2-3 hard skills and as many soft skills. Hard skills are the ones that are specific for the job, for example, MS Office proficiency or bookkeeping. Soft skills are more transferable, such as time management or decisiveness.]
[Include the highest and most relevant to the role. If you have additional certifications or training, it's worth adding these too. ]
See how this looks in practice. Here is an example of a well-structured one page CV that contains all the required elements:
84 Round Walk
Glasgow G1 3GU
Friendly Barista with great people skills and two years of experience in a fast paced environment. Dedicated to creating a personalised experience for each customer. Knowledgeable about every step of coffee production, from planting to roasting to brewing and enthusiastic about promoting sustainable and fair-trade coffee.
June 2020 - Current
Starbucks Coffee Glasgow
- Produced high-volume coffee orders quickly and accurately, meeting customer demand.
- Constantly expanded personal knowledge of coffee styles and varieties, providing knowledgeable customer guidance.
- Created speciality drinks according to exact customer requests and preferences.
November 2019 - May 2020
- Completed comprehensive store opening and closing procedures.
- Completed purchases with cash, credit and debit payment methods, providing customer receipts for reference.
- Operated cash registers with accuracy and processed cash and card transactions.
Food preparation and safety
Speedy and efficient
Cash register operation
Cooperative team player
Dietary requirement awareness
City of Glasgow College Glasgow
NVQ Level 3 Social Services and Healthcare
One page CV Format in different samples
Take a look at these one page CV format examples below and see how to write a CV that will impress recruiters. Remember that your CV should be formatted in such a way that it not only displays all the necessary information clearly and presentably, but also can be read by the screening software used in the recruitment process to facilitate the initial selection of candidates.
Notice how a CV containing exactly the same information can vary depending on the CV template you choose.
Sample 1: Best one page CV format
One of the most universal CV templates. It has a clear design that allows to emphasise the most relevant section for your role.
Are you a student or a recent graduate? Highlight your skills!
Applying for a senior position? Your experience is the section you should focus on.
Sample 2: Knowledgeable one page CV format
This template is ideal for people applying for senior positions. It allows to display specific duties and achievements.
It works best for those who have worked in one place for a longer time.
Sample 2: British one page CV format
Simple, yet elegant CV template that is perfect for entry and junior level employees.
If you have a significant work experience, you might want to try another template to keep your CV on one page only.
When to use a one page CV
A one page CV is suitable in the vast majority of cases. Whether you are at entry level or a seasoned professional, your CV can fit on one page - all it takes is the right editing and a well chosen CV format and layout.
Entry level one page CV
Even if you have very little work experience, you can create an outstanding CV that highlights your strengths. The key is to focus on what you have learnt so far. Add responsibilities to job titles to best showcase your capabilities.
Seasoned professional one page CV
Even a seasoned specialist with more than 10 years of work experience can easily create a one page CV. Thanks to the right layout, the CV contains all the necessary sections while still looking on point.
When not to use a one page CV format
There are certain situations where a one page CV may not be the best choice. When is it a good idea to opt for a longer CV?
- When you have many years of experience in different companies, and each brings unique and relevant experience and skills to the job application.
- When you are writing an academic CV, it generally contains not only the basic sections for a CV but also a collection of academic achievements. The CV of an experienced academic can be as long as a dozen to several dozen pages! It will include publications, scientific projects, contributions to conferences, references and more.
Download one page CV format by job:
Check out different CV examples by industry and profession and download yours from our CV builder. By choosing a CV tailored to the industry you can be sure that it will not only be fully functional but will also meet accepted standards.
Dos and Don’ts of a one page CV format
Let's learn from others' experiences and avoid the most common mistakes. Check out the dos and don'ts of creating a one page CV and improve your chances of getting hired quickly.
- DO: Use a CV template tailored to the jobThis will allow you to best adapt your CV to the current requirements of the industry and will make the formatting of your one page CV a piece of cake. When you use a good template, it will suggest which keywords might be worth including. In addition, a customised template will have a style specific to the job - this includes layout, colours and even fonts.
- DO: Carefully study the job advert and use the terms used in it in your CV.Pay close attention to the phrases used to describe the requirements. There are many ways to say the same thing. If the ad says they are looking for someone who is "experienced with cash registers", use that phrase instead of "till proficiency" for example. Many hiring teams use special software that pre-selects applications based on how well they match the job advertisement.
- DON’T: overlook the formatting stage of your CV creation process.The way you arrange your your job-related details in it will affect the way your CV looks. As we all know, aesthetics are also very important. Avoid using tables, too small or too big font and don’t be afraid of putting free spaces to work. They add lightness to the document and make it less overwhelming, more pleasant to look at and easier to read.
- DON’T: include a photo to your one page CV formatIn some countries a CV with a photo is not only welcome but even required, but in the UK it is the opposite. Unless the advert specifically states that the application should include a headshot (e.g. for actors, models), don't add one.
Frequently Asked Questions about one page CV Format
Should a CV be one page?
Short answer is yes, in most cases it should. Unless you’re asked otherwise, you should apply for a job by sending a one page CV and a one page cover letter. One page CV is not only the current standard in the UK but in most European countries. There are, however, specific situations in which a longer CV will be applicable. This may be the case, for example, with scientists applying for a research project or grant.
Can a CV be more than one page?
A two page CV (or even a longer one) will be welcome if you are writing an academic CV. Scientists, researchers, PhD, they all might want to create a CV that significantly exceeds the length of a one page CV - and that is ok. Academic CVs, apart from the standard CV information such as contact details, work experience, skills and education, include a list of all the academic records, i.e. publications, scientific projects, conferences, etc. However, if you are applying for a non-academic position, a one page CV format will be sufficient.
How to write a one page CV?
Start by looking carefully at the job offer.
Then write down your details:
- contact details
- a few sentences about your achievements and goals (personal statement)
- work experience
Once you have everything written, get down to formatting and layout.
How to fit CV on one page?
A good practice is to use a ready-made CV template. You can even find templates with CV examples adjusted to specific job titles or experience levels. A good CV template helps you format and style your CV in the most efficient and appealing way. Other good tip to fit a CV on one page is to edit and format it. Many people tend to include all of their experience, no matter how old it is. Instead of doing that, include 3-4 most recent job positions and the duties you’ve performed there. If you worked in one place for a long time, consider including the experience from the last 10 years.
Is a one page CV better?
Generally speaking, yes, one page CV format is better - and there are many reasons behind this. Firstly, through proper editing, you present only the essential information rather than dwelling on details that may not be so relevant. Because you have limited space, you focus on what is crucial for the role, with consideration given to the keywords included in the ad. Additionally, as long as it is well formatted, a one page CV looks much more aesthetically pleasing than any longer version. The final argument for a one page CV is efficiency. Recruiters review hundreds of applications and their ability and capacity to focus on one person is limited. With a one page CV, they have everything they need to know right from the start.
What to remember about the one page CV format - key takeaway
One page CV is the most universal CV format that fits all the information about your work profile on one page. Is contains 5 basic elements:
- Contact details
- Personal statement
- Work history
You can easily create your CV and fit it to one page format by using a ready-made CV template with editing and formatting feature to fully customise it.
Currently, a one page CV with a reverse-chronological format is the most popular CV version used in the UK.
When writing your one page CV, remember to always Be proud of your achievements. A CV is not just a simple piece of paper listing your previous jobs, it is a representation of your skills, experience and achievements. Avoid the common mistakes such as not adjusting it to the industry, or not using the keywords from the job ad. Always proofread your CV and make sure you have included correct contact information.
Build your perfect one page CV format in 3 easy steps
- Choose a professionally designer CV format
- Add expertly written, tried-and-tested phrases
- Download your CV and apply!