Whether you’re an overseas student or an experienced professional who’s settled in another country, English CVs are a must for a wide range of roles in the UK, US and other English-speaking nations.

Needless to say, writing a CV in English can seem daunting if you’re not used to it. Thankfully, myPerfectCV is here to help. We’ve put together a choice of English CV templates, tips, and answers to the most frequently asked questions to help you along the way.

Once you’re ready, you can use our quick and easy English CV maker to create your own CV in English – with a Word download, PDF, or a choice of other file types.


Download a template for an English CV


English CV models by job title and industry

Our templates for English CVs can be used to apply for jobs in various sectors – with a diverse range of experience levels. Take a look at some examples of our English CVs.

What is the difference between a CV and a resume?

When you think of a job application, terms such as cover letter, personal statement, Curriculum Vitae (CV) and resume probably come to mind. You must have asked yourself at least once: what is the difference between a CV and a resume? We can often see these phrases being used alternately. At other times, we hear mention that there are differences between CVs and resumes. So what is it exactly about?

CV vs resume: Main difference

When you apply for a job in the UK, your potential employer will ask you to submit a Curriculum Vitae, whereas an employer in the US will ask for a resume. And guess what, both of them will expect the same document!

Does it mean that Americans don't use the term Curriculum Vitae at all? No, it doesn’t. They do use it, but they mean a slightly different document to what we think of in the UK.

CV definition in the UK

Here in the UK, we use the CV meaning to refer to documents that are intended to represent a professional profile and achievements. As mentioned earlier, there is a distinction between an ordinary CV and an academic one. The former is generally known. Certainly, we have all dealt with it at least once in our lives. It is a short, concise presentation of a professional profile and usually fits on one, maximum two A4 pages. This is the same document that is known in America as a resume. The latter, on the other hand, is a longer document that also contains a collection of all the academic achievements of a person.

CV definition in the US

In our distant neighbours, the meaning of Curriculum Vitae (CV) refers to the definition of an academic CV - a long, comprehensive document that contains a collection of academic achievements in addition to the standard information. Doctors, professors, eminent scholars will have impressive, multi-page CVs describing their academic achievements, including titles of their scientific papers, perhaps inventions and patents.

If you are looking to apply for a job in the US, you will be asked to submit a resume instead of a CV.

Every country has its own practises of the employment process, as well as legal regulations and other relevant aspects, and that is why standards for job applications may vary from country to country. Let’s compare some of them.

What are the CV standards in other countries?

Writing a CV is a very important process. After all, it is the document that determines whether you will be invited to an interview and, ultimately, hired. We all want to make the best possible impression on recruiters and employers. It turns out that while the general principles are quite similar, some countries have their own specific requirements.

Let's take a look at some of them:

CV standards in South Africa

The South African document differs from the one used in the UK in some rather important ways. But let's start with the similarities.
Just like in the UK, the South African CV should be no longer than two pages. It also should not include a photograph. What matters are your achievements, work ethic and education.

According to the guidelines that can be found on the government website, it should include:

  • Personal details. Note: there is a little more detail here than in the UK CV. As well as your name and contact details, you will include the date and place of birth, gender, marital status, ID number, driving licence information and even your health.
  • Education, including all additional courses and certificates,
  • Skills, detailing computer skills and languages,
  • List of awards or special achievements,
  • In addition to this, it is very important that your CV contains a credible references section so that your potential employer can check how you performed in your previous position.

CV standards in Poland

In Poland, standards are largely similar to those commonly used in other European countries.
It is interesting to note that the vast majority of Polish Curriculum Vitae should contain a professional photograph of the candidate.

What else should be included?

  • contact details: name, telephone number, e-mail. However, providing a full address is rare.
  • professional experience, usually up to 3 positions back to back,
  • educational background,
  • skills,
  • hobbies or interests.

Yes, there is a special place for hobbies in the CV! Similar interests help to build a good, close-knit team.

CV standards in Australia

Forget everything we've told you so far! The Australian Curriculum Vitae differs from the UK one in a few important ways:
Let's start with the fact that if you have any work experience at all, you should apply with a 3 or even 4 pages long document! A one-page CV is considered insufficient even for those new to the job market.

What else should you include?

  • Career objective or summary, known as the personal statement. This is where you briefly outline your achievements and career goals.
  • Contact details such as name, email, telephone number.
  • Work experience with highlighted achievements and/or responsibilities.
  • Education information.
  • What skills you have.
  • List of references along with their contact details.

Top tips for your English CV

  • Include your proficiency or fluency level

    Alternatively, you can self-assess and describe your own fluency, such as:

  • Focus on your specialism

    Spoken by almost a billion non-native speakers, English is by far the most popular second language in the world. That makes competition fierce for English-speaking roles. With that in mind, you’ll need to make sure your English CV is tailored to the role you’re applying for. A project manager CV in English should be vastly different to one for a marketing assistant, for example. Be sure to include plenty of key skills from the job description to increase your chances of passing an ATS check too.

  • Stay concise

    It can be tempting to use long, descriptive sentences on your CV, especially if you want to showcase your proficiency in English. However, remember that recruiters typically have hundreds of CVs to read through for each vacancy. You can increase your chances of success by making your work experience, skills, and other details clear and concise. Use bullet points so they can be skim-read, and keep the more complex or descriptive details for your interview.

  • Use the right variety of English

    It’s also worth noting some differences in vocabulary that might arise on your CV. While many UK applicants have graduated from “university”, those in the US will have graduated from “college”.


FAQs about CVs in English

How make a CV for a job in UK English

The best approach for an English CV is to keep things simple. While you might think complex terms and jargon will impress recruiters, plain English is the best way forward. After you’ve made your CV, get an English-speaking friend or relative to read through and check for any odd phraseology and grammatical issues, along with typos and general errors. Using a pre-made English CV template will provide the right layout and structure to make things easier.

What is the correct format for a CV in English?

English CVs come in a range of formats. In the UK, the most common is the reverse-chronological, which focuses on experience with your most recent job first. There’s also the skills-based (or skill CV) in English, ideal for students or those without specific industry experience. Alternatively, for US jobs, an English resume format is preferred, which provides a brief overview of your experience and background.

How to write a CV in English for students

If you’re an overseas student in an English-speaking country, chances are you’ll need to write your CV in English. The CV itself should comprise your personal statement, work history, skills, and education. Try to highlight transferable skills from any previous roles, including communication, teamwork, and punctuality. Alternatively, with a skill CV in English, you can focus on qualities you’ve developed during your studies, such as computer literacy, meeting deadlines, and critical thinking.

Is it CV or resume in English?

The distinction between CV and resume depends on which country you’re in. In the UK, Ireland and New Zealand, CV is the correct term. Resume is used primarily in the US, where it refers to a broader, more concise overview of your working or education background. Finally, there are some English-speaking countries like India, Australia, and South Africa, where CV and resume are used interchangeable to refer to the same document – which can use the format of either a CV or resume too.

What is the full form of CV in English?

The CV full form in English is curriculum vitae. It comes from Latin, meaning “course of life”. In contrast, the term resume comes from the French “résumé” meaning “summary”. This gives a bit more context on the difference between the two documents, with CVs going into more detail, while resumes summarise an applicant’s background.

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Dos and don’ts of English CVs


  • Do use an English CV template Using an CV template for your English CV allows you to focus on what you write, rather than having to worry about the layout and structure. Templates come pre-designed in a suitable format, with sections for your work history, skills, personal statement, and education, plus additional areas of your professional background if you’re writing an English resume.
  • Do get help from a native speaker If you’re writing a CV with English as your second language, it’s good practice to find someone with English as their first language to check things over. If English isn’t your mother tongue, it’s difficult to know that certain phrases or sentence structures sound odd. Getting a friend or relative to help will root these out and make sure your CV reads well for recruiters.


  • Don’t rely on a translator Whether it’s Google translate or more advanced software, translation tools are never completely accurate. As such, they should not be relied on for your CV. While they might provide a rough idea of what you want to say, and some of the right words, the small errors will be enough for recruiters to put down your CV and move onto the next one, which brings us onto…
  • Don’t forget the cover letter Writing a cover letter to accompany your English CV is a great way to sell yourself to recruiters and highlight why you think you’re a great fit for the job. Research company values and explain how you align with them, then pick out specific qualifications, skills, and experiences from your CV and describe how they make you a good fit for the job.

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Try our English CV maker

From experienced project managers to ambitious entry-level applicants, English CVs are a must to take the next step in your career. Thanks to myPerfectCV, you won’t have to say “pardon my French” when you’re writing your own.

We aim to make it easier for you to create a CV in English. Word downloads, a choice of professional templates, and pre-written content that’s tailored to your job and sector – you’ll find it all on our innovative CV builder.

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English CV template

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