Posted in CV tips, International zone

CV Writing for International Students

In a highly competitive job market, it is more important than ever for international students to create a top-quality CV in order to get recognized by employers. This means writing your CV in a format appropriate for the country in which you wish to work and targeting it specifically to the job that you are applying for. Below I have put together a list of things to consider when writing your CV in the UK preferred format:

UK CV Do’s and Don’ts

• Your CV should be 2 pages in length.
• You don’t need to include your date of birth, gender, nationality or a photograph.
• Be easily contactable – include your term time address whilst in the UK.
• List your experiences in reverse chronological order, that is, the most recent first.
• Include more information about your highest level qualification as this is the most relevant.
• Don’y include the company’s full address in your work experience, just the city and country (if overseas) will suffice.
• You may wish to convert your international qualifications to allow employers to recognize and calculate your ‘UCAS points’. See the UK NARIC for more information.
• Keep your sentences short and concise and always provide evidence for your skills.
• Ensure that the statements you make about the proficiency of your language skills are reflected in your CV – stating that you are fluent in English when your CV is full of grammatical errors is contradictory and looks unprofessional.
• If using international references ensure that they are easily contactable.
• You can save space and write ‘references available upon request’.
• If necessary, you may wish to write ‘eligible to work in the UK’ at the top of your CV.


In addition to the tips above, below are some further points that you should consider when creating an effective UK-based CV.

Language Skills

Your ability to communicate with individuals from a whole range of cultural backgrounds could be extremely valuable to an organization with overseas markets and suppliers. Highlight your language skills under the ‘Additional Skills’ section in your CV, stating your proficiency in each language e.g. mother tongue, full proficiency, intermediate etc.

Work Experience

Whilst gaining work experience in the UK is important, you should never underestimate the value of your international experience. Adding to your multilingual abilities, your knowledge of both UK and overseas business practice could greatly enhance your application and allow you to offer a unique contribution to the company. You may also have developed a range of international contacts which could be invaluable to an employer looking to expand their organization.

Use of Language in your CV

Creating an effective CV is not just about WHAT you say but also about HOW you say it. Your choice of vocabulary will shape the employer’s impression of you, so it is important to set a positive and professional tone throughout. ACTION words such as those listed below are useful as they convey proactive and enthusiastic nature:

Achieved, managed, developed, gained, created, produced, analyzed, undertook, conducted, organized, presented, implemented, researched, persuaded.

It is also recommended that you write your CV in the third person to help make your CV look less self-centered and more employer-centered. Simply remove the ‘I’ from the beginning of your sentences e.g. “Developed excellent communication skills whilst working at [company]”.

If you need help with your English skills then you can visit the Center of Academic Writing

For help and guidance on how to write a winning CV please follow the link below.

If you would like to book an appointment to get some advice on your CV then you can contact us on 02477652011 or visit us on the first floor of the Hub building. For guidance on how to effectively evidence your skills, see our previous blog.

Michelle 🙂


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