How to write an entry-level CV (with example and template)

Updated 1 August 2023

Your CV is your first introduction to a potential employer. It showcases your skills, interests, educational background and all the experience you bring to the role you're applying for. An effective entry-level CV helps you secure that all-important first job and paves the way for the rest of your career. In this article, we explain what an entry-level CV is and what employers expect to see in them, detail how to write an entry-level CV and provide a CV template and example to help you write your own.

How to write an entry-level CV

When learning how to write an entry-level CV, the first thing to consider is structure. A simple structure makes writing your CV more straightforward, but it may also make it easier for potential employers to read. Amend this structure depending on your experience and the industry in which you're applying for a role, but generally, every CV includes the following, in order:

  1. Include your full name and contact details, including a professional social media address or link.

  2. Provide a personal statement detailing your objectives and what you bring to the role.

  3. List your core competencies, including the skills mentioned in the job description.

  4. List your education and qualifications, in reverse chronological order.

  5. Outline your work experience details, along with bulleted explanations of your activities in any given role.

  6. Share any interests and achievements that apply to the role which you haven't covered elsewhere.

  7. Provide names of one or two referees, with their job titles and contact information.

What is an entry-level CV?

An entry-level CV is a document used to share your skills, experience and enthusiasm for a role with employers when you're applying for your first job. This type of CV is mostly used by recent graduates or those with little experience. It highlights both hard and soft skills, along with any practical experience, and shows that you're willing and eager to learn. As with every CV you might compile throughout your career, personalisation is vital for success.

To make a brilliant first impression, a well-structured and well-written CV is essential. Employers read endless applications as they attempt to fill a single role, so keeping their attention is a way of securing the job you desire. You do this by using the right language to sell your skills, formatting your CV appropriately and including relevant experience. Below are five things to include in your CV:

Transferable skills

When you have little experience, skills become more important in your CV. Creating a designated skills section tells your potential employer that you have plenty to offer and speaks to how you meet the job requirements. Be selective in the skills you highlight and try to choose abilities that may be of benefit in your chosen industry. In particular, look for any skills mentioned in the job description and emphasise those.

Include a mixture of hard and soft skills. Necessary hard skills are typically mentioned in the job advert and are usually role-specific. These might include proficiency in certain types of software, foreign languages or technological platforms. Soft skills apply to all industries and include more general abilities like teamwork, time management and attention to detail. These are valuable to employers, so ensure you give them as much space as your hard skills.

Related: 10 best skills to include on a CV

Personality and ambition

The opening sections of your CV tell your potential employer everything there's to know about you professionally. Include your goals, approach to work and why you're passionate about the position. The idea is to share enough information that the reader is eager to keep learning more by reading through the rest of your CV. This is usually formatted as a professional summary discussing the skills you've already gained and how you might like to progress in the advertised role. Explain what you can bring to the role in your own words, but keep it concise and positive.

Example: Recent University of Cleckheaton graduate in media and communications with a genuine passion for news journalism. Seeking to use an understanding of academic theory and practical media experience to grow readership, engage online audiences and tell incredible stories at Birmingham Mail.

Active language

Writing in an active voice demonstrates your confidence and active participation in the roles or activities you discuss in your CV. By using active verbs to describe an action that a subject is performing, you focus on the value of that activity. Using words like ‘achieved', ‘awarded', ‘organised', ‘led' or ‘assisted' helps you highlight your achievements and clearly describe your responsibilities.

Example: I organised team-building activities for a range of groups with a local charity, helping to increase group cohesion and mentor new volunteers. Volunteered to design a leaflet for a large school event, which went on to win a student design competition across the region. I advised customers on product selection, employing strong technical knowledge and interpersonal skills.

Related: 90 of the best CV buzzwords to make your CV stand out

Relevant experience

Discuss your work experience, education, any certifications you may have and even any hobbies or interests that have helped you develop key skills. The important thing here is to keep what you write relevant to the role you're applying for. Highlight any experiences that directly apply to the job in question and name specific skills wherever possible. In most cases, listing your experience in reverse chronological order is preferable, as it puts your greatest achievements at the top of your CV.

Clear design

Entry-level CVs come in many different styles and formats, but the goal is to showcase your skills and experience as clearly as possible. Your CV may be relatively short at entry-level, flowing over just one page. This ensures you keep your potential employer's attention and that they read the entire document. Choose a template style that uses margins and bold design elements to make the most of your space, but remember to leave some white space to give the reader's eyes a rest.

Related: What is CV design? (With 13 designs to inspire you)

Entry-level CV template

Use this template to write your own CV for an entry-level position:

[Your full name]
[Your full address]
[Phone number]
[Professional social media address]

[A few sentences about your key qualifications, background and ambitions]

Core competencies
[Bullet point skills related to the role]

[Dates attended]
[Type of qualification with school or university name] [Classification or grade]

Work experience
[Dates attended] [Role with organisation name]
[Bullet point key activities]

[Referee's full name]
[Referee's job title and employer]

Entry-level CV example

An effective entry-level CV aims to get you and your skills noticed by potential employers. Below is an example of an entry-level CV for a recently graduated university student applying for a role as a digital marketing assistant with a local agency. Use this example as a guide to help you create your own CV:

Naomi Clifford
20 Halcyon Rd, Plymouth, PL2 2PJ
Telephone: 07385734592

Ambitious, hardworking marketing graduate with a 2:1 honours degree. Having established a strong foundation in digital marketing, I am seeking an opportunity to further develop my technical skills. I am eager to build a lasting career in marketing with your company.

Core competencies

  • Graphic/web design software

  • Understanding of SEO

  • Strong communication skills

  • Excellent timekeeping and organisation

  • Incredibly close attention to detail

Bachelor of Science in Marketing at Plymouth Business School, 2:1
A-Levels at Cornwall College English Literature (A), History (A*), Fine Art (A), Mathematics (B)
GCSEs at Penrice Academy English Literature (A), English Language (A), History (A), Fine Art (A), Mathematics (B), Biology (B), Physics (B), Chemistry (B), French (C)

Work experience
June 2021, placement, online marketing assistant at Big Red

  • Managed the website and all social media output

  • Ran campaign to increase conversions, with an uplift of 14% over one month

  • Managed multiple partnerships to grow awareness

Interests and achievements

  • Passionate content creator with a thriving social media following of 12k+

  • Creative, with a keen interest in designing using digital tools

  • Currently attend monthly marketing seminars to expand technical knowledge

Michael Bastian
Lecturer in marketing management, Plymouth Business School
Telephone: 07284777284

Sara Pointer
Digital marketing manager, Big Red
Telephone: 07288364553

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Related articles

What is an entry-level job? (Plus tips on how to get one)

Explore more articles

  • FAQ: Should You Include Your Date of Birth on Your CV?
  • How to detail customer service skills in CV (With example)
  • How to write a cover letter for library assistant positions
  • How to write a maths teacher CV (Components and example)
  • How to write a vet receptionist cover letter (with example)
  • How to write a detailed freelance writer CV (with template)
  • How to write a child care CV (and 10 skills to include)
  • How to get an MAPM qualification (with benefits and routes)
  • How to show a promotion on your CV (With examples)
  • Receptionist cover letter examples (plus tips to write one)
  • Good CV examples (With extra tips and best practices)
  • How to write a content creator cover letter (With example)