Startups receive hundreds of CVs per job and may only spend seconds looking at each. Your job is to make it as easy as possible for them to see that you’ve got the skills and experience they’re looking for, in order to move you forward in the hiring process.
At UK Startup Jobs we believe that one page CVs are more effective, when applying to startups (but also to larger companies), than a three to four, or even a ‘short’ two page CV. The biggest challenge is fitting everything important onto that one page, especially if you have a few years experience and want to show it all. Distilling your career story displays your communication skills and ensures that what you do write will actually get read.
To help you write your CV, we’ve provided you with a one page startup CV template, together with some tips for writing each section below. (Access your Google doc template at the bottom of this article.)
The summary section should be no more than a few sentences long. This is your elevator pitch that you would deliver to your ideal employer in less than one minute. Highlight your experience, the value you can bring to their organisation and what you’re looking for in your next role.
This section is optional and can be used to pull out 2-3 career highlights. Use this section to quickly customise your CV for a given role before sending, by emphasising the things that company is particularly interested in based on the job description.
List out only relevant jobs you’ve had. It’s not necessary to list every job you’ve ever had, and there is no need to stress over any career gaps. Focus on your most recent positions. For each job held, add a brief summary of your achievements and key responsibilities. Be concise, and keep it to 3-4 points per job. You’ll have plenty of time to share detailed stories during the next phase – the interview process. Wherever possible use numbers to quantify the impact you had.
Add the highest level of education that you hold. For instance, if you have a degree, it’s ok to list that and leave out your school years. In a similar vein, it’s not necessary to add the specific grades that you attained. If you hold any relevant professional qualifications or have completed any self study courses – add them here.
This section is used to catch the eye of the reader and call out specific skills that you possess. Limit this to 5-10 items, and make them specific to the role you are applying for. For instance, software developers could list specific languages or frameworks that they work in, like React Native, whilst marketers could highlight skills in Google Analytics or SEO. Avoid generic skills and buzzwords like “communication”. Be ready to answer questions and demonstrate your ability in these skill areas in your interview.
There is no need to provide your full postal address. Add an email, contact number and links to your LinkedIn profile, portfolio, GitHub or other professional presence that you have online.
Example one page startup CV template
Access your one page startup CV template for free!
Get your template on Google Docs here. Make a copy of the file and make it your own. Be sure to download it in PDF format when applying to jobs.
Pair a well written one page CV with a good cover letter and prepare to make it through to the telephone screen interview round!