A guide to CVs, cover letters, and application forms

A free guide, written by the LSE careers consultants and available only to LSE students. Come to the LSE Careers resource centre (5th Floor, Saw Swee Hock Student Centre) to pick up your free copy. You can also download a PDF of the booklet.

Below you will find a selection of CVs. Some are anonymised versions of real CVs while others have been created by Careers Consultants. These are to be used as samples only and are not perfect examples (no CV is perfect). They are designed to give you ideas of how your CV could be structured. Please see our guide on how to write CVs and cover letters [pdf] for further advice.

Please note:

  • you should tailor your CV to the job description each time you apply
  • any names or achievements used in the samples that reflect real individuals are purely coincidental

Traditional or reverse-chronological CV

This is the most common type of CV and is suitable for the majority of job seekers. Education and work experience are presented in reverse chronological order.


Skills-based or ‘functional’ CV

This format is different to the traditional CV in that you list your education and work experience very briefly and the bulk of the CV is then taken up by demonstrating relevant skills. The skills you mention should be closely matched to the job description. Some people like to include a profile on this type of CV to help put their experience into context.

A skills-based CV can be useful if:

  • you are changing careers
  • you have lots of experience in a range of sectors and want to show how your varied experience is relevant


Academic CVs

Are used for applying for research assistant roles, fellowships, post-docs and lectureships etc. This is the only type of CV that can be longer than 2 pages as you are required to give details of all publications and conferences attended. Please see further details on our PhD & research staff section.


Other examples on the Vitae website.

Creative CVs

If you are looking for a role in a creative industry such as graphic design, marketing, PR or brand consultancy then an infographic, visual or Prezi CV could be appropriate to show your creativity and design skills.

Examples and tools:


LSE Careers LSECareers

"Be willing to try as much as possible but also be honest...when things are hard or even simply not possible...this……

4 days ago

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LSE Careers LSECareers

Did you miss our alumni careers panel on #internationaldevelopment last week? Catch up with top tips and insights f……

2 weeks ago

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