Writing a standout CV 

Writing a standout CV 

Your CV is likely to be the first impression an agricultural and horticultural employer has of you so it is important to spend time getting it right.
Lady checking over her CV. iStock.com/fizkes
Lady checking over her CV. iStock.com/fizkes

This TIAH Guide provides advice on making sure your CV stands out when applying for a job in farming and growing. It stresses the importance of studying the job description and how to structure your CV to sell yourself and your achievements.

Before you write your CV, study the job description so you know exactly what the employer is looking for. Make sure your CV shows how you have the skills, experience, and strengths to fit the vacant role.

The title of your CV

Don’t write Curriculum Vitae at the top of the page. The title should be your name, professional title, and contact details.

Personal profile

The personal profile is a great opportunity to really sell yourself. It should summarise who you are, your skills and key accomplishments, and what you wish to achieve. Tailor this to the job you are applying for.

Even if you don't have the exact skills related to the role, such as a nursery worker, dairy manager, or horticulturalist, highlight your transferable skills and experience.

Remember to ‘show, not tell.’ Don’t just say you are ‘innovative’ and ‘hard working’ but give evidence-based examples of achievements that show you are.

CV Library states: “The person described in your profile (you) should sound like the ideal candidate for the job.”

Work history

List your previous roles, placements, and volunteering with the most recent first. Include your job title, the dates you were employed, and a summary of what you did and achieved in that role. Use ‘doing words’ like ‘developed’ and ’organised.’

Top tip: Hugh Pocock, one of the founding directors of agribusiness recruitment specialists Cultura Connect, says: “Bullet point your responsibilities and key achievements. 

“If the vacancy is for a herd manager and you have helped achieve really good results on the back of your hard work in the past, you need to highlight that. For example, if the milk yield went from 10,000 to 11,000 litres under your stewardship, the prospective employer will be pleased to know that.”


Set out, in reverse order, your education, including the name of the institution, the dates you attended, and the qualifications and grades you achieved.

Looking for more help on applying for jobs?

Our Employment Toolkit contains a host of resources to help you with each step of applying for a new job in farming and growing.

From researching roles to preparing for an on-farm interview, we've broken the process of applying for a job down into three key steps and collected everything you need to know in one place.
Man checking over his CV. iStock.com/insta_photos

Other skills

List other key skills, such as experience driving tractors and forklifts, knowledge of specific software, and relevant courses you've attended.

Interests and hobbies

Let the employer know a little more about you by highlighting your interests and hobbies outside of work, particularly those relevant to the job. List notable achievements, such as representing your county at sport or obtaining grade eight in piano.

General guidance

Your CV should be no longer than two sides of A4. Proofread it to avoid spelling mistakes. Keep formatting simple and use clean fonts like Times New Roman, Arial, and Calibri. 

A good covering letter is important – it should summarise what's in your CV, emphasise why you're interested in the role, and how your key strengths match what's required.

Top tip: Hugh Pocock, of Cultura Connect says: “A common mistake is that applicants take it for granted that employers will automatically know what the company they are currently working for does.

“Give your company’s name and a description of its activities. There might be something that that company does that stands out as a really good selling point for the firm with the vacancy.”

For more tips and an illustration of what a good CV looks like, take a look at our exemplar CV.