Your CV is the first opportunity you get to make a positive impression on a hiring manager along with a cover letter, so it is vital it is well written, accurate and reflects you. If you’re looking for advice on how to write a Receptionist CV, look no further. Below, we look at how to construct your CV to ensure you are represented in the best possible way to help secure your next Receptionist role, whether you’re looking for a temp role or a permanent position.
You will also find our free CV template for a receptionist role below.
How to write a stand-out CV for a receptionist job
Keep reading to learn how to write a CV for a receptionist role, including examples of how to list this out on your CV for maximum impact.
Use a simple format
A professional CV needs to be easy to read and understand. Keep it concise, relevant and to a maximum of two A4 pages. Less is more, and we advise keeping the format simple, using a traditional font and in black. Do explain all gaps in employment and make sure it is in reverse chronological order with the most recent role at the top.
We also advise that CVs remain in a standard Word document without too many images, logos or colours, which will only distract from your experience.
Present your CV professionally
Since a receptionist is often the face or voice representing an organisation to the public, it's crucial to convey professionalism in your CV. This includes using a clear, easy-to-read font, maintaining consistent formatting throughout, and including your contact details at the top. Keep the language on your CV professional and avoid using slang, abbreviations, or overly casual phrasing.
Bullet point your work history
The work experience section is the most important section of your CV and must be listed one role at a time. Even if you have no experience as a receptionist, list out your employment experience, including unpaid or voluntary work, emphasising administrative skills, customer service skills and soft skills that link back to the job description.
Employers often quickly scan CVs, so it is helpful to show your duties in bullet point format so they are easy to read. For example:
Oriel Partners (Recruitment) June 2020 – Present
- Meeting and greeting all visitors to the office at the front desk
- Answering phone calls in a timely fashion in a professional telephone manner
- Overseeing the meeting room bookings
- Arranging catering for meetings and events
See here for a full list of essential receptionist skills and duties.
Too much movement on your CV doesn’t create a good first impression, so if you have worked in several roles within one company, it is a good idea to list each job title under one company name. This also shows you have progressed internally, which is also a good sign to future employers. For example:
Oriel Partners (Recruitment) January 2017 - present
Head Receptionist June 2020 – Present
Receptionist January 2017 – June 2020
Quantify your achievements
Whenever possible, use numbers to highlight your accomplishments. For example, "Managed incoming calls, averaging 50 per day, and efficiently directed them to the appropriate departments."
Numbers provide clarity. For instance, saying "Handled calls" versus "Handled an average of 60 calls daily" paints a much clearer picture of your capabilities. It indicates that you measure and are aware of your performance. What’s more, concrete data tends to stand out in the mind of a hiring manager, making your CV more memorable.
Make your interests interesting!
Your CV should not only cover your previous experience working as a receptionist. This is especially important if you are at the start of your career and do not have years of experience to show. Your interests can be a section of your CV which stands out from the crowd, and it can become a good talking point at an interview. Socialising or partying should not be included! Examples of hobbies and interests to mention include sporting achievements that show leadership and communication skills or awards won in the workplace. Perhaps any voluntary work you have carried out or challenges you have succeeded in.
List your most relevant skills
The skills section of your CV is your opportunity to make your application shine. As well as making sure you cover the skills required in the job description, make sure you add any exceptional skills that make you stand out. For example, do you speak another language? Perhaps you are a qualified First Aider? Do you have experience negotiating deals with suppliers? Or are you a former customer services representative? Listing additional bonus skills, that employers have not asked for but could come in handy, will help you stand out during the shortlisting process. Make sure you emphasise any soft skills you have developed, too.
If you have completed a particular administrative or customer service course or received a specific professional qualification which is relevant to the Receptionist role you are applying for, definitely highlight it near the top of your CV so it is not missed. This may help you stand out from other candidates.
Things to avoid when writing a CV for a receptionist role
A generic personal statement
Personal statements are a very good way to make your CV stand out. They are a professional summary that should include a brief overview of your relevant skills, work experience and what you are looking for in your next role to give a prospective employer an understanding of your personal profile. Don’t make it too chatty, and make it relevant to the receptionist positions that you are applying for, there is nothing worse than a CV saying the candidate is looking to work in the creative sector when they are applying to a corporate role.
Instead of saying, "Looking for a receptionist position in a reputable company," try something specific like, "Seeking a receptionist role at XYZ Company where I can leverage my 3 years of experience in customer service and proficiency in office management software."
Similarly, it’s a good idea to provide specific examples of how you've demonstrated skills in past roles. For instance, rather than just saying "excellent organisational skills", you might mention how you managed appointment schedules for multiple executives in a past position.
If you are sending a prospective receptionist CV rather than responding to a job ad, you may find it useful to check out this example receptionist job description and tailor your CV to that.
An experienced interviewer will easily be able to spot any discrepancies in a CV. Make sure the format is consistent all the way through, and double-check there are no spelling and grammatical errors. You will be surprised how many typos even the most professional candidates forget to correct.
Missing off your contact details
Importantly, your CV should have all of your personal details on it – name, address, contact number and email address, so companies can quickly see how to contact you and see your location. It is also important to ensure you have a working voicemail when you are actively job hunting, to ensure you don’t miss that all-important call!
Do remember to ensure you double-check your social media settings. Make sure your accounts are private and any public images are ones that you are comfortable with a future employer seeing.
Too much detail
Try to avoid listing every qualification you have ever received or a part-time role you did when you were still in education if they are not relevant to your job search. You want to ensure the reader's eye is focused on the most relevant roles, which will help you to secure that all-important next position. For instance, a detailed account of a technical skill unrelated to receptionist duties might not be necessary. Tailor your CV to the specific role, and be concise.
Embellishing the truth
Your CV needs to be completely accurate, including dates, duties and qualifications. Either at the interview stage or during the referencing process, any untruths will become obvious, so it is important you represent yourself accurately. Employers and recruiters will not take kindly to false information. It’s always best to secure a role through your own merits.
See our guide to the most common receptionist interview questions to prepare for.
Check out a stand-out CV Template
For more information on how to lay out a stand-out CV, please download our Receptionist CV template.
Download Your CV Template Here