Annotated CV Tips when upgrading your CIRO membership

We’re here to support you as a member of CIRO, whether you’re just beginning your career or a rail leader. With our help, becoming a member or upgrading your CIRO membership is straightforward. CIRO membership gives you access to resources, development opportunities and centres you in our exclusive community of like-minded rail professionals.

As part of the membership upgrade process, you will need to complete an annotated CV. It should showcase your complete railway operations career, aligning your experience and progress with the Professional Operators Development (POD) framework. In addition, you will need a summary of your up-to-date knowledge and skill levels, detailing how it relates to the relevant POD sections.

What is an Annotated CV?

As a minimum your CV should include your current job role, your career history, your education and training.

An Annotated CV is essentially an extended version of your original CV however, it’s the link between your experience and your Professional Operators Development (POD). Depending on which level you’re applying for, you’ll need to demonstrate which sections of the POD you’ve fulfilled with your career experience and education.

You should mark your CV with a note of the number(s) of the POD sections relevant to each role.

You can either annotate straight onto your CV with clear, relevant and concise paragraphs or you can use a summary template which is a clear way of demonstrating the roles you’ve had and how they relate to the required POD sections. Ask yourself ‘so what?’ as this will help you to explain the reasons why your experience is relevant to a POD. What’s more, you’re able to indicate the location of your experience and the duration.

How long should my CV be?

A standard CV should be no more than two a4 pages. That being said, one size does not fit all, as a recent graduate will have far less experience than a senior professional. Regardless of your length of service, it’s imperative to keep your CV clear and concise, you can always expand on your experience in your covering letter.

It’s also a good idea to tailor your CV to the specific company role you’re applying for. You can browse the website and social media to align your skills and expertise to what the employer is looking for.

What should I include?

There should be five to seven main sections included in your CV, below:

Contact details – Make sure to include your full name, mobile number and a professional sounding email address.

Profile – This is a brief statement that summarises you as a person and will help you to stand out. Be careful not to use any generic, over-used phrases such as ‘hardworking’ or ‘team-player’ – it’s a given!

Work experience – Here you should include your work experience, with the most recent or current at the top of the list. E.g., Job title, company name, dates and responsibilities. When it comes to relating your experiences to the POD, even if you’re senior don’t forget to briefly talk about your junior roles, especially when it comes to front-line customer experience.

Education – In this section, list and date all your education and qualifications to showcase your professional credibility. Also, if it’s relevant to the job role, you can mention specific degree modules.

Skills and achievements – This is where you should list all the relevant skills such as languages spoken or software you can use. Make sure you don’t exaggerate as you will need to demonstrate your ability at interview stage.

References (optional) – Referee details aren’t mandatory at this stage so don’t worry about including this if you’re running out of space.

Interests (optional) – Remember to list only job-specific interests as ‘socialising’ won’t grab the employers’ attention. Instead, do include ‘president of a cricket club’ if you’re applying for a management role for example.

Don’t forget, our rail leaders and membership panel have all been on the same journey as you. At CIRO, we will support you in every step of the way in your professional rail career.

CIRO membership is the best way to showcase your knowledge and dedication to the rail industry, to your colleagues, like-minded professionals and prospective employers. So, what’s stopping you taking the next step? Get in touch with our Membership Coordinator on 03333 440523, extension 1001 or email