Does the length of a CV matter?
When it comes to creating a professional CV, length matters. The size of a CV can be the pivotal factor during the pre-screening process to determine whether a recruiter will take the time to read your CV in greater detail and progress your application. Considering that in a first stage sift a recruiter is likely to read anywhere between 50-100 CV’s, it’s crucial to keep your CV to a reasonable length to ensure you retain the reader’s attention.
How long should a professional CV be?
The answer depends on your level of experience. A CV should read concisely while still providing enough information to give potential employers an accurate picture of your skills and experience. How well the space is utilised relevant to your experience is the best way to judge the length of a CV.
If you have recently graduated or are in the early stages of your career, it is advisable to keep your CV to no more than 2 pages in length. This should provide adequate room to detail your career history, key skills, education and hobbies and interests (if you have no other distinguishing experiences that separate you from other candidates).
In contrast, if you have 15+ years of work experience under your belt or perhaps you have spent a lot of time working in project based or freelance positions, it may well be acceptable to add an additional page to detail the most important elements of your background. This will allow employers to get a more comprehensive overview of your experience and qualifications.
How can you keep your CV as short as possible?
To create a professional CV, you should focus on including only the information that is most relevant to the job you’re applying for. If you have any skills or experience that aren’t directly related to the job, don’t feel obliged to include it. Instead, you can include it in your LinkedIn profile and use words to the effect of ‘further employment history available on LinkedIn‘ which helps the employer to find out more on another platform.
A simple way to maintain a 2-page CV length is to reduce the size of the font. We recommend no less than ‘11’ point in a relevant font such as a Arial or Calibri. This will reduce the need to delete information or withhold achievements and experiences that you feel are crucial to demonstrating your value.
Be sure to avoid repetition through your CV ensuring every point is unique and adds a new layer to who you are as a person. Any skills or qualities listed in the ‘Personal Profile’ section should be avoided mentioning again in the ‘Key Skills’ section and vice versa. Similarly If you have multiple positions of the same job type, you may want to consider spreading out the responsibilities across each role to avoid mentioning the same points over and over again.
You should also bear in mind that employers may not have time to read through lengthy CVs. Therefore, it’s important to include only the most important information and to be as concise as possible.
In conclusion, the length of a professional CV depends on your personal experience level. In general, individuals with 0-15 years should aim for two pages whilst freelancers or those with 15+ years of experience can utilise up to 3 pages, if necessary. Regardless of length, it’s important to ensure that the content is relevant, concise and contributes to your unique value proposition to secure the interviews you want for the jobs that you deserve.
If you would you like to know what a professional CV should look like, feel free to upload your CV here and a member of our team will reach out to provide you with a personal review.