If you’re like most people fresh out of university, then you’ve started the job hunt and are trying to figure out all of the details that go into it. Job hunting comes with a lot of worries; some of them involve your CV. One thing that many people don’t know is how long their CV should be. The first CV I wrote for my first post-high school job was about 4 pages long. Yikes! Looking back now, it seems more like an autobiography than a CV. 😂
In this blog post, we’ll answer the question of how many pages should a cv be, as well as tips when creating yours. Hopefully, this will make your process easier for you to focus more on finding your dream job!
Table of contents
- Ideal CV length
- 13 Easy CV Tweaks to Give You An Impressive CV
- Do research on the Organisation
- Use a professional email address
- Don’t add unnecessary personal information
- Always include relevant job experience
- Don’t add references to your CV
- Pick and choose what you share
- Don’t add a photgraph
- Prove your value
- Make it easy on the eyes
- Format the text
- Put your best foot forward
- Add some finishing touches
- Use the correct file name
- Key takeaway
Ideal CV length
A good CV is usually 1 – 2 pages long on A4 paper. Your CV is a personal advert, and in the world of marketing and advertising, every extra word typed costs more money. If your CV is longer than 2 pages, go through it like an advertiser and make sure every word counts. Most importantly, make sure every word sells you to the recruiter.
If you are still hoping for a direct answer on how long your CV should be, unfortunately, there really isn’t a set answer to this question because everyone is different. If you’re starting in the workforce, then one page may suffice; but if you’ve been working for more than five years and have enough experience on your resume, two pages may work better.
It all depends on what information you want to include–and that will depend largely on where you are in your career, how much experience you have, and your career path.
I hope you wouldn’t run off yet, because other than the length of your CV, I will be sharing some of the best CV tweaks that are stupid-simple to implement. As always, I reached out to an HR expert so you get the best tips and advice.
13 Easy CV Tweaks to Give You An Impressive CV
Do research on the Organisation
No matter how eager you are to send out your CV, it’s important always to do background research on the organisation. I get it! You are tired of job hunting and want a job as soon as possible, but there’s so much you can gain from a 30-minute google search on an organisation before sending out your CV.
You might find that you have some connections who are employees of the organisation that can give you insider information. Doing research will also help you tailor your cv and cover letter to the organisation’s needs.
Use a professional email address
I have seen lots of ridiculous email names. When sending out your CV, make sure the email address is professional, preferably one with your first name and last name only. An easy way to do this is to have one email address that is for professional use only.
Don’t add unnecessary personal information
Contact details are really all the personal information needed on your CV. By contact information, I mean your full name, email address(a professional email address 😁), physical address, and phone number. Some unnecessary personal information you should never include are
- Date of birth
- Marital status
- Religious affiliation
- Current salary
- Exam grades
Always include relevant job experience
I understand that you really want a job, but submitting without any relevant job experience to an employer is counterproductive. Employers want people who perform, and the best way they gauge that is through work experience. It doesn’t have to be the exact job experience. If you performed similar tasks, then it should count. Don’t falsify information though, job hunting is hard, but losing your job due to poor performance is worse.
Don’t add references to your CV
This used to be a thing a few years ago, but thankfully it’s no longer necessary. Adding references to the CV take up precious space, and more often than not, potential employers will not reach out to references so early on in the recruitment process.
Pick and choose what you share
Another thing that some people do when creating their CVs is including all of their education information at once (instead of including just one school and moving down). This may make sense if they have completed many degrees from different universities, but doing so can also cause potential employers to believe that the applicant isn’t serious about any particular degree because they’re putting them all out there at once.
Don’t add a photgraph
One of the things not to do on your CV is include a photo or sound clip (or anything else that may offend potential employers). Even if it’s just for fun and isn’t meant to be offensive, there are plenty of people out there who will find this inappropriate and, therefore, could throw away your resume without even looking at it–regardless of how qualified you are!
Prove your value
This is the biggest question your CV has to answer. You have the right qualifications, you have the right work experience, but why should they consider you for that role. Organizations want to receive ROI on every employee. Your CV is the first document that tells them about you, your qualifications and what you can bring to the table.
Make it easy on the eyes
Another thing not to do when creating your CV is making them in all caps (unless they’ve been professionally formatted as such), but doing so can draw attention because they’re difficult to read and hard on some eyes. It makes them seem more like spam than an actual application, which is not what you want!
Format the text
If it makes sense, make sure you add italics or asterisks when listing degrees earned to make them stand out, but do so sparingly–underlining them as well may take up too much valuable space. Also, make sure to use a clean font. My favourites are Arial and Calibri and font size of 11 or 12. Remember that the CV would most likely be read on-screen, so you want to make it as legible as possible.
Put your best foot forward
The most important information about you and what makes you a great candidate for the job should always come first. If you think you might need more space, consider including an “addendum” section with any additional details like volunteer hours or languages spoken at home (or anything else that doesn’t fit elsewhere). That way, no matter how much experience you have, your CV can always be two pages long.
Add some finishing touches
Always proofread and check for grammatical errors. You can proofread or use a spelling checker software to correct errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation. Pro tip: Write in the third person.
Use the correct file name
It’s important to check the file name before attaching your CV, especially if you used a template. Recruiters will get a lot of applications so you want to make sure they can easily recognize yours. You can use your first name and last name.
To answer the question on how many pages should a CV be, your CV should be as long as it needs to be, usually 1- 2 pages long and nothing more. Keep the sentences short and straight to the point and make sure everything you write is relevant.
Now you have all the insider information on how to write CV’s that give unbelievable results!
If you need more career advice, feel free to reach out.