You know WHAT to write. The question is – HOW to write it and HOW long should your CV be? The answer to the question of how long a CV should be in 2020 is not as obvious as some may think.
You are creating a CV. You know why you are doing that – you want to get a job. You also know what you want to include there – a history of your education, your contact data, and your professional achievements.
You know WHAT to write. The question is – HOW to write it and HOW long should your CV be?
The answer to the question of how long a CV should be in 2019 is not as obvious as some may think.
Let us imagine a recruitment expert dealing with two exemplary scenarios:
RECRUITMENT EXPERT CHECKS A LONG CV
– 3 PAGES FILLED WITH TEXT
What will he think about the candidate?
He may think that the candidate is very experienced, has achieved a lot in life, and is eager to do even more in the future.
However, he may also think that such a person is conceited, cannot present ordered information, select key data, and distinguish valuable pieces of information from those less important ones.
It is obviously highly dependent on what you put in your CV – you may go for precise information or decide to waffle. Let us say it bluntly – when an expert receives 5 or 25 CVs and every one of them is about 3 pages long, he will not read all of them carefully. Do not torture the poor recruitment expert with an essay about you. It is not the right time to do that.
Research says that for one offered position, there are 50 candidates. While it's true that a recruiter spends around 4 minutes reading a resume, the first 6 seconds decide about whether your application will be read further or not.
RECRUITMENT EXPERT RECEIVES A SHORT CV
– HALF A PAGE WITH SOME HIGHLIGHTED POINTS…
AND THAT’S ALL
What will he think about the candidate?
He may think that the candidate is a man of few words, a humble person, or an individual who do not know how to present himself or herself.
He or she may also think that the candidate knows nothing about the branch of industry he wants to work in and that he or she has no experience (you should mention all works similar to the one you are applying for, even if it has had the form of a traineeship – remember to add pieces of information showing that you are worthy of a given job)
The expert may even think that you do not really want to convince the employer with such a short CV.
WHAT TYPE OF CV TO CREATE THEN?
A concise one. ;)
WHAT you write is the most important thing, but THE WAY you put it may also impact the reception of the document.
A CV should be 1-2 pages long. 2 is the absolute maximum. The best idea is to limit yourself to one page, unless you really want to tell the recruitment expert a bit more about yourself.
Why a single page is better?
Because if the recruitment expert selects one-page printing mode, the second page may go missing or be mixed with other CVs. In the case of two-page printing, some experts may not consider it sensible to turn the page. It may seem trivial, but some people completely miss that.
Fortunately, if you use a CV Builder, for example the one provided by CraftCV, document length tracking module will be built-in. After two pages, the system will tell you to stop writing more (maybe not exactly, but there will be a notification that you have exceeded the recommended text length).
After filling in the first page with text you will be informed about that. It is useful, because sometimes you may go with the flow while describing yourself, but take care not to overdo that. :)
Think about it in an economic manner – the recruitment expert may print out your CV and make some notes on it, but if he or she prints more than one page, more paper will have to be used and that will harm the environment.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR CV IS TOO LONG?
- Be precise. If you want to put in a name of the position that is well known for the future employer, you do not need to write too much about your scope of responsibilities.
- Use abbreviations – if you include social media management in your document, you can abbreviate it to „SM management”.
- You may also go for an old school trick, namely – make the font smaller. :)
- If you use a CV Builder – select a CV template that uses a small font or hasless decorative elements and more text fields.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR CV IS TOO SHORT?
The optimal length of a CV should be 1 to 2 pages.
- Explain more – if you have only one item included in your professional experience section, describe it precisely and indicate your tasks.
- Provide more of your skills and abilities – you can make up for your limited experience that way and show that you are willing to learn more!
- Have some fun with the layout – for example - this Craft CV template is very rich and has many decorative elements – they will optically fill in the empty fields of the CV.
It should be rather concise, but not lacking in details. The length depends on what you have to present about yourself. You can always shorten or lengthen positions or the scope of your responsibilities, as well as go for a different layout.
To create a CV of a proper length, you should engage your creativity – and common sense. :)