How long should your CV be changes frequently. A few years ago CV’s used to have to be 1 x A4 page typed; now it is more realistic to have a 2 or 3 page CV so that you have a good chance of getting all the information that you need to onto your CV.
It varies between industries and how much information you need to get across to a company or recruiter in order to be able to get an interview for a role. Some industries/companies just focus on your achievements and qualifications and can assess from that whether you are able to do your job as you say or not and others less qualification based heavily rely on the previous experience that you have had as to whether or not you can do a particular job.
#1 Employers are busy people
Think about putting advert for a position that you have and how many CV’s and applications you are likely to get for a role. With unemployment high and people looking for the same jobs then the application numbers are largely high especially for less technical roles. Employers will look quickly at a covering letter and CV but if it is too long and in a strange order so that they have to search hard for the information they want then they will give up and move onto the next one.
#2 Recruiters see hundred of CV’s
It’s important to remember that recruitment consultants have hundreds of CV’s to go through so it’s important to not only make it stand out but also to ensure that your CV is not full of waffle and too long so that they do not want to read it. You do want someone to read your CV after all the work that you have done to improve it and make sure it reads well and is aimed at a specific job.
#3 Academic and Technical CV’s
In some cases such as Academic and Technical roles, CV’s will be a lot longer to be able to explain the ins and outs of those particular roles, qualifications and specific experience that without they are unable to do the job that they are applying for. This is to be expected.
#4 Look at your margins and line spacing
If you feel that your CV is getting a bit too long, have a look at what your margins and line spacing are set at and see if you can reduce these so that you have more room for the text that you want to put on about your skills and experience.
#5 Graduate CV’s
Sometimes graduate CV’s will be a bit shorter if they have not done any real work experience in their chosen industry but this is to be expected. In this case the CV needs packing out with the skills and degree and what they have accomplished from this.
#6 void using photos
In some countries it is standard practice to use a photo on your CV but not in the UK. This just takes up value space and adds to the information that is not needed to make a decision on whether you can do a job or not so could make your CV longer unnecessarily.
#7 If you write in the third person
If you write your CV in the third person it seems to add to the length of your CV as you are having to explain about your skills in the third person so you are explaining a lot more than you would if you just said that I did this or that and achieved this and that rather than, in that situation he or she did this or that and he or she achieved etc.
It is important to research carefully before tackling your CV so that you end up with a successful document that gets taken seriously. It may be that it is expected to have a long CV for the role that you are applying for and this can be 4 or 5 pages long or that you include a photo or explanations etc so as a general rule keep your CV to two sides of A4 pages but look at each instance and role separately.