What is the optimum length for a CV?
I have been following what you have been posting. I thank you for good work you are doing. However I have a question. What is the best length of a curriculum vitae in terms of pages? I have my CV which is over 5 pages.
The answer depends on the custom and practice in your country or region. Here in the UK two pages is the standard maximum length, but I do know that in other countries, longer is acceptable.
Check the advert to see if a maximum CV length is specified. You could refer to certificates rather than attaching them, and offer to send them separately if they are required.
I would suggest that five pages is too long, and there will be areas you can reduce without making it any less effective. In fact in this case, less is definitely more, as some of the material will be irrelevant.
Your objective in writing the CV is to find out what the recruiter wants and then succinctly demonstrate that you can deliver that. Almost everything else is irrelevant material the recruiter has to wade through to find the information that they want.
Visualise them with a tick list, searching your Cv for the ticks they need. A successful CV makes it easy for them, hands it to them on a plate . This is why it is crucial to have a basic CV and tailor it to every vacancy.
Go through the CV and try to reduce it down to the shortest length you can, aiming for two pages if possible.
Try each of these steps;-
- Reduce your description of your earlier jobs to a brief one line summary
- Check every entry throughout the whole document, line by line, and make sure everything you say is necessary, adds value to your proposition, and is relevant to the position you are applying for.
- Delete anything that does not contribute to the case you are making for the position you are seeking
Check your phrasing, can you restructure each sentence, using less words.
- Look at your font size, can you reduce it? 10 or 11 is acceptable.
- Once you have done all that, look again at any entry that only just goes on to a new line by a word or two and rephrase it again to save the line.
Then whenever you apply for a position, research it, get the advert and the job description if you can, and edit your basic CV to emphasise the facets of it that make you a perfect fit for the job.
Use a cover letter to make any explanations or elaborations, and to show that you are a match for the position you want.