Is there an ideal CV length? And can they run across more than two pages? The longer your career experience, the more these questions start to burn in the minds of jobseekers.
When you speak to experienced recruiters they should be offering you sound advice around the development of your CV. The length should be determined by your level of seniority and experience.
You still need to be succinct though, so forget the 12 page essay and let’s look to really driving home your key achievements and successes.
Is it relevant?
Your guiding principle when preparing a CV should be relevance. The stint you did at the service station back in 1989 was indeed confidence building, but your CV needs to be tailored to the job you’re applying for.
The most important information to include – and the one employers will be most interested in – are your achievements in previous roles. The more senior you are, the more you will have and the longer your resume can justifiably be. Nevertheless, stick to the last 10 years or so.
Keep it brief
Your resume should provide a snapshot of your experience, skills and what you have to offer. Be succinct – that in itself demonstrates your ability to communicate effectively and efficiently. Even your Executive Summary should only be a few lines.
Dates of employment with previous jobs, locations and whether they were permanent or contract positions are vitally important. Make sure your dates line up and be prepared to explain any gaps that may raise questions – for example, if you took time off to go travelling, say so.
Back up with evidence
No hiring manager wants to read vague, grandiose statements that aren’t backed up by facts. Everyone says they have great communication skills and are a team player, but that doesn’t mean anything without supporting evidence.
If you claim to be strategic, prove it by citing an example of when you developed and implemented an innovative strategy in your past work and projects. This will ensure your CV stands out from the crowd.
More top tips...
- Don’t repeat yourself
- Use active language
- Avoid clichés and jargon
- Keep paragraphs and sections short
- Only use detail that’s relevant to the job
- Quantify your achievements
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