When I first started in recruitment, which was 2005 (ahem), it was always suggested that CVs shouldn’t be any longer than 2 pages. Funnily enough, I still hear this and to me it’s a load of nonsense and can lead to disaster, particularly when a candidate decides to reduce the font to 6 to fit it all on the two pages!
However, some Hiring Managers will still dismiss candidates they feel to have a ‘long CV’. There is no hard and fast rule but would think the below in terms of experience and CV length is reasonable:
Junior candidate – 0-2 years – 2 pages
Early Experience 3-5 years – 2-3 pages
Intermediate – 5-10 years – 3 pages
Senior – 10 years plus – 4 pages
Some CV tips
- If you have something to say and feel its important, it probably is, so say it. Don’t leave it out because of space.
- Stick to a clear layout (I will add one to my profile which might help).
- Only have detail on roles for the last 10 years, beyond that a list of jobs will be fine
- Stick to the rule of 3 – put 3 clear achievements for each role under a brief synopsis of your position
- If you have been at one company for a long time but in different roles, separate the positions and achievements
- Education at the bottom unless you are a school leaver / graduate put academic education and then professional education / accreditations – don’t list every training course you have been on only ones that are widely recognised.
These are just my opinion!
- Photos – aren’t necessary for a CV – most employers will look you up on a social if they want to see you, I would leave them out.
- Please, please, please don’t rate yourself on skills – it’s not tangible to anyone giving yourself 5 stars in excel or 75% for communication (plus it’s a formatting nightmare for a recruiter)
- Avoid colours – if they are printed it isn’t likely to be in colour so will look messy
- Keep the font consistent and the font size consistent – stick to 10pt and 12pt for headers
- Don’t refer to yourself in the third person
Feel free to contact me if you would like some CV advice.