CV Length: How Long Should a CV Be? | CV-Nation – CV Nation

How Long Should a CV Be? 4 Frequently Asked Questions on CV Length

Posted by Phillip Jewell on

Why You Need CV Help

If your CV isn't getting the results you want in the job market, it is time to seek professional help.

Writing your CV without professional assistance can be a dangerous approach with your career options at stake.

We write CVs every day, preparing the documents in line with the requirements of specific industries and recruitment software such as ATS. Here, we provide some expert advice on various aspects CV writing, including CV length, content and style.

Use our advice to ensure your CV is optimised and effective.

How Many Pages Should a CV Be?

How long should my CV be?

One of the first hurdles you’ll face is the length of your CV. Mistakes are regularly made by prospective employees regarding CV length. You need to make sure that you’re not following in their footsteps. Candidates have had successes and failures with a variety of lengths, but the majority of CVs are two pages.

Long CV or Short CV?

Studies have shown that around 90% of recruiters prefer a CV that is 2 pages in total - no more than this unless you have a significant amount of relevant experience. It's important to remember that some recruiters will not accept CVs over a certain number of pages in length.

Of course, your CV length can be dependent on your experience. If you have little experience, a one-page CV will suffice.

What is the Best CV Font Size?

You could write a perfectly-sized CV over two pages, but what if you did this with an undesirable font? You then change the font and see what happens. Your document will suddenly increase or decrease in size, all down to font choice.

So, it’s always a good idea to choose your desired font first before you start writing your CV. You need to make sure that this font is clear and not too tight. Size 11 or 12 is always a recommended option to write your general text in.

When you include any headings or subtitles, however, it’s a good idea to increase the font size here to 14-16.  

Whichever font you go with, you obviously need to make sure that it is consistent throughout your CV (this applies to the colour scheme, too!). You don’t want your headings looking too different from the text you’re writing.

How to Reduce Your CV Size:

  • Put Yourself in the Employer’s Shoes

A good thing to think about when writing CVs: is every sentence you write on your CV telling your prospective employer something they want to hear? If the sentence isn’t offering this, it’s a good idea to get rid of it.

  • Change Font Size

As previously mentioned, font can have a big impact on how your CV appears on the page. One of the main impacts it has is size. Even if you just decrease the font size by 0.5, this can be a great method of reducing your space and compacting your written text, without it becoming too small to read.

  • The ‘Skim-Read Method’

CVs are often skim-read. This means that prospective employers will gather more data from a CV that has concise information – not one that waffles to fill up a page.

For example, if you included this sentence: ‘Two months ago, I presented in front of a panel of eight colleagues for a chosen project that I put together over a six-month period.’, then you are waffling a little.

Try this alternative sentence, instead: ‘Presented an engaging project to a large panel of colleagues.’

This sentence covers your experience effectively, but it halves the word count.

What to Include in a CV?

What to put on a CV?

One big myth about CVs is to include as much experience and skills as possible.

Wrong answer.

If you choose to cram in as much as possible, regardless of which job your targeting, then this could put you at a real disadvantage.

Say you did some good work experience at an outdoor activities centre once upon a time, but you’re applying for a high-level technical position in IT.

Do you need to include this piece of experience? No, because it’s irrelevant to the employer. Utilise this space better by including more relevant information to the role in question.

Most CVs feature the most important information about you and your employability.

  • Contact Information

Include your contact email, mobile number and a link to your LinkedIn profile.

  • CV Professional Profile

A CV professional profile is written to around 100-150 words, briefly detailing you as a professional and why you’d make a great employee. This is your introduction and a chance to sell yourself to the reader. Use engaging language and focus on the ways in which you can add value. 

  • Education

In this section, you would list your education history. Generally, this would go back to your GCSEs but no further. List any educational qualifications you have received, including university degrees, A-Levels, BTECs or GCSEs you may have passed.

Do you have some grades that you aren't proud of that wouldn’t be relevant to the role? Feel free not to include them.

  • Skills/Accreditations

Here, you should list any useful or practical skills you possess. Be as specific as possible. For example, 'organisation' could be altered to 'diary management'. Also, include any software and IT programmes you can have mastered, as well as soft skills.

  • Employment History

Suitable to be listed on your second page if you have enough experience, your employment history will detail your career history. If you’ve had a long history of employment or multiple jobs, it’s a good idea to go into detail only on the last ten years.

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