When writing a CV, one of the most common pieces of advice given to job hunters is to keep it short and sweet. In fact, it is recommended that your CV be between just one and two A4 pages in length.
In some cases, a one-page CV may be more appropriate, while there could be applications that are better suited to two-page. But how do you decide which is right for you?
Well, we’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll take a look at when it’s best for you to submit just one page and when you should use two. We’ll also offer some of our top tips for keeping your CV short and sweet!
When should I submit a one-page CV?
A one-page CV is usually best for university leavers or those applying to jobs straight out of school or college. This is because you probably won’t have too much previous experience to shout about and your education may be the focal point of your application.
So as a general rule, the length of your CV will depend on your educational background and previous experience.
That said, if you have held a few positions before, but you're changing industries and these aren't all relevant to the new role, you might want to keep your CV to one-page. In this case, include only your most recent role and put the focus on your transferable skills.
When should I submit a two-page CV?
As you can imagine then, a two-page CV is better for more established professionals who have a greater deal of experience to talk about. A longer application is also beneficial if the job advert has placed emphasis on certain qualifications or experience.
This gives you more room to go into detail and prove to the recruiter that you tick all the right boxes. For example, if they want someone with a specific Degree or a Masters qualification, you can go into more detail about the particular modules you studied, your top achievements at uni and the grades you received.
However, if you can fit it all on one page whilst still going into enough detail, don’t try to stretch it over two for the sake of it. The shorter and more relevant you can keep your CV, the better.
Tips for keeping your CV short and sweet
Now that you have a better idea of whether a one or two-page CV is right for you, we thought we’d share some tips on how you can keep your CV as short and sweet as possible:
- Only include the most relevant information for the role
- Make sure you don’t repeat yourself
- Summarise your education and experience wisely whilst ensuring you include the important details
- Write concisely
- Only include a ‘hobbies and interests’ section if you have space and your hobbies are relevant to the role
- When formatting, reduce the margins if they are particularly wide. That said, don’t be afraid of white space and certainly don’t cram the page with text from corner to corner
So, to summarise, it’s best to keep your CV to one page where you can, in order to avoid waffling or including irrelevant information. But if you’re a more established professional, a two-page CV could offer you a better chance to outline your skills and experience.
Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.
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