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Andrew Arkley|January 29, 2021

How Many Pages Should A CV Be?

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Creating a CV can quickly become a frustrating task, especially if you are an individual with extensive experience or with little to no experience. 

Those with extensive experience often struggle to be selective in what they include, while those with little experience can have difficulty filling one page. 

The question that naturally arises is: how many pages should a CV be in order to present a professional presence?

General Guidelines for CV length

As a general rule, you should focus on maintaining a CV of 2 pages. 

This length presents your experience and key assets to the employer without boring them with unnecessary or repetitive material.

It is reported that recruiters spend on average 5-7 seconds looking at a CV so first impressions really do matter!

Of course, the exception to this general guideline would be for individuals with extensive and relevant career experience, as well as senior-level individuals. 

In such cases you would want to expand in more detail on your capabilities to successfully fulfil the position offered.

Length does not merit value

A common misconception is that the longer the CV, the more weight a potential client will give it. 

This is not necessarily true; an employer is more interested in whether you possess the specific skills to perform the role to their standards.

For example, a CV for a senior position in the medical profession would not necessarily need to show experience as a shop assistant. 

If you can present experience that is more relevant to the position you’re applying for, we’d encourage you to use your limited space to talk about this instead.

Conversely, an entry level individual often doesn’t have the experience to fill multiple pages with relative content. 

The challenge that arises here is presenting enough information to persuade potential employers that you’re competent enough for the role.

Often an entry-level individual will present lower level jobs to “fluff” the CV. For example: they may show how he or she has worked in various retail positions on their CV. 

This is fine for establishing a consistent work history, but has little merit when applying for a position in a completely different field. 

Entry-level candidates should focus more on their education and skillsets to show that they will be able to do the role.

Experience versus History

Experience shows that you have the ability to perform the job you’re applying for.

However, filling the page with various experiences should be done with care. For example, pay attention to when you gained the experience. 

Similarly, consider whether jobs and experiences with little or no direct connection to the potential job need to be included. 

As a general rule, you should omit experiences over 10-years-old that don’t hold critical merit or establish a constant work history.

Focus on presenting recent, relevant experience that ensures your skillset is remembered and showcases your ability to fulfil the role. 

The rule of 3 for CV writing

When sectioning off your CV a good practice is to follow the rule of three.

  • In the personal statement, focus on how you can fulfil at least three expectations of the position you’re applying for
  • Limit experience to the three most recent positions you’ve held – unless you have specific, relevant experience suited to the job
  • Sub-categories will have more than three points to expand on your abilities whilst maintaining the CV’s overall clarity

How Many Pages Should a CV Be: In Summary 

The question ‘How many pages should a CV be’ is one which job hunters always ask when composing a CV. 

Overall, you want to ensure that you do not present a CV which is too short. CVs under a page in length need to be highlighted so that they span a minimum of 2 pages.

Conversely, extensive CVs spanning more than 4 pages should be reduced greatly so they’re not overbearing or cluttered.

Offering various CV writing packages based on your current career level, Purple CV can ensure your CV is the ideal length.

We do this by ensuring that the desired skillset matches your experience, that your education and certifications are brought to the forefront, and that you are presented as someone who will benefit the employer. 

Check out our CV Writing Service page or Contact Us today.

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