You might have seen Elon Musk’s one-page resumé floating around social media a while back. All of his achievements on a single A4 sheet. At the time, it was heralded as the way forward for self-promoting when seeking employment. Then, as often happens with online feedback, the backlash occurred.
‘It only works if you know him already.’
… ‘Why’s Elon Musk applying for a job, anyway?’
So, how many pages should your CV be? The answer is simple. Your CV should be as long as it needs to be to tell your story in an economical yet compelling fashion.
According to online resumé providers, ‘The CV Store’, a one page CV is usually enough for a graduate or someone with a limited career history. A two to three page CV is about average length. They add, ‘Obviously, the length of your CV depends upon your experience level, and your career history - an executive CV will no doubt be much longer than one for someone who has just left school.’
Five steps will help you to determine the ideal CV length…
1. Keep it brief
Only include the info that relates to the position you are applying for. Put yourself in the place of the employer. Ask yourself, ‘If I was interviewing people, what things would I want to see in the CV?’
2. Highlight your strengths
Bring your core skills and experience to the fore. Make sure the key reasons you are qualified are apparent to anyone glancing at the CV. That way, if there are many applications, you’ll have a much better chance of getting through the first cull.
3. Use a CV template
There are plenty of CV templates available online from reputable organisations. They’ll give you an excellent idea of the sorts of things you should include in your CV and will help to dictate the ideal page number.
4. Get a friend to check it
Proofreading is vital. Mistakes in your CV are not a good look! A well written, suitable formatted, and adequately punctuated CV will make a great first impression.
5. Don’t forget the cover letter
Even a one page CV will get bumped out to two pages once you include the cover letter! The cover letter is your opening statement that tells any prospective employer who you are, and why you feel you are the right person for the role.
Once you’ve ticked off the items on this checklist, you’ll get a much better idea as to how many pages your CV should be. Keep it short, sweet, neat yet complete, and you’ll be taking the next step in your career with confidence.