How long should a CV be?

We get asked this question hundreds of times, so here are the 2020 recommendation.

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What is the proper page length for a CV?

Industry standards state that two pages is the optimal length for a CV. However, one size doesn’t fit all. Therefore, the length of your CV will depend on your level of experience and the skills you have in your arsenal.

Can I have a one-page CV?

If you’re just leaving university or applying for your first job, it’s likely that your CV will be one page in length. In fact, entry-level professionals should have a one-page CV ‒ recruiters will view two pages or more as disingenuous and artificially inflated.

If you’re looking for additional guidance on how to craft the perfect one-page CV, we can help! We have CV advice for both new graduates and entry-level professionals with no work experience.

For most professionals, a CV should be two pages

If you have established yourself in your career, your CV should be two pages. Most people fall into this category.

Recruiters and HR managers are almost always short on time, and they only spend an average of six seconds reviewing a CV before deciding if a candidate should move forward. The standard CV length of two pages allows experienced professionals to communicate their value and experience without overwhelming someone who is already faced with the daunting task of sorting through many CVs.

Is a three-page CV too long?

The three-page CV is used very rarely and should be saved for those who are directorship-level and have a significant amount of achievements. It can also be used by freelancers and contractors who need the space to cover their range of projects and assignments.

If you’re a decade or two into your career and have written a three-page CV filled with relevant information, chances are you could cut some of the details. Remember that prospective employers want to see the skills that you have obtained and developed most recently. Therefore, your current position of employment should contain the most detail as it’s the height of your career so far.

Jobs older than 10 years can be reduced to employment dates, your job title and the company, or even removed completely as they’re not as important at this time, even if they are relevant.

Remember that your CV isn’t a document of your entire career history. Rather, it’s just the best, most recent bits to show that you’re able to do the job the employer is hiring for. If you delete jobs from a decade or more ago, recruiters won’t assume that you were unemployed ‒ they’re more likely to think you’re smart for focussing on the details that are important to the job you’re applying for.

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