So... you want to know the Ideal Length of a CV? - CV Plaza

So… you want to know the Ideal Length of a CV?

CV two pages example

We have regularly been asked what the ideal length for a CV is, and the most truthful answer is that there is no set length for a CV… It depends entirely on the applicants and the type of job they apply for.

Just to illustrate this, let us consider the following three different categories of people:

  • School leavers
  • Senior Executives, Managers
  • General mass of the population

School leaver

Young people, typically just leaving school or those starting their first job, will not require a lot of space to write because they don’t have much to write about!

A 1-page CV is ideal for school leavers and those just entering the world of work. If, however, they can fill up another page with some meaningful information, they should do so.

Executives and Managers

Executives and Managers, on the other hand, need more space to include their projects and achievements over many years. They would require just around three pages, and therefore we can say that a 3-page CV is ideal for Executives and Managers.

There are also other professionals who are expected to present detailed CVs outlining their qualifications and practical experiences, such as Medical Doctors.

The ideal CV Length for the majority of applicants

The purpose and aim of the CV is to briefly inform the recruiter about yourself, your skills and experiences. This usually takes two pages for the majority of the people and therefore we can say that a 2-page CV is ideal for the majority of job seekers.

The reason your CV should not go beyond the maximum of two pages is simple; employers only tend to look at a CV for no more than 20 or 30 seconds so any CV that looks long-winded, unfocused or ‘rambling’ will automatically be binned.

Help, my CV takes up more than two pages!

It is possible that once you start working on your CV, you will discover that you need more space to write down all the information.

Our advice? Do not allow your CV to exceed more than two pages.

No matter how tempted you are, research has shown that a 2-page CV is even enough for a person who has been in the industry for more than 15 years.

Guidelines to fit your CV on 2 A4 pages:

  • Remove irrelevant jobs, qualifications and skills
  • Use short sentences and bullet points instead of paragraphs
  • Cut down on less-essential sections of your CV (Personal Profile, Hobbies)
  • Combine sections that are similar; Achievements and Skills can become one section
  • Tweak the presentation of your information so that it takes up less space

Final reminder

Remember, recruiters get bored easily; a 3-page CV for a vacancy as a Shelf Filler at your local supermarket will not be appropriate.

It would be equality absurd to apply for a position as a Chief Commercial Director in a Multinational Organisation with only a 2-page CV!

In a nutshell: Look at the job, look at yourself and decide how many pages are sufficient for your CV. A 2-page CV will do the job for most of the applicants.