The length of a good CV is constantly under debate. For example, some job-seekers think 1 page will suffice, where more experienced job seekers may struggle to fit it all into 4 or more pages. Over the last few years, employers have started to expect a more concise and simple approach to a CV. Some employers don’t want to see headshots on CVs anymore and others may only really want to read a few pages. Researching the employer and tailoring your CV to their needs would be a good place to start. However, we have all been in a situation where our CV is just far to long. As a job-seeker, you are likely to want to share as much information as you can with the employer and impress them with your experience. Where showing off your skills is always good, make sure you are only including what is important to that particular employer. Here are some of our tips on how to shorten your extra-long CV.
Sometimes, it’s easy to lose track and end up with a personal statement that is half a page long. Then you have the task of editing it and it can always be a bit difficult to take things out, especially when you believe everything is of equal relevance. To keep a personal statement short, make sure you are not mentioning anything that is anywhere else on your CV. Take out any skills that you have listed, unless they are vital to the job you are applying for. Keep your statement as a selling point. Talk about how you would be good for the job and why. This is why it can be very important to tailor your CV to each job you apply to.
When you are talking about past jobs on your CV, make sure you are mentioning your accomplishments, rather than just listing the job description. This can cut out a lot of your word count. The employer is more likely to be interested in seeing the impact you had on a business, rather than your everyday responsibilities. People want to see results, so give it to them.
Try and keep everything concise and to the point. Don’t drag on with overly long sentences. You can keep it simple by using bullet points. As well as it being easier to read, it looks better and less cluttered on the page. Always keep the employer interested.
Focus on recent roles
Whether you are writing a whole new CV or updating one you have already used, make sure you are including the most recent and most relevant roles. This will save you so much space and allow you to provide more information on your recent roles. You want to make sure you are only including information that the employer will want to see. They won’t want to read about a role you had 10+ years ago, in an irrelevant field, so prioritise. If you want to include some job roles that you had a while ago, make sure you are making a very good point and express your accomplishments. Probably best to keep the older roles short and to the point if you do decide to include them on your CV, unless they have specific relevance to the role you are applying for.
Your qualifications should be included on your CV, but they don’t need to take up a huge chunk of space. They should be summarised and only include the qualifications that are crucial to your role. If you are looking for an apprenticeship or starting out in your career, you may want to include qualifications that you gain earlier in your education. However, if you are an experienced engineer, you shouldn’t have to be putting your GCSE results on your CV. Be smart about it and don’t waste space with something employers may disregard.
As an engineer, whether you are starting out in your career, or you’re looking for the next step, you will probably have a lot of useful skills. If you find yourself with a long list of skills that you think are crucial to an engineering career, make sure you are tailoring this section. You don’t want to have a long list. It can make the CV look cluttered and it will take up a big bit of space. If you are thoroughly reading the job spec, you will know what the employer is looking for. So, if you have the skills they are asking for, make sure you are pointing them out. This will not only free up some space on your CV, but it will show them that you may just be the right person for the job.
Keep going back to it
Some job-seekers can find writing CV’s a little tedious. Therefore, they may take the easy route and just write a long CV that includes absolutely everything an employer may need to know. Where this can save you time, employers don’t want to look through a 5-page CV anymore. The information may be useful, but they have other CV’s to read and people to see. Make sure you are making the most of it and working to make your CV stand out.
Rather than just writing one CV, take the time to go back to it, edit and tailor it to the specific employer’s needs. They are more likely to read the CV if it is 2 or less pages. (Depending on the job level you are applying for) It can be hard to do this, but by condensing your CV, you are giving them only the best information. You give yourself time to go back and make it better.
Unless you have the perfect CV, that has never failed you. There can be work done on it. It takes practice but being able to get a CV that tells the employer exactly what they need to know and isn’t a novel, will help you in your job search. The employer will be more likely to read the whole thing, meaning they won’t miss any crucial information (because all of the information on there is crucial) and you are more likely to get your CV passed through the pesky CV filters that most employers use these days. What have you got to lose?