What’s the ideal CV length in the United Kingdom? Easy, your CV should be short. I know, it sounds unclear. Let’s say two pages maximum and – trust me – it’s the most precious advice I can give you. In fact, over 90% of recruiters state that they consider longer CVs boring and not worth the time, because they don’t catch any attention and don’t keep the reader interested. It’s understandable, HR managers can read over 100 CVs per day, the screening gets brutal. You can follow a few tips to make your UK CV the right length. It can be hard to cut it if you have 10 years of experience, or even more. It’s even harder to make it 2 pages long if you are a fresh graduate with no experience. In the last case, you can write only one page, focusing on the skills that will make you interesting for the position. The length of a CV can be flexible depending on your profession, but generally speakin it’s better to keep it short. You can add pages if you are a senior level professional or if you work in the academic or scientific field.
There’s one keyword you should always keep in mind: relevance. When adding information or considering deleting it from your CV, ask yourself “is it relevant for this job?”. Don’t write it if the answer is a “No”. It’s important you sell yourself and reach your target (recruiters) with your best business card – you can consider it a form of Marketing. How can you make your CV length perfect for job applications? Let’s see..
- Don’t repeat yourself. It’s pretty common to keep saying that you have certain skills (synonyms, what a wonderful tool!), but you only have to make a clear point once. It will save a lot of space and won’t bother the reader.
- Consider only relevant previous experiences. I mean, no one wants to know you worked as a waiter when you were sixteen unless you are applying for a job in that field.
- Don’t write random hobbies or interests. It may seem better to fill that space, but recruiters don’t care if you like to go out with your friends. Yes, they are nosy, but want to read about activities that make you look the right fit for the job. You can convey you possess some qualities using your passions.
- Use your cover letter to add info. It’s an important tool that will truly help you in the hiring process if well written (and it won’t affect your CV length). You can include there additional info about you and your background. You can talk about your objectives and projects, underlining all qualities that make you perfect for the role.
- Get straight to the point. Don’t write useless and non relevant details, mention the essential facts. Furthermore, I suggest using short sentences and avoid repeating “I” too often.
- Back up your skills with facts. If you write that you are a team player, you will sound like any other candidate. Instead, mention the times you actually proved to be a team player. It will be a real example that will make you stand out.
Your CV length plays a big role during the screening process, try to shorten it and see if it makes a difference.