The most important thing to remember when you are submitting a job application is that the recruiters reviewing your CV are human. Any person tasked with sorting through hundreds of CVs in a single day is likely lose concentration every now and then.
There is no hard and fast rule that your CV must be restricted to a single page. According to a recent study, recruiters are more than twice as likely to hire someone with a two-page CV than someone whose CV is just one page. Out of the 7712 resumes that were selected for hire, well over half (5375) were two pages. A full 91% of recruiters in this study consider a CV length of two or three pages to be ideal.
This is not to say that your CV should be overly long. It should be concise and to the point. Nearly half of CVs over two pages are discarded, and you don’t want yours to be among them. On average, recruiters don’t spend much more than a minute or two skimming each CV, so it is crucial to focus on what is important and waste no space on irrelevant details.
An excellent CV does not have to be long. On the contrary: a strong, concise CV that makes an impact is better than a lengthy CV full of unnecessary information.
If it is specifically requested by an employer, a multi-page CV can usually be made to fit on a single page with the right tweaks. However, there is usually no need to force your CV fit onto fewer pages than it requires. A two-page resume is acceptable if you have enough relevant experience to fill out each page.
You should also avoid half-full pages. If your resume can’t be restricted to one page, try to fill the second page so that your CV doesn’t appear incomplete.
The length of your CV depends on several factors, including your experience, the industry, the specific job for which you are applying, how large the applicant pool is, and how far into your career you are. Around 90% of applicants have a CV that is one to two pages long. There are a few cases where a three or more page CV is acceptable.
One page is appropriate for you if:
Consider a two-page CV if:
Three pages is ideal for you if:
The simplest answer is maybe. Strive for your CV be two pages, or one if you are fresh out of school. However, there are several factors that affect your CV length, so operate with an understanding of your qualifications and the job you are seeking. If you are not a highly experienced professional and your CV exceeds four pages, you likely need to do some editing.
Remember that while your CV is not a shopping list of everything you ever did, it is a detailed account of your credentials. It is appropriate to include all your relevant certifications, licenses, affiliations, etc. This is why there is no hard and fast rule for how long your CV should be. Everyone’s CV will be a bit different, and you ought to include everything that is appropriate.
For many years, the rule of thumb was that a CV should not exceed one page. In the typewriter era, when most people spent their careers in just one or two long-term positions, it was easier to keep a CV this short. Furthermore, the less the paper required the better!
Nowadays, however, people may change jobs twelve times in their career. This means that, on average, a worker will spend five or fewer years in a particular position, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics’ 2018 report.
More positions means more accomplishments and more certifications, and effectively putting everything on a single page becomes more challenging. But does it mean your CV needs to sprawl all over four to five pages? No! Recruiters are largely interested in the most recent ten years of your career.
So, the long answer is that your CV is too long if it contains more information than recruiters can grasp with a first glance. Research has shown that recruiters spend a mere six seconds, on average, with each resume or CV. If a recruiter feels that you padded out a CV for the sake of making it longer, they will not be able to discern what is real and what’s not.
If you are an executive or professional with extensive experience, your CV can be longer. If your career is just getting started, and you find your CV exceeding three pages, it may be wise to examine it to see if you can make it more focused.
For more examples, check out VisualCV’s CV Examples
Tailor your curriculum vitae to the job you are targeting. Prove your professionalism by presenting the relevant information in a brief and focused manner. If your credentials can fit on a single page, then keep it to one page. If not, there is no harm in more. If you are worried, you can always hire a professional CV writer!