How many pages should a CV be?

how many pages should a cv beHow many pages should a CV be?

In my 15 years of reviewing CV’s for clients, never has there been a question asked more than – how many pages should a CV be?

To answer this question is not simple. Neither I, nor any of my previous colleagues, have ever rejected a candidate on account of a CV length, if the content was accurate, relevant and well presented. The straightforward, most common answer is – a CV should be 2 pages. I would use this as a rule of thumb but it is not written in stone. There are a number of factors to be considered which may change this number. With this being said, outside of medical professionals, if your CV is longer than 5 pages, you have more than likely gone wrong somewhere. Keep in mind, a CV is a SUMMARY of your skills and experience – not a shopping list of everything you have ever done.

In this article, I will look to offer advice for the most common CV scenarios to help you get it right:how many pages should a cv be

  • For a recent school leaver, or current schoolchild, one page of a CV should suffice.
  • For a recent graduate who has never worked, one page should suffice.
  • For an academic, I would recommend adding publications to an appendix if there are many and not as part of your CV pages, as these can make the general CV very long. The general CV will usually be covered in 2 pages.
  • For Project Managers and Construction workers, it can be difficult to get your CV down to 2 pages if you have worked on a wide variety of projects. Going to 3 or 4 pages in this instance, would be common and rarely frowned upon – however, make sure not to waste space repeating yourself, summarise where possible and bundle similar projects together.
  • For a medical doctor, you need to add all of your experience and so your CV will be as long as your career history takes to write.
  • Generally, I would not elaborate on posts held prior to 1998, as roles held over 15 years ago would be quite dated for most industries. I would recommend expanding on 3 of your most recent or most relevant roles and then just listing the rest to avoid making your CV too lengthy. If these 3 roles are older than, 1998, then that is no problem. Some industries have not changed and value wisdom and length of experience, no matter how old, like education for example. Judge yourself which category you fall into.
  • If your roles are similar, do not repeat yourself. In chronological order on the CV, detail the most recent role and then just refer to your current role and expand on any additional duties or projects you held for that role.
  • Do not waste space on information that is irrelevant or does not add value such as talking about how many children you have and spending too much time breaking down every subject you did for courses you have completed.
  • Do not waste space listing referees – just add one line – “Excellent references will be supplied on request”. If you know, however, a prospective employer would be impressed by one or more of your referees, then it would be worthwhile to add them to your CV.
  • Lastly, don’t restrict an opportunity to sell yourself out of fear of going to an additional page. If it is valuable information and you cannot afford space elsewhere, it is better to add it in, than leave it out.

Writing CV’s is a skill in itself and one that most people do not have. Competition to secure interviews is stiff. If CV writing is not your forte, hire a professional HR Consultant to do it on your behalf. Invest in your career and ensure that you are presented in the best possible light. Best of luck, job seekers.

If you would like to avail of our CV service at a cost of €55, please email for more details. 

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