Many recruiters tell us they get hundreds of applications per vacancy so have to shortlist CVs very quickly. It’s important therefore to keep your CV concise, on one or two pages (unless it’s an academic CV) and tailor it to the role you’re applying for.
We often see students who need help with what to cut out of their CV to keep it to two pages, so here are our tips:
Keep personal details to a minimum
Some CVs we see use a table for their personal details and it ends up taking up a third of their first page. Your name, location, email address, telephone number and LinkedIn address (if applicable) in the header of the document should be sufficient.
Be creative with formatting
You can narrow your margins and reduce your font to fit more onto the page. Do ensure it is still neat and easy to read though. You don’t want to give the recruiter eye strain!
Use action verbs
It’s important to tailor your CV to the role you’re applying for and show evidence you have the skills the employer is looking for. However, rather than wasting words with phrases such as ‘developed my leadership skills’, instead start with an action verb that demonstrates the skills you are trying to evidence eg. ‘Led a team of four to coordinate and run a successful public events programme.’
Cut out irrelevant details
Include full details of your most recent and relevant roles. For older roles or less relevant ones you can simply list them to save space. You can also use headings to bring more relevant roles to the fore.
Use your cover letter
If you run out of space and have more detail to add you can always use your covering letter or application form questions (if applicable) to include this information.
Have a look at our CVs and cover letters guide for more details, write your draft and book an appointment with one of our careers consultants via CareerHub for feedback before you submit your application. Good luck!