The length of a CV is one of the areas that most job seekers fall short. For instance; you will find most fresh graduates today applying for jobs with a 4 pages CV, while experienced job seekers will have CVs that run through to over 6 pages. It is one of the common CV writing mistakes that continue to plague many job seekers, and most times, you don’t even realize there is something you’re doing wrong.
Most of you have contemplated on how long a CV should be and what length is acceptable to recruiters and employers. If you have this question or are not sure if your current CV meets the required length, this post should help you out.
Importance of a Short and Brief CV
Recruiters and employers alike don’t like to get stuck with a lengthy CV. As we have mentioned before in our earlier posts, it takes under 30 seconds for the person looking at your CV to decide whether to invite you for the interview or not.
And the 30 seconds is usually on the higher side. Some recruiters will not take more than 10 seconds looking through a CV.
So what does this mean? It means that you need a CV that is will sell you, your qualifications and why you are the best candidate in the shortest time possible. And the best way to do this is to put the most important information at the very top, or at least in the very first page.
If you have a lengthy CV that requires hiring managers to take more time scrolling down in order to find what they are looking for, then you are already a risk.
The Recommended length of a CV
To impress recruiters during the application stage, it is recommended that you keep your CV to 2 pages. Recruiters and employers in Kenya place great value on 2-page CVs. You will even find some positions demanding that candidates only use a 2-page CV in their job applications. And some of these positions are not even at entry level.
So for fresh graduates with a CV that is longer than 2 pages, you need to take a step back and do a careful edit. Why?
Recruiters already know that your experience spans across the internships you had in school or any volunteer roles you were involved in. They don’t expect you to make applications with a lengthy CV.
And for experienced professionals with a CV so long recruiters can’t keep track on your years of experience, you too need to know that you shouldn’t include all work experience.
But there is an exception. Experienced professionals with over 3 years of work experience can get away with a 3-page long CV and those with 6 years and above are allowed to have up to 4 pages. Anything longer than these recommended pages of a CV is considered lengthy.
And while recruiters may not disqualify you for having a long CV during the selection process, they may have a preconceived judgement about you before the job interview.
As you can see above, how long your CV should be will depend on your level of working experience. But this too can change depending on the requirements of the job you are applying for. Some positions will ask for a 2-page CV while others may ask for a 4-page CV.
Regardless of your years of experience, you have to meet these requirements if you are to get to the interview stage. So for those with a lengthy CV, take some time off and redo your CV to fit the recommended length.
And if you experience difficulties deciding on what information to include and which to leave out, you can always consult a professional. As much as you may want to handle your job search by yourself, sometimes you cannot do it all.
You need a set of extra eyes to let you know if you are doing it right. So, talk to a CV writing expert today and get that professional CV employers and recruiters are expecting.