It’s a problem many people have. How do you condense years of work experience into two pages, or less?! The Jobulo team finds out…
Start From Scratch
It sounds daunting but trust us, it’s the easiest way to whittle your CV length down. We’re not suggesting you delete your entire CV, but if you start out with a fresh document you’ll probably find that you can think more clearly and personalise the content to the job role you are applying to more effectively. (If you’re using the Jobulo CV writing app you can simply click ‘create new CV’ to start a new document).
Read the Job Description
In order to shorten your CV you need to pinpoint what experience and skills a prospective employer might be looking for. By understanding your market you will be in a much better position to whittle down your CV content and keep the relevant information in. Read through the job description and pinpoint the main responsibilities of the job role. Try to also consider what skills the employer is looking for and any qualifications or achievements that they would find interesting. Lay this out in front of you and start to look through your own work experience, skills, education and achievements. Identify the information you think would be beneficial to this particular job role and try to leave out anything you think is irrelevant. This can be tough – there will probably be a few pieces of information you’ll want to leave in but if you’re struggling for space it’s important to keep the CV content as lean and relevant as possible.
Pick the Most Relevant Roles
As we’ve mentioned, keeping your CV content relevant to the job role and the company you are applying to is crucial when you are writing your CV. If you send your CV and cover letter to an employer and they are full of information about other industries you have worked in or job roles that have nothing to do with the one you are applying for then it’s likely that the employer will question your motives for applying for the job and they will also have more relevant CVs to read through. To increase the chances of your CV being read and to keep the content to two pages or less only include job roles that you think relate to the job you are applying to. So for example, if you are applying for a Customer Service Manager position try to include customer service roles you have worked in or any positions that have demonstrated your man management skills. If you don’t have that much relevant experience and are looking for a career change then instead try to highlight roles that you have worked in that share similar responsibilities to the job you are applying to. So, in this example, you should try to highlight jobs where you have worked with the public, built rapport with clients and managed staff or projects. If cutting out work experience creates gaps in your CV consider including the job title and dates of employment but leave out the lengthy description of responsibilities.
Keep Sections Brief
There are a lot of sections to think about when writing a CV. Work experience, key skills, achievements…the list goes on. But the main thing to consider when trying to keep your word-count down is to keep some sections shorter than others. Although the work experience section may still have a lot of information in it, you can cut the length of your overall CV by shortening sections like your personal statement and career objective. Although these sections are important to include you can usually create a good personal statement and career objective in a few lines or less.
When writing your personal statement keep it to the point – introduce yourself and your key skills and give the employer an idea of the CV they are about to read. Your career objective can be a few lines based around the industry you want to work in, what you can bring to an organisation and what skills you want to develop in the future. Remember to personalise these sections to the job role you are applying to.
Make the Hobbies Section Shorter
Some candidates leave out the hobbies section completely and while this is down to personal preference, the hobbies section can actually be really beneficial to your overall CV content. Not only can the hobbies section provide an insight into your personality but it can also create rapport with a potential interviewer too. If they share similar hobbies then it’s something you can talk about at a job interview. Including your hobbies can also help an employer to decide whether your personality is a right fit for the company.
Once you have created all of this content and compiled it into a CV template read your CV and start making edits. If you re-read it a few times you’ll be surprised how much extra content and unnecessary words you find to cut out.
Voila! Your CV should now be down to two pages or less and you are ready to apply for that job!