I've been trying to rewrite my CV recently as I'm going to begin applying for some jobs. Even though I am young, I am constantly involved in various clubs, hobbies interests and short-term jobs which I feel if I had the space would all be valuable additions to a CV.

I know a CV is only meant to be 2 sides long MAX, but I'm finding it hard to limit my CV to that length without leaving out information I believe would make me more employable. For example, by the time I had written a paragraph each on jobs I had done (I stuck to three of my best jobs to date) and my GCSE results, there wasn't room to talk about my work with my high school's debating society and Game Development club.

What tricks do you use to cut down a lengthy CV and how do you decide what is relevant or not when you think there are many things that are relevant?

  • @JoeStrazzere thanks, will do. I think I've been taught to do the wrong things on CV's over the years with teachers saying so and so club will "look great on your CV" when in reality it may not be used. Would a black belt in karate be worth including on ANY CV or only physically based jobs? I feel it taught me certain practical skills (discipline commitment, etc)
    – Charlie
    Oct 8 '17 at 16:13
  • Prioritise. There isn't really much more to say. Also, bullet points are infinitely better than paragraphs. Oct 8 '17 at 16:18
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    You don't have one CV; you have one tailored CV for each company you apply to (leaving out irrelevant stuff, sorting by expected order of interest, describing some relevant projects in more detail).
    – pmf
    Oct 9 '17 at 6:52
  • "I know a CV is only meant to be 2 sides long MAX" - this is a US rule, not applicable to the UK, so you don't need to worry about that specifically.
    – AakashM
    Oct 9 '17 at 8:33

Firstly, a CV and a resume are different things. A CV is "the course of your life" (curriculum vitae) so is as long as it needs to be, the 2 sides thing is about resumes as apparently American employers cannot read more than that (having said that my North American resume runs to about 5 pages but I have 20 years plus experience).

I think though that the "kitchen sink" approach is wrong. A CV should always be tailored to what you are applying to, it should show why you have the skills and experience for the job for which you are applying.

You mention multiple jobs, but also GCSE results, school clubs and hobbies. While these may be useful for a first job (as you have no other experience) as an experienced professional it would look to me (as a hiring manager) that you lack real experience, or achieved little in jobs, which may be a show stopper for my job.

You need to be customising for each application. When the financial crash happened I lost my job (redundancy), I must have gone through 50-100 applications (and interviews etc) before I got back into a role, every one was tuned to the spec of the role in the advert.

So think about what you need to be telling the prospective employer. If it is relevant to the job I'd do a dry run of a CV and then review and cut down as required.

If that does require more than 2 pages, it requires more than 2 pages.

  • Nope, lived and worked in the UK for 40 years, also a hiring manager. Not the same. You don't list individual projects on a resume, more a bullet list of achievements. Oct 9 '17 at 0:13
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    A CV in the UK is nothing like a North American resume, totally different. Oct 9 '17 at 1:11

If you make the CV too long, you are effectively leaving out all the information, as nobody will read it.

List out your roles in reverse chronological order, with not more than three paragraphs on each. If it goes over two pages, remove either your older roles or the lowest value paragraphs on each role.

You should always be able to work out which items are least value and just remove them. Assessors don't want to see everything you have done, just your top items.

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