How to Fit Your CV into 2 Pages of A4
Posted on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 by The CV Wizard — No comments
Pretty much any CV advice you read suggests you “keep it under 2 pages of A4”. Indeed, some will say you don’t need to go over a single side. How on earth do you do this?
Fortunately, whether you’re applying for temporary or permanent office support jobs in London, our leading recruitment agency has the advice you need!
Our attention spans are short
Our culture needs things to be bitesize and that applies to CVs as well. You need to be able to deliver a powerful short CV that packs a punch without leaving any of the important stuff out. The good news is that the really juicy morsels of information always stand out more when there’s less padding around them.
As such, the 2021 CV doesn’t need a chunky career summary. Instead, heading up the CV should be a very short section that effectively sets out your personal brand. This should only be a few lines presenting how you are the solution to the company’s problem, with a few (max. 6–8) core competencies bulleted for ease.
In fact, bullet points are your friend. And if you can’t keep a bullet point to less than two lines of text, it should be multiple bullets or reworded.
Ways to shorten your CV
- Don’t go too far back in time
Often, CV writers get in a pickle by putting as much detail about the job they had 20 years ago as the one they had 3 years ago. The reality is that career history needs to be recent-heavy. Concentrate on what’s relevant from recent experiences and eliminate the rest. It’s not deceptive (you can put dates if you like), but it is focusing on what’s most important.
- Be specific and hit the target
The few words you have available need to count—every single one of them. So, don’t be vague. Be absolutely specific and add meaning, ideally tallying them against the job’s required skills and responsibilities. What works really well here are tangible achievements such as statistics, percentages, and numbers; they convey your point much more powerfully than words.
- Make it results-heavy
A hiring manager is looking for evidence. It’s all very well for you to say you’re particularly competent at something, but they need to know that’s true. By outlining results, you give them the proof they are looking for. Support your achievements with facts and cut anything else that doesn’t really support that.
- Be tough on yourself
We usually advocate that a job seeker should be kind to themselves, but when it comes to getting that CV under 2 pages of A4, it’s time to be strict. You can drop a whole bunch of extraneous waffle by taking a red pen to your CV and crossing out anything that doesn’t 100% sell you in the way that’s needed for this role. You can bring a friend on board too—a fresh pair of eyes always helps!
When it comes to shortening your CV, the most important thing to remember is to condense without losing value. If you’re still struggling, our recruitment consultants are always on hand to help. Get in touch on 020 7870 7177.
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