As an eager jobseeker with an array of skills and relevant experience to showcase, it’s inevitable that you’ll want to sell yourself as best you can. This type of enthusiasm is essential for successful jobseekers, but when it comes to your CV, your challenge is to convey all your enthusiasm and relevant skills as concisely as possible. Concision does not mean you should miss out important information about your work history and qualifications, but you should be selective about what you include.
Why is brevity important?
When it comes to your CV, the truth is that size matters and less is definitely more. As a rule of thumb, you should be able to fit everything you have to say on two A4 sides. And that doesn’t mean using a font size 6.
You might find that cutting your CV down to size is tricky, but it’s important you give employers the information they need quickly and clearly. Not only do hiring managers not have the time to read a full page about your hobbies and interests, but a short, well-formatted, logically-ordered CV is also a sign of an organised mind.
CV Writing Tips – What should you leave out?
1. Details about older, irrelevant roles
One of the easiest ways to shorten your CV is to pare down the information you include about older and irrelevant roles. Recruiters don’t need to know about the sales assistant role you had 10 years ago if it’s not relevant to the position you are applying for today.
Just one bullet point containing the job title, where you worked and the dates you worked there is enough. Instead, it should be your recent roles and those which are relevant to the position where you highlight the value you can bring.
2. Personal details
Many candidates waste too much valuable space on their personal details. The only details you need to include on your CV are your name, phone number, email address and rough geographical area. All hiring managers and recruiters really need to know are your contact details and the fact that you live within a commutable distance.
Hobbies and interests is another section many candidates spend too much time on. If you have some major achievements that might impress prospective employers, then include them briefly. If your hobbies and interests aren’t relevant then rather than telling the employer you ‘enjoy socialising with friends’, you’re better off leaving this section out completely.
3. Long and passive sentences
Bullet points are an excellent tool to use in CVs as they allow you to get straight to the point rather than writing long and unnecessary sentences. For example, rather than: ‘I was recently selected to manage a team of three workers and supervised the completion of a project that lasted two months’, why not go for:
- ‘Managed a team of three for a two-month project’
Not only does it make the information more active but it also adds greater authority to your accomplishments. It also invites questions about the project in the interview.
4. Information already provided in your covering letter
In the majority of cases, employers will ask for CVs to be submitted along with a covering letter. This should be used to show why you’re an excellent candidate for the role and provide information about relevant past achievements. There’s absolutely no point reiterating information in your covering letter on your CV, and in fact, doing so will only detract from your application.
Keep it short, sweet and approachable
Create a well-written, two-page document that’s well formatted, error-free and contains only relevant information to give yourself the very best chance of landing the job.