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CV length nowadays

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    #31
    The reality is that you need three CVs...

    One to persuade the thicko agent that you can prove you know how to do the specific role he is trying to fill with examples and all reelvant keywords shoehorned in. After all, he has no idea what he's doing, so you have to grab his attention.

    One to persuade Human Remains that you won't want to take over the company or rip teams apart, will behave yourself and do what you're told. they also have sod all idea what the job entails, that's not their concern.

    One to persuade the hiring manager that you can actually do the job. After all, he is the one who knows what he needs, except that thanks to HR he is not allowed to interact with the hiring process until it's too late. He's also the one that will recognise what your CV actually says when shorn of the bollocks. For example, mine can't be that condensed since I was trading as an architect and that needs a lot of general skills in all sorts of areas, from technical knowledge to project management to people management. Specialists actually have it easier in some ways since they can focus on a single thread.

    Good luck with that. Best you can do is ensure all the agent-pleasing stuff, including key words, is on the front page.
    Blog? What blog...?

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      #32
      Originally posted by Lance View Post

      you're missing the point though. You might think clients want to see it. Clients may occasionally want to see it.
      But an agent is never going to read it as it's in the bin, or the shortlist, by the time he's half way down page 2.
      Actually I don't think that, I've often been asked to supply more detail for the roles that I've done. I've had no issues getting contracts with it, all I'm saying is that it can be different between skills sets for how much they want to see.
      In Scooter we trust

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        #33
        5 pages here even with my earliest roles reduced to one-liners. Nobody has ever commented or complained about the length.
        2 page rule is just a myth. Pages 1 and 2 need to be where all of the good stuff is though.

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          #34
          Originally posted by CheeseSlice View Post
          5 pages here even with my earliest roles reduced to one-liners. Nobody has ever commented or complained about the length.
          2 page rule is just a myth. Pages 1 and 2 need to be where all of the good stuff is though.
          People not complaining is not a great yardstick to use if something could be better. Two pages is not a myth really, its base of solid facts about peoples browsing habits. It's like saying the Google triangle is a myth. They don't complain but I'll bet no agent reads pages 4 and 5 so its of no benefit at all and has the chance to be a blocker. We know full well agents rarely go past page one if it has the pertinent skills to the role. We also know people have a giggle at long CV's that are out of the ordinary. So why stick with 5 pages when we know those two points let along the facts of people's browsing habits etc. I'd be trying to remove every blocker I could when trying to secure a role and for me that would be at the very least that last page.
          Last edited by northernladuk; 28 September 2021, 10:38.
          'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

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            #35
            Originally posted by northernladuk View Post

            People not complaining is not a great yardstick to use if something could be better. Two pages is not a myth really, its base of solid facts about peoples browsing habits. It's like saying the Google triangle is a myth. They don't complain but I'll be no agent reads pages 4 and 5. It's of no benefit at all and has the chance to be a blocker. We know full well agents rarely go past page one if it has the pertinent skills to the role. We also know people have a giggle at long CV's that are out of the ordinary. So why stick with 5 pages when we know those two points let along the facts of people's browsing habits etc. I'd be trying to remove every blocker I could when trying to secure a role and for me that would be at the very least that last page.
            Hardly think its a blocker. I actually get compliments for my CV.

            Think about it, in these modern days are agents actually printing out the CVs and complaining at the weight and difficulty stapling the pages together?
            Are they looking at the 'page count' and tutting before starting to read what is on their screen?
            I'm thining more about the ATS that is scanning my CV for keywords.
            In many cases they're not even going to read the CV if the keywords are not there, or quoted frequently enough.

            Maybe 2 pages is a blocker? At the end of the day, that is just a single double-sided piece of paper, with page 1 covering profile, skills and achievements, and another single side dedicated to work history. Its not much is it?

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              #36
              Originally posted by CheeseSlice View Post

              Hardly think its a blocker. I actually get compliments for my CV.
              I'm sure you do but it will be for the content on pages 1, 2 and possibly 3 and because you are a highly skilled professional contractor. No one will be complimenting you on having 5 pages with the last two being nigh on useless for the role you are going for.
              Think about it, in these modern days are agents actually printing out the CVs and complaining at the weight and difficulty stapling the pages together?
              Are they looking at the 'page count' and tutting before starting to read what is on their screen?
              I'm thining more about the ATS that is scanning my CV for keywords.
              In many cases they're not even going to read the CV if the keywords are not there, or quoted frequently enough.
              It's nothing to do with printing pages, it's about finding the right information to fulfil the readers requirement, which will be the role spec they have in front of them. Once they have deemed you are a fit for the role they stop. If you have the right keywords in recent roles then their requirement is fulfilled. Do the one line roles on pages 4 and 5 have the keywords? If they did and the reader goes to that section is there any useful information for them? No on both counts. Pages 4 and 5 are just noise and add zero benefit.

              If you haven't tailored your CV well enough to match the keywords to the role in the first two pages then the last two pages of one liners isn't going to help.
              Maybe 2 pages is a blocker? At the end of the day, that is just a single double-sided piece of paper, with page 1 covering profile, skills and achievements, and another single side dedicated to work history. Its not much is it?
              I'd kind of agree with that to some extent. Fixating on two pages could be a blocker. If you have more information that is directly related to the role you are going for then it's daft to stick to two. Add another so all the directly related information that is useful to the reader is on. Fair enough.. but five???
              You've already mentioned they don't print them out so why are you using a double-sided piece of paper as evidence? One page of experience is not much, I agree, but if that page is full of information directly related to the role then it's enough. Also you need another re-think if your front page is only profile, skills and achievements. You are doing something wrong again. Remember the Google Triangle and what the reader is after. They want to match you to a role and need evidence. If you've not got it on page one then you need a re-write.

              To be fair I'm chewing the fat with you here because it's interesting, just doing it my rather forward way so don't mean to look argumentative. If it works for you then stick with it for sure but I do think you've fallen in to the trap many people do and have gotten precious about your CV. You love it, you like to read and remines when you see your old roles. You don't want to drop the old roles because you did them and it's part of your life, I totally get that, but read it as someone that has no idea about you and wants to match you to a role. Most of it is useless to them. It's a document of facts to them and no more. If just one person opens it and mutters 'Jesus look at the length of this', and I'll bet everything I have that someone has, then that's one too many and there is a chance make things even better.

              Sounds like I am trying to argue with you but I'm not. Just pointing stuff out that pops in to my head. I've said my piece. If you can take my points on board and justify them all then fill your boots. I know you know what you are doing from your posting history so if you are good with it fair enough.

              Last edited by northernladuk; 28 September 2021, 12:16.
              'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

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                #37
                Agents want 1 page because they havent time to skim read even the ones the software has flagged up as a good match. Client HR wants more than 1 page, minimum 2 or 3 in my experience because they generally dont want any chancers or wideboys. Interviewer(s) want more than 3 to review your whole career to determine if you know your onions.
                I couldn't give two fornicators! Yes, really!

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                  #38
                  I have a 2 page version and a 1 page version. I think longer than 2 pages is not necessary for most people, I've seen lots of long CVs and over half the content is just not relevant. Really you only need details for 3-4 contracts (roles if its perm experience) which should be the most recent/relevant ones the rest you can just list titles, companies, dates. Likewise for education or certs, just list them in 1 line unless you need to highlight something that's really relevant for the contract.

                  I put all the keywords in a separate section anyway you don't need to mix them in with a bunch of fluff.

                  2 Pages is about 500 words on a CV, if you can't sell yourself in 500 words than you probably should work on making your content more concise and relevant.

                  Lots of agents can barely read so you need to make it very easy for them.

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                    #39
                    Originally posted by northernladuk View Post
                    I'm sure you do but it will be for the content on pages 1, 2 and possibly 3 and because you are a highly skilled professional contractor. No one will be complimenting you on having 5 pages with the last two being nigh on useless for the role you are going for....snip
                    All sensible comments as usual. I provoked a good response

                    I'm always looking for ideas to fine tune, re-invent and make my CV more marketable, so its good to hear some counter thoughts to challenge my own.
                    I've tried a lot of improvements over the years, tested them on the market, and I guess I believe I've foudnd the approach that works best (until now), however If I could get down to 3 pages I would. Next time I prune and shrink down the historic roles and tidy up I'll aim for this, but if I get to 4 then that would be good for me. This is my generic CV, so it is a bit of a catch all, and my tailoring is usually just shuffling the achievements on the front page to mention 2-3 relevant projects from my past roles.

                    For the old one-line contracts, I keep a trail not for personal nostalgic value, but to illustrate where I came from, the sectors, the blue chips and perhaps one tech name. I can't say if these have any influence on receiving calls. The sector history does still bring in calls from specialist recruiters however. A page 4 contract got me shortlisted for a contract I won 2 years ago because its difficult to find people with this.

                    I'd be interested to know what others do with the really old ones. Do you just delete them as if they never happened, or do you put something like 'various positions between Years X-and-Y' ?

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                      #40
                      For the old stuff, I have a line on my CV that says 'engagements prior to mmm-yy are detailed on LinkedIn'. I have a full history on LI and then keep my CV to the last 5 years max (depends on what fits). I have my LI profile link on my CV which invariably gets removed by agents.

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