How to stick to a two page CV when you have a long employment history
Having a long career history is usually seen as a positive, and when looking for work you will always have an advantage over someone who has little to no prior work experience. There is one small issue however – and that’s how you write a CV that fits to just two pages.
How many pages should a CV be?
The standard size of a CV is two pages long, and there are many reasons for that. First of all you want to keep your CV short and snappy which is why two pages is a great way to go. A recruiter has many CVs to look through so doesn’t want to spend an awful amount of time reading through pages and pages of employment history.
A CV that goes over two pages can sometimes detract the reader from what’s really important, and you might find that all the good stuff gets lost in between a lengthy CV.
So how can someone with a long employment history stick to a two page CV?
Only include what’s relevant on your CV
Having a long list of previous roles could mean that you’ve had the same old and tired CV for a very long time, and rather than simply editing it each time you apply for a new job, you should maybe consider giving it a complete revamp.
Not only will writing a brand new CV ensure your application remains current and fresh, it will also allow you to tailor it to the new role you are applying for. The CV of today has to take note of exactly what the employer has requested on the job advert, and when it comes to your employment history section you need to consider what’s relevant and what should and shouldn’t make the cut.
Don’t go into too much detail
When it comes to trying to cram all that experience onto a two page CV, one of the most important things to consider is the amount of detail you give to each position. This all follows on nicely from how relevant you make it, and how important a particular role will be to a new employer.
Looking over your entire work history it should be easy to see what would be relevant to a new employer, and this is how you can decide how much detail to go into each one. Anything recent and relevant will obviously require you to list the tasks and responsibilities, and anything that won’t be of interest to the hiring manager can simply just have a job title and date.
An employer will understand why you have done this, and it will also make it much easier for them to navigate through your employment history to see what you have to offer and transfer over to them.
Don’t be afraid to remove certain jobs from your CV
When looking back over extensive work history you will often find that the earliest jobs are the least relevant. This isn’t always the case, but if it is for you then you can consider omitting these roles from your CV altogether if you wish.
With decades of work experience you will often find that a new employer is not too interested in going back that far – especially if those roles have little to no relevancy to the present. For example, working behind the till at your local shop when you were seventeen will not likely have any impact at all on your present situation – so why include it!
Just give them what they want!
When an employer reads a potential candidates employment history they are not interested in how long it is, but how it will benefit them. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have if it won’t be of any benefit to the employer.
Although you could say that being in a working environment for such a long time will of course mean you have lots of skills and experience to carry over to any job, you could still lag behind someone who has only 5 years experience but has that experience in a similar role.
Not only is the employer looking to see if you have relevant work experience, they also want to see how well you performed in those roles. You can make your CV more credible by backing up your experience with real facts and figures, revenue generating ideas, sales stats, customer service excellence, and so on.
Don’t get hung up on trying to include everything, especially when not everything you’ve ever done will matter to an employer. Focus upon what really matters and don’t worry about the rest.