How many pages should a CV have?

This is the first question most clients ask.  It is amazing how such a simple question – how many pages – raises so much debate and conflicting opinions, even among HR professionals.  As many things in life, there is no right or wrong answer.  There is no magic figure that experts agree on as being right. The answer becomes even more complicated depending on which country the client is from. In some countries, employers expect 1 page only, while in another country, the maximum may be 2 pages,  or perhaps more. This certainly makes you even more confused as to which guideline you should follow.  So, how many pages? 

  • One incredible first page to encourage the reader to go to the next if need be. From that point onwards it is up to you, as it is your CV and you must make a decision of what you want to tell your readers.
  • My recommendation is that your CV must not be longer than it has to be; it may have 3 pages, but never more than 5.

Most experienced CV readers will be able to make a decision about you when they look at your first page.  Often, the following pages will be to confirm that you are the real deal or to provide them with a few more details about what you have done.

All pages are important!  Hence do not include in your CV what is not important to describe you, and what you have done that is relevant to the role.

Bear in mind that the CV will show how objective you are, how organised you are, how attentive you are to detail, how clear you express your thoughts etc.  It provides a very good indication of who you are.  In the interview, employers expect to meet that person – do not disappoint them by including things that do not reflect who you really are, or by having another person write your CV in a way that is not you.

It does not have to be perfect. In fact, it is impossible to reach perfection, but that should not stop you from trying.

And remember that there is only one you.  So if you read your CV and feel like the CV could be someone else’s, then the CV is not really yours.  Hence it is good practice to avoid vague statements that say very little about you or what you have done.

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Have a good day!


1 Comment

  1. Thanks for your advice. I am looking for work and there is always someone to tell me that I am not getting interviews because my CV is too long. Will review my CV and make it more relevant to the reader and no longer than it really has to be. I am waiting for your next blog. Mark W.

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