How to cut down your CV

With the average time employers spend looking at a CV being a mere 3 minutes, you need to limit your CV to 1 – 1 ½ pages, otherwise you could risk your application being rejected because it is too long and unclear. However, this is easier said than done. If you have an abundance of work experience, achievements or voluntary work that you want to impress a potential employer with, deciphering which points to discount can be tricky. Below are a few tips to help you when cutting down your CV:

  • keep older roles concise, you only need to go into detail with your most recent work experience
  • use short bullet points to explain your duties in the work experience section of your CV
  • tailor your CV so you only include the skills which meet the criteria of the job, leave out any irrelevant details
  • avoid using clichés. It’s easy to fall into a cliché trap, using phrases such as ‘good communicator’ or ‘great team player’ but if you haven’t backed them up with clear examples they won’t have any substance. Make sure you explain why you are a good team player and how you can bring your skills to the job. Try using the acronym CAR when explaining a skill – context (what happened), action (what you did) and result (the outcome and what you achieved)
  • only include essential personal details on a CV, i.e. your full name, address and contact number/email. You do not need to include your date of birth or hobbies (unless relevant to the position)
  • leave references off your CV, you only need to state that they are available upon request
  • avoid putting the full address for your previous employers, you only need to include when you worked there, your job title and the name of the company.