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Thread: How much info on the average CV?

  1. #1
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    Default How much info on the average CV?

    My husband and I were polishing up our CVs and sent them to his dad, a retired bank manager, for review and he said they're too short. In SoCal, anything longer than one page is seen as excessive and a burden. So, how much information should you put on? How long is a good CV?

  2. #2
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    Hey!

    I had my CV checked by an New Zealand Immigration agent, and mine is spread over four pages! I guess as long as it doesn't waffle, then it could be any length!

  3. #3
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    Somewhere between two and four A4 sides is a useful length, but use your common sense. Don't make it longer for the sake of it. Keep the information concise and to the point. Don't agonise over shrinking it to fit in with someone's arbitrary rules.
    I've had CVs 8 pages long come across my desk, doesn't concern me really.

    Do proof read it. Twice. Then get it proofed by someone else. Especially if you claim to pay attention to detail.
    Recruiting managers will not read through your CV like a novel. It will most likely be skimmed to see if it's worth talking to you in person. Use good 'signposting' to help someone skimming through find the bits that interest them.

    A good CV won't get you a job, but it might get you an interview. A bad CV could lose you an opportunity, especially if you make silly mistakes. Check contact numbers!

    I strongly recommend being methodical and careful about the jobs you are applying for. I'm a big believer in tailoring your CV to emphasise the skills that are being sought in the job advert, especially if you have a lot of experience and/or a wide range of experience. If you try and make a CV everything to everyone, the small part a potential recruiter is looking for just gets lost in a sea of generality. Sing your skills, and make it specific to the role. This does of course mean keeping meticulous records of which version you send to which company.

    If you send a covering letter use it to draw attention to bits of your past experience but always write a new covering letter for the advert you are applying to. Never just cut and paste a chunk from your CV, it just comes across as lazy.

    Remember your CV is there to promote you, not the companies you used to work for. Include enough info about former employers for context but don't paste in half of the marketing brochure.

    If you have employment gaps make sure they are accounted for.

    That's probably enough for now (and far than you asked!)

    Good luck with job hunting (what industries are you in?)

    Steve

  4. #4
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    Hosebergine gives good advice.

    I was also advised to elongate my CV, add detail about the companies you have worked for if coming from overseas (what they did, web address etc. to give a recruiter some insight) and also list your achievements in your previous positions.

    A good short summary statement at the top of the CV is a must, and again should be tailored.

    I would also write a new covering letter for each position for which you reply....back to exam technique...answer the question that the advert poses!

  5. #5
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    The length of course very much depends in thw first instance of how many roles you had in how many companies.

    in the second instance however it also depends on how close your experience is to NZ. If it is not very similar you need to explain more which will extend your CV.

  6. #6
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    Very good info all. We used to do longer one's here but when 800 people (not kidding) show up for 20 job openings in a restaurant, they really like it to pop off of one page. It will be nice to be able to elaborate on my experiences and tailor it for each company.

    Just a follow up question to Steve's point about accounting for gaps, how do employers tend to look at gaps due to staying at home with your kids?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwieagle View Post
    Just a follow up question to Steve's point about accounting for gaps, how do employers tend to look at gaps due to staying at home with your kids?
    Well personally if you didn't mention it I'd just be wondering what it was. For me personally the thing that puts me off a candidate most is when they have been out of work but actively looking for work for months on end and not got anything. I know there could be a million reasons why this happens and it's not a warning sign, but you have to wonder why they haven't found a role.

    My hunch is to be very explicit about it. Maybe write a paragraph against that date range stating that you wanted to start a family so decided to take x years off then come back. Make it sound like you thought it through (even if you didn't) and show you mentally distinguish that period of time where you did something very deliberate (start family) from this period of time where you are equally deliberate, but now you are back in the work force.

    That is just my own opinion though. It's worth what you paid for it! ;-)

    Others may disagree.

    regards


    Steve

  8. #8
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    Thank you so much, Steve. Your insights really have helped us. We would have been clueless.

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