One of the most common issues that people find when they are updating their CV is that it is too long.
Editing a CV can be a really tricky task. For most people, their experience is hard-earned and to see a four year vacancy reduced to a dribbling two-sentence description can feel like a crushing denial of blood, sweat and tears.
So here are our top tips to help you get that CV back in order:
– Be brutal (yes, yes; that’s the easy part!)
– Hand your CV to a savvy friend and ask them to draw a thick line through all of the bits that they think are just waffle.
– Tailor your CV: if you’re applying to just one specific job, save a version of your CV that removes EVERYTHING that is not strictly relevant to the job you’re applying for.
– Put your personal details on one (or two) lines using bullets.
– Better still, put your two-line contact details into the HEADER of the document you’re using. (If the CV is longer than two pages you can choose to remove the Header from pages other than page 1).
– Put any bullets you have into a two-column format. This isn’t always an easy-fix. If your sentences are long this can make a CV look very messy. The bulleted sentences should be short, sharp and straight to the point for this to work.
– Change the size of the text. Okay, okay…this sounds obvious. But varying the size of the text throughout the document is useful; so for ‘main body’ chunks of text (short summaries of roles and responsibilities, for example) these can be reduced – sometimes by just .5 – so that the difference is barely noticeable but across the entire document this can make quite a difference, particularly if you have just crept onto the second page and need to pull things back a little.
– Check your margins. At the top and the bottom of the page you can extend the print-space of the document. A small tweak to both of these can change the reach of a document and pull your CV back onto the last page very neatly.
– Play with fonts. Some fonts take up huge amounts of space so be careful here and play around with the font settings.
– Line spacing. Just as with font size, line spacing can be varied at different points in the documents. Some chunks of text can accomodate lines that might normally seem cramped and this is even more so if you create breathiong speace elsewhere.
Remember keyboard shortcuts when you are editing your CV. You don’t have to be scared to make big changes – you can always undo them with keyboard shortcuts:
If you make a change and you want to undo that change, press Ctrl + Z
If you changed your mind about the undo, press Ctrl + y