Is your CV getting bigger and bigger? Is it expanding at a rate that you can’t seem to control? You know it’s meant to be a lean and mean two pages, but instead it’s gross and flabby?
It can be so tempting to see your CV as a place to store information about your career that you might forget. If you don’t write it all down, you may well lose track of something vitally important, which will no doubt be essential to tell someone, at some point, in the future. After all, if we don’t make a personal record our own professional memories, who will?
As someone who relies on lists rather than memory and who actions things in the ‘here and now’ to ensure they get done and not forgotten, I have no problem with this as a premise. My problem is that some people think their CV is the right place to store their professional life history.
If you fear forgetting what your responsibilities were in your first role, or subsequent roles which are no longer relevant to your career, then, by all means, keep a master document. Keep it in a drawer somewhere. This kind of information doesn’t belong on your CV.
If you do insist on keeping this information on the version of your CV you are putting forward to recruiters, you run the risk that they will see it as a flabby repository, not a honed and toned document which packs a punch and meets their needs.
So how do you go about getting rid of the ‘junk’ from your CV trunk?
Five top tips to get rid of CV ‘flab’ and achieve a two page CV
1. Use your Profile and Key Skills section to encapsulate the experience you have gained from your career as a whole, this will enable you to simply line-itemise older job roles.
2. With the first point in mind, if your most relevant experience for this particular opportunity is not so current, consider drawing it up on to page one using a Relevant Experience section.
3. Ditch irrelevant information. If a fact is going to bore the recruiter because it has no relevance to their needs, then leave it off the CV.
4. Analyse each line of your CV. Can you make the same points in fewer words? Remember, less is more for a recruiter with a stack of CVs to get through.
5. Your CV is your personal marketing tool, your executive summary – keep it lean, punchy and powerful!