When job hunting, it’s likely that you’ll come across a few recruiters who ask for a CV that’s no longer than one page. This is an easy task if you’ve just graduated, but it’s no mean feat if you have a lot of experience under your belt. In fact, trying to fit your entire career onto a single piece of paper could seem impossible.
It’s not, however. You can cut your CV down to size, so to speak, if you use a critical eye and the following tips:
Only include relevant information
You should tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for, whether it’s one or three pages long, but it becomes especially important when you only have 210 x 240cm to work with. Scrutinise your current CV to see which experiences, skills and qualifications are most relevant to the job you’re applying for. Keep only those. Don’t include information that won’t be of any importance to the recruiter. Examples of extraneous information are short courses that aren’t related to the industry you’re currently in or holiday jobs that did not equip you with skills that adds value to your current occupation.
Put the most important information at the top
Despite the fact that your CV will just be one page long, it’s still highly likely that a recruiter or potential employer will only scan it. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that the information in your CV is arranged to catch the eye.
When it comes to experience and qualifications, experience goes first and then qualifications. List your experiences in descending order; starting with your current job and then listing previous positions. Do the same for your qualifications.
You also want the top quarter of the page to work really hard – it has to convey the most critical information to the person reading it. If you arrange your experiences as explained above, you’ve done a great job already. In addition, you could consider adding a short paragraph (no longer than three lines) about your strengths, weaknesses and competencies. Make it your ‘personal brand’ statement.
Cut the fat
The only information of a personal nature that you need on a one-page CV is your name, contact number and e-mail address. You don’t need to list your location, race, marital status or languages you speak. You also don’t have the space to share hobbies or volunteer projects with a potential employer.
Move references to your cover letter
If you have two or three references, they can actually take up a lot of space. If you’re having trouble fitting yours in, give the name and contact details for one reference in your cover letter. If you have more references, you can mention this fact in your cover letter as well.
Mention tasks only once
If you’ve been in the same industry throughout your career, you would’ve performed similar tasks in each role. So if you’ve mentioned, for instance, that you’ve done filing in the first job you did, don’t mention it again. Recruiters will still be able to see that you have the experience they’re looking for. But – if a task is particularly relevant to the job you’re applying for, be sure to mention it at the top of your CV.
When you have the final product in front of you and you feel that it’s just not saying enough, include a link to your Linkedin profile, either at the top of your CV or in your cover letter. Linkedin enables you to set up a comprehensive CV. Recruiters and employers who require more information will follow the link to learn more about you. And they’ll be suitably impressed by the fact that you have established an online presence. Winning them over in the interview will be so much easier!