How many pages should you Resume/Curriculum Vitae have? I’ve always liked to keep mine below 2 pages and I’ve regularly experimented with a 1 page one.
However different countries will have different expectations. And the CV is a relic from the past. Is it all that useful anymore?
My 1 Page CV
This here is 1 page CV (PDF), I tend to do one every few years, you can read about how it’s evolved over time here.
It has embed links and is very brief. It has a visual timeline at the top with recent experience. If you want more information about my work history you can always check out my LinkedIn. I don’t need my entire work history on my resume.
The 2 Page CV
I use this CV (PDF) when I feel like the 1 pager is too experimental. However the job application process is broken and resume’s aren’t all that useful. They are just a token part of the job application process. I’ve gotten my last 3 job offers by networking, speaking and meetup events and blogging.
Want to improve your profile?
You can book me in for 1 on 1 career coaching via Calendly, my rates of $50 AUD for 30 minutes will apply.
You can also check out my career tips for software testers here, technical skills for testers or this video for building your profile on youtube here:
I wish I was young enough to have a 1-page CV! Even trimming mine down to the minimum information, especially about non-testing roles, I couldn’t get it under three pages. And that’s going to happen for anyone whose career path hasn’t followed any sort of industry “happy path”, with qualifications and roles which a recruiter may not have come across before, especially when you’re trying to pitch yourself into an IT context.
Obviously, that’s not ideal.
My solution was to expand my personal statement at the top of page 1, with a bulleted list of “Wow!” achievements. These are not necessarily testing or even IT-related, but they grab the attention and paint me as an individual with a wide range of knowledge and experience who could bring things to a potential employer that no-one else in the company may have.
It doesn’t work every time; but that’s going to be the case for any CV. Those employers who won’t be impressed enough to look twice at the CV probably weren’t going to be the sort of employers I’d want to work for anyway. Last time I was job searching, this did get me something like three or four contacts a week from companies or recruiters looking for more. And eventually i found someone who wanted someone different to the rest of the team with a different perspective.
It might be easy to say a 31 year old is young enough to have a 1 page CV, but I’ve now been working for longer than I haven’t (I started work at 14 and worked in Supermarkets for 7 years). I’ve also been working in tech for over 8 years.
I could easily write a 4/5 page CV but I like the challenge of a 1 pager.
With a backup like LinkedIn, if people want my full history and all of the qualifications it doesn’t need to be on my CV.
I didn’t mean to cast aspersions; and my CV probably went onto page 2 when I was about 23. But that was a long time ago, and I suspect I’m still in touch with my inner dinosaur, especially when you see employers still wanting you to “account for all your time in employment, including gaps”.
My bugbear is employers who want to know all about your school qualifications, as if that’s relevant to anything. I think there’s a good case for a job search process being a two-way thing, something that’s much easier now than it was way back when.
It’s all good. I remember my first CV for my first supermarket job was one line 😆