There are a lot of myths floating around about how best to write an effective CV: where to include your education section, and in how much detail; whether to include personal details such as marital status and date of birth; if a column or table format works best, or even an adventurous font. However, as a recruiter there is one CV myth that has me pulling my hair out on a daily basis.
I call it the ‘two page doom’ and it takes the form of an experienced candidate frantically removing relevant and interesting information from their CV in order to tick a box that says it fits neatly onto two pages. Sounds crazy when you put it like that, eh?
We register hundreds of new candidates each week at Brand, with the majority them coming in to meet a consultant who specialises in their sector. At these meetings, we discuss their CV amongst other things. It is amazing how many people have been recommended to cut their experience down to two pages because it is perceived as neat, easy to read and generally more effective. Obviously there are candidates at more junior levels whose experience won’t exceed this length anyway, and that is completely fine! The problem from a recruiter’s perspective is when lots of relevant information is cut solely for this reason.
As an agency, we like to think that we act as human cover letters for candidates – once we meet you, we use your experience and no doubt dazzling personality to sing your praises to our clients. However, at the end of day they are still going to be looking at your CV and judging your suitability based on what is written. If they see something like, they will take the extra thirty seconds to read an extra paragraph or two. And if they don’t, they probably aren’t the kind of person you want to work for.
What if the very thing that would secure an interview is the same thing that would push your CV over that two page mark? Which would you prefer: an interview for your ideal role, or a neat CV that doesn’t represent you accurately? In the wise words of Kevin Bacon (and EE scriptwriters), ‘it’s a no-brainer’!
For more CV writing tips, as well as advice on interviews and the latest marketing and PR roles, please visit our website at https://www.brandrecruitment.co.uk.