Shortening Your CV

A crucial mistake many people make is a CV that is far too long – it can be tricky to shorten your CV if you don’t really know what to take out or what to leave in. Ask yourself, ‘is this relevant?’ and take it from there. Shortening your CV is one of the most important parts of your job search process.

Tip One

Get rid of any unimportant information – cut through the clutter and figure out exactly what you don’t need then get rid of it. To give you a better idea: if you are applying for a teaching position, the waitressing you did after high school isn’t exactly relevant.

Tip Two

Find ways to display your information in the shortest way possible.

For example, school results – instead of this:

“School career

Milnerton High School

2004 – 2006

English – B

Afrikaans – C

Mathematics – D

History – B

Geography – C

Biology – A”

Consider doing this:

“Milnerton High School 2002 – 2006

A – Biology                                       B – English & History

C – Afrikaans & Geography                  D – Mathematics”

Tip Three

Use wider margins on your page so you don’t waste any space with a blank border. Use a clear font to make it easier to read with a font size of 11pt for any body copy (it is readable and small) Use the bold option for that font to highlight headings and section breaks instead of big gaps wasting precious space.

Tip Four

Personal Information: Use the header wisely, put your info in three columns (right aligned – centred – left aligned) to use one line for three objects instead of just one.

Tip Five

Depending on the nature of the job you are applying for, it is important to include the following sections:

  • Personal information (contact details, ID number, driver’s licence or not, languages (you speak and write in etc.)
  • Qualifications
  • Schooling (short & sweet)
  • Work experience (position, company name, When and for how long you worked there and a short explanation of your responsibilities)
  • References (name, their position, number and email address)

If you still have some space, you can add a list of any personal interests, any awards you have won, charities you work with or hobbies you have.

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