A resume of 20 Pages. They exist, really, we have seen them and why not ?! Nice and clear, lots of data so that nothing is missing. Yet? No, unfortunately not, many data do not yet produce useful information. For me, information is in this context: “text that has been modified so that it provides the reader with the most useful/interesting knowledge to be able to make the decision to select you or not.”? I hear 1 A4, 2 A4 maximum and at least no resume of 20 pages. I can already hear you say: “your entire working life on 1 or 2 A4?” That is just the mistake of most people. It is thought that it must be about your entire working life and everything you have done, but not everything is relevant. In fact, much is irrelevant! A CV of 20 pages is certainly not out of the question.
Get out of the reader
What is a good rule to use when it comes to the length of your CV because many people struggle with this question? Advice, guidelines and many ideas exist about writing a CV, but there is no rule. So many people, so many situations and therefore different resumes. That is desirable. A CV is yours and must provide information about who you are. You limit that if you start applying rules. Then what? I’ll come to that. Let us first consider the ‘why’, because it also contains part of the answer. Why does a resume have to be short and is a resume of 20 Pages too long? I am thinking of the following reasons:
- Your resume reader has a lot of resumes to read
- Your resume reader probably has little time
- The reader of your CV probably has a lot of choices and will not read your CV as quickly
- The reader searches for information instead of being the one who leads (with structure) and
may not get what you want out of it
- The reader of your CV will get an annoying feeling when reading your CV. You also do not want to read a very long piece of text and have to search for the information that is interesting to you.
In short, a CV that is too long and that is a CV of 20 pages, gives a negative feeling and does not help the reader to put the right focus on the match options that you want to demonstrate. You can see that all reasons have to do with the reader of the CV. I have always been taught that when you write something you always have to ask yourself for whom you write it. The reader. So immerse yourself in what people want to know.
When you start drafting your CV, my advice is not to think about the length. Feel free to write those 20 A4 pages, but don’t leave it at that. Edit, cut, paste and scrape until you have the core and adjust to 2 A4 pages. That is a difficult process, but better for your CV and better for your inner preparation for a possible interview. What you write also structures your thoughts and your story to be told later. Double win. Do you really get stuck due to the amount of experience and your resume becomes less if you omit something, then 3A4 may also be? At least, anything is allowed, but you have to ask yourself again whether what you are adding, on the other hand, does not, in fact, lead to the risk that you will get less overview. And I know it’s possible, no matter how long your resume is now. 2A4.
If you have twenty years of experience it can be an extra challenge to be brief about your work experience. When editing these long texts, put on your “relevant glasses”. Make a distinction between what is relevant for the relevant application and briefly summarize the other experience in two lines or perhaps a bundle of experience in one or two lines. That saves a lot of space and nobody will mind. Are you very unsure about what you’ve left out? Then indicate that you also have a long version of your resume, the resume of 20 pages, or write it out on LinkedIn and refer to it from your resume.
The format of your resume is also very useful in the challenge of keeping your resume short. If you put everything under each other in the standard format that everyone uses, your resume will automatically become long. You also always have the dilemma that when you place something on the front, a different topic that you find very important maybe just shifting to the second page. Try working with two or even three columns. Sometimes this suddenly fits 2A4 to 1A4. Look for examples under this link.
There are a lot of people who still have a CV for too long, although fortunately, we don’t come across a CV of 20 pages very often. That is neither necessary nor effective. You miss opportunities and you run the risk that your CV will not even be read at all. Apply the above tips and make your resume professional, short and powerful. Do you need help? Then look under this link.