With employers unlikely to spend much more than 30 seconds reading through your CV, it’s important to make sure that it’s both concise and eye-catching. As a rule of thumb it’s always good to get it all on two pages (one if you can), but that’s easier said than done. Here are seven ways of saving space on your CV so you can make sure you’ve included what counts.
Leave out your ‘References’ section
This section can take up to two lines and, although it finishes off the document nicely, it isn’t necessary if you’ve got a lot of information to include. This should really be the first bit to go if you have to start cutting information out, as the employer will ask if they need to see your references regardless.
Spacing and margins
Microsoft Word has its own ideals for the spacing and margins on your document, but these are very easy to change. Narrow margins can actually make a CV look more professional so that’s a given, but make sure to remove any unnecessary spacing between individual lines and paragraphs, and you’ll find that it frees up a few lines over the page.
Font size and type
A professional-looking font is a must when it comes to your CV, so I always recommend fonts like Calibri, Arial, Garamond, or Cambria. Remember that fonts can dramatically change the size of the letters, so avoid fonts such as Arial if you’re struggling to fit everything in. Between 10pt and 11pt is best, and remember that even a 0.5pt change can make a big difference.
Although articles are generally important when writing, it’s okay to leave them out on your CV (providing the sentence still makes sense, of course). Remove any instances of ‘a’, ‘an’, and ‘the’ that you come across, and you’ll find that it helps to condense the information without detracting from it.
Remove any widows
A so-called ‘widow’ is a word that takes up a whole line by itself, and when you’re pushed for space that’s something you can do without. Restructure your bullet points where possible to ensure that your valuable space isn’t being taken up unnecessarily.
Keep information on one line where you can
It can be very tempting when writing your CV to space everything out. Some information need not be written in this way though, such as contact details and career information. Instead of placing your various forms of contact on different lines put them all on one, and also do the same for the other sections – you can easily space your employer, job title, and dates worked all on one line.
Keep everything relevant
This is really important as not only will it save space but will also make sure that the employer is going to be interested in your CV. If something isn’t relevant to the job you’re applying for then remove it! As you may find yourself doing this a lot it’s best to have one master copy of your CV with all the information included, and then you can pick and choose which elements to keep in as required.