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Resume Help/How long should your CV be?


Dear Sir,

I'm looking to apply for a mid-level manager job. At this level, how long should your CV be?

Is it true to assume that you should make it one page (A4) only?

Thank you

Hi Liam,

To directly answer your second question, no, it is not necessarily axiomatic that your CV should be one page only.  The question as to how long it should be is less relevant than other factors.

For example, if you have been in the work force 20 or 30 years, your CV is probably going to be more extensive than a person who has been professionally active for 5 years.  The CV, like the cover letter, is built on the job announcement of the employer to which you apply.  If the announcement is very detailed and precise, you will need to respond to that with detailed and precise information about your professional qualifications and activities.  That will make it longer than it might be if, for instance, the employer provides only general information about the position.

Your questions seem to reflect a possible misunderstanding about the true nature and purpose of the documents you provide an employer.  Many applicants believe that the CV is all about them and their professional qualifications.  But that is only part of the job that it is supposed to do.  Contrary to rumor, there is no standard length for a CV.  The only standard is that the document needs to be as long as it takes to do what needs to be done.  And what it needs to do depends on things I have outlined here.

Your questions would be easier for me to answer and help you with if I could actually see your CV.  If you would like me to give you a free appraisal of your documents (letter also if you like), you are welcome to send both as email attachments to the address below.  If you have a particular job announcement to which you are responding, kindly send that along as well and that will help me further to assess how your application might fit with the employer.  After I see what you are actually prepared to send to an employer, I can give you much better advice.

I look forward to hearing from you; best wishes.

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Ralph D. Converse, Ph.D.


I can answer questions about general job searches, resume construction, crafting an effective cover letter, and how to prepare for, and conduct, a winning interview. My speciality is the field of education, but I also have extensive background in business and administration. I know what works and what doesn't work and I can make your application package stand out from the rest ... because that is what you have to do.


I have interviewed for, and held, dozens of jobs in a career going back more than 42 years. I have taught at all educational levels including middle school, high school, community college, and university. In more than 42 years of experience on both sides of the job-search process, I have interviewed hundreds of applicants and have reviewed literally tens of thousands of job application packages. I am the author of 12 Mistakes That Got Your Job Application Rejected ... And How To Fix Them! I conduct workshops for job seekers in a variety of locations every year.

Music Educator's Journal, Teaching Music, Music and American Culture (forthcoming, 2013), Last Teacher Standing: The Job is Yours Now! and 12 Mistakes That Got Your Job Application Rejected ... And How To Fix Them!

B.A. New Mexico State University; M.Mus. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D. University of California and University of North Texas

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