How Long Should Your CV Be?

How long should your CV be for a job in Dubai? The truth is that there is no simple answer to this, as it can depend on your level of experience and the type of you role you are applying for. If you are a junior/entry level candidate then you will need a shorter CV and a more experienced candidate may have a longer CV.

However, what we do know is that most recruiters and employers in Dubai will be time pressurized and will be required to review anything from 20 to 100 CVs per job, and research suggests that the typical employer may only spend 5-7 seconds scanning your CV to see if you are fit.

Because time is at such a premium, recruiters may be deterred by excessively long CVs, especially when they have plenty of precise, concise shorter CVs to choose from. In fact, research from CareerBuilder shows that 22% of recruiters would dismiss a CV from consideration just because it was longer than two pages long.

So, if you do send in an excessively long CV you will be putting your self at a real disadvantage and will be reducing your chances of being short-listed for interview.

Entry level candidates; less is more

If you are entry level candidate, e.g. graduate, school leaver or changing between career fields into a new career, you should ideally stick to a one page CV.

Mid-career candidates with five to ten years experience

Mid-career professionals with about 5 to 10 years experience should produce a two page resume. There should be sufficient space to include all the most pertinent and relevant information in a readable way. It is important that you fill at least three quarters of the space on the second page so the recruiter does not notice white space at the end. Or this could make your CV appear to short and make it look as if you haven’t made sufficient achievements in your career.

Technical and Engineering Candidates

If you are from a technical or engineering background then a two page CV is still ideal, however, if you have a lot of technical skills that you want to list, I would recommend that you create a separate one page skills summary that neatly lists your skills, competency, years of experience and estimated value of associated work. You can include this as a separate document and this way, the recruiter can choose to view the detail if necessary, but they will know that all the pertinent information they need is within the initial two page CV.

Senior Executive

Generally senior managers or executives who have many years of experience and a long list of achievements, along with scientists or academics who have lots of publications, licenses or patents to list can produce CVs of 2 pages or more in length.  However, what we do recommend is that you produce a two page  summary CV initially and perhaps an addendum of one or more pages which the recruiter can choose to read, should they require more information.

Good Luck with your job hunt in 2013.

About the author

Kazim Ladimeji is the Director of—a resource for start-ups, small business and job seekers. It includes a blog with career and small business advice articles. Kazim is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and has been a practising HR professional for 14 years.

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