One of the evergreen questions is: How many pages should my CV be? If you’re preparing your CV in order to find a job in Switzerland, then my answer is: 2 pages, but…
A Curriculum Vitae with 2 pages is what most people use in Switzerland and also what most recruiters expect.
The minimalistic approach
One-pagers often look cramped. If every last square centimeter of the page is filled with information, it can become difficult to read.
And when you realize that you’re starting to leave things out, it’s time to expand to a second page. After all, you don’t want to be in a job interview and say “this isn’t on my CV, but you should know that I also did…”
Can’t get to the point?
I don’t recommend more than 2 pages. When I see a CV with 3 or more pages, I’ll automatically assume that you can’t focus on the really important things and your CV will have to convince me otherwise. And you certainly don’t want to start off with a disadvantage.
So if you have a long CV, you’d better have a good reason to do so and make sure that all information is not only relevant, but also presented in an organized an easy-to-read way.
If you had many jobs
If you had a lot of different jobs, then many pages will often scream job hopper. Of course, no recruiter or hiring manager should think like this, but we all know that they’re only human.
So regardless of how many jobs you had, not everything needs the same level of detail. While I want to know exactly what you did and achieved at your two to three last jobs, I’m not really interested in all the details of your very first job, especially if it was a long time ago and it has nothing to do with the job you’re looking for today.
Escapees from the ivory tower
It seems that many academics are unhappy if their CV is less than a dozen pages. If this is your situation and you’re looking for a job outside of the academic world, then I definitely recommend that you keep it to 2 pages! Anything else shows that you’re not ready to take the red pill and leave the Matrix yet.
Many, many technical skills
What if you have very special technical skills that need a lot of room to list and describe? In this case you could use an additional page apart from the CV. This way your CV will still be easy to read and whoever is interested in learning about your extensive skills in detail can refer to this list.
This, by the way, works also for academic accomplishments like a list of publications.
- In most cases a two page CV will be ideal in Switzerland.
- If you choose only 1 page, make sure that the document still breathes and that you don’t leave anything important out.
- If you really want to use more than 2 pages, then you should have a very good reason for doing so.