Should a CV be a one page summary, or several pages of detail? One page has the advantage of brevity, which means people might actually read it; several pages allows you to set out skills and achievements in more details – but do hirers have the patience to read the details? Consider having both.
One of the most basic debates that people have on CVs is whether it should be a one page summary – which has the advantage of brevity and so increasing the chance that it will be read but forces the omission of any interesting details; or a multi-page tome – which has the advantage of allowing you to set out all your achievements and manifold skills but risks sending the reader to sleep as they trawl through the detail for the key points.
There’s an easy way to slice through this particular gordian knot: just have both. That’s what most headhunters do.
How so? The basic idea is to have the first page serve as a stand-alone document by including the following subject headings:
Even so, other than your mum, there’s a limit to people’s interest in reading about your glorious career so I would recommend trying to keep the whole thing to three pages or less. If you follow the recommendations I make below (in Keep it Relevant), you shouldn’t need to make it longer.