How do I shorten my work experience on CV?

(34 Posts)
Latenightthinking22 Mon 22-Jul-19 05:12:58

So I have managed to keep my current CV to exactly 2 pages. But my problem is, what happens the next time I want to apply for a new position? I'll have to add my current role to the top of the list, and this will obviously then push me over to a third pageconfused

What am I meant to do, leave off the oldest job (but then this would look like I didn't start working life until e.g. 20, instead of 15)? Or do I leave off the most irrelevant job (but that would look like I have a gap then)?

I already don't have any bullet points to go along with the oldest / least relevant roles, as I simply cannot fit it in.

I always wonder what other people do about this?

OP’s posts: |
BikeRunSki Mon 22-Jul-19 05:24:06

Make the oldest jobs a single line;

1985-88: Apprentice baker - Gregg’s on The High Street
1988-92: Junior baker - working in all areas of general bakery - xxx employer
1992-95: Assistant baker, specialising in jam tarts and apple crumble

Pillowcase99 Mon 22-Jul-19 05:25:04

I tailor each cv to the role im applying for but keep a master version with everything on it for reference. So to tailor each cv, I'd pick out the relevant roles for the job, then bullet point other roles:

- Date from-date to Company Job Title

Hopefully that will keep it to 2 pages with the most relevant stuff in there, including tailored job descriptions emphasising relevant responsibilities and skills.


Pillowcase99 Mon 22-Jul-19 05:25:49

And just to add I'd bullet the irrelevant stuff from oldest to newest

flowery Mon 22-Jul-19 10:54:45

The more jobs you have, the less relevant the oldest jobs will be, therefore they can be relegated to one-liners, or left off altogether. If I did a CV now, I’d be unlikely to include my time doing telesales for a double glazing company, for example, or working in a corner shop....

cranstonmanor Mon 22-Jul-19 11:07:50

*Make the oldest jobs a single line;

1985-88: Apprentice baker - Gregg’s on The High Street
1988-92: Junior baker - working in all areas of general bakery - xxx employer
1992-95: Assistant baker, specialising in jam tarts and apple crumble*

I ended up compacting something similar to something like:

1985-1995 apprentice to assistant baker for several different bakers in London

If its long ago it doesn't interest people that much, they just want to know that you had good work ethic at the time and weren't in prison or anything.

Latenightthinking22 Mon 22-Jul-19 11:12:02

Thank you all for your replies smile

So considering I already keep the irrelevant jobs to one line, (I literally just write the company name, job title and start / finish dates), and yet I'm still out of space, I guess I will go with the second option which is get rid of them altogether.

It just sucks because my irrelevant roles are the ones where I've clocked up the most number of years. You know like part time jobs that I held for years while at school / uni.

Any work experience I have in my career is a bit all over the place and doesn't look as settled.

OP’s posts: |


Lovestonap Mon 22-Jul-19 16:13:01

This thread is really helpful, I have had so many jobs in different field over the last 20 years.
I find it difficult with employers like the NHS etc which require a full work history, no gaps, with addresses and contact details. Some of the companies don't even exist anymore!

trinity0097 Mon 22-Jul-19 19:16:24

I wouldn’t expect to see holiday/uni jobs on a CV once you have a real job, unless they are directly relevant to what you are applying for.

For example, loads of teachers have worked whilst at uni, none put gem on their professional application forms!

Scarletoharaseyebrows Mon 22-Jul-19 19:21:36

Cvs don't need to be 2 pages. That's trotted out by lazy recruitment consultants! (Years working with them, trust me!)

If it's all relevant it can be longer. However, if you're in a career now, I'm not sure your part time school Saturday jobs are relevant. People are interested in what you do now and over the last few years. Are you trying to change sector?

underthebridgedowntown Mon 22-Jul-19 19:29:35

Errr... CVs really do need to be max of two sides. The people recruiting will be reading dozens, so it needs to be sharp, tailored and to the point. Two pages is standard, any more will communicate you can't focus your writing to the task at hand. And I'm not talking about recruitment consultants, just normal direct recruitment.

Scarletoharaseyebrows Mon 22-Jul-19 19:37:13

After many years recruiting directly and agency side, I beg to differ IF it's relevant info. However your Saturday jobs are not relevant info.

OrchidFlakes Mon 22-Jul-19 19:39:39

I tend to give the last 10 years and the. Day previous history available upon request

titchy Mon 22-Jul-19 19:43:36

Personally I don't want to read a CV of more than two sides.... particularly when there's a covering letter to read as well.

Ditch the crappy holiday jobs - cover with a one liner if you must: Jan 1998 - October 2010: Various part time roles to fit around studies.

If you've only had crappy jobs you could expand by having a skills based CV where you list the skills gained (customer service, attention to detail, working as part of a team) rather than listing job titles.

BuffaloCauliflower Mon 22-Jul-19 19:46:53

As a former headhunter now in HR in-house, please leave all the early stuff on, it’s useful to know surprisingly often.
Can you reduce the information in each section as well as reducing the early stuff down to a line?
If you really think it’s all essential stuff, genuinely, a 2.5 page CV isn’t the end of the world! As long as it’s all interesting and actually useful

BuffaloCauliflower Mon 22-Jul-19 19:47:40

Oh but yes you definitely don’t need any part time jobs around study type info at this stage

Scarletoharaseyebrows Mon 22-Jul-19 19:51:25

buffalo yes, just that. You're not going to not get a job because you're CV has 2.5 pages of good stuff.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Mon 22-Jul-19 20:12:43

Mine is just one page. I have a header with what I'm doing now, then I have sections of skills/achievements which I tailor ruthlessly to the job I'm applying for - I write it fresh each time to make sure it matches the person spec. Then all my jobs are just one liners.

There's really no need for anyone's CV to be over two pages.

twistyturnycurlywhirly Mon 22-Jul-19 20:16:06

I left off all the jobs I had during A levels and university. They were only shop assistant/call centre/bar work jobs so are totally irrelevant to my profession. It just looks like I had my first job after graduating. Never held me back.

dontdoxmeeither Mon 22-Jul-19 21:29:19

I consolidated a few years that encompassed similar roles-

Between 1998-2003 various retail positions including River Island, Next and M&S

WrongKindOfFace Mon 22-Jul-19 21:38:40

Bear in mind that ageism is rife and you might be better only giving your work history from the last 10 years or so. (Obviously this is role dependent.)

OtraCosaMariposa Tue 23-Jul-19 07:36:45

You could also crop elsewhere. I used to see CVs from people in their 40s who had masses of work experience but used space telling me every GCSE they had, with grades. And A-levels. And every module they'd done at University.

Agree with keeping the older stuff shorter though when it comes to experience, unless the old stuff you did part time is directly relevant to what you're doing now.

AuntieAvocado Tue 23-Jul-19 07:56:50

Mine is along these lines:

1995-2002: Secretarial/administrative positions
2002-2004: Trainee solicitor, X firm
2004-2009: Assistant solicitor, X firm
2009-2014: Senior solicitor, Y firm

If the early secretarial stuff is relevant I’ll explain why in the covering letter. It actually covers 8 or so different roles and employers but people don’t really need the detail when I have more recent experience.

sashh Tue 23-Jul-19 08:02:35

I have a 'various part time jobs while studying including x, y and z'. on mine.

BrokenWing Tue 23-Jul-19 10:48:20

Without seeing the whole CV it is difficult to say (not suggesting you share!).

Smaller font/spacing? Is there a lot of white space on the right hand side of the page that can be used (use columns)?

Can education section (if older/not relevant now) be reduced (you don't need all subject/grades in detail).

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