How much detail should be included in a CV?
Optimal “dosage” is important
How much detailed information should a CV contain?
Applicants sometimes tend to make their CVs very detailed. A CV is a summary of your past professional activities, and one is inclined to show what you can do, what you were responsible for, what you’ve learnt.
For someone at the beginning of their career, the listing is generally quite short. Then you feel that want to fill the space. So the list contains information on the various schools you’ve attended – primary school, secondary level, further education, studies, training periods etc. The same applies to professional competences and experiences. Obviously every career section is important as it demonstrates your overall development. However, the closer you get to the current date, the less important jobs that you did in the further past, e.g. as a student, become.
Applicants should focus on the essentials. Systematic numbering is not helpful. The HR manager peruses a CV in less than a minute. The more comprehensive the information is, the less it comes into its own, and nothing special is important in the end. You have to customise the information to suit the position you’re applying for. A suitable selection of information – related to the overall context – is therefore absolutely necessary. The information must be significant. The applicant must avoid becoming ‘bogged down’. It is important to provide targeted information .
A long or unclear CV in some ways conveys the desperation of the candidate. Such a document is of little interest to the HR manager, because it may reflect a certain lack of self-confidence. If an applicant wants to communicate everything that s/he is competent in, it often leads to the opposite of what was originally intended. The professional expertise of an applicant or a candidate is shown clearly – in a distinctive manner – in the way in which they sell themselves. A clear and direct approach indicates a motivated and competent person who understands how to convey relevant information in a comprehensible manner.