On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
….10 Lords A-leaping! In our case: On the 10th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me 10 years in detail, 9 pages too long, 8 mistakes of applications, 7 deadly sins of job hunting, 6 Key Achievements, 5 Golden Rules, 4 calling cards, 3 networks, 2 referees and a killer CV.
The golden rule for writing a CV is to keep the detail within the last 10 years of work experience – you should also cover work experience prior to the 10 years but you can keep this down to 1 line per role stating dates, names of company, job title and location. There are a couple of reasons for this, the first being that actually the most recent work experience is what the employer wants to see – anything over 10 years is deemed as a long time ago and not really relevant to them. This is hard for some as I know you are proud of some of the amazing projects you have been involved in delivering but it is where you are now and what you are doing now (or within the last few years) which matters. This is particularly important with technology as we are in a fast changing world so something which may have been huge back in the day has been superseded over and over.
If there is something which you do deem relevant that is past the 10 year mark then you may wish to talk about this in your cover letter, therefore you are still presenting your most recent work on your CV but also pointing out that you have had exposure to XXX when working at XXX in the past. This also gives a fresh perspective to your application as it says something different in the cover letter than the CV – a lot of candidates feel the need to copy and paste parts of their CV into a cover letter which is a waste of everyone’s time and gives the impression of lazy behaviour.
The other reason it is good to keep with 10 years of work experience is that it helps to reduce the size / length of your CV – helping you keep to the ideal 2/3 pages and encouraging you to keep focussed on the important bits.
On the 10th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me 10 years in detail