What to include in a CV?

What to include in a CV?

What should you include in your CV?

Is it a good idea to add a photo of yourself?  How long should the CV be?  What about your date of birth?

My last article discussed how your CV will have often less than 30 seconds to make an impact and gain you that crucial interview.

Having spent much time helping Senior Executives improving their CVs, below are a few of the most common considerations.

What should you include in a CV

Add a Photo ?

In countries such as Germany, it is very common to include a business profile photo.   However, this is much rarer in the UK and USA.  

My view is that adding a professional photo can be used to help you.  Let’s face it, if someone is interested in your profile, they are going to find you immediately on linkedin in any case and see what you look like!  A photo also brings colour and visual impact to your CV.


Verdict – Yes, include a photo


How Many Pages Long?

We are sent CVs that can vary in length from anywhere between 1 and 20 pages long! Some candidates will include in their CVs, copies of references, eduction certificates and much more!

I have heard stories that some Executive Search firms advise 2 pages maximum, but I believe there should be no set number.  Bearing in mind your CV is most likely to be skim-read, we would suggest keeping your CV as concise as possible.  


Verdict – 2-3 pages  (and no longer than 4)


Personal Data?

What about including your date of birth and full postal address?  Our friends in the Nordics often add their partner’s and kids names!  With the GDPR roll-out in 2019, we have subsequently advised candidates to limit this.  Further, it is not unusual for some to use their date-of-birth or partner’s names as online /log-in passwords.   There is also the whole topic of discrimination associated with age.

We do not really think it is necessary to add your full postal address, just the town is fine as long as that is where you work from!


 Verdict – Limit your personal data to your email address, phone number, nationality and the town or city you live in.



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