Background: CS undergrad applying to CS PhD Programs FALL 2022 USA. I have two different CVs.

4 Page CV:

  • Contains 3 bullet points for every internship

  • 2 extra projects

  • Separately spaced headings for talk (just one), awards, papers (working, workshop, journal, conference).

  • Separate heading for skills

2 Page CV:

  • One page for all publications
  • Just the mention of advisor and institute for internship
  • no extra projects mentioned
  • Awards and talks merged under "education".

Question: Which one should I choose to apply with? I have a personal website which contains all my experience in an exhaustive sense. I personally feel undergrads should mostly restrict their CV to a page, but since that is not possible for me I am going for 2.

Note: I am aware of other similar questions but they are not for CS and I am talking about presented papers and internships in specific.

  • 5
    Voting to close because this is opinion based, but 4 pages seems very long, especially for an undergrad. Even what you describe under "4 page CV" should easily fit on one or two pages.
    – Louic
    Jul 12 '21 at 7:15
  • How many publications do you have? One page should easily be able to fit at least 15-20 of them, which seems extremely high for an undergrad. So do you really need one full page for them?
    – GoodDeeds
    Jul 12 '21 at 11:02
  • Yes, I actually only have around 7 proper ones, the rest are under review, working, posters, reports. But all are backed by my letter writers!
    – Academic
    Jul 12 '21 at 15:05

We recently hired two PhD students, one with a 1,5-page-CV, the other with a 5,5-page-CV. What matters is the content. If you can fill 4 pages with relevant information, go for it, but I would go for 1-2 pages with hyperlinks to relevant content (LinkedIn, Google Scholar, your website, publications, ORCID, etc. - whichever you use).

  • Thank you for this answer!
    – Academic
    Jul 12 '21 at 15:05

I agree with the answer by Aolon that content matters much more than size, and I would add that what also matters are:

  1. Readability.

  2. Densitiy of information.

Readability: I've sometimes seen people press a lot of (relevant) information into two pages, probably because somebody had told them that "a CV should not be longer than two pages"; this typically had the consequence that it was very difficult to get an overview of the CV and to find specific information when explicitly looking for it.

(So the point is that a brief document is not necessarily the same as a document that can be read quickly and easily. In most cases, one should go for the latter.)

Density of information. In my experience, lengthy documents (be they CVs or something else) are considered problematic only if the density of information is perceived as too low - this will leave the impression that you talk a lot although you don't have much too say.

So if you make sure that everything in your CV is really relevant for your application and take some thought to make it as readable as possible, then you should be fine in most cases, no matter the page count.

  • Thank you for the answer!
    – Academic
    Jul 12 '21 at 15:06

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