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CV as one pager - leave out high school?

Application CV Question Resume
New answer on Jun 06, 2024
10 Answers
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Max asked on May 23, 2024

Hi guys! 

I’ve got the following problem: I’m currently applying for jobs since I’ll complete my master's degree in October. 

I already applied to McKinsey for an analyst role. So far so good, since my CV was exactly one page. 

Now the following problem: I started a new working student job last week and now I want to add this role in my resume. But my resume would then be two pages with only the extracurricular like skills etc. on the second page. Obviously a no go. 

My resume is build the following:

Master’s degree 

Bachelors Degree 

Training (as an insurance business man)

High school diploma 

Job 1

Job 2

Job 3

Extracurricular 

To hit exactly one page I’m thinking about leaving out my high school diploma. I can’t write my bullet points any shorter… or is it too early in my career to leave out high school?!

Would really love to hear your thoughts!!

Thanks a lot! :) 

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Anderson
Expert
replied on May 24, 2024
Ex-McKinsey |5y consulting experience | Specialization in Psychology | Proven holistic mentor

Q: CV as one pager - leave out high school?

Hi, Max

I will provide a direct answer and a point for reflection, if I might. 

First, I agree with the previous answers, I would only include a High School experience if it outstands the others under education in some way - e.g., achieving max grades, receiving a unique award or scholarship, etc. The reason is that every recruiter for consulting is looking for stories of excellence in the professional, educational and even personal experiences of the CV. So if your masters and bachelor experiences already tell such a compelling story of educational excellence that the high school one pales in comparison, seeming not add anything relevant, I would use the extra space to explore the work experiences. 

Now, the point of reflection: Depending on how relevant your work experience has already become in your life and how many compelling stories you can tell about it, you might consider moving this entire session to the top of your CV, above education. To know that, I would suggest you to think to yourself: “which stories are stronger and better demonstrate my skills for consulting?”. 

Hope I helped and good luck!

Anderson

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Max on May 24, 2024

Hi Anderson, thanks a lot for your advice! I'll definitely need to experiment a bit about moving my work experience to the top. A comment here described it quite good... since I am a student in the DACH region, recruiters want your high school diploma when you apply to them, especially if this is your first "full time" job. So, in this case, I think it´s too early here in my region to leave this part out, even though I didn't achieve top top grades. I tried to delete one or two bullet points and I reduced my size to 9. Now it's all on one page...

Anderson on May 25, 2024

Hi, Max I'm glad I managed to shed some light on your question. As you said, it might be a good idea to build both versions, then take a step back and assess what is your impression looking at it (the recruiter will likely have a similar impression). Also, I agree, if the high school is very important to your region, then use it. One suggestion is to use it for every recruiting process in your region where the school is well known and omit it when applying to other location. Good luck with your applications and let me know if you have additional questions. Happy to chat about any recruiting topic! Cheers

Taylor replied on May 27, 2024

1. Remove High School Diploma

Given that you are about to complete a master’s degree, it is generally acceptable to omit your high school diploma from your resume. Employers typically focus on your most recent and relevant education and experience, so your higher education credentials should suffice.

2. Condense Content

  • Job Descriptions: Ensure your job descriptions are concise. Focus on the most impactful achievements and responsibilities. Use bullet points to highlight key accomplishments rather than listing every duty.
  • Education Section: Simplify your education section by listing only the degree, institution, and graduation date. Omit additional details like coursework or GPA unless they are particularly impressive or relevant. 

3. Optimize Layout

  • Font and Margins: Adjust the font size (but not below 10.5 points) and margins slightly to save space without compromising readability.
  • Sections: Merge sections where possible. For instance, you can combine your bachelor’s and master’s degrees into one section titled “Education” with concise entries for each.

4. Highlight Key Information

Ensure that the most critical information is easily visible. Use bold or italics sparingly to draw attention to your most significant roles and achievements.

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 24, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there

It's hard to tell without actually seeing the CV, but yes, dropping your high-school is absolutely ok, especially since you're about to graduate with a Masters degree. Nobody cares about your highschool grades at this point. 

If you're preparing your application for interviews, you might also find this guide helpful:

Expert Guide: Build A Winning Application Strategy

Best,
Cristian

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 24, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Max,

Q: CV as one pager - leave out high school? 

In general, I would recommend including the high school only if you got the maximum grade. So, if that’s not the case, it is fine to leave it out.

If you got the maximum grade, it could still make sense, depending on what else you could cut out from the CV – it is difficult to confirm without having a look at the actual CV. Alternatively, you might use a smaller font size unless it is already very small.

Good luck!

Francesco

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Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on May 24, 2024
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /12 years recruiting experience

At this point high school diploma doesn't really matter. You should leave it out regardless. 

(edited)

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Florian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 24, 2024
1300 5-star reviews across platforms | 500+ offers | Highest-rated case book on Amazon | Uni lecturer in US, Asia, EU

Hi there,

To counter some of the other answers here based on actual experience in the region since you are from Germany and I assume applying in Germany:

McKinsey DACH always wants to see high school graduation GPA, so you should definitely include it.

Once hired, you even have to send your transcript. It's an odd thing but don't shoot the messenger. :-)

My tip: Think of formatting to make it fit. There is always a way. 

All the best,

Florian

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Max on May 24, 2024

Hi Florian, thanks and yes, I am applying in the DACH region... especially Germany and Switzerland now... I downsized my text size from 10 to 9 and it´s all on one page now...

Florian on May 24, 2024

Great! All the best :-)

Hagen
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 06, 2024
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi Max,

I would be happy to share my thoughts on your question:

  • First of all, unless you are applying in the UK or US, you can easily have a CV with more than one page.
  • Moreover, if you are applying in the UK or US, I would advise you to leave out the high school as it probably won't contribute as much as your working student job.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to best prepare your application files, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

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Agrim
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 27, 2024
BCG Dubai Project Leader | Learn to think like a Consultant | Free personalised prep plan | 6+ years in Consulting

Leaving out the high-school part should not present a problem unless you feel your achievements in high-school can help your chances (usually not the case for most)

That said, if you are concerned about overflowing 1-page - then you need to look at your CV as a whole and see how you can work on each part to make the whole CV fit into 1 page. Even after 10 years of experience - it is quite possible to fit your CV into 1 page - by ensuring that you focus on relevant points that can support a 10-year level of seniority.

Happy to help if you need a hand with your CV.

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Alberto
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 29, 2024
Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews

Take high school out. It is not relevant at this point.

Best,

Alberto

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Pedro
Expert
replied on May 24, 2024
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

Why remove a line when you can simply change the spacing between lines (or between letters)… 

In any case, you don't have much experience - see if you can summarize in order to reduce the number of lines.

During your whole life you are going to have to do this: add a line, and chose a line to remove. Always take the least relevant (e.g. that one where you say that you know how to use microsoft office :)

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Anderson gave the best answer

Anderson

Ex-McKinsey |5y consulting experience | Specialization in Psychology | Proven holistic mentor
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