“How long should my resume be?” is one of the most often asked questions about resumes. Lately, job seekers were advised that a resume should not exceed one page. Those who broke this golden rule were destined for the circular file.
Times have changed, and thus has the criteria for resume length. The new guideline is: A resume should be long enough to entice the hiring managers to give you a call for an interview. That may sound vague, but there is no hard-and-fast resume length rule that works for everyone. Things to consider include career objective, occupation, industry, experience, years of experience, scope of accomplishments and education/training.
Keep these factors in your mind when deciding on resume length:
- Your resume can be a career marketing strategy, not an autobiography. Do your best to keep your resume concise and focused on your key selling points. Leave out the past experiences that don’t market you to your current goal. Every word in the resume should sell your credentials and value to a potential employer. It’s also advisable to leave something to talk about in the interview.
- It’s common for employers or recruiters to evaluate hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of resumes to fill one position. Hiring managers often give resumes a cursory glance before deciding if the applicant deserves to be included to the “maybe” pile. While your resume probably will change to a more thorough read, and if you should be called for a job interview, ensure your strongest selling points are immediately visible to make the first cut.
In addition to that,
Make a one-page resume if:
- You have less than 10 experience.
- You’re pursuing a radical change of career, plus your experience isn’t strongly related to your new goal.
- You’ve held a couple of positions with one employer.
Work with a two-page resume if:
- You have 10 years or more experience related to your new goal.
- Your field requires technical or engineering skills, and also you need space to read and prove your technical knowledge.
Put the most relevant information on top of first page. Start your resume with a career summary so that your key credentials appear on the forefront of the resume. For the second page, include a page number as well as your name and contact information.
Work with a three-page resume or longer if:
- You’re a senior-level manager or executive with a long track record of leadership accomplishments.
- You are in an educational or scientific field with an extensive list of publications, speaking engagements, professional courses, licenses or patents.
Multiple-page resumes will use addendum pages after page two. Job seekers can also decide whether to send the entire document or just the initial two pages to a potential employer, based on the job opportunity requirements.
Many companies now use scanning/search systems to find certain words in resumes. If the words are not there, the resume may not be seen by a person. They could be words in the company’s want-ads, which will certainly give you a clue about what they’re trying to find, or just strong, solid words like “accomplished, achieved, conducted, created and many more.
Industry jargon can even be very useful. Some companies even rank resumes by the amount of such words included. So searching online for a new, clever way of saying something relating to your experience may be counter-productive.
Remember, a resume is just the beginning of your career search, even though it’s an important one. After you have followed every one of the resume advice, let’s hope the next move is going to prepare you for an interview