Tagged: How Long Should Your Resume Be?
August 25, 2018 at 6:32 am #2454JeffAltmanCoachKeymaster
Today, I want to offer you some No BS resume advice. I want to just make this simple for you. I’m often asked the question, “Howe long should my resume?” Part of that comes from the fact that there is conflicting information about how loan a resume should be. Some people believe a one-page resume is ideal. Some people believe 2-3 pages is ideal. Some people believe you layout your entire case, length be damned.
I think that all these answers defeat the purpose of the resume. The resume allows you to make the case for why someone should invest the time to interview you by demonstrating the fit for your skills and experience against the requirements of the roles you understand them to be. So, the length is really unimportant as relates to that that charter that you have. Again, your charter is to determine the correct length of a resume for yourself so that you are able to demonstrate a fit for the role as you understand the requirements to be.
How do you demonstrate a fit?
Demonstrating of fit talks about role, responsibilities, accomplishments, and, if you’re in IT, you add the technology that you utilize. So, what you want to be doing is talking about what you’ve done, how you went about doing it, what you walked into, the successes that you had, some of the challenges that you faced, how much money you helped your firm make, how much money you helped your firm save. Now, if you can accomplish that in one page, do it. If you can accomplish that in three pages, do it.
Now, I want to encourage you to think of frontloading your resume. What do I mean by frontloading? Having it within one or two page downs of your resume. Remember, people don’t read physical documents anymore; they’re reading screenshots. It you’re submitting your resume to a corporation directly, you are probably doing it through an applicant tracking system. Though tracking systems often are calibrated to look for keywords on the first page. So, you want your “document” (I put document quotes because, remember, it’s not a document anymore. It’s a computer file) to demonstrate your fit for the role early in the resume rather than later in the resume.
So, for example, some people make the mistake of having an opening page that really is very general and very vague about what a person’s done and where. Functional resumes often have that mistake vis-à-vis the applicant tracking systems. Functional resumes may work with executive personnel. I’m not talking about a senior manager, VP your director; we’re talking about executive levels.
So, I encourage people to work with chronological resumes and frontloading there resume with as much relevant information as possible so that, in this way, if I happen to submit their resume to an applicant tracking system, or they submit it, the tracking system and their algorithms aren’t going to reject the person because the relevant information appears too late.
So, again, the length is irrelevant. It’s the quality of the information that you provide demonstrate a fit for the role, particularly early in the resume.
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