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Resume Length

Veteran

Erik S. Schlacter Jersey City, NJ

I've heard so many different answers to this question, but what is the best recommendation for how long a resume should be?

21 November 2017 12 replies Resumes & Cover Letters

Answers

Advisor

Tom Whitehill Westford, MA

Hi Erik,

As an independent consultant for more than a dozen years, I had to shop my talents many times. Based on my experiences, I'll respectfully disagree with Deb as I don't believe there is an ideal length: 1 page may be enough for someone just starting out; 5 pages might be appropriate for someone with 20 years of experience.

My experience showed me that the question should not be how long is your resume, but how quickly it demonstrates your qualifications for the position in question.

Recruiters sift hundreds of resumes per position and your qualifications relative to the position must be made to the recruiter within seconds.

My rule is this:
Your qualifications must be established in the top 2/3rds of the first page.

Regardless of length, the remainder of the resume will either be relevant and interesting if you qualify or irrelevant if you don't.

Good luck, Erik, and thank you for your service,

Tom

22 November 2017 Helpful answer

Advisor

Susana Moraga Hayward, CA

Erik,
Know your industry and their expectations and provide that.
For any position, your resume it is about presenting your transferable skills that show you understand your chosen field and profession.
More is not better.
Get feedback from people in your field one size does not fit all.

Best,

22 November 2017 Helpful answer

Advisor

Mike Cottell Glen Head, NY

Hi Erik, as a former senior executive who has read countless resumes over my career, the most important thing to focus on is grabbing the reader right up front with an opening " summary of qualifications" that highlights your skills and experience specific to the particular job that you are applying for at that time. Yes, you need a " generic" version, but in both cases, a strong opening summary is critical. Scanners will weed out many resumes, but those that get to a recruiter / manager need impact. These individuals are often needing to absorb large volumes of information to make informed decisions. Making a strong opening summary, being crystal clear what your skills are, then followed by a chronological summary of your experiences, accomplishments etc. is the best approach, at least in my opinion. You grab the reader, then compel that person to dig deeper with the interest that you create in the summary. This is often called a " combination format" --using both a skill based and chronological format in one resume. Personally, I prefer 2 pages, but if you go over that, please ask yourself are you being as tight and concise as possible so you keep, rather than lose, the reader.
Good Luck to you and Thank You for your service and dedication to our country
Best Regards, Mike

22 November 2017 Helpful answer

Advisor

John Green Cary, NC

Whats more important than whats on your resume or the length of the resume, is what skills do you offer the market ? Are your skills demanded by employers ?

Employers demand specific skills like Artificial Intelligence or Cybersecurity, as examples. Soft skills like leadership, MBA, or Accounting are not triggers for most employers. They are nice-to-have but are not something that employers hire on.

Whatever your field is, whether Information Technology or Civil Engineering, acquire the skills in that field that employers demand. Then document those skills on a document called your resume.

USMC provides OJT; most employers on the outside do not. They expect you to come equipped with the skills they need. They will augment your skills with on-going currency training; but the expectation is you will have skills they are looking for already.

Your resume length is not the determining factor as to whether you get an interview. The skills you offer is what people hire you on.

22 November 2017 Helpful answer

Advisor

Deb Yeagle Tampa, FL

Hi Erik-
Thanks for your service!
The ideal length of a resume is no more than 2 pages.
But structure and content are just as important, so if you would like me to review yours, then please send me a private message and I would be glad to provide feedback.
Thanks again!
Deb

22 November 2017 Helpful answer

Veteran

Landon Carl Lewisville, TX

As demonstrated in the answers, opinions vary widely on resume length. Don’t get too hung up on this.

I would encourage you to focus most on chasing down any opportunity you really want. Research, have a friend connect you, call the hiring manager, send a personal note via mail or through email, join professional associations, etc.

Advisor

Henry ("Dr. Hank") Stevens Fort Lauderdale, FL

Get the book, What Color is your Parachute by Bolles - 2018 edition. There is a whole chapter there about resume writing - the rest of the book is great, too.

Advisor

CYNTHIA CONNOLLY New York, NY

I was 30+ yrs in one industry (financial services) and I never went over 2 pages. Focus on experiences and what you delivered not jobs. Example the last firm I worked for I was there 10 yrs in my mind I had 5 distinct jobs or roles (very common at this firm) on my resume it is one job. Within it I discuss all the things I delivered and the financial impact or whatever the benefit to the firm. Example. I retired a mainframe system but I saved the firm 1 million dollars a month. Emphasize your leadership and call out what your team accomplished. What was noteworthy about the team. Example brought together a team of 5 people with expertise in diverse disciplines. How what techniques and again what did you deliver and what was the benefit to the firm

Advisor

CYNTHIA CONNOLLY New York, NY

I was 30+ yrs in one industry (financial services) and I never went over 2 pages. Focus on experiences and what you delivered not jobs. Example the last firm I worked for I was there 10 yrs in my mind I had 5 distinct jobs or roles (very common at this firm) on my resume it is one job. Within it I discuss all the things I delivered and the financial impact or whatever the benefit to the firm. Example. I retired a mainframe system but I saved the firm 1 million dollars a month. Emphasize your leadership and call out what your team accomplished. What was noteworthy about the team. Example brought together a team of 5 people with expertise in diverse disciplines. How what techniques and again what did you deliver and what was the benefit to the firm

Advisor

David Akre New York, NY

No one ever looks past the first page so ONE PAGE is enough.
Think restaurant menu - http://www.gfyork.com/resume-pages-template/resume-pages-template-41-one-page-resume-templates-free-samples-examples-formats-template/

Advisor

Garrett Baxter San Francisco, CA

Hi Erik,

Thank you for your service. I have seen candidates with short resumes get jobs and I have seen candidates with long resumes get jobs. What makes you feel comfortable is the best. If you feel that you need 3 pages to convey your experience, have 3 pages. If you feel more comfortable with 2 pages, have 2 pages. Just make sure that you tailor your resume to the job description so you can show your strengths.

Best Regards
Garrett

Advisor

Kimberly Smith Chicago, IL

Thank you for your service! ONE PAGE. And list your top qualities and qualifications tailored to that job right up front or in a cover letter. Typically those looking to hire have a stack of resumes so they need to weed though rather quick looking for the best matches to talk to live. Before you even get into your work/service experience, create a bullet point list at the top of your resume that is a couple short words that describe your best qualities of what you bring to the table. This should be 3 lines long but can be 3 columns wide so horizontally 2-3 bullets across works to fill the space so it would be a grid of 6 or 9 quips. Headline the section with "Expertise" and list your top qualities you bring to anything -- Things like "experienced strong leader" - "highly recognized team player" - "exceptional communication and public speaking skills" - "strong project management skills" - "creative and innovative problem solver" - "High performance team building" - "Data Analytics Master" - etc... just some ideas so you get the gist. This helps people see right up front who you are that is not always defined by the jobs you have done and also how you define your best qualities.

Good luck!

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