There is a lot of confusing information out there these days about how long a resume should be. While a resume that goes on for pages is unlikely to be read by a hiring manager, not putting in enough information can have the same effect. Now that many resumes are no longer submitted on paper but in digital format, the old rules for resumes make little sense. Keep in mind that hiring managers are interested in finding the right candidate for the job, and the resume quickly tells them whether or not the applicant is eligible for consideration.
What About One Page Resumes?
One argument is that one page resumes are fine for recent graduates or those who don't have much work experience. While this might be true, the custom is to try and keep a resume short and to the point. This makes sense since a hiring manager or recruiter may have many of them to check over in order to fill a job position.
Are Longer Resumes Acceptable?
More experienced workers may require more than one page to list their previous job positions, skills and experience or already have a resume that takes up more than one page. This is particularly true for those with a lot of work experience or advanced degrees. Now, with social media, personal websites and sites such as LinkedIn, a job seeker can add information to those sites so recruiters can find added information. The good thing about personal websites and LinkedIn is that you can include as much as you wish.
Do You Include All Your Jobs?
You don't have to include every job you've ever held. Instead, keep it to the last ten years of employment. The important thing is to aim your resume toward the job for which you are applying. A recruiter's job is to find the best candidates for the position, so if you are qualified for the job and point it out in your resume, you can go to the top of the list of candidates.
Do Bullet Points Help?
Using bullet points add to your resume by making it quick to scan for the recruiter to pick up important information. It also makes it less likely that an important job qualification will not be missed. Use caution, however, to not overdo using bullet points. Use your qualifications that respond to the job ad.
What About Job History?
Including your entire job history isn't necessary for a resume, and neither is listing everything you did in each job. What the recruiter is interested in are the things you did that benefitted the company such as increasing productivity, saving the company money or other benefits. Use this type of approach to show how you would be an asset. This lets the recruiter know quickly whether you are a match for the job position.
Should I Chop My Resume or Add to It?
By now, you've chopped out all unnecessary information but you find your resume is still over one page long, and you are faced with the decision of making the print small to make it fit on one page or of using a second page that is mostly a large blank space. What do you do? Thinking about if you were the person reading it, would you be happy trying to read tiny print or would you prefer a second page, even if it only has a few lines of text? Rather than give the recruiter eye strain, it is better to include the second page. If you really feel that space shouldn't go to waste, use it to show volunteer work, awards and organizations so the recruiter can see into your personality.
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