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Resume Length

Posted Monday, September 5, 2011, at 4:17 PM

Are you Bill Gates? How about Tiger Woods? A high up CEO of a famous company? No? Then your resume should be only one page long. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, the world is not about you, the person looking at your resume has a whole lot of resumes to go through and will not have the attention span to put up with a bunch of pages about you. You want the resume to be about why this specific company should hire you, not everything you have ever done in your entire lifetime in the work force.

Secondly, too many pages can get confusing for the person reading it, and can make you liable for subtle discrimination. If your resume just lists every job you have ever had from when you were sixteen to now when you are in your sixties, that will likely get you put in the pile of 'too old' before you even had a chance to show up for the interview and claim discrimination based on age. Even if you have some really significant things you've done, try to fit only what is most relevant to that specific job on the page, and leave it at that. If they are hiring for a technical job and you spent a long time as a manager, put your technical jobs on the resume, and talk about being a manager in the interview if the interviewer looks like he or she wants to know about it.

Thirdly, by keeping it short, you make it something that the person reading the resumes will be able to speed read and sort through quickly. Try this: check out a few sample resumes on the internet and figure out which ones you can read through quickly and what makes them readable. Your resume is an advertisement to the resume reader touting you as the best person for the job. Remember that!

You want your resume to be catered to that company and that company only, you want your resume to include only things that will help you get that specific job, and you want a resume that is short, sweet, and memorable.

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I am a masters level career counselor. I am internationally certified as a Career Management Practitioner (CMP) by the Institute for Career Certification International and have been recognized as a National Certified Counselor (NCC) through the National Board for Certified Counselors.
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