But I have a lot say! How long is too long for a resume?

Posted by Kathleen Smith

Many of us have been in our professional careers for quite some time and we find it difficult to keep a resume to two pages or less. Career and resume coaches tell us that this is a common discussion with job seekers — encouraging them to be brief and to hit the highlights.

Your focus should be on the last ten years of experience, and the experience that is relevant to the new position you want. There are some caveats to the general two-page rule. For example if you are a senior level executive your resume will likely need more than a couple pages. Or for resumes that are only in electronic formats that are in key word searchable databases, page-length doesn’t matter. However content does matter, so don’t take that as license to be too wordy. You must capture the reader’s attention up front no matter the format.  

Your resume is an advertisement to get you into the conversation.  If you’re having trouble shortening it ask yourself, “does everything I’ve included directly help me get an interview?” If not, delete it.

Having a long and distinguished career will give you lots to talk about in your interviews and follow up, but a resume is not an autobiography. It’s an introduction. Besides if you say it all in your resume, what will you have to talk about in the interview?


This entry was posted on Thursday, October 07, 2010 1:01 am

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