How Many Pages Should A Resume Be: The Golden Rule
If you have been in the workforce for a number of years, you’re entitled to a maximum of two full pages of resume real estate. This rule applies to most senior professionals, whether you’ve been in the workforce for seven years or 27 years.
The reality is that most recruiters spend less than 10 seconds reviewing a resume before deciding whether the applicant should receive further consideration. With so little time to make the right impression, it’s important to present a succinct document that highlights the recent and more relevant parts of your professional experience, skills, and education.
When To Consider A Different Type Of Resume
Some employers prefer a Cv, a functional resume, or a combination resume. If you are not certain which type of resume will yield the best results, contact the hiring manager and ask which type of resume the company prefers to receive. In addition, consider using a different type of resume in the following situations:
- Youve job-hopped a lot. Whether by chance or by choice, job-hopping often leaves a negative impression on hiring managers. Consider using a functional resume if you have a history of jumping from one job to another.
- Youve changed career tracks multiple times. If you have tried different jobs out for size and changed career tracks more than once, its likely that you have many skills employers will find appealing. Highlight skill and minimize career change by using a functional or combination resume.
- You want to transition into a completely new career. If you have desirable skills, certification, or education and want to make a career change, a functional resume that places a large amount of emphasis on these aspects will prove more attractive than a chronological resume that focuses on unrelated positions youve held in the past.
- You dont fit the mold. If youre not sure that your past history will help you obtain the job youre applying for, listen to your intuition and pick a different type of resume. Consider using a functional resume that highlights transferable skills youve acquired. This will improve your chances of winning an interview.
Graduates Have More Opportunities
First, unlike the graduates of 10 or more years ago, today’s young professionals are entering the real working world with more experience to boost their resumes and impress employers. From internships to co-ops to freelance gigs and even contract work, students are encouraged to secure opportunities throughout their collegiate journey to help explore potential career paths, build their skills, and meet the one to three years’ experience requirements that many entry-level jobs now demand. They’re also more likely to have personal blogs or online portfolios, group projects, volunteer work, leadership programs, and relevant campus activities to boost their resumes without adding any unnecessary fluff.
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Do Include Personal Accomplishments
If youve done something cool in your personal life that either shows off your soft skills or engages your technical skills in a new way, you should definitely include it. Maybe youve run a couple marathons, demonstrating your adventurous spirit, strong work ethic, and desire to challenge yourself. Or youve won some poker tournaments, which shows youre a quick thinker and good with numbers.
Learn more here on how to include these in the right way.
Exceptions To The Resume
While I strongly encourage you to limit yourself to a two-page resume, there will be instances where this is near impossible. This often happens to professionals who have never-ending lists of technical skills and proficiencies, a large number of consulting gigs to explain, or a series of published works to include. If you fall into one of these categories, you may need to use the first part of a third page. However, try to avoid this if possible since there is still a limit to how many pages a resume should be.
There are three additional scenarios when your resume length is likely to exceed two standard 8.5″ x 11″ pages:
If you are looking for a job in academia or the sciences, your academic CV or resume should be more than two pages long. In fact, your resume could be up to 15 pages!
If you’re applying for a job with the U.S. federal government, your federal resume might be 37 pages long in order to fit all the required information.
While an international CV the type of document used to apply for positions in most countries outside of the U.S. should also be 12 pages long, the size of the paper is different. International CVs should be 12 pages of A4 paper, while resumes should be 12 pages of standard letter paper.
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Remember There’s Nothing Wrong With Changing Career Paths
Sometimes you find happiness and success in a career field that you didn’t go to school for. That’s okay . Life happens!
For new grads, the goal is usually to find work in your field of study and it’s great when things work out that way. But as the job search process goes on you may fall into a job that you weren’t planning to and end up liking it. If the job makes you happy and there’s room for growth, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it. It’s a personal decision.
This will be true throughout your professional life. You may end up working in your field, but, as time goes on, priorities and life circumstances change. You may develop new skills that draw you into a new career direction. The goal is to always put yourself in a position to succeed and sometimes that means making a change.
Preparation and keeping an open mind are the two common themes when it comes to the job search for recent grads. There are no guarantees for new graduates, so you have to be ready for anything. Hopefully, by knowing what to expect, you’ll know how to land a job after college and can land a job that matches your talents.
Here at Work It Daily, we understand how difficult it is to find a job and grow your career as a recent college grad. If you’re struggling to find a job that’s right for you, we can help.
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How To Write A Chronological Resume
Your resume should include information relevant to the position for which youre applying. Chronological resume sections should include the following in this order:
Name and contact information
Skills and abilities
You can also include achievements and interests, but these should only be included at the end of your resume, and only if they are relevant. If your resume is multiple pages, consider removing optional sections like these to make it as brief, concise and readable as possible.
The key difference between a chronological resume and other formats is how you structure your experience section. In this format, you will list your most recent experience first. When you are writing the details of each experience, you should reference the job descriptions that interest you to see which keywords employers are using. These terms can be a guide for what phrases to include when you describe your own experiences.
The placement of your professional experience and education sections depends on where you are in your career and the relevance of education to your chosen industry.
For example, if you are writing a resume as a student, you may want to prioritize your education section as it may be more helpful information for potential employers. This is especially true if you have relevant certifications, diplomas or coursework. If you have been in the workforce for several years, you might consider placing your education after your experience section.
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How To Make Your Resume Fit The Appropriate Page Length
In order to help you meet these resume-length tips, limit the amount of experience you include to the last 15 years and tailor your resume to a 15-year window. Employers care most about the recent work you’ve been doing and how it ties back to their role’s requirements, so place the emphasis of your resume on your current and relevant experience.
There are a number of ways you can incorporate your earlier experience into the resume without spilling over into a third or fourth page.
One Final Thought Before You Leave
One more thing before you go. Allow me to provide an answer to the age old question: Do you put periods after your bullet points on your resume? And the resounding answer is YES! Put a period after every single bullet point.
Here is a resume punctuation pro-tip: If you make the wise decision to add periods on you bullet points, make sure you put periods on ALL of your bullet points! Do not miss any. Either add them to all of your bullet points or go ahead and throw punctuation out of the window.
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Tips For Writing Resume Bullet Points
Each bullet point you write should be simple and concise. As you build your resume, make sure each bullet point is relevant to the position youre applying for and provides value. Try to avoid including periods at the end of your bullet points. If you decide to keep periods, make sure they are consistently used after every bullet point.
Do Consider A Summary Statement
A summary statement, which consists of a couple lines at the beginning of your resume that give potential employers a broad outline of your skills and experience, is the most ideal if you have years of experience you need to tie together with a common theme. Theyre also good if you have a bunch of disparate skills and want to make it clear how they fit together. Heres more on when you need one and how to put it together.
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Think About What Makes You Different
Its important that you be yourself during the application process . This includes what you write on your application materials. Dont hesitate to show who you really are, your likes and interests, your personality, what makes you unique, and so on. While this definitely requires some judgment calls it could ultimately be the thing that sets you apart and gets you hired.
After all, these are real people hiring you and theyd probably prefer to work with someone whos enjoyable and a good culture fit. And if your personality isnt a fit for the job, you probably wouldnt have been happy there any way so it works out for everyone.
Adding Accomplishments And Impact:
Employers review resumes to understand the impact youve had on a project, organization, or company. For instance:
- Were the materials and publicizing efforts successful?
- Did these actions result in reaching a new group of students?
Review each statement youve created for your resume. Can you add an accomplishment or achievement? What happened as a result of that action? How did it benefit the organization? You dont need to add a result to every bullet point on your resume, but its helpful to demonstrate achievements when possible.
What does this look like? In the bullet point about marketing materials and social media, this might read:
- Create marketing materials and publicize events through social media. Increased attendance at several club programs by 75%
- Create marketing materials and publicize events through social media. Saw increased attendance at several club programs throughout the year
These statements combine the Action and Result sections of the STAR method.
Do You Put Dots In Cv
Periods are not often used in bullet points on a resume. Bullet points should not be written in full or complete sentences, nullifying the need for a period. If you do write your resume using full sentences with bullet points, include periods in every section to remain consistent.
Sending Out The Same Resume
It is understandable why a job-seeker would want to do this, but it doesnt excuse the fact that it is wrong and would likely end up with your resume being put aside. Even if the companies are in the same industry, sending out the same resume would be obvious, even if not for you. No company has the same culture, so you must tweak and edit some content before sending it out.
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Be Thoughtful About Your Career Path
Do you know what the career options are for your degree? How competitive the industry is? What the average salary is for the type of role you’re pursuing?
These are not questions you should be seeking to answer after graduation. These are all questions that should’ve been asked prior to declaring a major.
Knowing what you might be in for after graduation can help you with planning. You could meet with your advisor well in advance of graduation and look at potential internships and identify potential companies to work for, giving you a head start on your networking efforts.
If you failed to prepare like this prior to graduation, you did put yourself at an initial disadvantage, but you’re certainly not doomed!
The 3 Dos Of Professionalism
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Is It A Good Idea To Seek Writing Assistance
Its not all black and white in the business of getting essay help online. In a perfect world, you would not have to deal with as many useless assignments, or you would have enough time to work on all of them on your own. In the real world, hiring an author is sometimes the only way to stay sane and get a degree without losing it. If you feel stressed, stretched thin, and overwhelmed with schoolwork, its a good idea to seek help from a professional writer. And use the few hours of free time to meet with a college counselor to get the extra help you need.
What Is A Chronological Resume
A chronological resume is a resume format that prioritizes relevant professional experience and achievements. Chronological resumes are one of three common resume formats. The three main types of resume formats include:
Chronological resume: For candidates with rich, consistent professional experience.
Functional resume: For candidates with several gaps or changes in their career.
Combination: For candidates with a diverse background of experience or when skills and abilities are more relevant than work experience.
When deciding which format to choose, consider both your background and the job youre applying for. For example, you may have a rich, consistent professional background typically represented in a chronological format. However, the job youre applying for might place heavier value on your proven skills and abilities, in which case you might choose a combination format to highlight whats important to the employer. For clues on which the employer values most, pay attention to the requirements listed in the job description.
You should use a chronological resume if:
You have several years of experience in one career path.
You have worked for several employers or clients in one industry.
You have minimal or no gaps between jobs.
If youre changing positions or industries, a combination resume might be a better fit. In this case, a resume that puts more emphasis on your transferable skills and abilities may be more beneficial to potential employers.
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Dont Include Anything Confidential
Seems like a no-brainerbut Googles Head of HR says he sees confidential info on resumes all the time. When deciding whether to leave something on your resume, use the New York Times test. In other words, if you wouldnt want it published next to your name on the front page of a major national newspaper, take it out.
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