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One Page Resumes or Longer Resumes |

One Page Resumes or Longer Resumes |

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EP 1232 Here’s my thinking.


I was speaking with a professional resume writer today who is going to appear on my podcast, “Job Search Radio” and the subject of resume length came up in our conversation. She is a big proponent of the one-page resume and her position is that, in her format, where she's got a two column resume, that (#1) is what the document should only one page and that (#2) is your address and such should be on the bottom.

Here’s my thinking. I’m not a big fan of this concept. I’m supposed to see a copy of her template later today. I may change my mind. If so, I will do another video on this, but my belief about resumes is, frankly, the resume should be as long as it needs to be. I'm not looking at a 10 page resume; they never need to be that long. After all, who needs to know what you did back in the Stone Ages?

What you need to think about is “what's going to make case for your candidacy with this employer? What's going to demonstrate that experience and that you faced a particular problem, the actions that you took, the results that you achieved and some measure of what the impact was of your work period” so problem-action-result-measurement / metrics. Something that demonstrates your work is of value to your organization in terms of money saved / money earned or comparing you with others to show that you are an extraordinary employee. Other than that, the length is irrelevant.

I do want to encourage the more relevant stuff to be on the top of page 1 or early on page 1 because, frankly, most people or never going to get further than page down one and maybe page down two. That's it. If they ever print that out, which is a minor miracle that happens, they are not going to see it.

The “however” is, if they are interviewing you, they are going to scroll your resume, looking for additional value and, as such, yes, they may find something more than two-page downs along the way. However, you need to keep the relevant data as early on page 1 as you possibly can for a couple of reasons. Number one is employers skim resumes. Recruiters skim resumes. You want them to be able to find the relevant information quickly on page 1.

Number two. Applicant tracking systems. Often, they try to figure out relevance by how early in the document you demonstrate the experience. So, if it's on page 3 , they think it's antique information, so you always want to get up is early on page one as possible to avoid rejection without human intervention by a system that's been trained to evaluate not just simply whether the skill appears in the document, but by how early it appears in the document in order to determine relevance.

At the end of the day, length isn’t that important. Demonstrating the fit really is. Demonstrating that you are qualified really is. That involves, as I've been saying, it may involve a longer resume. It certainly involves tailored resumes, not just simply sending the same generic resume over and over again to every job you apply for as though that one resumes is going to get you in the door. After all, has that been working for you guy? Sister, are you getting results? Probably not.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1200 episodes, “Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
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