The resume is the most important document for anyone who is applying / looking for a new job. Not only does a resume give a prospective employer all the essential details about an aspiring candidate, it helps to compares various candidates based on the way they structure their organization, write it, show case it, etc. Many times, candidates are short listed purely on the basis of their resumes. So you can imagine how important the document actually is.
When it comes to writing a resume, there are several do’s and don’ts. Depending on which country one is applying for a job in and also which industry, the rules, even length of a resume changes.
For instance, in France companies usually ask for resumes to not exceed a page. This helps test a candidate’s skills on how well they can squeeze all their relevant information into a single page format as also helps prospective employers easily shaft through the hundreds of resumes they receive on a daily basis.
The ideal length for a resume is vastly determined by the job profile you are applying for / the role / the size of the organization / industry / etc.
Related posts that you may also like:
1. How to Answer Tough Job Interview Questions, 2. Objective For A Resume, 3. How To Write A Cover Letter With Salary Requirements, 4. Why Resumes Aren’t Quite Dead and 5. How to Prepare For an Interview.
Talking about how lengthy a resume should be:
Ideally, on an average level, no resume should exceed 2 pages. 2 pages is the maximum limit. It’s in these 2 pages that you need to fill in all your relevant details, most importantly ones related to your education, past work experience and salary expectations. If you are at a mid-to-senior level post and run out of space because you have worked at various places, stop mentioning details about the first few jobs. Just write the name of the company and role you filled in the first few jobs and share details only about the most recent ones. This will help you to keep your details concise and focus on the more important jobs from your past.
Besides this, if you are a fresh graduate or one with just a couple of years of experience behind you, try to include other details about yourself that could seem interesting for an employer and fill up the 2 pages. Talk about your extra curricular interests, achievements if any…educational record and what you learnt at all your jobs till date. This will give the employer a better idea of your personality and capabilities. Essentially, this is what is important for junior to mid level executives in the professional world.
Given below are few ideas to help you keep your resume within readable lengths (1-2 pages max):
Make a list before you start
Before you start drafting your resume though, you should note down the points you feel are relevant enough to be included in your resume. Then go over your list a couple of times, because it will help you come to a final decision with regards to what information to actually keep and what to remove.
Include necessary information, only
Many a times, aspiring job seekers tend to include unnecessary information about themselves in their resume. This defeats the actual purpose of the resume. The resume is meant for the employer to read through and check if you are good enough for the job at hand or not. And a resume that includes too much information about a candidate just sounds overeager.
Read successful peer’s resumes
You would definitely know of some successful peers from your school / college, so it is always a good idea to read their resumes, it will give you an idea of what to write in it exactly.
Make it in points format
Your resume should be easy and quick to read. This is because the employer will have a hundred resumes to go through and if you write yours in a reader friendly manner then you can be sure that they will at least read your resume completely. Otherwise, due to shortage of time, they just browse through resumes thus missing out on important details.
A lot of times, young job seekers write their resume in verse form and write about their dreams, aspirations, aims etc like as though they are telling a story. Essentially, this affects the tone of the resume and influences the employer negatively. Your tone has to be professional and since a professional tone is usually concise and to the point, your resume will then adopt the same tone thus fitting in the ideal length.
Print it, don’t hand write it
When you write in hand, your resume will seem longer, but if you use the help of modern technology then it will help to reduce the number of pages thus making it 1-2 pages long out of 3…furthermore, a printed resume would look a lot neater than a handwritten one and will be clear to read.
Always support it with a cover letter
A good and aptly sized resume should always be supported with a cover letter wherein you write a paragraph or two about yourself and present your resume. This again should not be too lengthy and it shouldn’t count in the total size of the resume. It is over and above that.
The objective is to impress
The objective should be to impress the employer. So write it accordingly. You need to convince them that you are apt for the job vacancy with this document and therefore you need to spend the right time and effort on it. Make it perfect so it works to your advantage.