How long are resumes and CVs supposed to be anyways?
Contrary to the “old school” belief that you should stick to a one or two-page resume, it is quite standard – and almost expected of those candidates, headed for IT, Mid-Level or Executive-Level positions – apply using a three- to four-page resume, instead. While submitting a one- or two-page resume is fine, it can sometimes be counterproductive to the applicant. If you are someone, who has led significant initiatives, worked across various industries and have had your hand in multiple projects, you might find that it greatly detracts from your actual experience and minimizes your chances to be considered for the position that you are after.
So, how long should your actual resume be? Honestly, this depends on you, your experiences, your achievements and the role that you are after. You want to always include technical information and achievements, but you do not need to address specifics. You want to show cause and effect, while highlighting:
You are also going to want to include industry jargon and key phrases that a hiring manager will be looking for when seeking out the perfect candidate electronically. Hitting on key words and phrases are essential to organically ranking within ATS engines – and appearing when being sought out. There are certain qualities and “areas of expertise” that a hiring manager will be looking for when filling each position.
Ultimately, you want to market yourself as the right person for the job. You want to show that you are an asset, that you take initiative and that you are a team player – not just a stand-in until someone better comes along to perform the same duties. We want to show that you are more than willing to go that extra mile and that you get results. Sometimes, this means influencing others to drive action on your behalf. We show all of this through cause and effect. To effectively add this to your resume, that’s going to take some space.
One-sheet resumes are awesome for inclusion with a more traditional-yet-lengthy resume. They are great for supplementary documentation. They can add pizzazz to any resume project. In fact, having an infographic-based graphic resume may be just what your candidacy needs to place you over the top. But, this is not enough for most applicants. And, graphic resumes do not convert well – if at all – into the engines that you will be applying. Ineffectively, you will not be seen.
Most entry-level candidates will be using a one- or two-page resume, based on internship, education, training and previous job experiences. But, again, Execs, Mid-Level Professionals, Project Managers… You will most likely succeed with a three- to four-page resume. You will find greater success from this process.
The Standard Breakdown:
- Header – Only a few lines.
- Biography – Three to six sentences, taking up to ¼ of the page.
- Areas of Expertise – Up to ¼ of the page.
- Career Summary or Field Experience – Usually 2 or 3 Pages.
- Education – Varies based on traditional, on-the-job and independent studies.
- Technical Proficiencies – Depends on career and experience but isn’t always included.
- Awards & Honors – Varies, not always included.
- Professional Affiliations – Varies, not always included.
** Some may include an area for career highlights – 4 to 10 bullets.
Cause and Effect | Duties Vs. Achievements. Please keep in mind that we are going into 2018. Your future employer is less interested in what your job description required of you, than what you have done within that position. They want to know that if they bring you into their company – and make you a vital part of their team – how you will:
- “Make me money.”
- “Strengthen my teams.”
- “Influence progress, productivity and performance.”
- “Increase production.”
- “Improve quality.”
- “Impact operations.”
- “Save me money.”
- “Safeguard my company against liability.”
- “Keep my customers satisfied.”
For every action, we want to highlight what you did and what the results were. If you simply carried out process, we what to know what it ensured operations. We want to show how YOU were that ONE to create change, impact operations and make a difference for the organization. Simply stating that you “made the company $200 in one day” is not enough. You might have sold only one product. However, elaborating that you “sold $200 in merchandise/100 pieces at a low traffic store” leaves your reader with more impact.
If I bring you to my company, what can I expect you to bring to the table? What does your past say about your potential action at my company? I want to know what you did, how you did it and sometimes why you did it. I want to see your thought pattern, and I definitely what to see what the results were.
Recruiters | The Love/Hate Relationship We Endure.
Recruiters are the amazing people that have dedicated their careers to helping others succeed within the corporate realm. They are paid by companies to scout and position top talents throughout the corporate hierarchy, and they do a great job in doing so.
Many recruiters are effective at getting their job done, effectively. Statistically, though, 80 to 90% of most candidates are never seen or called in to interview due to bad advice either 1.) received earlier in life, or 2.) by a recruiter that they just finished speaking with via phone.
Because recruitment is a traditional and noble career, many stick with “what works,” even if that method is outdated and no longer effective. Many of the best recruiters have been in this industry for 15 or more years, while others have been brought into the industry by veterans that have taught them everything they know. One thing that we are forgetting, however, is that with any industry, standards evolve. Technologies dictate new sciences. And, evolution brings about mandatory change.
There are still many recruiters, who will tell you that you need to submit a one- or two-page resume, telling you to keep your resume at a bare minimum. Many will also tell you to “reverse engineer” the job description if you want to get the job. And while they are the gatekeepers to your dream job by having access to exclusive pools, many of them are ineffective at actually getting you placed. Much of this surrounds the resume, what is being said, what isn’t being said and the keywords used.
We love recruiters. They are awesome people. But, at the same time – so are professional resume writers, who eat, breath and sleep industry-related standards surround the modern-day resume. Please take heed, and listen to us.
Today’s Job Search Sites | ATS Engines, Keywords & 15-Second Scans.
ATS Engine | Applicant Tracking System – The unique search engine and algorithm set into place by large, well-known job search sites, such as Monster, Glassdoor, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Beyond, Career Builder, etc., helping recruiters and higher managers to source and acquire top talents for placement into positions of employment around the world.
As we all know, hiring managers often visually scan resumes, identifying key words, phrases and previously held positions before qualifying applicants for candidacy within their organizations. Especially at larger firms, we see hiring managers engaging in 6, 15 and 30 second scans to either eliminate or progress resumes through the acquisition process. Many dread this process, but understanding it will leave more doors open for future hire.
Applicant tracking systems (ATS) have greatly impacted the hiring process. Hiring managers are now able to source various databases for a resume that best fits the qualifications of the position they are looking to fulfill. Similar to a search engine, but yet complex in its own way, ATS allows hiring managers to search for keyword-specific job functions, as according hierarchy of actionable result.
Resumes found within the system are ranked based on quality, format, career history, a specific skillset and how areas of expertise are intertwined therein. If properly formatted, the resume will rank, based on shelf hierarchies, and the hiring manager will most likely be exposed to the top candidates for each position. The only downfall is that, again, 80-90% of today’s top candidates are never seen!
For those candidates selected in the initial pick, your resumes will go on to the next step in the hiring process. Through innovation, hiring managers have been spending more time reading resumes in more detail before making the decision to toss your resume – or process it for follow-up and interview. These resumes will have “first-dibs” before the hiring manager returns to the next query of resumes from the pool.
For this reason, your resume should be visually appealing and in an easy-to-read format. Certain words should stand out, and you should drive impact. Because the engine doesn’t have a set number of positions that you can include (for the most part), your resume length won’t matter much and lengthier resumes have a better chance at being noticed. Without proper formats in place, however, your resume has a great chance of never being seen, scanned or pushed forward to the next stage in the process.
The longer the resume, the more it needs be in-line with today’s standards. Hiring managers look at multiple resumes a day. Let yours stand out. And, remember, first impressions are everything.
Shed Away Internships & Volunteer Work.
As an entry-level student, you are going to want to show as much “field experience,” as possible. You will want to use previous and/or current experiences to introduce your capabilities and what you can bring to the table. Highlighting these internship roles often allows us to show that we have experience working with established companies and organizations. They don’t always align with our target career goals, but that’s okay. They still serve a purpose.
For the first few years, you will include this information, whether or not they actually align with your target career. These positions allow us to provide you with soft skills and areas of specialization, while you get you foot in the door. Here, you will want to show your strengths and your value.
We want to direct focus towards leadership, teamwork, quality assurance and the customer experience. We want to show administrative strengths, your ability to coordinate and your ability to get the job done. In some cases, you will want to show your ability to take risks and your commitment to process improvements.
Once your career has hit that three-year mark and/or you have entered your third position in your career journey, we can shed this information. Instead of detailing it within your resume, save it for your LinkedIn profile. On your resume, itself, convert this information to a short byline to be included under your “Education.” And, call it a day.
If your career was interrupted by schooling or time-off for volunteer work – or if you held a significant role within a volunteer position, by all means include this information within your resume, especially to fill in gaps. Filling in gaps with this information allows the hiring manager to connect with you, as a person, by showing that you aren’t out there just sleeping on everyone’s couch or jumping from job-to-job.
This is NOT 1999.
Remember, we have entered a new era in resume writing. We do not add objective statements. We do not add reference sections. We do not talk about hobbies and interests, unless we have aligned ourselves with other organizations or projects in doing so.
At the same time, we must elaborate a bit further. We must hit on those keywords. And, we must market the hell out of ourselves to executives, higher ups and hiring managers, who will make or break our careers.
Leave out the unnecessary, but don’t be scared to “fluff yourself up.” Most people hate bragging about themselves. But, this is that one time that you “kinda have to do it.” So, do it. No one is here to judge. In fact, we want to know “what makes YOU so special anyways.” Don’t be afraid to let loose and just let them know!
CVs – A Whole New Breed.
First, you must learn and understand the difference between CV types. A CV, which means “Curriculum Vitae,” is very different based on which part of the world you are from and where you will be applying. Across the globe, the CV is synonymous with the standard resume. In the United States, however, there is a distinct difference between a CV and a resume.
An educational or scientific-based CV is a much more comprehensive resume than your standard professional or executive document. In fact, you will find publications, presentations and even references included on this form of resume. Depending on the target position, more than ten years of career history may also find its way onto this type of document (although it is still wise to only include thee last ten years, while making mere mention of those previous).
Th rest of the world refers to the resume as simply a CV, because of this it must include vital information regarding your date of birth, nationality, marital status and sex. This usually takes only one line to disseminate, however some countries have specific formats that they prefer that you follow. Some countries, such as Italy, require a privacy statement and waiver to be added at the end of each document. In this case, special columns may be necessary, causing the rest of your resume to lengthen in space.
So, what are the rules for length when dealing with a CV, either domestic or international? An international CV falls in-line with the same rules, as does the standard resume, while educational and scientific CVs can often scale an upwards of ten or more pages, based on added criteria.
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