What is the optimal A4 page length for a Resume; what is too long or short?
What should one exclude in terms of time past, etc.?
Everyone seems to have a different opinion.
Does it vary for region in the world?
2 pages or less (one page ideally). As a professional recruiter and recruiting manager who has hired over 2000+ people into fortune 50 companies the last 10+ yrs I can tell you "less is more!" Resumes are supposed to be a snapshot, not a novel.
I personally believe that the length is irrelevant as long as the contents are griping and interesting.
Ideally, it should be a single page as employers don't spend a lot of time perusing them. Two pages are acceptable as well, but nothing longer than that.
You can look up my resume design optimization article if interested. It refers to several aspects of a resume, beyond the length you have requested.
Good luck to you Mr. Alexander.
It depends on the country legislation and the firm together with the agent itself. For instance in UK, it only requires 2 page length of a Resume irregardless of the job position. Some say that if you are applying for some special niche job, and you many other technical experiences prior to this, you may want to include everything briefly in 4 pages. As for CEO of the company, it is important to keep it to all accomplishments you have made for organization's business from scratch to weigh your credibility which can be up to 10 to 15 pages. These specialist and CEO positions will require many tasks compared to applying for receptionist or clerk. A specialist has many tasks to do just like a CEO and the tasks varies hence the resume is without a choice is long. But for a clerk who only does invoice module data entry and generates invoice for the past 10 years repeatedly, will only have 2 liners to mention in the resume because the tasks is the same despite seniority in the company and same goes for a receptionist which is answering calls, keeping messages, passing messages, tracking phone calls, arranging calls, and PABX systems for the next 10 years these never deviates. For a CEO, he would have started sales when he was very young and had achieved targets which are significant and hence it is important to mention all his prior achievements in black and white.
Despite all these number of pages, first and foremost, does the HR of the organization a good reader? In a less reading community or less educated, biased decisions are usually and naturally taken. People having known people, they naturally flounder over personal preferences. Look I am not so clever like what I see in this resume hence I am disregarding this resume and I have a reason this resume is too long, too mixed up, too messy, too much to say is she bragging or what. In a country which is so called graduated well educated community, still you ask for photo, gender, marital status, race, religion, height, weight, identity, are you coming from a rich place or some marginalized community who used to eat on leafs and now asking for plate, how dare you. Look your credibilities never matters as long as my preferences is concern.
Therefore, It is important to understand which legislation you are in whether its very educated but poor or good quality and kind.
In my experience 1 page is nice, and if you have to go on two pages I don't count it against you. 3 pages you are pushing my patience:-) If you are in an industry that is rapidly changing - like software, then what you did even 10-15 years ago in detail is not necessary. At the resume review point, I just need enough facts to determine if the resume is worth more time with the candidate. When we have a phone call that is the time for the candidate to give me the details of their work history.
Now having said that, it does vary by region in the world, as different details vary in importance to different cultures, and I would even go so far as to say that it can also vary by industry as well.
Here in the UK, 2 pages is the optimal length. UK employer's would normally expect to see your entire work history, however for older positions it is acceptable just to have company, dates of employment and job title, rather than adding detail of what your responsibilities were. That way, you should be able to fit onto 2 pages.
Aim for 2 pages and no more than 3
Remember, that every profession demands clarity so make your CV easy to read
Arial 11 is a recognised, standard font and it works
No tables and do not over format generally
If your email address is unprofessional, suggestive or juvenile get a new one
Avoid postal applications because like it or not they can be associated with a lack of computer literacy
Leave off your date of birth
On that 1st page we want to see your name, job title, domain(s), current location and where you are looking to work, current salary plus any bonus, basic salary expectation. List your Academics, Qualifications and Professional Accreditations chronologically with most recent first. Name your places of education but leave off dates. Do provide dates of any professional qualifications and accreditations. Finally include a Personal Profile, your elevator pitch and an opportunity to put some personality on the page.
Your career history. Starting with the most recent job first, on the 1st line state the firm's name and location. On the 2nd line pop your job title and the dates you were employed in the role(s).
Now produce at least 10 bullet points for each job. Tell us about your working environment: do you work as part of a team; are you autonomous; do you supervise; who do you report to? Include your key responsibilities and duties in a logical, flowing style. Tell us about any promotion or extra duties you were entrusted with, demonstrate any specific positive impact that you had whilst you were in the role. Finally note any instances where you generated new work or referral through marketing activity or business development
List any case management software packages that you are familiar with and also any software packages you use that would be relevant to the job.
Let the reader know about interests that emphasise your commitment to the achievement of goals and objectives, demonstrate team working and / or leadership skills.
At the foot of the final page include all the ways you are happy to be contacted.
Super tanks everyone...I have copied your comments and will get to work in the morning...Cheers! Dirk
In terms of length, two pages is good. Many recruiters do not read ALL the resume. Many even stop at the letter of introduction or cover letter. The cover letter is to induce the recruiter to read the resume and the resume is to prompt the recruiter to go the next step and interview the prospect.. The senior criteria is not the length but the content. It shoud be a description of what one has done and what qualifiications or abilities one has. It does not need your entire history or what your titles have been. Only include that which is relevent for the position you are applying also. Adding inapplicable informatrion will pad it out and probably cause it not to be read. in addition it may come across as 'overqualified'. Recruiters take the irreducible minimum and will quite often find reasons NOT to read or accept to reduce their work load. Especially if there are a hundred applications to get through.
One minor but useful point. Many resumes are docs sent through email or a recruiting software system. Don't name it resume.doc. Use your own name FIRST so that it starnds out from the rest. Dirk_Oostthuyse_resume.doc is better that Resume_of_Dirk_Oostthuyse.doc. The same would apply to any cover letter or separate letter of introduction.
You have gotten good and consistent advice so far. The only thing that I would add is to make sure you shift your paradigm from paper to online. Make sure that your resume includes the proper search terms and is easily found by recruiters. This is more important than size.
Dirk, my comments here are based on guidelines published by a coaching-based outplacement firm I have worked with for over 5 years for reasonably experienced candidates:
* We recommend a two-page resume, based on what our hundreds of current HR Manager clients tell us they want to see today.
* Career summary on top followed by current or last job. Education at the end. If reviewers only read the top half, they should see the candidate's value proposition very clear and factually supported.
* We also recommend a complete career chronology to avoid questions about gaps with detailed descriptions and accomplishment statements going back 10 - 12 years and a concise summary of the rest.
Regards ... Phil Stella, Effective Training & Communication, Inc.
Really depends on the job and what they are looking for. I'd say it definitely depends on the region in the world and the job type.
Some places will only read the first page, some research positions want your CV to be long which shows all your publications.
The best advice I got is that you want to tell a story or present a side of you that is capable for the position that you are applying for and then you want to support it with your resume.
Either way check out this article.... http://flowingdata.com/2012/04/11/how-recruiters-look-at-your-resume/
Anything relevant to the job experience should theoretically be included, but you don't want to list things that weren't that meaningful for you.
You also have to be connected to your resume because if you make the next round you have to be prepared to answer questions at your interview based off your resume. Some interviews, it was the only piece of paper that the interviewer had in front of them.
Good luck, I used to edit Resumes so if you want you can private message me and I can help you further.
Best of luck!
The world has gone crazy when it comes to resumes and applications - everybody has his or her own opinion. I suggest that you do what you feel is good and which holds a broad but concentrated mix of information about you. Then, if some potential employers decide to reject your application simply because of that, it is their problem. You are just lucky not to deal anymore with such absurd people. Be yourself, show it and let this expression be your starting point of a many year long conversation with people who understand you.
It depends. It depends on what your skill level is and what your profession is. Usually you do not want to have anything on your resume that is 10 years or older, unless you have only worked for one or two companies. Your resume should not read like a book nor is it your life story, so be careful when formatting it. It always looks better to have your resume professionally done.
I have asked the same question and researched the answers. The rule I use is two pages that go back 10 years unless a relevant experience needs pointing out.
2-3 max. But if you don't have much experience, then 1 page is fine. Don't be tempted to pad it with lots of waffle and hobbies (e.g. your evening job on the checkout at Tesco whilst studying for a degree does not warrant half a page). I use CVs to see how well people can summarise info....so waffling finds you in the bin
Typically recommended is two pages. Excellent "rule of thumb".
Readers of resumes will generally take no longer than 30 seconds to review. Any longer the reader tends to lose interest.
The reason for the resume is to introduce you and to entice the reader to call you to get more information if they need it.
Any longer than two pages the reader will feel they do not need anymore information and will probably not get back to you.
Resumes should be easy to read with skills and accomplishments highlighted.
I do not know if it varies by region of the world but in the United States it would be two pages.
When I review a resume I find this to be true:
All resumes require a name and contact information very clearly stated at the top of the page. You would be surprised by how often this information is left off.
All resume require a short objective sentence. I want to know that you know what position you are applying for. A simple statement is great. For example, my personal resume reads "Proactive senior HR strategic partner looking for a full-time position as (fill in the blank)."
Resumes should read chronologically from most recent position back, should include dates of employment and should include a simple summary of the job and a few (2-4) bullet points outlining the most value added things you did for that company. Numbers a re a great way to bring out that value. For example something like "Increased profits by $X amount during my first year." is a great way to communicate positive results.
Resume length, I've found, works best when you follow this formula:
Little to no experience: 1 page
A few years experience to middle management level: 2 pages
Senior management or Executive: 3+ pages.
All resumes should summarize work experience and highlight the parts relevant to the new job. A resume should never be page after page of tasks completed at each job.
Please, please, please keep in mind that this is just a guideline in terms of resume length. There are occasions when this formula fails because of the particular industry a person is working in; especially in IT or contract work. When reviewing resumes for contract workers it is not us usual to see a few jobs simply listed as:
Dates of employment
There may be two or three of these listed chronologically without any other information simply to show the person remained employed but the positions were all lateral moves and there wasn't anything significant to report.
Dirk, please feel free to contact me directly if I can help you with any of this.
Keep it as short as possible 1-2 pages MAX.
Recite only accomplishments with number (e.g.- raised sales by 25%).
Use dates if you are young, do not use them if you think age will be a problem.
Customize several different ones, but remember ... they are intended to get you an INTERVIEW not a JOB.