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.