SAGE ADVICE FOR RESUMES, INTERVIEWING, AND MORE!
- By bruce w clagg
How Many Pages in My Resume?
Firstly, the French word “résumé” means summary (although we don’t generally utilize the accent aigu). A “CV” (Latin – Curriculum Vitae) roughly means history of (my) life. Secondly, Don’t always think about yourself, but STRONGLY consider the reader – your audience. Thirdly, consider what position you are seeking and develop the skills (both hard and soft) and achievements that you have gained that would be very portable into that position and jot them down. If they are not relevant, or portable, then do not use them, no matter how proud you are of them. Now, who are you…professionally? Please remember – A SUMMARY (not the Magna Carta)!
The above is a great start – just type into a Word doc and Save As “New Resume” so you can retrieve it later. Now, employers. As not only a Certified Professional Resume Writer, but more importantly as a former VP/GM for more than 30 years, I don’t care what someone did more than 12-15 years ago unless the skills and achievements are still valid in today’s market – AND – all that you are doing, in the case of going back to your first employer in 1978 (in example) is adding age to yourself. I care not about what you were “responsible for….” Tell me how you did! If it was poor, don’t spill the beans. For instance, “Responsible for $1M in annual sales.” If you make it to the interview, I will definitely ask, and hear about your 55% attainment of that target/quota. Versus “Consistently averaged 115% attainment of a $1M annual sales targets through well-planned cold-calls, prospecting, qualifying, presentations, and skillful closing techniques.” (If that was truthful) A one to two, short sentence bio of your job description and the job title to whom you reported is a nice lead beneath the employer’s company name; city, state (where you worked); starting year and ending year unless you are still with them, then its, e.g. 2011 – Present. Keep it as brief as possible, yet have it market you well. A hiring, decision-maker only spends 3-7 seconds skimming these! If well-written, they may actually read it!
Don’t fool yourself. An unspoken mantra within the HR/recruiting community is “age” is an issue at 35! Thank goodness they don’t make ANY hiring decisions outside of their department. Hopefully different people think differently.
My Resume Rule (and the only rule): “A great resume must be dazzling marketing collateral!” Simply put, the contents (or lack thereof) market you into an interview…that’s it! It will not gain you a new position – only great interviews will do that. Proper spelling, grammar, syntax, punctuation, et al along with powerful adjectives, nouns, pronouns, and adverbs will pique interest. It’s difficult sometimes on your own.
Putting it all together: (goals) margins no less than 0.8 all around; smallest font – Aerial 10, or the like; avoid color (although shades of gray on black and white can look great); never end with less than ½ page. Please don't make it appear like a black brick when printed and placed against a window! No one will read it.
That said, now start putting it together. If it is one page, then it is; if it’s two pages, then it is…et cetera. That said, if you are an artist, musician – an entertainer, perhaps some color and graphics would be nice.
As a professional writer and career coach, I don’t get concerned until I start a Page 4. Generally, these are high-level people, but even so, are the older employers, skills, achievements still portable to that next position, or are they part of a biography that people have prepared for 500 years that only show age? You do not have to include early employers, but you cannot remove any in the middle. It won’t match with the background check that is so inexpensive these days via the Internet services.
For those that need four, or more pages; listings of publications; public speaking engagements; television appearances, et al, THEY need a CV! Their audience will want to know those things; chances are that YOUR AUDIENCE WILL NOT!
Do you need professional assistance since the average person only writes a few of these during their entire life? What about the cover letter/email? It’s important, also! Are you just applying online, or are you trying to get directly to the decision-maker since more than 85% of all possible positions are never posted.
Anyhow, how many pages? As many as it takes (following my guidelines in Paragraph 5) to market yourself well with power, truth, and brevity – no more, no less.
Hello! I'm Bruce Clagg,
Advanced Career Solutions
Advanced Career Solutions (ACS) is a professional resume writing services firm also providing unique, job interview training, LinkedIn Profile rebuilding, career counseling & coaching from the ONLY multi-certified professional* in Pennsylvania.
- Bruce Clagg, Rapid Employment & Career Management Coach
*The four Certifications are noted within.