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The Right Length

One question that has often concerned job seekers is the length of their resume. While a number of sources recommend a one page resume, it may not be possible to adequately represent your background in a single page. While length is important, it is far less important that the content and presentability of your resume. Trying to fit too much on a single page by reducing font size and margins to an unreasonably level will result in a resume which is unreadable and otherwise not very user friendly.

Often, depending upon your experience, a length of 2-3 pages may be more realistic. In any case, there are ways to effectively manage the content while preserving some respect for the length of the document.

Focus the majority of the resume content on the last 5-10 years of your job history. If you need to trim, show prior employment in a less detailed presentation. Most recruiters and hiring companies consider your last three positions and make a very quick decision based on that along with your dates of employment.

Other things to cut is information of a personal interest nature - hobbies, sports, etc. as well as anything related to your age, marital status, ethnic background, etc. These are all inappropriate and should not be considered in the hiring process.

Overall, a resume is not a biography. Think of it as an appetizer, the purpose of which is to whet one’s appetite—not satisfy it. In the same way, just reading your resume should make the reader want to pick up the phone to learn more.
Continue on to "Generating Interest"
Return to "Presenting An Outstanding Resume"

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