How Long Should Resume Be? What Information Is Critical for This Document?
Three factors affect the length of a resume:
- the variety of applicant’s experience (the number of jobs replaced);
- applicant’s uniqueness as a specialist (distinctive features related to skills, competencies, and knowledge);
- features of the position for which the applicant is applying.
A resume is the first thing you need to have when looking for a job. The resume can be considered as one of the elements of modern rules of business etiquette, but at the same time, it is one of the most effective means of advertising on the labor market.
There are hundreds of opinions of how a professional resume should be formatted and what should be included in it. There is a common opinion that a resume should be a one-page document. The idea is that the competition for jobs is heating up, and most HR departments are understaffed and overworked. Therefore, if someone wants employers to notice him, his resume has got to show them how professional he is. One way to do that is to be brief.
However, the length of a resume or a CV is not the only and not the essential criterion to get a job. Not all applicants have to have the one-page rule applied to them.
The more significant criterion is a reaction when an applicant read it (his response should be pride in himself, and the reaction of employers is admiration for him). If his resume does not get such response, then it is still not good enough, and no matter how many pages it takes – 1, 2, or 5 ones. On the other hand, it is better not to write more than a three-page resume.
Some features should be included in a successful resume, no matter what: the position applied for, resume objectives, contact Information, work experience, educational qualifications, a brief description of professional knowledge and skills required in the desired job. Moreover, it is vital to list all significant achievements proving the competence of a potential employee and provide an employer with a photo of good quality.
It should be noted that a resume that has a photo of a potential employee is more successful. The photo contributes to a more reliable identification of someone’s personality. Most employers make their conclusion on the provision of work to the applicant within the first 3 minutes after meeting.
In order to write a successful resume, one should follow the principle of selectivity. Information for the resume should be selected based on its goals. It should include a description of those aspects of someone’s experience that are relevant to the position for which he is applying for.
Thus, it is crucial to point out some critical points that should be considered when writing a resume. First of all, employers, with few exceptions, are not interested in the applicant’s experience that is not relevant to the desired position. It means that it makes no sense to describe in detail the functionality and achievements in those jobs whose background is not vital for the vacancy applied.
For example, it is not a good idea to describe the responsibilities that a person has served as a teacher when he wants to get the position of a territorial manager. Thus, it is better to list skills, experience, and knowledge that show that the potential employee is the one who the employer needs.
Secondly, it is believed that skills that have not been used in work for 4-5 years “become obsolete.” It means that in most cases, there is no point in writing all the work experience that someone has. So, it is better not to write a resume with 15 years’ experience.
Thirdly, if the desired position is an “ordinary” one (for example, an accountant), it does not require a carefully-written resume. In this case, it is better to provide a brief work experience description.