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Creating an Effective Resume
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Deciding on resume length


From:

Creating an Effective Resume

with Mariann Siegert

Video: Deciding on resume length

How long should a resume be: one page or two? You may have read or heard that it should be no longer than one page. The true answer to this question depends on multiple factors. Let's take a look at some of those deciding factors. First of all, how much experience do you have? When people write their resumes something rather ironic and interesting happens. People with lots of experience tend to try to jam everything onto one page. They make the font too small to read easily, they shrink their white space, and they end up with hardly any margin at all.
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  1. 3m 51s
    1. Welcome
      1m 23s
    2. Using the exercise files
      54s
    3. Filling out the career management worksheet
      1m 34s
  2. 29m 13s
    1. Creating a marketing campaign
      2m 50s
    2. Discovering your dream job
      3m 39s
    3. Understanding the importance of keywords
      2m 14s
    4. Finding essential keywords
      6m 34s
    5. Incorporating action verbs
      4m 51s
    6. Getting results using PAR statements
      4m 40s
    7. Researching the employer
      4m 25s
  3. 37m 2s
    1. Targeting your resume
      7m 16s
    2. Sidestepping blunders and the "10-Second Screen-Out"
      5m 44s
    3. Deciding on resume length
      6m 29s
    4. Keeping your resume concise
      5m 23s
    5. Refreshing your resume
      4m 52s
    6. Critiquing your resume
      3m 31s
    7. Avoiding identity theft
      3m 47s
  4. 21m 14s
    1. Entering the workforce
      7m 48s
    2. Filling in employment gaps
      5m 21s
    3. Dealing with long-term employment
      3m 9s
    4. Switching career paths
      4m 56s
  5. 12m 38s
    1. Understanding resume jargon
      1m 27s
    2. Reverse chronological
      2m 25s
    3. Functional
      6m 11s
    4. Combined chrono-functional
      2m 35s
  6. 7m 1s
    1. Understanding the curriculum vitae (CV)
      3m 29s
    2. Working with online resumes and portfolios
      3m 32s
  7. 41m 23s
    1. Formatting fundamentals for your resume
      6m 39s
    2. Including (or not including) an objective
      4m 10s
    3. Creating a headline
      5m 1s
    4. Writing a qualifications summary
      4m 47s
    5. Showcasing achievements vs. listing job duties
      5m 31s
    6. Including technical information
      5m 22s
    7. Putting your education to work
      4m 41s
    8. Including awards, honors, and other information
      5m 12s
  8. 19m 1s
    1. Knowing which file format is best
      2m 10s
    2. Saving to earlier versions of Word
      2m 48s
    3. Saving as a PDF
      5m 27s
    4. Creating a RTF version
      3m 54s
    5. Saving to HTML format
      4m 42s
  9. 15m 9s
    1. Evaluating online resume banks
      5m 32s
    2. Writing effective names for resume banks
      3m 43s
    3. Double-checking formatting after uploading
      2m 45s
    4. Becoming too visible
      3m 9s
  10. 21m 45s
    1. Creating a cover letter
      7m 47s
    2. Compiling your references
      4m 35s
    3. Writing thank-you notes
      5m 38s
    4. Printing, copying, and the importance of paper
      3m 45s
  11. 52s
    1. Goodbye
      52s

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Creating an Effective Resume
3h 29m Appropriate for all Apr 22, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Creating an Effective Resume, author Mariann Siegert provides step-by-step guidance on creating resumes that highlight accomplishments and specifically target a potential employer's needs. The course covers how to build a resume that encompasses action statements, keywords, styling, and effective content, while addressing common stumbling blocks such as handling employment gaps and career changes. Framing the resume as a vital component of a personalized marketing campaign, Mariann shows how to conduct employer research and utilize keyword optimization techniques to increase a resume's potential of being found by employers and recruiters on resume banks and job sites. Also included are tips on writing cover letters and thank-you notes. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Determining the appropriate resume length
  • Choosing the best layout
  • Identifying and incorporating essential keywords
  • Tips from recruiters
  • Showcasing achievements and job duties using P.A.R. statements
  • Evaluating resume banks
  • Saving to different file formats
  • Compiling references, cover letters, and thank-you notes
Subjects:
Business Business Skills Career Development
Author:
Mariann Siegert

Deciding on resume length

How long should a resume be: one page or two? You may have read or heard that it should be no longer than one page. The true answer to this question depends on multiple factors. Let's take a look at some of those deciding factors. First of all, how much experience do you have? When people write their resumes something rather ironic and interesting happens. People with lots of experience tend to try to jam everything onto one page. They make the font too small to read easily, they shrink their white space, and they end up with hardly any margin at all.

People with hardly any experience try to get a teeny bit of information to expand onto two pages. They make the font and their margins larger and include relevant information to try to make it look as if they have more experience. If you have more than then years of experience, you'll probably need more than one page, especially if you need to list such things as professional experience, technical skills, certifications, publications, patents, or speaking engagements.

Rule of thumb: if this information is important to the position you're currently seeking, don't crunch everything onto one page simply because of the outdated concept of the one-page-fits-all resume. If you're just out of school or college, try to make the resume no more than one page. If you have less than five years of work experience, a one-page resume should suffice in most cases. You may have heard from seemingly credible sources that you should only include your last ten years of experience.

Unfortunately, this well-intentioned advice could actually keep you from getting an interview. Consider the example that a hiring manager recently shared with me. An applicant must referred by a personal reference. During the interview the hiring manager looked at the resume and didn't see any of the experience she expected. She inquired, "Is this all of the experience you have? I was told do you had experience as a paralegal?" The applicant replied, "Well, yes I was an IP litigation paralegal for twelve years, but my recruiter told me I should include only the last ten years of my experience on my resume, so I left it off." The hiring manager told me the recruiters advise almost cost the paralegal the job.

If she had not known someone and got in through the back door to the interview, she would have most certainly been passed over. Anyone simply reading the resume would never have called her in the first place, and she got the job because of the experience she have prior to the ten-year cutoff. Don't leave off relevant information, because of a one-page limit or a 10-year cutoff. Keep your resume concise but targeted with pertinent information. On the other hand, if you delivered pizza, worked in a nail salon or other such shops that may be unrelated ten years before, you may leave these irrelevant positions off of your resume.

Just be careful about leaving gaps in your employment dates. If you find and taking this information off will leave gaps, consider instead, changing the job description to include your transferable skills. If you have many years of experience, you may consider setting up an Early Career section where you briefly summarize or even combine employers, maybe even job titles and employment dates. Other expendable items include obsolete technology and your high school information after your attending college.

Be careful of setting off flares; employment dates they go back too far will attract about as much attention. Consider including as much of your more recent experience as possible and only what is pertinent to the job. Use your best judgment depending on the field you're in to figure out what your cutoff date would be and when you would start dating yourself. For example, I started working at fourteen years old while attending high school and I worked my way through college. As I gained more experience, those jobs dropped off of my resume, but they were very valuable when I was just getting my start.

Do you hold a senior- or executive-level position? In addition to your resume, you may need to include a portfolio of documents, including an executive biography or leadership process profile to clearly illustrate your track record of accomplishments and leadership abilities. Ask yourself these questions: Are you, including information that is totally irrelevant to the position you're targeting? Will the information provided assist you in getting the interview? Are you trying to crunch your resume into one page by eliminating pertinent information, making the margins too small, decreasing the font size, and eliminating their white space? In other words, are you making it hard to read simply because you've heard it should only be one page? Is it as concise as possible? Stay to the point and keep focused on your target position.

And the survey says, Robert Half Technology, a respected recruiting firm, shared some information with me about a recent poll they conducted. They interviewed senior executives for a survey regarding their preferences in resume length. They found that the best rule of thumb is to allow the breadth and depth of your experience to dictate resume length. They suggest before putting anything on your resume ask, does it add value to my candidacy? If it doesn't, eliminate the information or recast it in more meaningful terms.

So, how long should your resume be? Your resume should be exactly the length it takes to market and sell yourself for each targeted job. Try to keep it between one and two pages; be concise. Keep focused on your qualifications accomplishments and achievements, but don't sell yourself short. And remember, although a one-page resume is no longer hard-and-fast rule, you certainly should never create a 10-page resume. You may want to rethink your strategy or perhaps create a portfolio in addition to your resume if it's running onto multiple pages.

The most important thing to remember is to include as much relevant information as needed to advertise and market yourself to your target. Just be sure to make yourself shine and cast yourself in the best possible light.

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