How Long Should a Résumé Be?

There are no hard and fast rules.  A résumé should be long enough to contain the relevant information about your personal and professional qualification.  But it should be short enough to get the message across easily without the clutter of flowery language or irrelevant diversions.

That means you should tailor suit your résumé to answer the demands of the specific vacancy. If the company is looking for a Novell-certified Network Engineer, go straight to the fact you had enough experience for the job with the correct certification needed.  It’s not important to include a year’s stint as a McDonald kitchen supervisor or as a hotel concierge in your previous employment experience.  That information, however, can be helpful if the company is looking for an Account Manager because your experience in dealing and supervising people can add points to your qualification screening.

Depending on your target audience, résumés can have varying lengths.  Applicants for technical, rank-and-files and non-supervisory positions can benefit from a detailed résumé to include some, not all, specifics of your major duties and accomplishments in your previous employment.  HR managers often have all the time to read long résumés for these positions because that’s what they do.

If you are targeting an executive position, be aware that the executives often have no time for details and prefer to get summaries of reports and only go into a second level detail if and when they need to.  It is with these positions when a 1-2 page résumé that’s immediately catchy work best.  An executive can then refer your résumé to the HR department for immediate processing.

Category: Resume Articles

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