Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Crafting Your Resume (Part Two): Applying for Technical Positions in High-Tech Start-ups

 Part Two -- How long is too long?

In Part One of our series on Crafting Your Resume we focused on getting started.  In this blog entry, Part Two, we will discuss resume lengthAs we continue the series, please look for more information on this topic, including advice on formatting your resume and what to include/what not to include.

Does resume length really matter? And if so, how long should I make my resume?

The short answer is that, YES, the length of your resume is important.  Why?  When writing, think of your readers, both HR professionals who have many resumes to skim through looking for possible candidates as well as the hiring managers who will have to read through quite a few to choose those candidates they would like to interview.  You will find that you have more positive reads if you make your resume legible, concise, and in a font large enough that people can read without a struggle.

So exactly how long should it be?

Does it have to be only one page?  What if I can’t fit everything on there?  There is no magical, perfect length for your resume since each one is unique.  Try to remember that it should be concise, and don’t include more than is necessary.  We think that if you are senior candidate applying for a very senior position, 3 pages is the maximum.  Otherwise try for one to two pages.  If there if more you information you think might help, you can add an addendum after your final page that lets your readers know you can provide more details or information upon request.

How do I write a shorter resume that still says what I want to say?

• You can do this by focusing on your accomplishments, instead of listing every little thing in your job description.  Edit the projects on your resume and only list the ones where you have achieved concrete results that you can comfortably explain and discuss.

• The order of items on your list is important – make sure that your key skills and major accomplishments are at the top.  This will grab the reader’s attention, plus if your resume is too long you will easily be able to see which items on your list can be omitted.

• Make the style concise, but also make sure it is long enough to show what you have to offer.

We hope that you find this series of articles on Crafting Your Resume helpful.  As always, please feel free to ask us questions or leave any comments, especially if there is something in particular you would like us to address!