One of the most common questions I am asked to address is whether or not a candidate who is seeking a particular position should attempt to keep their career information confined to the space of one page. While it seems fairly obvious that those with five or less years of experience in the workplace should do all possible to keep things compressed to a single sheet, what about those with much more seasoning or highly technical backgrounds?
During the early part of the decade a very tangible movement took place whereby individuals were often prompted to construct a one-page resume no matter how much experience or accumulated skills they may have acquired. This was fantastic for those in HR departments who had become accustomed to searching for keywords or simply did not have the desire to peruse past Page 1. However, it soon became clear that many individuals were omitting information from their profiles that provided a more thorough and comprehensive outline of their true capabilities, quite often to their detriment. Based on the numerous resumes I read each day, there can be no question that things have shifted back to longer abstracts. Nonetheless, there seems to be a very clear and preferred page number emerging that all applicants should take into consideration.
Many hiring managers have told me that they have difficulty reading anything more than two pages - something to keep in mind no matter how much experience you may have. The vast majority of these individuals feel that if a potential contributor cannot summarize their abilities within this amount of space, they may have difficulty performing at an optimal level within their organization. This perception certainly may have little merit but, nevertheless, it does exist in very prevalent fashion and must be taken into account during the formulation process.
Areas to consider amending in order to keep things concise:
Font size - 12 point is more than sufficient.
Corporate logos - grand expanses of italicized flourishes, and ornate text boxes can be attractive, but make it a point to focus on content that will show why you should be hired.
Keep bulleted statements to a minimum and utilize only those that truly emphasize your ability to successfully fill the position and help the company generate revenue and growth.
Results that are outlined in compact form are far more important than softball league affiliations. Eliminate all personal items that may seem unnecessary.
Numerous studies have shown that the typical employer will devote less than 30 seconds to each resume they read. Make certain to make the most of this time and quickly grab their attention with accomplishments, proven leadership skills and, if applicable, appropriate technical certifications and knowledge. It’s a simple manner to keep a copy of that 6-page behemoth in the rare event that an individual wants to examine it.