VIEWS: 9 PAGES: 2 POSTED ON: 1/23/2011
There is a strong tendency to want to say far too much on a typical resume. Your resume should be direct and to the point. Every phrase and every word should be highly relevant. That is how your resume should read. Understandably, there is an impulse to add endless details to your resume since you don't want to miss any opportunity. After all, while you have your reader's attention - there is the urge to get everything out on the table. The problem is that too much information - "TMI" as my kids tell me - will tend to loose rather than keep the attention of the hiring manager. To prove this point, get a long resume of, say, a colleague and read through it. If it is longer than two pages, unless this person has quite an exotic work history, you will almost certainly be skimming, once you are more than two pages into the resume. It may help to always keep in mind the primary objective of a resume. Actually, let's first back up and review what the resume is not. The objective is not to somehow get a job offer because you seem - based on your resume - like the answer to the hiring manager's prayers. The primary objective is to get the interview! Once you are in the interview, you have a far better chance of covering exactly the details of your skills and work history that are most relevant to the job opening. Actually, when you think about it, too much information can have the opposite effect. When a hiring manager is making decisions about a stack of candidates, all it takes is a "no" about some aspect - any aspect - of the candidate's background and into the trash your resume will go. After all, he or she has reams of resumes to choose from. Best is to provide brief but action packed statements of capabilities and results, leaving the manager hungry for more details. A good resume is one in which: 1 - your objectives are consistent with the company and the position being filled 2 - you a have solid track record as a competent employee who gets things done 3 - you have sufficient hands-on experience with the technical or procedural aspects of the job. As you try your hand at being economical with words, emphasize what you accomplished over what was done day to day. In other words, emphasize what you designed, managed, created, what the company gained by your talents, etc. Feel free to slim down any other particulars, although you will need enough to load your resume with highly relevant keywords. For example, if you used key software tools that every candidate is expected to know, work in a reference to those tools. If you are at an expert level for a certain skill that sets you apart, work that in, too. How long should your resume be? If you are just starting out, or if you have worked for 10 years or less for one employer, then you should be able to keep it to one page. If you are more "senior", or if you a "fast track" employee with lots of accomplishments, then a two pager is fine. Bottom line? Concentrate on the benefit you bring to the company. Do this on your "objectives" section. Then, make the remainder of the resume concise, hard-hitting statements to back that up, based on past accomplishments and the set of skills you have to offer.
"How To Write A Good Resume - Less Is More"