Saturday, June 11, 2011

Recruiter’s first impression – Your resume's length

A one-page, two-page or three-page resume? Read on to know how much information your resume should carry and how to put it forward in a crisp and concise manner.

Either fresh out of college or seeking a change, creating or updating your resume is the first step as you begin a job search. Two important aspects of resume building are ‘what’ and ‘how much’ information to include, as these determine the length of the final document and ultimately how recruiter-friendly your resume is.

A very short resume might skip important details regarding your skills and qualifications while an extensive resume would leave the recruiter searching for relevant information. Thus, it is important to determine your resume’s length and include necessary information in it accordingly. Here are some pointers to get you started on the same:

  • Catch recruiter’s attention in the beginning itself
Yours is only one among the many resumes that the recruiter receives and will screen for building an interviewee list. Thus, you would want that he/she finds your resume interesting enough in preliminary glance to call you for an interview. Hence, have a crisp and concise professional summary and objective at the top of the page, followed by a concise listing of your skill set to present your professional profile.

  • Length can be determined by work experience
A fresher resume will not have much or any work experience to show and a one page CV with career objectives and qualifications should suffice. With few years’ of work experience behind you, you can elaborate by including job responsibilities and achievements of previous employments.

  • Keep it effective by mentioning skills and job responsibilities handled in previous employments
A mid- or senior level resume will have more information to include than a fresh graduate resume and can thus extend to two and in some cases even three pages. Core competencies, key work responsibilities and even achievements in various projects or jobs should be highlighted.

  • Be concise yet cover relevant information
The key lies in listing all information relevant to the job vacancy in question in a crisp manner – too less information will provide no head start on your profile and extensive detail will only convey a lack of focus on your part. Your resume should provide a snapshot of your career profile enough for the recruiter to ascertain whether you have the necessary qualifications and experience to fit the position and call you in for an interview.

  • Adjust details about the earliest jobs as you accumulate more experience
Your expertise will grow and even diversify within your domain as you progress in your career (change jobs, get promotions). The skills you will need to highlight to a potential employer in your fifth job search could be markedly different from the first or second job hunts. Thus, you can opt to elaborate upon the duties held in the more recent employments (that would be closer in relevance to the job you are applying for now) and limit the job descriptions from when early in your career.

Thus, understand that the basic purpose of sending out your resume as part of a job application is to get the recruiter to notice your career profile. In few seconds that he/she will screen your aptness for the role, ensure that your resume covers your professional profile in its entirety yet does not come across as an information overload.

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