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    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Résumé writing

    I've had my résumé gone over twice by résumé authorities in the past week. I know you want to keep them on target but I was surprised when both people advised me that my résumé should be no more than one page. No matter how long I've been working.

    Any thoughts?
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

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    Living 'n Dying in ¾-Time JBHoren's Avatar
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    Surprisingly, first-level HR "triage" is aimed at weeding-out applicants' resumes, rather than looking at everyone as a potential candidate. Add to that "corporate ADHD", and it's an "I'm OK, you're not OK" world. From my experience, short is the new long; add a statement (or URL) that you'll be glad to furnish more details/information, upon request. Don't use colored paper, or "circusy" fonts.

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    Senior Member locolobo13's Avatar
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    I've heard no more than two. Most bosses, HR people won't look at the second page anyway. I don't think my boss would "weed" your resume out for being too long but probably wouldn't look past page 2. So whatever you need to say needs to be upfront.

    I'm sure there have to be exceptions to this rule but I'm not sure what they are.

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    If you are young and without much experience, or have only worked one or two jobs, I can maybe see a resume limited to one page. But for someone with decades of experience or a number of professional jobs, I think it takes up to two pages to give that justice. I hire experienced healthcare professionals and just about all of their resumes are two pages. And I read them in their entirety.
    Regards, MillCreek
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    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    I've had my résumé gone over twice by résumé authorities in the past week. I know you want to keep them on target but I was surprised when both people advised me that my résumé should be no more than one page. No matter how long I've been working.

    Any thoughts?
    One page - bullet highlights - the rest can be filled in during the interview. As an employer responsible for hiring, I generally put aside long wordy resumes (good grief I don't have time to read these things!). If the people can't tell me in one page why I should hire him, I am not interested.

    I am responsible for hiring doctors, chemist and engineers (I work for a med-tech development company) - trust me resumes can be wordy but the person who is concise and to the point gets my attention. It's a real gift...
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    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Resumes are industry specific.

    Try to find the industry standard.

    Also in today's world they should be potential employer specific.

    Last time I was hunting I had at least 2 base resumes.

    Outside the industry in question most employers don't care one bit about what you did, they may care that you did stay employed. So jobs outside the industry deserve little more than a start and end date.
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

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    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
    Resumes are industry specific.

    Try to find the industry standard.

    Also in today's world they should be potential employer specific.

    Last time I was hunting I had at least 2 base resumes.

    Outside the industry in question most employers don't care one bit about what you did, they may care that you did stay employed. So jobs outside the industry deserve little more than a start and end date.
    Yeah, I have a new resume for every job I apply for. I build them from a master resume, so I don't forget things and don't have to rewrite things as much.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    I've had my résumé gone over twice by résumé authorities in the past week. I know you want to keep them on target but I was surprised when both people advised me that my résumé should be no more than one page. No matter how long I've been working.

    Any thoughts?
    Depends where you live.

    In Canada ... 2-3 pages is fine, even 4 pages if you've got a lot of experience.

    In Australia ... your whole application package for each job will probably run you 10-20 pages. I've actually padded out the CV portion of my application package with an objective statement and accomplishments so that it is 4 pages.


    I've done up a employment/education chronology sheet that is 1 page, and I have included that in some applications, and have brought it along to interviews or to situations where I might need to fill in an application form (although very few places ask for that anymore). Maybe that's the sort of thing they are looking for?


    And I don't change my CV for each application. It stays the same for most, with possibly a few minor tweaks to emphasise a particular feature. My CV is pretty much just a list of what I've done ... education, employment, etc.

    However, my cover letter and supporting documentation will change depending on the position and what's requested in the Key Selection Criteria.

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    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    mine is 2 pages, # of jobs listed has been cut but they cleverly incorporated my experience within a text block.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    One page.

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    Living 'n Dying in ¾-Time JBHoren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MillCreek View Post
    If you are young and without much experience, or have only worked one or two jobs, I can maybe see a resume limited to one page. But for someone with decades of experience or a number of professional jobs, I think it takes up to two pages to give that justice. I hire experienced healthcare professionals and just about all of their resumes are two pages. And I read them in their entirety.
    Often true, but the other side of that coin is (a) whether or not ten- or twenty-year-old work experience is relevant to the new job, other than historically; and/or (b) whether too many jobs in whatever time period might indicate instability, or invite Q-and-A where it's not needed or wanted.

    I speak from personal experience, in both cases. To quote the old saying: "It's the upright nail gets hammered down."

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    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Resume writing? I never started.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

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    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    And I don't change my CV for each application. It stays the same for most, with possibly a few minor tweaks to emphasise a particular feature. My CV is pretty much just a list of what I've done ... education, employment, etc.
    That's one place I have troubles. Just for one job, I may be highlighting the 3D animation I did, the Flash animation I did, How I acted as a Creative Director, what I did as an artist, what I did as a programmer, how I was instrumental in setting up a statewide digital signage network, how I improved the signage preparation and installation QC procedure. I did so much that no HR person can comprehend the breadth of what I did. So I have to customize each resume to what HR wants to hear.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

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    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    Resume writing? I never started.
    Count your blessings.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

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    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBHoren View Post
    Often true, but the other side of that coin is (a) whether or not ten- or twenty-year-old work experience is relevant to the new job, other than historically; and/or (b) whether too many jobs in whatever time period might indicate instability, or invite Q-and-A where it's not needed or wanted.

    I speak from personal experience, in both cases. To quote the old saying: "It's the upright nail gets hammered down."
    Personally, it seems that the tech side of old work ages rather badly, technology changes so fast. But I don't think there is much change in needed people skills.

    What do you mean by the upright nail?
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  16. #16
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    One page - bullet highlights - the rest can be filled in during the interview. As an employer responsible for hiring, I generally put aside long wordy resumes (good grief I don't have time to read these things!). If the people can't tell me in one page why I should hire him, I am not interested.

    I am responsible for hiring doctors, chemist and engineers (I work for a med-tech development company) - trust me resumes can be wordy but the person who is concise and to the point gets my attention. It's a real gift...
    OK but you are strongly aided by the fact that all your candidates have degrees, some of which are quite difficult to gain (doctor) and therefore their resumes tend to reflect just bullet points... they don't have to explain what their job is.

    I have actually been interviewed by HR folks at a temp company where I was working on a long term assignment to a large company... the HR folks had no idea of what I actually did, yet knew that there was a demand for me, and that I was making them a lot of money.

    I find that few HR departments, even in engineering companies, quite have a grasp on what a "PCB Design Engineer" does and why their hardware group wants one. I have also discovered that few HR people are really dedicated to a particular sector of employment... they are focused on HR issues, and may not know what a Hydrology Engineer is, as the last place that HR person worked was a resort, or an insurance company.

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    Living 'n Dying in ¾-Time JBHoren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    Personally, it seems that the tech side of old work ages rather badly, technology changes so fast. But I don't think there is much change in needed people skills.

    What do you mean by the upright nail?
    I meant that sticking-out often invites unwelcome notice. As I wrote in an earlier post, first-level HR "triage" is little more than matching applicants with position-specific checklists; i.e., education, location, skill-set, present/previous employment -- but not more; it's generally the Hiring Manager for the position who gets them, after that. "Standing-out" from the crowd, too early in the process, invites scrutiny by those ill-equipped to understand and/or value it.

    For that reason, it's often better to list those past positions which you consider to be most important in your job history, or which might be most applicable to the position for which you're applying. If there are gaps between them, simply use a section heading of "Employment History" or "Experience", and add "chronological", in parentheses, alongside it; then, leave out the dates-of-employment. This helps them focus on the "what" of your experience, not the "when"; there'll be ample time to discuss dates, etc., during your interviews.

    Again, this has been my personal experience.

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBHoren View Post
    Often true, but the other side of that coin is (a) whether or not ten- or twenty-year-old work experience is relevant to the new job, other than historically; and/or (b) whether too many jobs in whatever time period might indicate instability, or invite Q-and-A where it's not needed or wanted.

    I speak from personal experience, in both cases. To quote the old saying: "It's the upright nail gets hammered down."
    That "too many jobs" thing stood out for me in one interview... I was asked why I had worked at so many different companies in a certain period of time... the fact is that I basically was doing the same work, at nearly the same desk, but the companies had merged and divested around me... the company changed name three times... I still had the same boss. This was often the case during high tech mergers.

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    Living 'n Dying in ¾-Time JBHoren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    That "too many jobs" thing stood out for me in one interview... I was asked why I had worked at so many different companies in a certain period of time... the fact is that I basically was doing the same work, at nearly the same desk, but the companies had merged and divested around me... the company changed name three times... I still had the same boss. This was often the case during high tech mergers.
    Exactly! That's why one can leave out dates-of-employment; or, as in your case, include overall dates, but leave out the multiple employers.

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    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    I find that few HR departments, even in engineering companies, quite have a grasp on what a "PCB Design Engineer" does and why their hardware group wants one. I have also discovered that few HR people are really dedicated to a particular sector of employment... they are focused on HR issues, and may not know what a Hydrology Engineer is, as the last place that HR person worked was a resort, or an insurance company.
    HR departments generally screen resumes, for general context and organization. For instance related job experience, skills needed etc. It's up to the person responsible for hiring to interview and i would hope they understand your skills and background - I would be insulted if you spent time fleshing it out for me. A resume should be an outline I (the potential employer) can use to then conduct my interview, for instance:

    * (January 1, 2011 - March 14, 2014) Creative director - Houston Musical Theater, Houston, TX

    Do I need to know more than that when I check out the resume? If I am looking for someone with a mechanical engineering in the med-tech field with a background proficient in SolidWords, pretty much right there I know this is not my person. Doesn't matter how much it is fleshed out.

    If the entry is instead:

    * (January 1, 2011 - March 14, 2014) Front Line Leader - Environmental, Health and Safety(EHS): ensuring all EHS requirements are met inclusive of internal and external regulatory objectives and direction.

    I might consider interviewing this candidate and I can, during the process, discuss the applicant's SolidWorks experience.

    Like I said, it takes alot of skill to make a resume concise and to the point; expressing and displays good critical thinking skills.

    And yes - too many jobs, in a short period of time, is a red flag. I myself have left out jobs on a resume. During the blank period I just said, I took time off work.
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    Living 'n Dying in ¾-Time JBHoren's Avatar
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    Another strategy to encapsulate a career, or "too many" jobs, is to organize experience/employment by functionality. For example, listing higher-level managerial positions first; or, grouping common programming languages, or similar welding technologies. It helps others -- and us -- focus on what's important/valuable/marketable about ourselves.

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    HR departments generally screen resumes, for general context and organization. For instance related job experience, skills needed etc. It's up to the person responsible for hiring to interview and i would hope they understand your skills and background - I would be insulted if you spent time fleshing it out for me. A resume should be an outline I (the potential employer) can use to then conduct my interview, for instance:

    * (January 1, 2011 - March 14, 2014) Creative director - Houston Musical Theater, Houston, TX

    Do I need to know more than that when I check out the resume? If I am looking for someone with a mechanical engineering in the med-tech field with a background proficient in SolidWords, pretty much right there I know this is not my person. Doesn't matter how much it is fleshed out.

    If the entry is instead:

    * (January 1, 2011 - March 14, 2014) Front Line Leader - Environmental, Health and Safety(EHS): ensuring all EHS requirements are met inclusive of internal and external regulatory objectives and direction.

    I might consider interviewing this candidate and I can, during the process, discuss the applicant's SolidWorks experience.

    Like I said, it takes alot of skill to make a resume concise and to the point; expressing and displays good critical thinking skills.

    And yes - too many jobs, in a short period of time, is a red flag. I myself have left out jobs on a resume. During the blank period I just said, I took time off work.

    I have to laugh a bit because your first "bad example" is exactly why my resume is so complex... "looking for someone with a mechanical engineering in the med-tech field with a background proficient in SolidWords" is why my resume lists the tools I have used, what sort of design work I have done, how long ago I used that tool in that manner and what other responsibilities I also may have had.

    Just putting a bullet point, like this:
    *Mechanical Engineer Date-Date Company

    doesn't cover "med-tech field," "Solidworks," or that perhaps this person is proficient enough to set up Windchill.

    Mentioning all those key works on resume DOES help. But the HR people may not know that...

  23. #23
    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBHoren View Post
    Another strategy to encapsulate a career, or "too many" jobs, is to organize experience/employment by functionality. For example, listing higher-level managerial positions first; or, grouping common programming languages, or similar welding technologies. It helps others -- and us -- focus on what's important/valuable/marketable about ourselves.
    I am 63 and have worked since I was 14.. I have had alot of jobs and actually several career changes (4 big ones). I do longer get close to listing ALL the jobs I've had since no one cares in 1967 I worked as a store clerk for W. T. Grants and in 1968 was a secretary for an insurance executive. I now only list relevant current job related work experience. I will state that on the resume and offer to fill in other work experience if asked.
    Last edited by Pamestique; 05-14-14 at 01:46 PM.
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    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post

    Mentioning all those key works on resume DOES help. But the HR people may not know that...
    I suppose HR departments are different but for all the companies I worked, the HR department was familiar with what the company does and what requirements were needed (as the prospective employer I am required to give that information to HR so they can cull for candidates). Because I work for a company that is strictly med-tech, our HR is intimately familiar with the industry and its requirements (like me, they may not know how Solidworks operates but they do know what it does). I would hope HR for any engineering firm is...
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    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    That "too many jobs" thing stood out for me in one interview... I was asked why I had worked at so many different companies in a certain period of time... the fact is that I basically was doing the same work, at nearly the same desk, but the companies had merged and divested around me... the company changed name three times... I still had the same boss. This was often the case during high tech mergers.
    Been there, done that. Had one job that started in Iceland and ended in Indonesia with time in Little Rock and Santa Cruz. Started with one company, it renamed itself, then I got transferred to a related company, then the first company took over the related company, then they were split, then taken over again, all the while I sat at the same desk. I talked it over with the guy who was my supervisor at the beginning and end and he agreed that just listing it as one company was best. In the span of a resume, I could have never unwound the corporate structure which was also linked to a TV broadcast network and an arena football team.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

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