How Long Should A Resume Be?
February 04, 2016
Today’s job applicants have a major challenge – finding the right balance for their resume. Going too long on a resume you lose the hiring manager’s attention. Going too short on the resume you end up not hitting enough keywords and terms to match what the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is looking for to secure a good ranking. So, what are today’s job applicants to do? Related:How To Quantify Your Accomplishments On A Resume Find answers to address resume length here. There’s two ways to go about the situation:
1. Make Two Versions of Your ResumeWhat the human reviewer looks for on the resume will be different from what the ATS looks for. By preparing two different versions of your resume, you can customize information to the particular audience. Resume for the Human Reviewer
- When you are sending your resume directly to an individual you may have already spoken to or to someone you know who will personally review it, customize your resume so there is succinct information about your experience and accomplishments. This will allow the individual to assess how well you did the job and where your expertise lies. They will not care so much for specific information defining your role and responsibility on the job because it is generally understood what an Accountant does, what someone working the IT Helpdesk does, what a Web Designer does, etc.
- Focus your resume content on highlighting how you used your experience and skills on the job and what you achieved with it. For more tips on customizing the resume for the human reviewer, read: “How To Customize Your Resume” and “How To Create A Resume With Impact: Duties Vs. Results.”
- When you are sending in your resume online through a job board, LinkedIn or company web site, there’s a high chance your resume will be submitted to the ATS to be filtered and ranked. In this instance, it’s okay for your resume to run longer as the software will look for roles and responsibilities in order to rank your skill level. The ATS is looking for matches in job title, job description and responsibilities, and other keywords and terms relevant to the job and industry.