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Have you ever wondered, how long is too long for a resume? You’re not the only one. There’s always been some confusion around this topic. Today, career experts J.T. O’Donnell and Dale Dauten clear things up. Dear J.T. and Dale, How long is too long for a resume? I remember being told that my resume should be one page. Recently, my employer was hiring and we were getting 2-3 page resumes. One person even had a section with her personal information: kids, hobbies. What are the rules? - Shilo According to O’Donnell, the meat of the issue is that there are no rules when it comes to resumes, which is why everyone is confused and on different pages when it comes to content, length, formatting, and so on. She recommended that your resume be no longer than 1-2 pages. Studies show that recruiters spend about six seconds scanning a resume, so you want to make sure you’re making it easy for them to find the right information as quickly as possible. So, there are two things you should do when writing a resume. First, simplify the text. Don’t try to fit in too much, and don’t worry about including irrelevant experience. In the end, that’s not what recruiters are looking for when they read your resume. They’re looking for specific information about you that proves you can do the job they’re looking to fill. “Stick to the facts,” said O’Donnell. “Get rid of all of that flowery language.” Second, make sure the font is at least 11 point. If you make it too small in an effort to fit as much as you can on a page, it’s going to be hard to read and difficult for the recruiter to find what he or she is looking for within that six second period. “Do your best to simplify and think about that reader,” O’Donnell said. “Less is more.” However, Dauten suggested that there’s no harm in having a longer resume (2-3 pages). Dauten argued that including hobbies on your resume, which can make it longer than it needs to be, might actually help to strike up conversation and connection during an interview. “I don’t see that it hurts anything [to have a longer resume],” said Dauten. “And maybe you have a chance to make that personal connection.” Unfortunately, there's no solid answer to "How long is too long for a resume?" However, in the end, it’s all about the content and how you present it to the recruiter or employer. Are you making it easy for the reader to find what he or she is looking for? Want to ask J.T. & Dale a question? Email your question to advice@jtanddale.com

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As a job seeker, your goal is to get a recruiter to look at your resume and bring you in for an interview. In order to do that, you need to understand what’s happening on the recruiter’s side of the table. Recruiters get hundreds of resumes, and they can’t possibly go through each one. And they definitely can’t go through each resume line-by-line. There’s just not enough time in the day. That’s why recruiters have learned to skim resumes for the most important information, which typically only takes six seconds. When a recruiter reads a resume, his or her eyes move down the page in a Z-pattern (left to right all the way down). They’re looking for key terms that relate to the job they’re trying to fill. If a recruiter finds what he or she is looking for in that first pass, your resume will likely get a shot at a more in-depth resume review. And, if they still like what they see, you might even get a phone call asking you to do an interview. So, it becomes critical that you pass that 6-second skim. In order to accomplish this, you need to make it easy for recruiters to find the information they need in order to move you to the second part of the process. How do you do this? You need to format your resume in a way that showcases your key skill sets, or keywords that relate to the jobs for which you’re applying. If you don’t highlight these things on your resume and make them easy to see, the recruiter is going to toss your resume. If you resume doesn’t have the right keywords and doesn’t showcase them with its formatting, your resume is headed straight for the trashcan. If you need help with your job search strategy, watch this free 20-minute video tutorial with career expert J.T. O'Donnell. WATCH NOW!

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