I recently received an email from an old friend who just completed a long-term temp assignment asking if I knew of any temp or permanent positions. Naturally, Ann included her resume. I reviewed that resume, and provided these comments:
- A three page resume is too long
- The resume includes too much information in too much detail
- The resume is long on listing job duties, but short on describing your accomplishments
An applicant typically has less than a minute to convince the screener that their resume should be forwarded to a decision maker. A three page resume is too long to review in 60 seconds. Therefore, the goal is a resume of two pages or less.
The resume included information about every job since 1984. I don’t think anyone cares that she was a credit administrator for the XYZ Corporation from 1984 to 1988. Fifteen years of employment history is usually adequate.
Ann’s resume included details such as this: I reduced the over 90 day balance from 5.31% to 2.19% within the first 6 months. I think this is much too detailed. I rewrote it to read: Within 6 months, I increased the percent current from 89% to 97% by conducting one-on-one aging account reviews & training sessions with each collector each month.
Please stop telling potential employers what your job duties are or were. Instead, describe your accomplishments. Here is an example from Ann’s resume: I performed reviews of the files of every active customer focusing on risk management. My response was: So What? This rewrite focuses on what Ann accomplished: By ensuring appropriate safeguards were in place, I reduced bad debts from more than $800,000 in 2011 to less than $200,000 in 2012.
So what does your resume look like? If you want my candid [and brutally honest comments], send your resume in confidence to: firstname.lastname@example.org