Saturday, September 20, 2008

Seriously, one page

Friend of mine is looking for job hunting advice. Here it is:

Keep you resume to one page, seriously.

I've read about a gazillion resumes. I can tell you for a fact that when an employer (or a recruiter) picks up your resume they want more than anything for you to be "the one." They don't like sourcing candidates. They want to get it over with. So they're on your side until you disqualify yourself.

Nobody ever got a job based only on their resume. But everybody disqualifies themselves from some job based on their resume.

If you're looking for the type of job that requires lots of keywords (so you can show up in some resume search for some recruiter), then I probably can't help you. If you're sending your resume to some company you know, then it should be short enough to tantalize them, not long enough to eliminate you.

Let your job titles and a very brief description of your job speak for itself. Let the employer read into those jobs what he wants to read into them. He will fill the spaces with his own hope that you're the one. Don't list every single piece of technology you ever used, or every task you performed. Chances are nil that they've got exactly the same environment, and exactly the same role planned for the candidate. So doing so will only paint a picture that you're not a perfect fit--some work will be necessary--and that will discourage them.

A one page resume requires discipline and the writing talent to figure out what to take away (not what to add).