There is extensive resume development advice on the Internet. Which advice can you trust? Which guidelines should you follow? It is important to scrutinize the source. Is this a genuine expert or a blog writer with a general background? Equally important, seek advice tailored for YOUR unique situation. Every week we are asked about optimal page length, most attractive style, proper structure, categories to include, and more. The best advice is based on a candidate’s particular history and career goal.
A one-page resume is suitable for many recent graduates and candidates with limited experience. However, the majority of candidates with work history and education will require a two-page resume. Some candidates with extensive publications, presentations, patents, and higher education may have a three-page resume. For many senior project managers or consultants, we may suggest a two-page resume with an addendum to cover supplemental project details. There are dozens of other variables that may affect the page count decision for pockets of candidate populations.
Choice of style depends largely on the candidate’s target occupation and industry. This will determine if a resume should be conservative, creative, or somewhere in the middle. The second factor when selecting style is the personal preference of the candidate. It’s important for the resume to reflect the candidate’s personality.
Content & Categories
This is the heart of the resume. Before we write a resume for a client, we ask the client’s job target and gather details of the career history. Most importantly we gather skills and accomplishments to support the target. This comes in many different forms: professional experience, education, publications, awards, media coverage, patents, major transactions, and high-profile cases. Categories and content selections are unique to each individual client.
Structure matters. You want to lead with your top selling points. It is not written in stone that education is placed near the bottom of the resume. In some cases, we want to showcase a recent degree on page one just beneath the profile. Choices are made based on the client’s top selling points relevant to the client’s target career.
Resume tactics that are effective for your colleague may not be best for you, even if you hold the same position. Resume strategies are determined by your distinctive career history and current goal. If you are unsure about your resume length, style, content, and structure, write me. I would be happy to provide a complimentary resume review and suggestions.