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Some advice to my job searching friends

Posted by Meg Bear on January 7, 2009


resumeI have noticed a few great pieces of advice lately on do’s and don’t for job searchers.  Now I  have one to add myself.

First a recap. 

Gretchen suggests practical things like don’t forget to make your contact information visible. 

Kris Dunn gives some pro tips for Extreme Job Hunting with a vote in favor of a solid and customized cover letter.

Jenn Barnes gives the useful tweet that your photo is not a good idea.

Here is my item to add to the pile. 

For the love of god, please keep your resume to two pages.  I saw one today for someone with nine years experience that took nineteen pages!   The idea that more is more is just not true with a resume.  Every page over two, is a page I realize you have no clue how to write a resume and you are wasting my time.

I’ve got [cough] sixteen years under my belt and my experiences are a very comfortable fit on two.  Maybe, when I hit the twenty year mark I’ll go to three, but I suspect I’ll do what all intelligent  some women do and start casually removing stuff to make myself feel younger.

I do not give this advice to make anyone uncomfortable, I am saying this to hopefully help.  It seems that building a solid resume is a skill that has been under-represented in many technical circles, as I come across novel length resumes a good 50% of the time.

For my good friends in technology who need jobs, I do hope you land in a great role and realize your potential.  I wish you all the best in your search.  I’m also happy to help with editing and review if you need someone to provide that service.   Send me your best two page draft and I’ll give you my honest feedback.

For my hiring friends, what other tips have we missed?

7 Responses to “Some advice to my job searching friends”

  1. Floyd said

    Meg, I’m past the twenty year mark myself: the rules don’t change. Stick with two pages max. When I’m hiring, any resume over two pages takes an immediate trip to the round file. – Floyd

  2. Amy Wilson said

    Tailor your resume so that it looks like you want the job I have, not just any old job!

    The 2 page rule is a good one. After college, there was a strict 1 page rule. I’m trying to remember when I switched to 2 – maybe after 5 years of experience? Does anyone have a rule of thumb here?

  3. Jon Brooks said

    One additional suggestion is please use a font and font size that is readable. Don’t try and cram 19 pages of a resume into 2 pages by using a small point size font. My suggestion is don’t go below a font point size of 11.

  4. First page is the attention grabber
    Second page is for sparks for the interviewer to get lighted up
    Typically hiring is based on the last job profile
    Something done 15 years and 5 jobs ago may not be relevant
    Spice up the resume to show action and contribution
    I recently saw a resume where the last job was a 9 year stint
    However, there was hardly any information and it seemed more like a 9 year hibernation
    More recently the “Can Do, Will Do” vibe is giving way to “Been There, Done That, Can Do it Again” candidates who seem the land the jobs

  5. […] the good news category, I’ve seen a lot of  great advice being offered to job seekers.  I’ve seen job openings being shared on twitter, I’ve […]

  6. […] play Russian roulette with their jobs, their resumes might be longer than what we normally see as acceptable.  I know you’ve seen these people; six months here, eight months there, a year and half over […]

  7. […] There is a lot of great advice about finding a job. […]

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