Never let anyone tell you that a Resume isn’t an extremely personal document. A Resume is a snapshot of your working life at a given moment in time, and highlights the experience and professional skillset that you have developed over the course of your career.
In an age when brevity means everything, the length of your Resume document is extremely important.
We explored this point in a previous blog where we pulled apart and shot down the ‘many page’ Resume. It’s only natural to want to highlight all your experience, but listing every job you’ve mastered since leaving school is often counterproductive and a waste of valuable space.
In most cases where Resumes are viewed for a few seconds as part of the initial shortlisting, having a lengthy document that crams in the story of your journey from mail room attendant to CEO won’t work. At this point some people may be shaking their heads in disagreement, so I will explain it in a practical way.
Let me tell you the story about Ted. Ted started working for a local bank after leaving school. His first job was sorting mail in the banks mail room. After proving his dedication, he was trained as a teller and customer service representative. Over time he progressed through various lending roles, team leadership and eventually became a bank manager, before securing his dream job as a regional banking manager overviewing several branches.
Then, one day Ted spots a job advertisement in his local paper for an executive manager’s position with an international financial institution. Ted starts to hyperventilate with excitement, and after taking a few deep breaths and sipping some warm tea he decides to apply for the job that would be the pinnacle of his career. Ted then spends the next several days crafting what he believes to be a top shelf and lengthy Resume (should have called Present Professionally!) that covers his incredible journey from the mail room to the board room.
So, are we OK with all that? I’m not, so let’s break it down a little bit.
Ted is going for a senior executive position where his responsibilities would include the following:
Ted’s professional skills today are vastly different to when he entered the mail room 25 years ago. His skillset is on another planet compared to that first position. So, if you were the CEO and Board assessing Ted’s application, would care at all about Ted’s mail room, telling and customer service roles back in the early 1990’s? Wouldn’t you be interested in what goals Ted has kicked in the last 10 or so years when he reached senior management positions, and was making decisions on par with the role he is now chasing? I would suggest the answer is a definite YES.
Whilst this example covers a mailroom to CEO scenario, it ultimately applies to any role, in any industry and at any level.
There is always flexibility in terms of timeframes and how far back your Resume story should go. Researchers in academia for example, need to tell a long story about their projects and successes over lengthy periods. The point being that junior entry level skills from many many years ago, are completely irrelevant when it comes to nailing a position that is dependent on your high-level skills attained in recent times. Your professional Resume writer will discuss your career in depth, and learn all about your journey before recommending where and when to end the story. If you can nail it in 2 or 3 pages per se with sharp and strong content, then do it!
Present Professionally offers professional career services including Professional consultation, Resume preparation and Interview coaching/preparation.
Present Professionally serves customers across the Darling Downs and South East Queensland. You can follow Anthony at https://au.linkedin.com/in/anthonyferro1 or view details at www.presentprofessionally.com.au and LIKE us on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/PresentProfessionallyAustralia/
Written and Published by www.presentprofessionally.com.au