OK, so 10 pages might be a slight exaggeration, but as someone who reads multiple Resume documents every week, we’re not too far from the mark. Overloaded documents are one of many key reasons that Resumes don’t make it past the initial perusal and shortlisting.
If we look at it objectively, it is easy to see how these mega documents evolve.
The Resume should be a snapshot of a person’s working life and their career achievements at the time of its creation. Yet, in many cases it ends up being an over bloated monologue of every insignificant event that has occurred since high school. When I say ‘insignificant’, I refer to events likely to be of relevance to the prospective employer or recruiter.
Why, you ask? Let’s remember that people have a strong investment and perhaps emotional attachment to their Resume. It is all about them and by its nature is a highly personal document. Your Resume is YOU!
When you read your Resume, you are reflecting on the different jobs you’ve had over the years, the people you worked with, the successes and failures you had, not to mention the grief, distress and sometimes elation you felt when you moved on to other challenges. I’ve heard the Resume referred to as the poor person’s autobiography, but upon reflection that’s probably a bit harsh. However, as humans we are loath to present a document entirely about ourselves unless it presents us by our own assessment in the best possible light.
So, here we have the roots of the 10-page resume problem. You may have had to take the minutes of a 5-minute staff briefing every day for several years back in 1985, but that task and the skillset required to complete it, would not, or should not be a reflection of your skillset today in 2016. That minute taking skill that you honed so expertly 31 years ago is irrelevant to the prospective employer who is assessing you for the admin manager’s position today. You see, that prospective employer takes it as a given that you have those core skills and competencies within you, since your professional work history has been all about administration work. Do you start to get the picture?
What you’ve done and the skillset you have attained over the last, say, 10 odd years is far more relevant and closer to where and what level you are operating at today. So, following on from that should be an acceptance that your year 12 math’s results and the best effort award for soccer you received 38 years ago, are only taking up valuable space in a document that needs to be anywhere from 2 to 4 pages. That length, of course is dependent on the specific job advertisement requirements, the industry standards you operate in, and to an extent the length of time you have been in the workforce. Clearly, there are always exceptions to these broad guidelines. Resumes in academia are a world unto themselves. They can often be substantial documents due to the many complex research projects and publications that the good Professor needs to lay out for the selection panel.
Punchy, succinct, vibrant and highlighting your professional skills and successes. That’s the space you need to be operating in and directing your Resume towards. Like anything in career planning, there is no silver bullet and having an engaging succinct Resume won’t guarantee success. It is just one piece of the puzzle. The key point I make here is that everything you put into that document should be pitched at your target or ideal job.
Talk to me, the Resume expert to help you put your best foot forward.
Present Professionally serves customers across the Toowoomba Region 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/
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