As the owner of a credible IT staffing and recruitment agency in NYC, I feel it’s safe to say I’ve seen a few resumes. It has always amazed me how long some technical applicants’ resumes are. I’ve seen some resumes that were as long as 20 pages. It felt like I was reading Tolstoy’s War & Peace but not nearly as interesting.
As a prelude to this post, I think showing Webster’s Dictionary definition of the word résumé will help put things in perspective in terms of the suitable length of a resume.
ré·su·mé [rez-oo-mey, rez-oo-mey] noun
1. a summing up; summary.
2. a brief written account of personal, educational, and professional qualifications and experience, as that prepared by an applicant for a job
I understand why IT applicants want to get as detailed as they can about each project as technical jobs are usually very specific. However, I think technical people can efficiently summarize their experience with one or two pages – THREE AT MOST! Anything more than that is madness! My suggestion is if you have a resume longer than two pages (obviously this goes for non-technical resumes as well) you should try to cut it down. There are ways to write less and say more. If you know writing isn’t your best skill, ask a friend to help or hire a resume writing service.
Remember your resume is your first impression to an employer so you want to make it a good one!