Mistakes That Lead To A Resume That’s Too Long

MGR Accounting Recruiters in
on Oct 4, 2015. Posted inBlogging In Balance

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As you advance in your career, it becomes more difficult to keep your resume to 2 pages or less.  We review hundreds of resumes a month and have noticed a few common factors in the more lengthy ones we receive.  If your resume is longer than you would like, it could be that you are falling victim to these common errors in writing your resume:

  • Giving equal space to every job.  Sometimes job seekers list the same amount of detail for every position.  This simply isn’t necessary.  Instead, MGR Accounting Recruiters - Resumes that are too longprovide more information about either the most recent positions (if they apply), or about the positions you held the longest.  It makes more sense to highlight what you did for several years versus a position you held for only a few months.  Also, focusing more space on your recent duties gives the employer a better idea of your present capabilities.  There are exceptions to every rule, but generally focusing on your most recent and most practiced skills and minimizing the older ones is most beneficial and helps you cut down on the length of your resume.
  • Focusing on what you did instead of what you would like to do.  If you are looking for a job doing exactly the same thing, then this wouldn’t apply.  However, if you are looking to do something slightly different, it makes sense to use more space focusing on the skills and abilities that apply to the job you are seeking.  For example, if you spent 10 years in teaching and then 2 years in bookkeeping, and now have completed your accounting degree so that you can pursue that field, then you would want to spend the majority of your resume space listing the bookkeeping experience and accounting training, and only delegate a few lines to the teaching background.  Teaching experience is valuable, but it likely wouldn’t apply to your goal as much as the bookkeeping experience in this case.  Therefore, although the time spent was 5 times greater, you would want to spend very little space describing that background.
    This also applies to removing listed duties that don’t apply to the type of position you are seeking.  If there are select duties you have had in previous jobs and you no longer wish to perform those tasks, remove them from your resume.  They serve no purpose, and they could end up working against you.

In almost all situations, a resume should be no more than two pages.  If you find that yours is starting to push that limit, consider some of the suggestions above in order to keep it at a reasonable length for most hiring managers.

Until next time, I wish you the best in your search.

Mark Goldman CPA