Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Resume Nuts and Bolts

The last time I updated my resume was in 2001. I am having to do it again five years later. I've heard things that could be fact or myth, maybe youcan clarify:

1) Must a resume be 1 page in length?

2) What is the proper font size to use in the resume?

3) How far back do you go in the employment history? Is it acceptable to goback 10 years? Or, should the history include everything since your first job?

Good basic questions. Here are my responses:

1) Your resume should be as concise as possible while giving you full credit for all your qualifications for the job you seek. My rule of thumb is “no more than two pages unless your resume is a curriculum vita, which is for the academic or scientific community, in which case it may be as long as 20 or more pages.”

2) The font in the body of your resume should be 11 or 12 pt. I recommend that your major headings be 12 or 13 pt. Your name at the top of page one should be anywhere between 12 to 18 pt. It’s a matter of taste and using your font sizes to draw attention to the most impressive parts of your resume.

3) You are not expected to go back more than 10 years; however, you may go back as far as you want. To decide how far back to go, consider if your earlier experience is relevant to your job objective; and realize that your earliest date on your resume will give the employer an indication about your age. If going back too far makes you look too old for the job, don’t put the earlier experience on your resume. For more help on that, see my article, Dates… How Far Back to Go.

Thanks for your questions and I wish you the best with your new job search!

Job Lounger, do you have a question? Email it to me and I’ll post your question and my answer here in The Job Lounge.

Or make a comment about this post by clicking the Comments link right below this post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I read the article "Dates..how far back to go" and I liked it. I found the age tips "younger and older look" to be intelligent and practical. I would also like to add a tip from a resume builder resource. Candidates may want to choose between a functional and chronological resume as each one is suitable for specific candidate profile. A functional resume is ideal for recent graduates, candidates with a diverse work history of similar positions or those whose job titles do not reflect their level of skill. The chronological style remains to be the most popular however among employers.