Resumes for Recruiters: How Long Should Your Resume Be?
by Karen Hofferber, Certified Senior Resume Writer
Whether your resume is targeting employers or recruiters, it must convey your key strengths and representative accomplishments powerfully and succinctly. Concise writing is important to both of these audiences, but this element is essential to recruiters, who may receive hundreds of resumes (many unsolicited) every day.
When targeting employers, a two-page resume is a good length for many professionals (the right length for you depends on your years of experience, career goal, and number of jobs held). Employers are hungry for the particulars of your achievements. Even though your resume most likely will not be read word-for-word in the initial screening phase, it will be given a thorough review once you make it to the interview cut. In order to get there, you must provide enough information to warrant closer review.
But when targeting recruiters, a concise resume is ideal. If you can get your document down to a single page (while still providing enough compelling details to spur further interest), even better. Many job seekers planning an aggressive search will be well served by creating two different versions of their resume:
- A detailed, keyword-rich, and accomplishments-packed document for employers; and
- A hard-hitting, abbreviated version for recruiters.
For the latter version, you will need to be brutal in your editing. Pare down or eliminate your opening resume profile, cut your “Expertise” section, minimize job descriptions, and combine your top accomplishments into three or four bullets for your most recent experience. You can group older experience into an “Early Career” section, providing just a few key details to save space.
About the author: Karen Hofferber is senior resume writer for ResumePower.com and coauthor of The Career Change Resume book. Visit ResumePower.com to learn more about resume services to jump-start your career.