Frequently asked questions
How long should my resume be?
Most HR professionals, recruiters, and hiring managers agree that 2 pages is a standard resume length for someome 5 or more years into their career. For a new graduate or someone early in their career, 1 page is recommended.
What if I need more than 2 pages to cover my entire background?
The real question is: Who is going to read 3, 4, or more pages of your resume?
Resumes do not need to go back further than 20 years unless it is beneficial for you to show specific experience you gained more than 2 decades in the past. An example would be if you have worked for bank software companies for the past 20 years, and prior to that you worked directly for a bank. That is information that may work in your favor.
Resumes should have as little repetition as possible. There is seldom a valid reason to list the same or nearly identical experience under more than one job.
Highly detailed descriptions of the projects you worked on will make the reader's eyes glaze over. The important details are your projects' successes and your success in contributing to the effort.
There is rarely a need to list more than 5 bullets under a single job description. Chances are some of those bullets can be combined.
There is zero chance that anyone who values their time will read a 10-14 line, single-paragraph summary of your experience and strengths that takes up the top 40% of your first page. I call this approach "The Great Wall of Words."
1+ inch margins and typeface exceeding 12 pt. is too much.
I just graduated college and lack work experience. How do I even fill out a 1-page resume?
The cliche that every entry-level position requires a minimum of 2 years of work experience is all too true.
Are online job postings real?
There are several reasons why you may not receive anything beyond an automated response when you fill out an online application:
Recruiters contact me all the time on LinkedIn about positions I have no interest in. I get solicitations for positions I held 20 years ago. How can I learn about positions that are a better fit?
There are likely two factors at play.
Have you ever seen a resume that was so bad you couldn't improve it?
I received a resume from a prospective client whose resume wasn't too bad, but there was something off about it that I couldn't quite place. I changed the lighting settings on my screen and realized she had a full-page color watermark of her face behind the text. I didn't pursue the job.
I haven't looked for a job in 20 years. Where do I even start?
Start with a self-assessment that is as objective as possible about what you like to do and what you do well.
What's the difference between you and the people I see charging half as much?
Companies that charge low rates for resume services usually use marginally attractive templates and simply paste your old resume into their format, cleaning up obvious typos or grammar issues as they go.
- 20+ years of experience as Executive Recruiters who have worked on thousands of hires. As a result, the recommendations we make are based the on feedback of hundreds of hiring managers, HR professionals, recruiters, and investors.
- Extensive writing and editing experience, including direct work as a Technical Production Editor for the American Psychological Association, publisher of the APA Style Guide, the foremost resource for professional writing.
- Career coaching experience for both executives and new college graduates, with a focus on the high-impact tactics that move the needle in a job search. We enjoy discussing career philosophy as much as anyone, but when it gets down to production, we know the processes that yield the most results in the shortest timeframe with the least amount of effort.
- Hundreds of connections who can help amplify your search efforts – headhunters, HR contacts, relocation services, hiring managers, software providers, executive networks. We are serious about going WAY BEYOND resumes to land you the opportunity you want.
How can I improve my LinkedIn profile without my boss noticing?
More than half of our clients share this concern. In our phone consultation, we discuss the extent to which you need to practice discretion and modify our recommendations accordingly. There are ways to attract more "wanted" attention to your profile without attracting the attention of your boss or co-workers.
There is a specific company I am interested in. What's the best way to learn about opportunities I might be a fit for there?
Now we're talking! The best first step toward a high-percentage job pursuit is to know where you want to work. We will work with you to build a focused campaign that will grab the attention of your target audience. These days it is easier than ever to research a company, and we will tie that research to the most likely method of approach.
I have experience as a contributor and a manager and want to apply to both roles. Do I need two resumes?
It is much easier to create 2 resumes than to tailor one for each job you want to apply to. With our Professional package, you have the option of a modified 2nd resume at no additional charge. Clients find this useful in the following situations:
- They need a resume for their current industry and one that is more industry-generic
- They have experience in more than one position and want the option of searching for both. For example, someone with Project Management and Product Management experience.
- They want the option of a lateral move and to apply for positions that would move them up one level.
- They want to focus their search on different “types” of companies. For example, software companies and management consulting firms.
I worked for a couple unlucky start-ups. How can you help me not look like a job hopper?
Don't worry, most people have a blemish or two on their work history. We believe that resumes are meant to function as your marketing document, not as a rap sheet. We can get creative in how we tell your story, arranging layouts and themes to display your credentials in the best possible light. We will cover the subject of "Resume Rhinoplasty" in our Phone Consultation.
Can you help me switch industries?
Through our consultation and resume writing process, we can identify universally desired attributes that transfer to different industries. We research companies based on your interests to learn what qualities they desire in their employees. and partner with you to display such content that is predictive of success on your resume, LinkedIn profile and cover letters to "connect the dots" convincingly for your target audience.