If you have a 3-4 page resume, it might be working against your job hunting efforts. For some reason, job seekers think they have to put down everything they have ever done for fear someone will not call them. The truth is that your long resume is probably hurting you more than helping you. Here is why:

  1. When a job is posted there may be hundreds to thousands of resumes received by a recruiter or the human resources department. Their first objective is to eliminate who does not fit the profile to make the pile more manageable.
  2. The next step is to go through the consolidated stack to find hidden gems. Do not assume they spend more time on your resume if it is longer. It is more likely they are just skimming it faster, which means they will miss what you are trying to convey to them.
  3. By telling the recruiter or hiring manager everything about yourself on your four-page resume, they may think they know you better than they do. We all know they do not know everything. However, you have given them the illusion that they do know enough about you, increasing the likelihood of them making a decision independent of contacting you.

To increase your chances in the job hunt process consider:

  1. Be painfully specific about what you want to do – avoid being the ‘jack of all trades’.
  2. Eliminate or minimize all the other “stuff” in your resume – especially about the skills you have not used in ten years.
  3. Tell a concise story. It may knock you out of consideration from a number of job opportunities. The reality is you probably were never in the running for them. Honestly, ask yourself, did I really want that job? If you say yes, there are bigger issues with your job search.
  4. Convey specific measurable accomplishments without telling the whole story of how you did it. By teasing the resume reviewer, you create enough mystery; driving them to want to ask more questions. You are now in the “follow up” group. To tease effectively is an art.

Bottom line: The recruiter or hiring manager should be intrigued by your resume and say, “This person has done some interesting things and I want to learn more about what they did and how they did it”.