First, let me start by saying that a resume doesn’t have to be a certain number of pages, as there are many variables that are in-play here. With that being said, it is in my opinion that what you did 8 years ago likely should not be as detailed out as what you’re currently doing. Anything after that 8 year mark basically just dilutes your profile with content that is irrelevant to what you are working on today. Resumes that are long don’t make you more impressive.
In our field of Information Technology, the body of the resume will and should vary based on exactly what type of consultant that you are. No matter type of consultant that you are, just keep in mind that the amount of information you put under each project should be a direct reflection of that project and its duration. For example, if you were on a 6 month project, having 3 bullet points is too little and having 20 is too many.
One of the questions I get asked all of the time is: “How should I format my resume?” While I don’t think there is one simple format, there are several ways to go about it and I do believe there are some guidelines to follow. At the end of the day… no Talent Acquisition Managers want to see or read a resume that is 16 pages long. The same goes for clients. Resumes that are actually super long are super annoying with useless and outdated information…
When it comes to format my advice is:
- Make sure your first and last name is at the top of the page (I have seen 1000s of resumes with first name or initials). Have a title and spell it out. Be a Senior SAP HCM Payroll Consultant, not a Sr. SAP HCM PY Cons. Just make sure your title reflects your experience!
- If you use a summary, then keep it simple and make sure it’s an accurate reflection of your experience, specialties, industries, languages, functional and technical skills, etc. (No more than a 1/3 of page at the very most.)
- Obviously, you will list your project work history from most recent moving backwards. Your projects should be listed with the following:
“Client Name” January 2014 – February 2015
“Type of project”
* bullet points
- When you are listing duties and responsibilities, it is absolutely imperative you do not write in paragraph form. Nobody in their right mind wants to read a resume in paragraph form. Use bullet point formatting!!!
- Keep the bullet points from 7-12 per project and be careful what you list. It seems like 95% or more of people list stuff they didn’t actually work on.
- As you work down the resume, be precise with:
- Education/Training/Certificates and dates
- Professional Memberships
Here are some additional suggestions:
- Make sure you the same font and sizing throughout the resume
- Do not bold bullet points regardless of the position you may going for
- Make sure whatever information goes into the body of the resume, you can back it up in a interview
- Make the resume has an attractive look to it
- Always be open to a new format that could enhance your current look
- Do not write an “Objective” at the top… we don’t care about “Objectives”
In conclusion, I have seen tens of thousands of resumes over the past 16 + years, but yet I can honestly say probably less than 1% of those resumes are acceptable or what I would call up to standard. My final piece of advice would be to:
- Be more consistent with everything (spacing, font size, same font, etc.)
- Keep it to 6 pages if you are a consultant that has been around for a while
- Use the spelling and grammar tab
- Keep your information precise (no fluff)
- Details need to directly reflect who you are and what you have done