I received a call from one of my clients who received an offer to work for a new company. After she received the job offer, the manager who was hiring advised her that once they read her CV, they needed to know who wrote this unique document! It was interesting to note that she received negative feedback from others. However, she stuck to her somewhat unconventional resume and was rewarded with a fantastic job.
An Ocean of Opinions
Maybe what drives job seekers mad most of all is when they ask seven people to look over their resumes, they’ll have seven different opinions about what’s working and what’s not working with the summary. This is a problem in my job as a resume-writing professional as well. No, whatever I believe to be the best that a resume is, there will be someone who isn’t happy with something or other about it.
To make things clear and dispel the myths and legends that are a common topic of discussion regarding the writing of resumes, Career Directors International conducted surveys of Human resource professionals, recruiters, and hiring officials The Global Hiring Trends for 2012
I would encourage you to take the time to read the whole report if you are able to (see the link at the bottom of this post). It’s a short read that is full of beautiful charts and graphs. For you to get a sense of what’s the book, I’ve highlighted several of the exciting results below.
The Truth About Page Limits!
A question that pops up often with job applicants is whether their resumes should be longer than one page or even more than two pages. In the course of one of my “Top 10 Ways to Make Resume Writing Fun” webinars, a person asked whether their resume would be rejected by a business because it broke the 2-page limit. I am pleased to say that such worries are, for the most part, not actual.
Pages Preferences for Executive Resumes
In the survey, 37% of the respondents claimed that “length isn’t a problem so long that the resume includes sufficient information for making decisions”-and 8 percent of respondents actually prefer a three-page resume, as opposed to. the 6% who prefer one-page resumes! (Only 34% of respondents chose two-page outlines.) Perhaps the most important thing is that more than half of the respondents indicated they would not punish an executive candidate with the wrong resume. Satisfy their needs (only 5 percent said they would).
This is a shock to me: A number of respondents claimed that five pages were the max length they could read! Did you know that, Ladies and Gentlemen? A resume that is five pages long! I believe this fact-check is an excellent idea for executives trying to compress their resumes into two pages. It’s more important to include important information like achievements and accomplishments than it is to meet the mythical requirement for pages. A well-written resume that conveys an appealing message of what the executive is willing to accomplish for the company is almost guaranteed to be read, no matter how long.
Page Preferences for Resumes with no Executive Title
In the case of non-executive resumes, there’s more preference for two-page resumes, with 37%. There is a proportion of respondents who did not have an opinion (21 percent). One-page resumes were the preferred choice of 21% of those who responded for non-executive resumes. Only 6 percent preferred a three-page resume. I’m betting on the two-page resumes for non-executive positions!
Conclusion about the page length question: It’s really not just the size that’s important – it’s the content! A significant 54% of respondents believed that the length of the resume would not be a factor if the summary was carefully written and focused. A respondent said, “As it is as long as the individual is able to provide a reason for a number of pages and I find worth in what’s written, I’m not concerned. But if the resume contains only job-related details in 80 lines, the resume is a waste of space and time.” (The same is true for a one-page resume which doesn’t provide the results.)
The Resume Design and Format
Questions about design and format are among the top questions asked by job seekers on their lists. The most exciting question for me was regarding graphs and charts in resumes. Surprisingly enough, 33% of respondents haven’t received a resume that includes an image or chart. 24% of respondents who have seen graphs and charts found them beneficial or very useful. However, 22% thought them distracting. The results aren’t conclusive. However, they suggest that if you are in a traditional industry, it’s recommended to stick to the tried and tested bullet format. In more innovative fields, I believe graphs and charts can be an excellent way to get your ideas out there. For those who are climbing up the ladder within the same organization, Charts and graphs can prove to be highly efficient.
I was also fascinated by the reaction to reports that hiring managers and recruiters do not follow live links due to the risk of infection by viruses. This poll reveals a different picture. While only 17% do not click on hyperlinks, 62% of respondents said that they occasionally or even always click on hyperlinks if they are provided.
Concerning format, the study discovered it was Word (.doc or .docx) is the most popular format to receive resumes, but 23% of respondents preferred .pdfs.
Tooting Your Horn
I’ve started to add testimonials on every resume. Do you want to include them on your resume? Though 41% of respondents stated that testimonials wouldn’t influence their choice favorably, 29% of respondents said they could. For me, that’s enough evidence to keep my current practice of including testimonials whenever space permits. I’d rather someone who isn’t my client sings their praises rather than let them themselves gush about their work. You may want to look for a quotable line on your resume, too.
What this study has revealed to me was that there aren’t any hard and fast rules for resume writing. If you are focused on presenting your abilities and accomplishments professionally and with honesty and in a manner that is in line with your personality, I’m sure you won’t be wrong. As my client has discovered that there are many opinions floating around, and it’s impossible to know how you can be able to please all. However, in all the final analysis, you just have to impress one individual that is the person who employs you.