How long should your sales resume be?
If you’re a sales professional, a crisp resume is a must. But the more experience you have, the longer the resume usually becomes. Most people “update” their resume by adding the new job to the top of the page and call it a day.
But Sonja, I heard a three page resume is fine.
Just about everyone from your next-door neighbor to your old boss has an opinion on your resume.
In fact, the more people you ask, the more opinions you’ll get!
And of course, these views will often contradict each other.
How do you know what to do?
Who should you listen to for advice?
Take it from a recruiter—we look at thousands of resumes over the course of a year. We review over 250 a day and depending on the situation, sometimes even more. We make decisions on who to interview based on LinkedIn profiles, referrals, and resumes.
5 Reasons Why Your Resume Should be Two Pages
1. People Have Short Attention Spans: Resumes are skimmed, not read. And if your resume is too long, you won’t be called.
No call, no interview.
Your resume should get hiring managers and recruiters to pick up the phone and call you.
2. There’s Never Enough Time in a Day: Recruiters have 25-50 jobs to fill at once. And we always more applicants than jobs. For every opening, there are at least 250 applicants.
If a recruiter has 25 open requisitions to fill, they will review 6,250 resumes or more!
Needless to say, recruiters do more than skim resumes, so they are very short on time.
So KISS, and keep it to one or two pages.
3. Craft the Right Messaging: Resumes should be tailored to an audience. If you’re sending cold resumes out, think about your reader and adjust your messaging accordingly.
4. Stop at fifteen years: It’s easy to get attached to something on our resume. Maybe it’s that stellar performance you had at IBM nineteen years ago. But no matter how much experience you have, your resume should cover the last ten to fifteen years, and not more.
If you want to provide more work history, keep a master resume outlining your full work history and submit it later in the process if requested.
Although it may seem impossible to get 10 -15 years into a few pages, anyone can make it happen with the right amount of editing.
If you find yourself struggling to eliminate chunks of your resume keep the focal point on your last three roles, that’s what matters most. Remove bullets from older positions because these accomplishments become less valuable over time. Although it may be painful at first, once you get started, it’ll get easier.
5. Your Resume Makes a Rapid Impression: Most resumes get 6 seconds of love and attention. Yes, it seems short considering it took you 10 years to earn those achievements and at least 8 or more hours to type them up. But think about meeting someone for the first time. Humans make rapid decisions based on first impressions. Sure, it’s not fair, but it’s reality.
Consolidating your greatest achievements into two pages makes it easier for hiring managers to visually see your successes at their own break-neck pace.
Every word on your resume needs to work hard at getting you an interview. Hiding your hard-won accomplishments in a cluttered Word document only sells you short.
One page for some, two pages for the rest of us
Resume length is critical and is one of the few instances where less is more. Here are the rules that won’t let you down:
If you have five years or less experience, one page.
If you have ten years of experience or more, two pages.
Consolidate aging experience, eliminate bullets that tout ‘coordinating,’ ‘administering,’ and other actions. Instead, make room for your achievements, goal attainments, and awards.
If your resume is three-pages or gasp, more….you have some editing to do. But try it and see if you don’t land more interviews.