Monday, July 2, 2012

700 Words: Perfect Resume Length?

Your resume is not about you. 

Or rather, it's not a place to include everything you've ever done that's even vaguely praiseworthy. Leave off your blue ribbon from the 2nd grade science fair. Your hobby clog-dancing. Even your first several jobs (if you've got more recent, relevant credentials) as dog-walker, roller-coaster operator and pole-dancer (even if you did manage to do them all at the same time).

The first link offers a scientific breakdown of the "perfect" length for your resume. Your mileage may vary, as the post is careful to mention. 

The second link offers a mindset. Your resume is a marketing tool--nothing more, nothing less. If you were selling hairbrushes with natural boar bristles, would a buyer really want to know that the pigs wore pink ribbons before they were slaughtered? I didn't think so. 

The third link offers an alternative. If you've got good stuff that doesn't fit on your resume, why not set up an online portfolio? Voila! Your primarily marketing tool still passes the "6 seconds to read it" test, and you've set up material for prospective employers who want to dig deeper and see more.

By the way, an online portfolio does not have to cost money. Most of the cloud storage services you can access for free offer you the opportunity to make links publicly available to anyone (Google, DropBox, Box). Another tip: run your link through a URL shortener (Google, TinyURL). That way, you won't be asking prospective employers to type in a looooong string of random characters. Double check results to see whether material is linking and displaying the way you want it to look.

PS: Why don't I run the links on my own blog through shortners? First, because I make sure they are all clickable (you don't have to type them). Second, because I want to be transparent about where I'm getting information.

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