Career Breakout: Resume length and font

Ron Davis reached out earlier this week with questions about resume length and proper use of fonts. As the topic of length is a common concern, let’s take a look at Ron’s question and our professional advice.

“I’ve read up on a lot of tips and tricks for creating resumes. It’s led to some good information, but I’ve received a bag full of mixed advice that is causing only confusion. I don’t want to screw up so can you tell me how many pages my resume should be and what size font I should use?”

Though at first glance, the answer to the page question is straight forward and simple. Overall, for a good 90% of job seekers out there, a one-page resume is not only all you need but going more than one page could do more harm than good.

Have you ever heard the cliché: Less is more? When it comes to resume length, this may be the chosen path you should take.

Feeling like a one-pager is selling you short? Feel again, but this time consider the person reading your resume and cover letter. Does he or she have time to go in-depth and read hundreds of resumes that are one page? Add another page to the mix and most readers will find boredom taking over quickly… not a good thing for you.

Catch a clue: To your advantage, many people add a ton of non-relevant fluff, thinking more pages mean a better match… another bad move.

Creating a resume several pages long in an attempt to ‘wow’ employers more often than not backfires. While these people may have good intentions, their overachieving is actually not doing them any good at all. Employers, human resources, hiring managers–whatever you want to call them–are very busy people; hand them a several page long resume and you’ve already got a strike against you. Granted, it’s hard to limit your resume to one page, but that’s exactly the point.

It is generally accepted that entry-level candidates as well as recent graduates should always use a one-pager. For senior executives, those in the medical and/or educational field, two pagers (oftentimes even more than two pages, depending upon many factors) are required. The key to career success and resume length is to make sure you include only relevant information… all backed by support.

For most, limiting your resume to one page accomplishes two impressive feats:

1) You’ve selected only the most important AND relevant aspects of yourself to show the employer, which will help them see and remember the best of what you have to offer.
2) You’ve demonstrated the ability to be concise and to-the-point; a trait that is always desirable no matter what the situation is.

Remember, to place yourself in the employer’s shoes and deliver YOUR strengths based upon the job position, industry expectations, and company research.

Catch a clue: Taking advantage of keywords and phrases (speaking the right language) from the posting and research places YOU at an advantage.

Final fact of the day, hiring managers spend between 6 seconds and 15 seconds to filter OUT resumes that don’t hit the target. As a result, you must hit the target quickly and make your shots count, especially in the top half of the resume.

As far as fonts are concerned, it is recommended that you stick to the basics. Arial, Times New Roman, and Calibri are three major accepted fonts. Font size should be anywhere between 10-12, whereas your header may be 2 font sizes larger (not smaller) than the remaining text.

If you would like our career experts to address specific questions or issues related to your career development and success, reach out by using the comment box.

For those interested in cutting-edge career books to guide you along your journey, visit www.edu-cs.com or go to Amazon and search Danny at ECS for a listing of available material.

Written by Brandon Hayhurst
Education Career Services, Your Career Document Headquarters

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Career Breakout: Mobile Madness

Several weeks ago I received the following from Julia Nicole:

I have to be honest with you, I’m on my phone more often than I am on my own computer. I’m just more comfortable with it. The other day I tried to submit a resume with my cellphone and just as I was ready to hit send, a friend of mine said it was a bad idea. I don’t understand why that would be a bad idea. Can you shed some light on the subject?”

Julia, you might be surprised to hear the answer to this question. If this were a couple of years ago, your friend might be absolutely right; however, everything in the modern world revolves around technology–especially mobile technology.

Career Tip: Methods of data transfer have evolved to include cell phone technology.

I remember just several years ago that technological limitations did not even allow cell phones to do anything but move voices… nowadays, cell phones are a lot more like computers. In many ways, come cell phones are more robust and applicable than computers so your question may even be a non-issue to most people.

Take, for instance, smartphones like iPhones and Androids. Most of them contain built-in email programs that allow you to send documents just like you would on your home computer. In fact, employers wouldn’t even be able to tell the difference between documents sent from a home computer versus documents sent via an IPhone.

Warning: I don’t recommend creating a resume on your cellphone.

Even though smart phones have apps that work as word processors, the official Microsoft Word is not available at the moment. Therefore, you cannot guarantee your resume will be created in a .doc format that is viewable by all employers.

For best results, create your resume on a computer and then send it by phone if you must.

Sending documents on a cellphone not equipped to do so is NOT in your best interest. In this regard, Julia’s friend was absolutely correct. To simplify things, here’s the fact: Smartphones are the only cell phones qualified to send proper email and documents over the Internet.

Even if you created a text-only electronic resume, text messaging should never be used to send a resume… ever. Text messaging is still considered cheap and tacky, which is a surefire way to seem unprofessional to a potential employer.

At the end of the day and more often than not, it’s simpler to just use a computer. But if you insist, smartphone email is acceptable.

I hope this answers your question and if you did send your resume (and cover letter—always), let me know if you gained the hiring managers eye and was invited back for an interview.

If you would like our career experts to address specific questions or issues related to your career development and success, reach out by using the comment box.

For those interested in cutting-edge career books to guide you along your journey, visit www.edu-cs.com or go to Amazon and search Danny at ECS for a listing of available material.

Written by Brandon Hayhurst
www.EducationCareerServices.com
Got Twitter? Shadow us @dannyatecs

Career Breakout: Artist Dyanne Parker Leads

Artist’s Square member and respected artist Dyanne Parker shares professional insight regarding inspiration and the process of capturing and expressing new ideas.

How does an artist stay inspired and get new ideas?”

Inspiration is a 24/7 thought process.

I’ve read many excerpts on this subject and have been amazed at how many self-proclaimed stumped artists there are in the world. Regarding a strict time table, sometimes it takes days or longer too actually come up with an idea that you think will amaze the world. That is, if amazing the world is what you are looking to do.

In all honesty, an artist never really knows what will amaze the world or even speak to a potential client. It is not uncommon to work on a project for a long period of time and think, oh yeah, this one will get attention. Unfortunately getting noticed may take a “long” time, if ever at all. Then again, there have been times where I randomly painted a subject, posted it online, and sold the creation on the same day.

New and fascinating ideas are everywhere.

My professional advice is to paint everything. I’ve also heard many professionals state than an artist should find their own style so that they are known and recognized for their own work. Problem is, the only way you find your passion of what and how to paint or create in any field is just do it, borrowing a phrase from Nike.

Discover beauty and paint everything. When you need inspiration, find a subject as small as an item you have around the house and paint it. Who knows, perhaps the crumb will evolve into a bold cake… in other words, even the tiniest seed can cultivate into a revolutionary position.

Again, paint everything.

As with any passion (no matter the career you find yourself in), get out of your comfort zone and discover new techniques, colors, and effects. If, during the process of painting, you become stumped or truly frustrated, take a breather and simply walk away. I have found it helpful to put work in a different light or sometimes even put it away.

Research current trends but always stay true to your heart and definitely don’t try to be someone else.

Walk, sing, shop, or even clean and see what thoughts come to you. The time away from the chore or stress may do wonders for your psychological health (and those around you).

Here’s a proven rule: For many, inspiration comes while performing the most mundane task. As we all know, great ideas come in the shower, so take a shower. Still stumped? It’s okay, just don’t stop creating.

Finally remember, even if you don’t feel that great inspiration that makes you want to jump out of bed to start your piece of work, you know that you absolutely love to paint, sing, write music, or engage in other forms of creative endeavors. If you have the passion, you WILL create. Just do it!

For those interested in seeing more of Dyanne’s artwork on Artist’s Square, take a look at:
http://artists-square.com/m/photos/browse/album/Celebrity-Wall-of-Fame/owner/DyanneParkerArt

Submitted by Dyanne Parker, Artist
Owner/Found Canvas and Cheers, Inc.
www.canvasandcheers.com

Thank you Dyanne for your helpful insight. For the artist eyeing to network with fellow peers and professionals, check out (and become a member) http://artists-square.com.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
EducationCareerServices.com
Got Twitter? Follow me @DannyatECS

Social Networking and your Resume

“This might sound like a silly question, but should I post my resume on social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter? I know they’re not really professional, but can it help me at all?”
– Tim Drake

Don’t worry, Tim. It’s actually a very good question to discuss about online networking.

Unfortunately, there is no short answer to this question. Yes, posting your resume on Facebook or Twitter can be helpful for your job search, especially considering employers are sourcing candidates on social networking sites nowadays.

Warning: Not all good things happen in the digital world.

Placing yourself completely out there in the digital world can also eliminate you from the running just as fast as a misplaced tattoo. Recent legislation makes it all so clear: what is online does NOT stay online. As a matter of fact, many companies hire individuals to scour the Internet to better acquaint themselves to their prospective (and current) employees.

Think of it this way, if you were a hiring executive and happened to see inappropriate images or statements from your next interviewee, would that affect the outcome? In terms of your resume, you definitely have the power to present yourself in the most professional manner… always professional.

Control is the keyword here. If you’re going to use your social networking site during your job search, make sure it’s completely professional. Honestly, this is hard for many people. Go ahead and test yourself and check your social networking sites… are there images, texts, or shout-outs which “could” put you in a not-so great light?

According to a recent survey, a whopping 91 percent of Facebook accounts–alone–contain inappropriate information that can be considered a red flag to employers. This includes photos, posts, and even friends.

Do you think you can manage all of your photos, posts, and friends AND keep them strictly professional? If not, then posting your resume on Facebook might not be the best idea.

Twitter, on the other hand, is a little easier to manage than Facebook. People “follow’ others because they’re interested in hearing what they have to say; therefore, if you keep your tweets professional, you will only attract professional followers who won’t be a red flag to your job search.

Keep this in mind: It only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch.

If this sound overly cautious, it’s because you should be. Social networking sites are a double-edged sword that can hurt you just as easily as they can help you, consider this your final warning!

If you would like our career experts to address specific questions or issues related to your career development and success, reach out by using the comment box.

For those interested in cutting-edge career books to guide you along your journey, visit www.edu-cs.com or go to Amazon and search Danny at ECS for a listing of available material.

Written by Brandon Hayhurst
www.EducationCareerServices.com
Got Twitter? Shadow us @dannyatecs