Olivia Gamber: Hi guys, it’s Olivia Gamber and Kevin Kermes with Career Attraction. Today we want to talk about the biggest question we get over and over again about the resume, and that is how many pages is it, how many pages should it be? Especially if you’ve got 20 plus years of experience, it’s so hard to get that down and compacted. So today we wanted to answer the question and just be direct about what our perspective is.

Kevin Kermes: Yeah, so we arrive at this point, 20, 25, 30 years experience. You’re trying to capture everything and it’s hard to make it concise. I want to lead with an overall strategy which is be like Hemingway. If you’ve gone through some of our other training, you know that we talk about this a lot. Do more with less. Keep pairing that down. The target should be around two pages, but don’t let that be the tail that wags the dog. Here’s the big thing, number one make sure that you are being as concise as possible and constantly going through and saying, “So what? So why does this matter? Why is this important to put in there?” A lot of times we include things that we feel good about and we’re proud about, but in terms of our next evolution, as far as our career’s concerned, it’s not really all that important.

Think about the audience. What’s keeping the audience up at night? What’s standing between them and a promotion? What’s standing between them and success in their role? The other thing I’ll share with you is the psychology behind reading through one of these resumes and it goes back to The Paradox of Choice from the psychologist Barry Schwartz. What happens is we like to have choices. We like to be able to select some of the information that we’re looking at, but you reach a point, you reach a point very quickly, when there are too many choices, there’s not a tight message, there are too many things that we have to decide amongst. Think about when you go to a tapas restaurant. You get frustrated, so you’re going to push that document to the side. Whether somebody’s looking at it on their computer or where they physically have it in front of them, the message has to be tight. You start getting into three, four, five pages, you’re going to lose your audience.

Olivia Gamber: Yeah. The only thing I’ll add to that is just to recap, if you take nothing else away from this video, the more you add and try to be everything to everyone, the more your message gets diluted and people don’t remember it. Again, get really clear on what you want. Anything that’s not relevant or supporting that message, remove it.