Re: Average Length of TW Resume

Subject: Re: Average Length of TW Resume
From: "Elna Tymes" <etymes -at- lts -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 12:16:37 -0800

pbw3172 -at- yahoo -dot- com wrote:

> It seems that several listers are contractors or have years of experience
> in the technical writing field. Because of my contracting history, I have
> a long resume. It is almost a full three pages. I do not want to remove
> anything on it because I feel that it contains pertinent information
> regarding application/software, documentation, and creative knowledge.
> Is a three page resume too long under today's standards for a technical
> writer with about five years of experience?

Probably. Two pages is better, although I can sympathize with your desire to
include pertinent information. How about rearranging your information so that
the top third of the first page categorizes and lists the tools and
environments (i.e., buzzwords) you're familiar with, then uses the rest of that
and the next page to explain, as briefly as possible, your relevant activities
for the past five years?

The reason is that a lot of hiring managers and HR folks scan resumes, looking
for the buzzwords, first. If you pass that screening, then they'll look at the
other stuff you've done. And even there the buzzwords are generally what get
their attention.

One problem with writing a resume is that most of us automatically think that
you have to create paragraphs, when in fact a one- or two-sentence summary for
each point works much better. Good resume-writing is something of an art, and
there's no one single style that is better than others. The only consistent
guideline I know of is that brief is better than lengthy.

Elna Tymes
Los Trancos Systems

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