Re: Average Length of TW Resume

Subject: Re: Average Length of TW Resume
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2000 10:21:08 -0800

pbw3172 -at- yahoo -dot- com wrote:

>Is a three page resume too long under today's standards for a
>writer with about five years of experience?

In my experience, only a small minority reject a resume because
it's over two pages - maybe one in four or one in five.

A lot depends, I suspect, on how your resume is arranged. When
I've hired, I've seen resumes that use an 8 point font and a 95
character to line to cram everything into two pages, and,
frankly, I am far less likely to look at these monstrosities
carefully than a four page resume with lots of bullet points that
I can quickly scan for the skills I'm looking for. For one
thing, I've always been looking for someone who can do some
typography as well as writing. A badly designed resume of ANY
length automatically disqualifies a candidate.

However, if you want to keep the size of your resume down:

1.) include a one page summary of employers and clients, genres
of tech-writing (manuals, newsletters, etc), tools, specialties
(what you're good at), and references. Put it at the start. That
way, you provide for the minority who want a short resume, but
can also provide more detail for anyone who wants it.

2.) Detail only your major job history. Either don't mention
smaller jobs, or give each small job only a line or two near the
end of your resume.

3.) Forget about any non-writing jobs unless they're relevant to
tech-writing, and, even then, treat them like a smaller job. 4.)
Consider maintaining several resumes, each one aimed at a
different type of job, and change the content or its emphasis
according to the type of job.

Despite what many people think, a resume does not have to be a
complete job history. It should be truthful, so far as it goes,
but it doesn't need to include your complete employment record. A
surprisingly large number of people neve realize this fact. Yet,
as another poster suggested, how you organize the information is
a good sign of how good a writer you are.

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
3015 Aries Place, Burnaby, BC V37 7E8, Canada
bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604.421.7189

"Truth-loving Persians do not dwell upon,
The trivial skirmish fought near Marathon . . . "
- Robert Graves, "The Persian Version"

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