There's a lot of discussion about the most appropriate length for technology resumes for job seekers at all levels from hands-on to senior technology executives including IT Manager, IT Director, and CIO. This is the first of two blogs discussing technical resume length. In this post, I'll address the "less is more" approach to the technical resume - and the potential downsides to that. In my next post, I'll work with flip side - technical and engineering resumes that can become too long. Unfortunately, there's still some belief in the old "one-page" rule. There's also a feeling among many great candidates that the technical resume shouldn't give too much away, but should be a teaser to increase interest, and encourage the hiring authority to call the candidate in for the interview.

But in my experience - both as a technical resume writer and as a recruiter - that just doesn't happen. As I've said before, hiring authorities are looking for the right candidate to solve their problem. The best way to do that is to show - in enough detail - what you have done in your earlier career.

So don't sell yourself short. You need to be certain that the hiring authority can clearly determine who you are, what you do best, and what you can (reasonably) be expected to do in the future.

While I do believe in giving some general background on your career duties and responsibilities, I've found it's often best - especially as a business technology executive - to focus on specific challenges, actions, and results to give enough detail to let the hiring authority know the sorts of business and technical challenges that you've solved in your career.

Now, you're probably waiting for me to give a rule for resume length. :) Of course, I can't do that - every project is different. But here are a few guidelines. Generally, beyond early career, 2-3 pages is a good rule of thumb; baring extensive list of publications, I almost never go beyond three pages. But the issue, again, isn't just length. It's richness of content. If you can encompass your technical career in 600 words, that's great. But if you need 1500, don't cut the resume short, hoping that the hiring authority will ask to see more.

Please email me if you'd like more information on how I work, or the ways in which I can help support growth in your technical career.

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