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Resume Q&A

My resume is more than one page.  Is that OK?

No, not really.  Keep it to one page.  No one is going to read past the first page, anyway.  Even if you have years and years of experience, it's my opinion that a one page resume is better. The rule of thumb is to keep your resume to the number of pages the potential employer will read.  That doesn't really answer the question.  But, one to two pages would be fine.  No more than two pages.

Should I put "References Available Upon Request" on my resume?

No.  It's archaic and shows lack of experience.  Employers assume you can provide references.  If they need a list of references, they will ask.  Be ready to quickly provide your references, but wait until you are asked.  Same with letters of recommendation.

Should I put an objective at the top of my resume?

Yes.  It should be one line.  Nothing flowery.  Something like: "Accounting Manager at XYZ Corporation."  that's it.  Some believe that no objective should be used at all.  However, I feel it helps the reader know what to do with your resume and which job you want.  If you are not applying to an advertised job, include an objective.  If you are an internal candidate, no need.

What about fonts for my resume?

Use one font, except for your name, it could be in a different font.  Use different type sizes, but stick with one font.  You might use two fonts that are similar, one for headers and one for other text.  But, it's better to use just one font.

Should I use paragraphs or bullet points?

Paragraphs of 2-3 lines are OK, but use mostly bullet points.  No one has the time to read lengthy paragraphs.

How many jobs should I list on my resume?

Only include your last three positions or the last ten years whichever shows your experience in the best way.  You might show older experience in an "Other Professional Experience" section without much detail.  But, any experience older than ten years really isn't very relevant.

Should I use a graphic on my resume?

Graphics, when used tastefully can help create interest and a little brand recognition for you.  But, be careful.

What about page borders or other vertical or horizontal lines?

Use them.  Always include horizontal lines to separate sections of your resume.  Using lines where appropriate will add interest to your resume and help organize it.

Should I put anything in my cover letter that is not on my resume?

No.  You might highlight points on your resume or draw conclusions for the reader, but anything on your cover letter should be on your resume.

If I am printing my cover letter and resume, should I use fancy paper?

Be careful, an off-white color would be fine, but don't use colors or any type of design that would detract the reader's attention from the information on the resume.  Whatever you do, your cover letter and resume should match.

Should my cover letter be addressed to a specific person?

Hopefully you will have the opportunity to know who to send your resume to and may have already had some conversation with them.  If so, address your letter to them.  If not, you may simply us "Hiring Manager."  If you are mailing a resume, you must have someone's name who will receive your resume.  Electronically (Monster or Career Builder) you will probably not have anyone's name.

Should I do anything differently if I am applying for a promotion with my current employer?

No.  Treat a potential job with your current employer like any other potential job and use a cover letter and resume.  Address your cover letters to the people who would be doing the hiring and be sure to include your experience with your current employer on your resume.


"Keep your resume to the number of pages you feel the person reading it will read.  Usually, that's one page.  More years of experience could warrant more pages, but be careful.

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