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How Long Should an Executive Resume Be?

By April 23, 2018June 4th, 2018Career Tips, Resumes

If you’ve tried to write your executive resume, you may be staring at a blank page wondering where to begin—how do you capture all you’ve done concisely? Or maybe you’re having the opposite problem—how do you pare down your 10-, 15-, 20-year career into just a few pages?

This is a problem a lot of executives face as they start looking to update their resumes. Let me answer a few questions to get you on your way to create a concise document that showcases all you have to offer.

How Long Should My Resume Be?

Depending on where you are in the world, an executive resume should be between 2 and 4 pages in length. In Australia, the standard is 3 to 4 pages. For those applying for an executive position in the US, the standard resume length is a page shorter at 2 to 3 pages.

I fully understand that it’s difficult to whittle your extensive experience down to only a few pages, but ultimately that’s what a resume is asking you to do. You’re sharing what’s most important about your work for the position you’re seeking. You’re selling yourself without being verbose.

Do I Include My Whole Career?

One of the reasons you may be having a hard time keeping your resume to the desired length is that you’re trying to include too much information. A resume, especially at the executive level, shouldn’t include your entire career history. If you’ve been an executive for several years, focus your resume on your executive career only and then have an ‘early career’ section that lists out the jobs that got you where you are now.

Alternatively, if your career is longer than ten years, an early career section can also be applicable. In general, the work you’ve done over the last 10-15 years will be most pertinent to how you’ve contributed to your career. A general rule of thumb is that your most recent positions should be the focus of your resume. However, if your most pertinent experience for the job you’re seeking isn’t your most recent position, you can format your resume differently to showcase that experience.

 How Do I Pare Down All My Job Responsibilities?

If you’re still thinking of your resume as a way to list your job responsibilities, you’re approaching the document with the wrong mindset. Rather than responsibilities, share your accomplishments. By reading your accomplishments, the hiring manager will quickly be able to see how you contributed to your work and how you helped grow, sustain, and manage the responsibilities of the role.

If you share 3 to 4 high-level accomplishments per role, you’ll be able to convey your expertise while also keeping your resume length down to a few pages.

 How Do I Make the Strongest Impact on My Resume?

Honestly, hiring a professional executive resume writer will allow you to make the strongest impact on your resume. As experts in concisely writing career documents that still have a strong impression on the reader, we can help you decipher what’s most important to convey for the role you’re pursuing.

Here are a few ways we’ll make sure your resume has the strongest impact:

  • Strongly-written accomplishments
  • Eye-catching graphics
  • Pin-point writing
  • Streamlined formatting

If you’re struggling to keep your executive career history to 3-4 pages, reach out to the team at Total Resumes. We’d love to help you streamline your career to make sure your resume has the most significant impact in the all-important 6 second skim. With a 98% client interview-winning success rate, we are well-placed to help with your career advancement. Check some of our work here:

Author Carolyn Whitfield

6X TORI-Winning, Multi-Certified Resume Master & Coach ★ 12+ Yrs Expertise ★ 98% Client Interview-Winning Success Rate. As an executive resume expert who has carved a strong reputation in the resume industry, I’ve helped thousands of rising stars and executives worldwide ascend to the next step on the career ladder.

More posts by Carolyn Whitfield

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