Originally posted on Quora, one user asked:
There you are, late one evening, rushing to update your resume so you can respond to a hot job opportunity. But the moment your fingers touch the keyboard, your brain serves up the question that bedevils every job seeker:
Should your resume be one page or two?
Employers ask for a lot of things - cover letters, salary histories, desired salary, first-born son…the list goes on. But do you have to comply with all those requests, every single time?
The hiring manager was emphatic, "Anyone who is too lazy to write a great cover letter is not worth considering." But as he said that, he and I both knew other hiring managers in his organization who never even glanced at cover letters. Were they too lazy to read them?
How employers share job openings and how candidates apply for jobs is increasingly out of step with how humans actually process information. Think about it. In our tablet and smartphone world, could there be a worse way to hire than the hidebound ritual of:
For most people, job hunting is uncomfortable, unfamiliar, and haphazard. It's really common for people to accept a mediocre job offer simply because they couldn't bear the thought of one more day of job hunting.
The CEO put down the resume of a potential chief operating officer candidate and said, "This guy has worked for some of the top organizations in our field, but I don’t think he’s ready for this job." She explained, "I see he launched new initiatives, but he did not indicate what the impact was … was it $10,000 or $5 million?" In his resume, the COO candidate had mostly listed his responsibilities, but not the impact of his accomplishments. It was easy to see that his experience was relevant, but without knowing the scale of his accomplishments, it was impossible to see the significance of what he had achieved. So he was passed over for other candidates who demonstrated tangible achievements on their resumes.
If you haven't looked for a job recently, you might find that a few things have changed. Slapping together a resume and shotgunning it out to positions you saw posted online will usually result in ... nothing at all. Really. Don't bother.
If you already have a job, but know it’s time for a change, what’s the first thing you do? Update your resume?
One of the biggest sources of job seeker frustration is sending resumes out and then hearing nothing back. It feels pointless and futile — because for most people, it is pointless and futile. If you don’t have the kinds of skills that employers are desperate to hire, then your resume will not be much help to you, and your job search might take a while.