Resume tips

Like any genre, the more examples you see the better. If you are looking for resume models, FSU’s Career Center offers a resume guide that includes helpful examples of a chronological, functional, and combined resume. The commercial site Quintessential Careers has about two dozen “real, high-quality” sample resumes of recent grads. Don’t neglect to also take advantage of Kursmark’s Best Resumes, available online through the library.

Resume length: There is no absolute rule your resume be one page, though some employers may specify one, so if yours is longer, having an alternate version couldn’t hurt. In general, the advice books suggest 1 page if you have limited experience, 2 if you have 10 yrs. or more, but, as we’ve seen, some of you are quite accomplished. About one-third of the sample resumes from from Quintessential Careers are two pages; examining these should give you a better sense of how long your own should be. (Some more advice from them here.) A few other tidbits:

From the UM Career Center FAQs:

How long should my resume be? We are less concerned with resume length than we are with resume content. If you have rich content and a compelling story that dictates two pages versus one that’s OK. There are some employers who request a one page resume so be prepared for it,  but many do not.

From a Forbes article on resume “myths“:

Myth: You must keep your resume to one page. Not true! “Page count is not as important as the number of words on the page, ” [Jacob] Bollinger [formerly a data scientist at, now at LinkedIn] says, “The number of words actually affected recruiters in a bell curve manner. So what’s the magic word count that keeps recruiters reading (aside from your work experience)? About 390 words per page.” Ann Baehr,  an executive resume writer and founder of Best Resumes of New York says one page resumes are best for early career job seekers. “Even then,  if there is a lot of valuable information that simple cannot fit on one page,  a second page is fine. I have done plenty of two page resumes for early career professionals and it has never been an issue.”

From a survey done by the Career Thought Leaders Consortium:

There is continued emphasis on “writing short and tight.” The norm for most resumes/CVs is one to two pages,  even for very experienced professionals. A survey of HR/recruiters on LinkedIn indicated an overwhelming preference for two-­‐page resumes provided there is enough value in the content to warrant a second page. Length is not the only critical factor. Of equal or greater importance is concise writing,  short paragraphs,  brief lists of bullet points,  and good organizational strategies that ensure the resume can be quickly skimmed. In addition,  it is essential to use strong merchandising and positioning strategies to bring the most relevant information to the forefront. Creating a strong impact “above the fold” – on the top half of the first page of the resume – has become increasingly critical for job seekers in one of the most competitive employment markets we’ve ever experienced.

And finally some conflicting advice from The takeaway for me here is not to get too hung up on the “rule,” but rather, to ask if you narrating your professional story effectively.

Cheers, and good luck to all.

Welcome to ENG 425


Welcome to ENG 425; I’m looking forward to meeting you all soon and working with you this semester. A few important announcements:

1. Our course website will be here, rather than Canvas.  There is no need to log in to the site, but to access protected pages you will need to enter a special username and password, which I will email to all registered and waitlisted students before the semester begins. Let me know if you need this info.

2. Please take a moment to review the working syllabus, HW instructions, and major assignments to ensure your interest in the course and to familiarize yourself with its requirements. I also recommend downloading a practice reading just to make sure everything is working properly. Let me know if you have any questions in the meantime.

See you soon.