Previous wisdom used to say that a resume, regardless of the type of job to which you are applying, should never be over a page long. However, changes in the hiring environment have led what was once a hard-and-fast rule to become part of a larger gray area in regards to what is appropriate for a clerical resume.
That being said, a longer resume does not automatically make you seem more qualified, and you will not get any more initial consideration than those applicants with a shorter resume, so it is important to focus on the nature of the content over the amount of space it takes up on a page.
In order to determine how long your clerical resume should be, a few factors must be taken into consideration.
Level of Experience
In most cases, if you have less than 10 years of applicable experience, a one-page clerical resume will be ideal. A resume is meant to serve as a personal advertisement as to why you would be a good fit for the position but is not intended to tell your entire life story. If you find yourself drifting beyond one page, consider if all of the information is being presented in the most concise fashion, or if some of it can be cut entirely.
If you have more than 10 years of relevant experience, crossing over to a second page may be a necessity. In these cases, a career summary at the top of the first page is practically a requirement in order to summarize all of the key information that pertains to the position to which you are applying. It is also important that the second page contains more than a few lines of text. If the second page is more than half white space when you are finished, you should consider trying to edit down to one page.
Covering the Relevant Information
If you have less than 10 years of experience in the field, but the job description details a large number of requirements that you are looking to cover, it is better to expand on to a second page than to leave out information that may be the difference between you being called to interview or not. This can be even more important for cases when a resume is going to be put through an automated screening process prior to being seen by a person.
Just as it was recommended before, if you must add a second page, make sure that there is enough information on it to make the second page seem intentional, and make sure your summary provides a concise overview of your qualifications for the position.
Just as making sure all relevant information is included should be a key factor, it is also important to communicate the information in the most direct way possible. A resume is not a place for embellishment or unnecessary detail. Keep the content focused by highlighting the core competencies and accomplishments that would be of the most interest to a hiring manager.
If you are interested in finding new ways to make your clerical resume stand out from the crowd, or would like a hand in finding your next position, the professionals at TempStaff are here to help. Contact TempStaff today!