Resume length and feedback

I’ve completed a second draft of my résumé now after being told to shrink it from a more business-like 3 pages to a professional school recommended length of 1 page. I’ve got it down to about a page and a half now but still told it should really be 1 page. If I were your traditional 21 yr old applying to get into medical school, then I could see why 1 page would be the recommended length. He/she would have limited experience compared to we non-trads, especially with work experience. Also, we likely have more volunteer experiences and volunteer activities, maybe shadowing experiences. So, while AMCAS, to my understanding, gives you so many slots and up to so many characters, at least for a typed out resume for your pre-health advising, a little more flexibility should be given to us because we may have not just more quantity but also quality in all we have done, and therefore, would be selling ourselves short had we omitted certain experiences and descriptions.

As an:

a) a fellow med school applicant - play by the rules. there is no point in complaining. there is no point in rebelling. you must conform. (I feel for you here)

b) a fellow professional - you’re correct, most 21 year old’s resumes require a ridiculous amount of padding to make it to one page. Conversely, someone with a substantial amount of life experience will have to condense substantially to get to one page. Each circumstance is likely taken in to consideration by the reader.

c) someone who has hired many people of various ages and experience levels - NOBODY should have a 3 page resume. A 3-6+ page CV is fine, as long as it is warranted (tons of publications, a lifetime’s worth of high-level business experience (I’m talking director, VP, C-suite)), but the key here is that I’m talking about the CV - NOT THE RESUME.

A resume is a high level, high impact, overview of your career and accomplishments. As someone who hired a lot of very qualified people, if I got a resume longer than 2 pages, I was immediately put off. The reason: a resume should focus on RESULTS, not responsibilities, etc., and results don’t take much space.

Example: you were the director of a call center and were responsible for 35 people. That’s a reasonably big deal, and here’s how it should look:

-Managed all facets of high-volume call center operations (35 FTE, 320K calls/yr)

-Drove average length of call down by 22%, saving $1.3MM/annually, while customer satisfaction increased by 8%, customer retention increased by 9%.

That’s your ENTIRE entry for that job on a resume. On the CV, you might blow it up to half a page if you were there for a few years, but the resume… hit hard and keep moving.

Paradoxically, often the bigger the impact, the fewer words needed to convey the scale/scope of accomplishment. Apply this paradigm regardless of how big/little you think your experiences are in the grand scheme of things (I’m speaking here to people closer to traditional undergrad age), and you will get better results from your readers.

Long rant, I know - I’m trying to make my posts here as durable a resource as possible and applicable to as many people as possible.

The family seated in a restaurant had finished their dinner when Father Called over the waiter.

“My son has left quite a lot of meat on his plate,” explained Father, “Could you give me a bag so that I can take it home for the dog?”

  "Gosh, Dad!" exclaimed the excited boy. “Have we got a dog then?” ura…