1) How long should my resume be? Does it have to be one page?
You may have been told that your resume should be no longer than a page. This is a nice to have, not a must have. While it would be great if your resume was a one-pager, it just isn’t a hard and fast rule. Aim for one to two pages, and make sure everything on it is relevant, clear and concise. Don’t do anything to make what would be a two pager artificially a one pager, like making the margins really small or reducing the text size too much. We repeat: it’s fine if it’s two pages. A recruiter would much rather flip to the next page than need to read it with a magnifying glass.
2) Okay- so it can be as long as I want it to be?
At this level of experience, you’ve likely been working for quite a while. Nobody wants to read an eight page resume. Brevity is a virtue. Focus on your success story and your growth in a job rather than your responsibilities. Your job title likely conveys your seniority and level of responsibility, so don’t get too caught up in the details of your responsibilities and day-to-days. Focus on the impact and value you brought to the organization. Some examples: “I grew the X account from Y to Z”, “I brought in _ amount of new clients”, “I spearheaded our cloud migration initiative and led the company into the future.” Reframing each experience like this will help you cut out unnecessary details and save space.
2) Can I take off my first jobs? Should I? How do I decide what to keep?
You absolutely can. If it isn’t serving your story, get rid of it. We recommend including a section that says “early career” where you can list out your first jobs and highlight anything important you want to show like noteworthy companies or experiences. This way, you don’t waste space on any irrelevant details but you can still highlight what's important to you..
3) What about college stuff? Graduation dates? GPAS? Student organizations?
Don’t include your graduation year, it just isn’t relevant when you’ve been working for a while. For the rest, unless it’s really important to you, we say get rid of it. It’s just cluttering your resume and it isn’t serving you overall. An exception, however, would be if it was integral to your story. I.e. “Helping drive diversity in technology has been a passion of mine for years. In college, I started a student organization to help more women get into STEM fields.”
4) How important is LinkedIn when job searching at this level?
So important. Don’t get overwhelmed, though, it isn’t rocket science. If you’re job searching right now, do these five things:
Another great feature on LinkedIn is recommendations. You can find these by scrolling down past someone’s work experience. We encourage you to seek out recommendations from some champions of yours and to make them visible on your profile. These recommendations give your profile so much more depth and personality and help others really get a sense of who you are.
5) I have a LinkedIn profile, is that enough?
We hate to say it, but you should google yourself. If you’re applying for a senior role, your potential employers will likely do this. See what comes up and how it frames you as a potential candidate. You should have a curated internet presence. Think about what you’re being hired for and how these search results support that work. Work on curating some thoughtful results here. Some ideas: write articles (plenty of industry publications accept submissions for free, you can also write articles on LinkedIn or Medium), join a group (an industry group or to support a cause you’re passionate about), speak at an event, and get active on social medias that are indexed by Google like LinkedIn or Twitter.
6) I work at a small/ lesser known company. I'm worried others might not understand how senior I am or how much experience I have. What should I do?
We encourage you to add in some detail about your role and your organization. If you work for a large or well known company (for example, a bank), you probably don’t need to do this. Otherwise, it can be very helpful for a potential employer to understand more about you and your experience. Explain the role and how it fits into the organization’s overall mission and goals. For example: “for the past seven years, I’ve been a founding team member at a start-up dedicated to X as the New Business Sales Manager. I created and institutionalized our sales processes and helped grow the business to 80 clients.”
7) Should I list out leadership skills on my resume?
By the time you reach this level, you likely have a brand or a narrative of who you are as a leader. Take some time to think about this and what kind of a leader you’d like others to perceive you as. Then, rather than simply stating that you are a leader or listing skills, talk about your leadership style and what it’s like to work with you. Give specific examples of leadership and what it’s like to work with you.
8) What is the best way to look? How do I go about finding a new job at this level?
At this level, it’s rare that you’ll find a job applying online. Most jobs will come through referrals, networking, personal connections, or a recruitment agency. If you’re job searching right now and in a bit of a rut, here are a few things you can do.