When writing their resume, IT professionals will often rely on the advice they encounter for nontechnical resumes, advice that doesn’t necessarily relate to their circumstances. One case in point relates to the length of their resume. For hands-on IT professionals, it’s often not realistic to limit a resume to 2 pages. I commonly write resumes that are 2.5 pages long, with the 3rd page containing education, certifications, and a technology profile.
Technical Detail: Your resume needs to appeal to both HR managers and technical hiring managers. For HR you should include what you did and why you did it, but technical hiring managers aren’t satisfied with this minimal description. They want to know how you did it, and in some cases what technology you used. Providing this information takes up space.
Certifications and Professional Development: There are few industries where ongoing certifications and professional development are so crucial. Listing these items on your resume takes up even more space.
Technology Profile: Hiring managers want to know with which technologies you have current skills and recent experience. Even if you remove the old technologies, most IT professionals still have a long list of tools, processes, and methodologies to include. This can also take up a lot of space!
A recent study by the noted career association – Career Directors International – found that 3 pages are fine as long as the content is valid. The reason for this is that hiring managers don’t look at the length of a resume before reviewing it. If they like what they read on page 1, they’ll move on page 2, and so on. You may irritate a small minority of resume readers but you can’t make everyone happy. Furthermore, applicant tracking systems don’t care about the length of your resume.