Resume Help/Re: Resume Guidance


Dr. Converse,

It was my pleasure to have watched your video, "Why your Resume goes in the shredder". It was a very useful session as it helped me identify improvement areas in my Resume. I am pursuing my Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and I am actively looking for jobs after graduation in May 2016.

I have a question about the length of the resume. At the moment, my Resume is close to two pages in length. My concern and my question is, does that make the employer not go through my Resume?

I did try to shorten it, but I can no longer reduce as I don't want to remove key information about my Projects in my current Masters program. I feel they are relevant as they will highlight where I used my skills. What is your view on including projects and the length of the Resume?

I eagerly look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks and Regards,

Shreenivaas Devarajan

Hi Shreenivaas,

As a direct answer to your question, the length of your resume and the inclusion of projects are less important considerations than how you construct the document.  In other words, it isn't WHAT you submit so much as HOW you submit it.

There are times when a resume needs to be longer than a page, and there are times when the inclusion of extra information is definitely a plus for you.  But, how you do it is the key.  Ask yourself the question about your own resume: "If I was an employer, could I scan this in eight seconds?"  If not, what is it about your resume that makes it so compelling that an employer will take more time than they would on any other resume?

I know you feel that you can no longer cut anything from the resume as it stands, but my experience tells me that is probably not true.  So, what I suggest is that you send me your resume attached to an email to the address below.  Let me take a look at it and give you an evaluation.  If, as you say, it is as condensed as possible, then I will tell you to use it as it stands.  But my guess is that there are ways to make it more lean and that, in turn, will make it work in your favor.  But I can't tell you definitively without actually seeing the document.

I have had lots of people from IEEE send me their resumes to look at since the webinar; I am glad you found it useful.  Now, let's take the next step and see if your resume works for you the way it should.

I look forward to helping you!

Best wishes,

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Ralph D. Converse, Ph.D.


I can answer questions about general job searches, resume construction, crafting an effective cover letter, and how to prepare for, and conduct, a winning interview. My speciality is the field of education, but I also have extensive background in business and administration. I know what works and what doesn't work and I can make your application package stand out from the rest ... because that is what you have to do.


I have interviewed for, and held, dozens of jobs in a career going back more than 42 years. I have taught at all educational levels including middle school, high school, community college, and university. In more than 42 years of experience on both sides of the job-search process, I have interviewed hundreds of applicants and have reviewed literally tens of thousands of job application packages. I am the author of 12 Mistakes That Got Your Job Application Rejected ... And How To Fix Them! I conduct workshops for job seekers in a variety of locations every year.

Music Educator's Journal, Teaching Music, Music and American Culture (forthcoming, 2013), Last Teacher Standing: The Job is Yours Now! and 12 Mistakes That Got Your Job Application Rejected ... And How To Fix Them!

B.A. New Mexico State University; M.Mus. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D. University of California and University of North Texas

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