By Abhishek Agarwal
42 Hire, March 29, 2017 —
About two weeks ago (closer to a few months now — this lived a whole lifetime as a draft), I posted on Twitter and on Facebook about how there is absolutely no reason for your résumé to be longer than a single page if you’ve worked for 10 years or less. The post drew significant debate and discussion and this is something I feel quite strongly about, so I decided to pen my views down.
Another trigger that made me pen this down was that I’ve been actively helping startups hire through building and sharing a curated list of candidates. And the sheer number of multi-page résumés I come across is worrying if nothing else.
Purpose of a résumé
Ask yourself what purpose does it serve.
Way I see it — only one. To get you an opportunity to interview.
Not to f_ _king tell people you won a race in Standard III. It is NOT your ego massage central — please don’t treat it as such. As you grow — a lot of your older accomplishments have little meaning if any at all. Let them go.
Wear the Recruiter Hat
If you’ve been at a stage where you’ve been actively hiring yourself — this should come easier; For a minute, wear the recruiter hat.
For a particular vacancy
This is a tad worse when the person skimming is HR and not from the functional team who you’re going to be working with / for.
Résumé vs. CV vs. Bio vs. Portfolio
Technically, these mean entirely different things — yes.
In most contexts however, résumé and CV are used interchangeably.
Here’s how I’d look at these:
Résumé / CV — Single pager document, bullet points, summary of experiences — professional and academic, hint of personality traits through sharing positions of responsibilities, philanthropic work, interests.
Bio — One or two paragraphs of simple text that are a good summary of you and your key skillsets and expertise.
Portfolio — More relevant for certain profiles of individuals (designers, architects, artists, musicians), this to me is a document capturing your best work you’ve done so far.
Examples of great single pager résumés
I thought it might help if I included a few good sample one pager resumes to look at, for reference.
Cocky that I am, here’s mine as well (albeit a tad dated). But also because it may be a tad more relate-able.
Yes, you’re God’s greatest gift to mankind.
You needn’t prove that on your résumé. Just get the damn interview.
Abhishek Agarwal is an Entrepreneur (@BoldKiln) | Angel Investor (OperatorVC) | Ex-Strategy Consultant | IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Delhi |