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chucky almendinger
01-31-2002, 10:40 AM
My friend is looking for an I/S job. Her outplacement couselor (she's laid off) said resumes should be 2 pages long? I thought this was wrong, with the exception being listing publications or something like that.

Thoughts would be appreciated.

The Mister
01-31-2002, 11:26 AM
<font size=2>See, until recently I was taught that a resume should always fit on a single page. But now people don't mind at all seeing something 2 or even 3 pages long. I wouldn't go beyond that, though, unless you're submitting it to a company that does those automatic scan-for-keywords things. In those cases you are encouraged to write your life story if you're so inclined, just to get it past the non-human screening process.

Dr T Non-Fan
01-31-2002, 11:53 AM
Remember that many of the hiring personnel are baby boomers, and they're getting into the heavy optical prescriptions years. I.e., a larger font will get you noticed. A few extra pages are very light.

Anonymous
01-31-2002, 11:55 AM
I'm a graduating student with a fair bit of intern experience, my resume is two pages, this is the standard at my university. Anything more than that is overkill, anything less and you're leaving stuff out or underqualified. Make sure the highlights are placed prominently, my second page is the miscellaneous extras, important but probably not going to make or break getting an interview. On the other hand at a higher level CV's or resumes get quite large, my dad's a prof and when he applies for a position he sends a package 20-30 pages long.

The Mister
01-31-2002, 12:01 PM
On 2002-01-31 11:55, Anonymous wrote:
On the other hand at a higher level CV's or resumes get quite large, my dad's a prof and when he applies for a position he sends a package 20-30 pages long.<font size=2>I was under the impression that the university hiring process was different in that regard. i.e., you pretty much submit summaries of every research project you've ever done @ the PhD level.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

minnesota
01-31-2002, 12:11 PM
Academic resumes are quite a bit longer than business resumes. I have seen many academic ones, they are typically 10-50 pages long, listing publications, speaking engagements, education and coursework, results of student evaluations of their classes, etc.

M.
01-31-2002, 12:25 PM
I agree with the anonymous poster above that, if you're going to send a two-pager, the most important details should be on the front page. People are basically lazy. If you don't grab someone's attention with the first page, they often won't bother to flip to the second.

Toll Free
01-31-2002, 12:55 PM
I/S resumes are a completely different animal than "normal" resumes, such as those for actuaries. (And totally different from a curriculum vitae, which is how I would classify a "20 page professor's resume".)

I/S employers typically want to know ALL relevant experience an applicant has. Because that is often going to be several projects with several employers, the resumes have a tendency to get quite long: in fact, 4-5 pages would not be considered extreme for certain positions.

As far as actuaries are concerned (especially student-level positions), if you can't say it in one page, I doubt that you actually need the second, and could land the whole thing in my circular file if I was feeling surly.

Not Mike
01-31-2002, 01:07 PM
I think two page resumes are now becoming the norm for experienced hires, but for your first job out of college??? I mean, is that job at Arby's a vital part of your past... you can EASILY fit all of your academic information and good job experience on one page (as a college grad).... more than that just looks like your trying TOO HARD to impress someone....

openminded
01-31-2002, 02:20 PM
...

Anonymous
01-31-2002, 05:24 PM
Surprising as it may sound, unless your resume is excruciatingly long, the content matters a lot more than the length. Noone is going to select you or not select you based on having 2 pages versus 1.

It is, however, a good idea to get any eye-grabbing info on the first page.

Troy McClure
01-31-2002, 06:33 PM
On 2002-01-31 17:24, Anonymous wrote:

It is, however, a good idea to get any eye-grabbing info on the first page.


If you send me your resume, just assume that I didn't look at page 2 until (maybe) 5 minutes before your interview.

If you are an academic (lots of publishing), I will read page 2, assuming that I understand what you are doing.

Anonymous
02-01-2002, 12:58 AM
On 2002-01-31 18:33, Troy McClure wrote:
If you send me your resume, just assume that I didn't look at page 2 until (maybe) 5 minutes before your interview.


If I send you my resume, just assume that I expect it to get more attention than that if you want to make use of my considerable talents.

Troy McClure
02-01-2002, 06:00 AM
On 2002-02-01 00:58, Anonymous wrote:

If I send you my resume, just assume that I expect it to get more attention than that if you want to make use of my considerable talents.


If you think you are so talented that anybody is going to bother to read page 2 of your resume, you greatly overestimate your own importance, and are very naive. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Anonymous
02-01-2002, 11:51 AM
Why not look at the second page?? - When I am hiring I look at all the info sent to determine whether or not to bring them in for an interview... you'd offer an interview without looking at the second page?.. I might not look at the second page if there was enough on the first page to turn me off - but why set up an interview when info on the second page may make them a less suitable candidate???

The Mister
02-01-2002, 11:55 AM
On 2002-02-01 11:51, Anonymous wrote:
When I am hiring I look at all the info sent to determine whether or not to bring them in for an interview... you'd offer an interview without looking at the second page?.. I might not look at the second page if there was enough on the first page to turn me off - but why set up an interview when info on the second page may make them a less suitable candidate???<font size=2>Heh...

Page 1: [many qualifying credentials]
Page 2: "Oh, by the way, I'm also a proud member of Al Qaida."

Maybe Troy should be more careful. :wink:

Anonymous
02-01-2002, 01:04 PM
On 2002-02-01 06:00, Troy McClure wrote:

If you think you are so talented that anybody is going to bother to read page 2 of your resume, you greatly overestimate your own importance, and are very naive. Sorry to burst your bubble.


Oh, I get it, you are so capable of a quick analysis that from one post you can determine that I overrate my usefulness and that I am naive. All without knowing anything else about me. Impressive ... (for the record, I have advanced degrees, relevant publications and substantial and varied experience.) I don't think this makes me special relative to other candidates, but it warrants a look at the second page.

Like I said, if you want me to work for you, page 2 is not too much to ask. If nothing else, it will select against supervisors who do not take managing seriously.

L. Mo
02-01-2002, 01:19 PM
Anonymous, I think you underestimate how many resumes a hiring manager gets. We have someone whose job it is to screen the resumes received (as well as other stuff related to the actuarial student program), and frankly, she doesn't have the time to read multiple pages from everyone. She also conducts phone interviews to see if we should bring you in.

The actuaries who would be on the schedule to interview you have other things to do. They may not get a chance to look at your resume until the morning of.

Personally, any fresh-out-of-college 22-year-old with a 2 page resume would look presumptuous, and I'd be less likely to read past the first page.

Dr T Non-Fan
02-01-2002, 01:48 PM
Smaller resumes help when the reader takes into account outside info.

Example:
"BS Math, MIT 3.6 GPA; SOA/CAS Exams 1, 2, and 3 passed." (end of resume)

The less universally accepted admirable accomplishments, the longer the resume might have to be.

Troy McClure
02-01-2002, 06:57 PM
On 2002-01-31 18:33, Troy McClure wrote:
If you are an academic (lots of publishing), I will read page 2, assuming that I understand what you are doing.




On 2002-02-01 13:04, Anonymous wrote:
Impressive ... (for the record, I have advanced degrees, relevant publications and substantial and varied experience.) I don't think this makes me special relative to other candidates, but it warrants a look at the second page.

Like I said, if you want me to work for you, page 2 is not too much to ask. If nothing else, it will select against supervisors who do not take managing seriously.


You want me to read a 2 page resume, but you will argue with me without even reading my two-line post? Are you kidding?

Of course I will read about your publishing, if it's not too advanced for me to follow.



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Troy McClure on 2002-02-01 18:58 ]</font>

Troy McClure
02-01-2002, 07:04 PM
If you haven't published, I need to know your degree, including level (BS, MS, PhD), institution, and GPA. I need to know your exams, if it's an actuarial job. I need a rough outline of your work, including companies, line of business and primary responsibilities. And, any job you had more than 12-15 years ago should be two lines on your resume (at most), because any technical skills are obsolete, and any soft skills are very rusty, unless you have kept them up on subsequent jobs. Tough to justify two pages for that.

All of the rest of the information I need will require a conversation.

Troy McClure
02-01-2002, 07:06 PM
On 2002-02-01 13:04, Anonymous wrote:
Like I said, if you want me to work for you, page 2 is not too much to ask. If nothing else, it will select against supervisors who do not take managing seriously.


And if you want me to hire you, succintness is not too much to ask. I would tell you why, but Elmo explained it better than I could.

L. Mo
02-07-2002, 07:34 PM
Had lunch with our Actuarial Hiring Manager (I forget her real title). Filled her in on the discussion. Basically, if you're a fresh out of college person, 1 page is plenty. "Experience" should be relevant jobs, not every job you ever had.

Tips for fitting it all in 1 page:
-use a smaller font (10-12pt is usually fine)
-shrink the margins on all 4 sides.
-when you list things, rather than a bulleted list (like this one!), use commas.
-condense what you can.

Here's a perfect condensing example: say you worked for the same company every summer during college (like I did), different departments, but same basic job. Rather than list each separately, have one entry, with the dates as "Summers 1997-2000". You just saved space right there.

Don't put stuff on your resume just to make it look impressive. If the interviewer wants for information, s/he'll ask...and believe me, s/he WILL ask! And when they do, your answer should not be "Well, if you see here on my resume, I explained all that."

End of lesson. Back to our regularly scheduled program!

Troy McClure
02-07-2002, 09:18 PM
Good advice from my favorite red furry monster. If you are just starting out, I suggest reading it carefully. Mention everything important on your resume, but don't put in too much detail, you want to be able to talk about it in an interview and get some discussion going, and too much detail on your resume can kill that.

CJL
02-08-2002, 11:16 AM
I've never pitched a resume due to length or had the length play a factor in whether or not there was an interview and/or offer. However, I ALWAYS notice if it's longer than one page (and think to myself that they made a mistake). I have yet to see a multi-page resume where the second page was justified.

Of all the actuarial students I've interviewed, and all the actuaries I've worked with professionally, not a single one had enough experience out of college to to take need a second page on a resume.

With higher level positions, I can see the argument for longer resumes. However, of the few examples I've seen, the extra information seems more like an attempt to pre-answer interview questions than highlight qualifications.

I haven't been exposed to executive-level hiring (e.g. Chief Actuary), but a resume for any position up to that level ought to be one page.

M.
02-08-2002, 11:30 AM
The only two-page entry-level resume I ever saw that seemed reasonable was one where the second page was only references.

However, they could just as easily have said "References available upon request" at the bottom of a one-pager.

The funniest thing I've seen on a resume was somebody detailing their distinguished bowling career. I'm not kidding. Not only was it listed, but it was mentioned in THREE separate lines! I almost wanted us to interview the person just to see what kind of goofball would do such a thing.

42
02-08-2002, 03:15 PM
As somebody who's read hundreds of actuarial resumes, I can say that about half were one page and half were two pages. It really didn't matter to me, as long as the info was relevant. If you need three pages, you're either rambling, job hopping, or describing your bowling technique in too much detail. And there really is something to DTNF's first post about baby boomers. (Where's my four-eyed emoticon? :grin: )

As for an I.S. resume, I would expect it to be longer than an actuarial resume because it is much easier to succinctly describe actuarial experience: FSA 1999, 4 years in product development (term, second-to-die), 2 years in financial reporting (GAAP). Try doing that with an I.S. position!

Dr T Non-Fan
02-08-2002, 03:39 PM
42, to paraphrase a great line from a so-so movie: "It's a demographic certainty."

Laser surgery will take off more, as baby boomers tend to be more vain than earlier cohorts.

Buru Buru
02-08-2002, 07:30 PM
I have been involved with the college recruiting process and find it quite humorous to see the amount of useless information that recent grads put on their resume to make it appear longer. I think that there is absolutely no reason for an entry level candidate to have a resume longer than 1 page. Information such as excellent interpersonal and communication skills should just be left off. Leave it to the interviewer to judge these skills. The resume really only needs the basics; SOA exams, GPA and maybe SAT score. What truly counts is the interview process. A person with no personality will not get hired regardless of how long the resume is.

Ammie
02-08-2002, 08:21 PM
I'm surprised by the comments here.

When I was in first year university preparing for co-op placements, the career counsellors suggested we limit our resume to 2 pages.

By the time I graduated, I had worked at 3 different companies, plus I wanted to highlight the fact I had worked part time while in school. Add to that my extensive extra curricular, and a readable font, and I was at 1.75 pages.

Now that I've been full-time for long enough, I would take all the co-op experience off the resume, but couldn't possibly fit it to 1 readable page.

The current style of resume that I have seen tends to focus on accomplishments, and I just can't see how you could list your education, exams, career objective, and the company names with job titles in 1 readable page.

Maybe this is a country-specific thing. I've never heard of tossing out a resume for being 2 pages. Might get a snide remark if it was 3 or more pages. But then again, I work in consulting, and the thing that makes me snide about a resume is presentation. I like a simple, "clean" resume. More than one grammatical or typographical error and I lose interest.

L. Mo
02-08-2002, 11:08 PM
I think it's the "co-op" thing ya'll have in Canada. We didn't have those where I went to school. Mostly, you'd have a summer internship or 2. I know some schools in the states do the co-op thing, but not everywhere. If the experience is relevant, then it should be included.

Also, as an aside, we had an intern candidate last spring who had, under her "skills": obedient! That's the most amazing thing I've seen on a resume (which was only 1 page, by the way).

Troy McClure
02-09-2002, 01:01 AM
On 2002-02-08 23:08, elmo wrote:
Also, as an aside, we had an intern candidate last spring who had, under her "skills": obedient!


I would hire her!

Troy McClure
02-09-2002, 01:03 AM
Saw a resume a while back (I am not making this up) that said something to the effect of: "Schlong long enough to embarass a porn star". We assumed that he had roommates that had played a prank on him.

Troy McClure
02-09-2002, 01:06 AM
On 2002-02-08 20:21, Ammie wrote:
When I was in first year university preparing for co-op placements, the career counsellors suggested we limit our resume to 2 pages.


What could you possibly put on a resume as a first year student? No relevant work experience, not many exams....

Not trying to be argumentative, I just have no idea.

Troy McClure
02-09-2002, 01:58 AM
I am really confused by Ammie's post. Just for the sake of discussion, below is my resume, with lots of details changed to protect the guilty (while I was somewhat creative with the fake details, this is pretty representative of how verbose my actual resume is). What else do you need to include?


Troy McClure
Springfield, USA
Youmayremembermefrom@suchfilmsas.com

Objective
Some vague sentence that makes it sound like this is the ideal job for me.

Education & Certification
A major US University that is not bad, BS in Math.
If I think they will ask for it, I may include my embarassingly low GPA.
ASA, MAAA, CFA
Expectation of FSA in June 2003

Experience
Name of firm for my first post-college job, which is not much related to what I do now.
Position: Scrub
Sentence that nobody in my current line of business would understand
Another sentence that nobody in my current line of business would understand

Really Big Insurance Company
Position: Actuarial Peon, Commercial Account Pricing
Faked projections related to new Product implementation
Improved team's productivity by continually poking associate we lovingly referred to as "sleepy"
Managed systems implementation of new product
Managed to escape department before the stupid programmers screwed everything up

Position: King actuary of D&O dealmaking
Priced large accounts for Fortune 500 Companies
Effectively worked with underwriters, brokers, and clients, none as bad as Flora's
Led team of 6 people, including students and support staff, most of whom were failures through no fault of mine
Helped develop underwriting standards to prevent insuring any Andersen-audited companies

A Large employer of Consulting actuaries
Position: Grand actuarial Pooh-ba in Minot, North Dakota office
Sold over $200 million worth of projects while billing 8,000 hours per year
Primary work included valuation and financial reporting
Secondary responsibilities included development of firmwide tracking system for develpment of intellectual capital

References
Available on request (but please don't because I agreed to pay these people if you called)


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Troy McClure on 2002-02-09 02:01 ]</font>

Elisha
02-09-2002, 02:40 AM
Troy,
Absolute classic. I'm going to have to copy and forward that along.

Minerva
02-09-2002, 02:34 PM
:lol: Troy!

I'll second Troy's viewpoint here. I changed jobs 2 years ago after MANY years in the industry and my resume was 1 page, including some nice formatting and 12-point type (I'm one of those boomers!). I worked hard to keep it more succinct than most of my recent posts and tailored it to what would catch the chief actuary's attention most and lead to discussions during which I could describe how I had managed such stellar accomplishments. :razz:

Got the job - go figure :roll:

Troy McClure
02-09-2002, 04:28 PM
Glad you liked it, I put in a lot of effort. Took me almost 40 minutes - twice as long as I spent on my actual resume. It's a lot harder to fabricate silly job stuff for a fake resume than it is to fabricate serious job stuff for an actual resume :wink:

Ammie
02-09-2002, 04:43 PM
One sentence as a career objective seems on the short side. I think one sentence stating the objective, one sentence as to how you have and plan to achieve it, then another sentence as to why this objective is suitable fro you.

I would leave off the references line Troy. That'll make your resume even shorter. :wink:

Possibly add a skills section and an interests section.

I agree that a first year co-op student could easily be one page. I had three jobs in high school, two of which were concurrent, plus a mitful of extra curricular. This shows an "ability to successfully manage multiple tasks concurrently". :lol: A skills section can be very important on a student resume, including things like software knowledge, programming skills, and comments like "ability to work independently and as a team player", or some other similar comment.

I'd consider passing on an obedient student (seriously). I'd rather have someone who asks me lots of decent questions, and not just do what I tell them to. Now if they asked the questions, thought about the answers, and then proceeded to make the right decisions, that would be okay.

_________________
http://www.emoticons.f2s.com/happy/yippee.gif http://www.theunholytrinity.org/cracks_smileys/kao/otn/cat.gif

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Ammie on 2002-02-09 16:45 ]</font>

Troy McClure
02-09-2002, 04:57 PM
On 2002-02-09 16:43, Ammie wrote:
Possibly add a skills section and an interests section.

A skills section can be very important on a student resume, including things like software knowledge, programming skills, and comments like "ability to work independently and as a team player", or some other similar comment.

I'd consider passing on an obedient student (seriously). I'd rather have someone who asks me lots of decent questions, and not just do what I tell them to. Now if they asked the questions, thought about the answers, and then proceeded to make the right decisions, that would be okay.


I consider statements like "ability to work independently and as a team player" to be wasted space. Obviously, most people feel that way about themselves, and the rest of the people are going to put that on their resume regardless because they think it's a good thing to put there. There is really no good way to put soft skills on your resume, for the most part. If you can work independently and as a team player, why not just put "ability to work"? Of course, why would you put that on your resume, it's kind of assumed based on the fact that you are applying for a job....

I would, however mention software and programming on my resume as a student, I would not now (some of it's not necessary, the rest is assumed). And as for the obedient girl... oh, forget it, I better not say what I really think.

Troy McClure
02-09-2002, 05:07 PM
On 2002-02-09 16:43, Ammie wrote:
I would leave off the references line Troy. That'll make your resume even shorter. :wink:


I agree with this, but a recruiter insisted that I should still have it on, because some companies would want references, and I shoudl invite them to ask - they will look at me askance if I do not. I have never had a company ask me for references, and it would honestly be a (very small) strike against them if they did - of course I can find three people who will tell you I am a smart, hard-working guy. If I didn't have three people who could say that honestly, then I would pressure some less-honest friends of mine to do it for money.

42
02-11-2002, 03:06 PM
We always asked for references, and we always checked them. I know you'd think you wouldn't get much dirt from them, but you'd be surprised at what some people would say!! :eek:

L. Mo
02-11-2002, 03:54 PM
42, according to our HR department, any calls for a reference are to be forwarded to them, and all they do is verify dates of employment. Legal thing.

42
02-11-2002, 04:03 PM
They're missing out on the good dirt. (Like whether the candidate likes to dance with furry, animated creatures! :wink: )

L. Mo
02-11-2002, 04:05 PM
On 2002-02-11 16:03, 42 wrote:
(Like whether the candidate likes to dance with furry, animated creatures! :wink: )


who doesn't?

42
02-11-2002, 06:19 PM
The real question is: would you rather have an employee who is "obedient", or one who dances with furry, animated creatures? :wink:

Troy McClure
02-11-2002, 10:26 PM
On 2002-02-11 18:19, 42 wrote:
The real question is: would you rather have an employee who is "obedient", or one who dances with furry, animated creatures? :wink:


Both, please!

L. Mo
02-12-2002, 10:34 AM
I knew there was a reason I like you, Troy!
:smile:

42
02-12-2002, 10:37 AM
Elmo, I'll get out my furry red suit. :wink:

42
02-12-2002, 10:39 AM
Troy, LOL at the phony resumé! You'd love my company's top ten list of things NOT to do at interview!

Troy McClure
02-12-2002, 04:27 PM
On 2002-02-12 10:39, 42 wrote:
Troy, LOL at the phony resumé! You'd love my company's top ten list of things NOT to do at interview!


And they are...

42
02-12-2002, 06:17 PM
I started a separate thread: "Interview Bloopers".

Nanae7
02-13-2002, 09:54 AM
I had just recently done research on resumés and References should be left off and most of the time, the objective is not needed either. The employer knows your objective is to get that job so it's just a waste of space. I'm an entry-level student and got mine in 1 page with creative use of some tables and formatting.

42
02-13-2002, 10:13 AM
For actuarial jobs, I agree with Nanae7. The only time listing your Objective is necessary is if you are looking for something that's different from the typical actuarial job. For example, a job that is about 50% Actuarial and 50% Systems. (OK, I guess in some places, that IS the typical actuarial job.)

Troy McClure
02-13-2002, 05:52 PM
On 2002-02-13 09:54, Nanae7 wrote:
I had just recently done research on resumés and References should be left off and most of the time, the objective is not needed either. The employer knows your objective is to get that job so it's just a waste of space. I'm an entry-level student and got mine in 1 page with creative use of some tables and formatting.


This is only true if you are going through a recruiter or giving the resume to an actuary. Even if you think it is obvious, you should always have an Objective on a resume going to an HR person. JMHO.

davespencer
02-14-2002, 09:04 AM
Earlier Dr. Nan referred to larger font. I strongly recommend 12. Anything smaller is harder to read for those of us that need strong prescription glasses, and if faxed, the smaller fonts tend to blur.

The Mister
02-14-2002, 12:13 PM
On 2002-02-14 09:04, davespencer wrote:
Earlier Dr. Nan referred to larger font. I strongly recommend 12. Anything smaller is harder to read for those of us that need strong prescription glasses, and if faxed, the smaller fonts tend to blur.<font size=2>Dang... mine's 10. Anyone surprised? :razz:

Oh, and it's <font face="Times New Roman">Times New Roman</font>, which is smaller than most other fonts.

And yet I can't quite fit it on one page.

Then again, this is my fourth job in five years of experience. Something's bound to fall off page 1 (namely my college TA job, which will probably be completely gone from the resume within a few years).

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: The Mister on 2002-02-14 12:19 ]</font>

Guest
02-20-2004, 03:56 PM
:bump:

m_m
02-20-2004, 10:08 PM
If you were to use font size 12, it's hard to fit everything in 1 page. Btw, I think length doesn't really matter, but what you put on your resume matters.

Wigmeister General
02-21-2004, 03:51 AM
Take a lesson from the industry folks. When submitting a "bio" in a proposal, the lengths are limited to two paragraphs. If someone with 25 years experience is entitled to 2 paragraphs ...

asamd
02-21-2004, 09:05 AM
I always enjoy the 25 page CVs. When I'm interviewing, I'll purposely pick out something remote on it and ask the candidate about it. It's a nice check on validity to see how the candidate responds. Ergo, don't put it on your resume because you may be asked about it.

Wigmeister General
02-21-2004, 12:39 PM
asamd,

I'm so glad you asked me about that item. Permit me to :blah: :blah: {34 minutes later} ... and that's the gist of that item.

Lesson to interviewers:

Don't ask about an obscure item, if you don't wish to be :blah: ed at for 34 minutes.

Guest
02-21-2004, 12:45 PM
Lesson to interviewers:

Don't ask about an obscure item, if you don't wish to be :blah: ed at for 34 minutes.
I wouldn't let you get to 34 minutes to get to the point on something obscure - the interview would be ended. I don't hire those with verbal diarrhea. :P

Wigmeister General
02-21-2004, 12:47 PM
And exactly how would stop that, hmmm?

Guest
02-21-2004, 12:54 PM
And exactly how would stop that, hmmm?
Powers of persuasion, my friend. If I was able to sell a newspaper subscription to a blind man when I was a child, then I think I'm able to shush you or walk away as an adult. :P

L. Mo
02-22-2004, 10:48 PM
for those keeping score at home, it's now
Sammie 1
LVB 0

:D