On my screen, as a result of my research team’s work, I am looking at a resume that contains 11,883 words. In case you’re not an expert on how many words fit on a clean, clear, logically written single resume page (I’m not either), the sample resumes in my resume coaching portfolio that have opened interview doors for my past resume coaching clients have an average of 1,250 words total. These 1,250 words cover 2-3 total pages with plenty of white space.
In case you were wondering, 11,883 words equates to 39 Word document pages. This resume I'm referring to was sent to me for one reason and that reason serves as the basis for this blog article. I wish I could tell you that I’ve never seen a 39 page resume before but this is the second time in the past few months that I’ve seen a 30-40 page resume.
When you send out a resume, you have to know who might be sitting in your resume's audience. Chances are very high that the people in your audience are busy, data-overwhelmed professionals who don’t read unless they have to. I don’t mean that they can’t read. What I mean is that they scan before they commit to reading and that resume scanning process might last for 10, 15 or maybe 20 seconds.
A 39 page resume doesn’t even qualify as a resume in my own data-overwhelmed world. A 39 page resume is more like a dissertation to a data-overwhelmed person. I can’t think of anyone I know who is busy and data-overwhelmed who would invest even 5 seconds to tackle a 39 page resume.