The Résumé Rider: How Long Should A Résumé Be

A fork connects a motorcycle’s front wheel and axle to the motorcycle frame with what’s typically called a “triple tree” clamp system.  Most forks incorporate the front suspension and front brake allowing the front wheel to rotate about the steering axis so the bike can be steered. The fork and its attachment points on the frame establish the critical geometric parameters of “rake and trail,” which play a major role in defining how a motorcycle handles. Motorcycle builders and customizers often get asked, “How long a fork should I use?”  The answer is similar for both forks and résumés: it’s something you must decide for yourself. That being said, here are some recommendations for how-to determine the best length for your résumé. 

Unlike determining ideal motorcycle fork length, we won’t be addressing such factors as rear wheel mock-ups, blocking the front chassis to determine the desired ride height/“look” and the radius of the wheel/tire combination we are going to run. But, just as there are different types of forks (telescopic, trailing link, springer, Earies, girder, Telelever, Duolever, coaxial, to name a few), choosing whether to use a chronological, functional or combination résumé should be your first decision. This should be followed by making sure you’ve included the basics: your contact information, performance profile, core competencies,  performance highlights, professional experience and education.

The actual length of the résumé is less important than its relevance to the specific job you’re applying for. The days of “one résumé fits all” are over. Your résumé has to quickly demonstrate on the first page why you are the ideal candidate for a position utilizing keywords taken from the job description itself. Otherwise, it will be one of the 70% of résumés rejected by Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) or the recruiter (if it makes it that far). Half to two-thirds of the first page of your résumé is the valuable real estate upon which you have to sell yourself. Think of this space as your written elevator pitch. If you can get a recruiter or hiring manager interested enough to read on, your résumé will have done its job in getting you to an interview.

Just like there’s an optimal length fork tube for every model and rake configuration for which the rear suspension has not been modified/lowered (the factory rake of most cruisers today will range between 26- and 34-degrees), the rule of thumb for résumé length has been one page for every ten years work experience. Unless there is a strong reason for doing so, your résumé should focus on the most recent 10-years of your career. The bottom line: your résumé should be as long as it needs to be in order to make a concise and compelling case about your candidacy for a specific position- just like the object in choosing the best fork tube length is to select a length that will make the angle of the bikes frame rails as close to the original/stock angle as possible.

©2018 The Résumé Rider, dba Garrison Leykam, LLC

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