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When You Need to Turn Your Curriculum Vitae Into a Resume

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
POSTED: August 12, 2008 at 8:34 am

While Curriculum Vitaes, or CVs as they are known, are quite standard in other countries, resumes are the norm in the United States.

So what do you do if you have a 10 to 15 page CV, but need a resume that does not exceed two pages?

Your first goal is to retain only that which is relevant to your career search, and pare down or exclude all non-essential data.

The Essentials – What to Keep

1. Your name and contact information (address, phone number, and email)

2. An opening summary that gives a clear and quick picture of what you have to offer, and contains an objective statement if you’re in a career transition or are targeting a specific industry/job.

3. Career Accomplishments that are quantified and are relevant to your new career goal.

4. Professional History providing a succinct listing of daily duties. Note: It’s important not to go back more than 15 years. For IT professionals, the maximum would be 10 years. Hiring managers are not interested in reading about every job a candidate has ever had. They want to know what you’ve recently done.

5. Educational data, and any training that’s germane to your new career search.
The Non-essentials – What to Exclude

1. Personal information. U.S. hiring managers cannot, and will not, ask to see details concerning your marital status, number of children, religious or political affiliation, or your date of birth on a resume.

2. Publications and Presentations. Whereas CVs generally list page after page of the candidate’s published work, resumes do not.

3. Hobbies or Interests. Hiring managers want to see only that data which proves a candidate will be able to fulfill job duties or excel at them. Collecting stamps, listening to music, or reading books does little to enhance anyone’s candidacy.

4. Volunteer work: Always exclude unless it’s directly related to your career goal. For example, volunteering time at a hospital when you’re in a health-related field.

By prioritizing data and keeping work history within a certain time frame even the lengthiest of CVs can be effectively reduced to a readable and appropriate two page format.