I am now starting my job search and now preparing my resume. I remember that I have always been told to keep my resume to one page. Is that still true?
Dear Mr X,
I get this question very often and, in fact, this rule is outdated. The more (relevant) information, the better. Provide as much detail about your experience as you can, including exposure to deals, size of deals, how you got involved, what your role was, (any) management experience, team size, publications, etc. The more (relevant) information appears on your resume, the better your potential employer will understand your experience and hopefully see a potential fit. Of course, try to keep it reasonably long/short.
The key is: relevant information
If you are applying for a specific role, stress your background that matches the job description (i.e. for an M&A role, emphasize your M&A experience), without, of course, neglecting your other experience. Often times (especially for private practice candidates) a deals list will be required, or is at least a big plus. In that case, feel free to keep your resume shorter and go into specifics in your deals list. Your recruiter can then help you clean it up, keeping it to essential information and giving you advice on what is missing.
If you are experienced, focus on your most recent position:
Your most recent experience will be the most valuable and relevant to your potential employer. While not outdated, your experience 10 or 15 years ago is less representative of your current capabilities and will be less relevant.
What should generally appear on your resume:
– Times/date of employment and position held; and
What were your responsibilities?
Were you managing anyone?
Examples of deals you worked on, type of clients.
In the case where you still have a little professional experience, be careful to add only relevant information to job you are applying for. Many candidates fall into the trap of adding information to make their resume look longer and appear more experienced. Unless you are a new grad, information such as club memberships in high school, etc. is not relevant to your experience.
The key to a good resume is strongly present your experience, in a way that is relevant to the role for which you are applying. Length is not the priority, content is. If you have any doubts regarding what should/should not be on your resume, ask your recruiter, he/she will be able to advise you further.