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Resume Tips: How Many Pages is It?

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We’ve been looking at some pretty standard principles behind writing resumes that should be applied in most, if not all, cases, especially as you polish your resume before sending out an application. We found these “5 Quick Fixes for Physician CVs” over on the American College of Radiology website and will break them down over the next few blog posts. (The article was originally printed on thedoctorjob.com/careercorner.)

Another question to ask yourself about your resume is: How many pages is it? The article suggests it should be two pages or fewer.

For some of you who have had long, lengthy careers with information and experience that needs to be conveyed in order to place you at the head of the pack, this page length may sound nearly impossible and incredibly constrictive.

According to the article, you’re not alone in feeling this way. It’s commonplace for medical professionals to list everything they’ve ever done anywhere. “Traditionally, resident and physician CVs are lengthy and include all types of information beyond education, training, and employment. Physician CVs also list publications, presentations, CME activities, volunteer work, community lectures, and other relevant professional activities.”

Let’s be clear: You should absolutely have a resume on hand that is unabridged in the information it contains.

Remember: The purpose of your job search is to get you in front of an interviewer.

You might recall the Reader’s Digest Condensed Books series that would offer abridged versions of popular publications. Sometimes, you would start to read the abridged version of a novel or nonfiction book and would want to read the unabridged version. However, if you had never started the condensed version of the book, you may never have touched the longer version.

Apply this idea to your resume. Catch the eye of the interviewer with an abbreviated version of your resume. Then, when you’ve sparked their interest, you can give them the additional information, either verbally or in print, according to their preference.

(Of course, as the article notes, resumes for academic positions are a different ballgame.)

This is what the article advises you do: “If you have a lengthy CV, the best way to condense it is to create a separate addendum containing detailed information about your research projects, publications, abstracts, etc. This addendum can be provided upon request to interested employers. You still should mention these things on your abbreviated CV, but summarize them in a few bullet points or a brief paragraph.

Here’s the example the article gives:


Authored 15 articles in published in medical journals including The New England Journal of Medicine and the Internal Medicine Journal. Also published over 25 abstracts. Participated in several important research projects focusing primarily on diabetes treatment and prevention.

*Full listing of publications and research projects available upon request.

Bingo! You’ve included an abbreviated version of that information and potentially whetted their appetites as well.

Tomorrow, we’ll ask the question, “Is your resume easy to look at?”

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