Wow, I just read an article on LifeHacker recommending candidates leave many pieces of their resume out when submitting it to a company. I couldn’t disagree more.

When people follow those guidelines for me, I often delete their resume on the spot. In fact, I would prefer if I always received:

1) A great cover letter, telling me about yourself, where you’ve been in your career, and what (specifically) you’d be doing in your first 90 days to help out our company, and best integrate into the team. I want to see how your write, what you feel is important to tell me, what you know about us, and how you communicate your ideas and value.

2) A quick overview (bullet items) of the skills you will bring to the table. Not “basic knowledge of”, I’m talking actual skills. Things you are confident in, day 1, that you can deliver.

3) Always, always, always include your references. I feel it is lazy to make us chase you down for them.

4) Disclosing too much, especially around compensation, is never easy. But you should be able to give a prospective employer guidelines on “what ballpark” you are looking for. Nothing is worse (for both the candidate, and the potential employer) than sitting through a great interview, only to find out that pricing on both sides is not even close. I recommend focusing your words on “my ability to make”. This can be a range, and shows you are also future-driven, instead of “what you want now”. It would be easier to negotiate backwards from there on “what needs to happen” in order to get there.

I feel your resume is a time to shine. If you leave it too basic, or just plain leave things out, you run the risk of an employer just passing it by. I agree with the article that your resume should leave me “wanting more”. However, the only way it will do that is if I find what your are projecting as interesting. Reading a one-pager without much substance never gets a meeting with me, while reading a 5-pager makes me feel they are overcompensating or padding. There has to be a middle ground somewhere…

I welcome feedback on this.