The question How can I reduce the size of a long resume without hiding all my skills and experience? is basically a forum thread. A general question has been posited and everyone's piling on their personal preferences and experiences rather than answering any questions.

The question is titled "Is my resume too long if it's five pages?" and none of the top voted answers actually address this; the top voted answers are actually great advice about how to tailor your resume and what you should put in your resume. However, they are absolutely worthless to the question as posed.

A recurring problem I see on this site is that answers are upvoted because they're useful, not because they actually solve the stated problem. These posts get popular and get lots of upvotes and attention, but as questions and specific answers they're very low quality.

Questions on this site are supposed to be questions, not blog posts or forum threads. How can we prevent questions like this from degenerating into the general problem (how do I have an awesome resume)?

  • other than not letting it show up on hot questions or be piled on? Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 14:17
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    We could migrate it to Yahoo Answers...
    – yannis
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 14:28
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    I think it is better spirit! When we know something is wrong - we should ask what would have made it better rather than just condemning and walking away. SE is about making great content. But we cann't make great content just by rejecting and beating bad ones alone. We should rather produce examples of good ones out of bad - and elevate people! Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 14:40
  • @Chad UX ends up in the Hot Questions dropdown all the time and this doesn't happen. Popularity doesn't help but it's not the main problem here
    – Zelda
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 14:46
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    @DipanMehta I would nominate you for a beta moderator based on that point of view alone! (if you want) :)
    – Rachel
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 15:05
  • @Rachel thanks. I appreciate. Just that currently i am in a personal situation that i might end up not doing justice. But nevertheless would always contribute to community in whatever possible way. Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 15:14
  • @DipanMehta The problem is that although a lot of people knew that the question was problematic, they rushed to answer it (in their endless quest for meaningless rep). Same with the pirate software question, where only you and a couple of others approached the question respectfully. If you think a question has problems, cast your close vote asap, we can always re-open if the question is improved, without needing to go back and clean and endless stream of crap answers.
    – yannis
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 15:18
  • @YannisRizos I saw a good question that was badly phrased and tried to answer it in a constructive fashion. I suspect that is what others tried to do as well, although we probably interpreted the question differently. Not everyone is in this for the rep - many of us just like to help people.
    – Rachel
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 15:25
  • @YannisRizos I agree with you. And i think the human nature drives it. People jump to answer (even if it is only a smallest variation of above one) because they (too) can answer it! Remember the dotCom bust? Every VC invested money only because everyone else was doing it. I think we should also flag and clean up answers to highlight the issue. But this meta question is at least doing a fine job of educating Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 15:25
  • I think if the rate of answers (say 3 answers in 1 min) is very high - it should auto guard it. From the point of view of moderation - instead of closure it should first have some level of protection and probably some way to make explicit warning to OP to either improve or delete. Also, i never understood why should upvoting be allowed on a question and the answers which is declared "Not Constructive?" Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 15:27
  • @DipanMehta No. An automatic prevention mechanism by volume alone means that we have decided that a lot of answers always is a sign of a bad question, but that's not always the case. Also it would be far too easy to abuse, every troll out there could trigger the mechanism by adding yet another crap answer and hurt an otherwise great question. We need human eyes on this, and we need to be the ones who protect our community, and the first step to that is for every one of us to refrain from posting crap themselves.
    – yannis
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 15:34
  • @DipanMehta Also note that 3 answers in a 1 min usually means that all three answerers started writing their answers at the same time and there is no way to know that someone else is writing an answer until they finish it and post it.
    – yannis
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 15:36
  • @YannisRizos I agree, a rush by itself doesn't mean all answers or at least the question is bad. And you don't have to deny answers even. It is just and indication that a moderator attention is needed. In essence we just need to slow down pace some how to indicate people to re-think. Some flag, or force moderation clearance before post visible; i dont know what might work. Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 16:01
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    @DipanMehta The one thing that always works is a core set of dedicated users that care for the site first, and for their reputation or their badges later (if at all). If we get that, The Workplace is going to do just fine, if we don't, well, I don't see how it could survive beta. We can get every nice mechanism we can think of, but nothing is going to be better than a group of users that actually care for the site. That doesn't mean that we always have to agree on everything, it only means putting the site and the community before anything else.
    – yannis
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 16:05

3 Answers 3


Is this a real question?

Well, let me simply explain what situation i would have been and then how i would have asked this:

How to optimize the length of the resume?

I started writing the resume after x years and totaling the Y years of experience. I have been through P number of companies and have been to Q designations/projects under me. My current objective is to now move on this line.

Now the trouble is, if i just linearly compile CV as defined here, it would turn into or exceed 5 pages.

Now, i am not sure, is this appropriate that i should send such 5 page CV. Alternatively, i can prioritize summarize different section or weigh different sections according to relevance of the job i am applying; but may be with a simple smaller CV someone might think there are gaps in my 30 years of career and might out right reject me before giving a chance for an interview?

What should i really do: Is it a common practice that people send 5 page resumes when they accumulate 30 years of experience? or will this only ofend or bore someone? should i actually send 5 page cv or Summarize? If summarize - should it be based on recent vs. past years or based on relevance to next job?

I don't know what exactly is the OP's real dilema. I am assuming something, so OP better describe his own situation.

But the point is, by putting more thought, more context and most importantly putting the agenda of what is the decision factor for him/her it is the question really becomes concrete and useful to answer.

Every question that origins from the real scenario does involve something to learn or think about. the point is, instead of making judgements or assumptions we should go digg more on the real need behind the question.


The Workplace more than any other Stack Exchange site I've visited suffers from the "me-too pile-on" effect. Part of that is from good questions with bad phrasing (like this one), and part of that is that we, as a community, are not stopping ourselves (and others) from piling on.

We MUST find a way to stop this now, or this site will drown in its own filth.

The solution in my eyes is threefold, each component being equally important:

  1. Aggressively edit questions like this (bad phrasing, but a good question screaming to get out) -- See what Rachel wrote in her answer.

  2. Close and delete the truly bad questions.

  3. (When we get mods) Aggressively protect and/or lock questions that are attracting nothing but me-too answers that add no value, and delete the me-toos.
    As a community we should also be downvoting the me-too answers that bring nothing to the table. We can also close these questions to stop the avalanche of junk (though I'm in the minority that thinks this should be a last resort on an otherwise salvageable question)

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    You've forgotten what users can do to discourage me-too-ism, comments + downvotes. I think we need a separate post about me-too-ism though
    – Zelda
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 18:34
  • @Rarity We definitely need that post - I think answer quality and me-too-ism is an even bigger problem here than question quality questions.
    – voretaq7
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 19:01
  • Posted
    – Zelda
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 19:05

A better question might be Why is it recommend to only have a 1-2 page resume?

I think that question can be answered by an expert, and would be constructive for the site.

As an alternative, the question could read How can I reduce the size of my resume if I have 2-3 pages of work experience?, however I don't actually know the OP's resume and if that question would apply to him/her


After reviewing the answers, I think the 2nd version of the question would be better to not invalidate the existing answers, so am going to make an attempt to edit the question without losing the OP's original question and invalidating existing answers.

I'll also post another question about why a 1-2 page resume is recommended to link to

  • This is a far better phrasing of the original question. It's not that your resume is "too long" if it's >1 sheet of paper (that's very situational), but an explanation of why the brief resume is the preferred standard would be more beneficial to people.
    – voretaq7
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 15:04
  • Better alternative (by far) but still not a good question. Recommended by whom? And under which conditions? What is the actual practical problem that you need solved?
    – yannis
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 15:22
  • @YannisRizos Recommended by a large number of HR experts, teachers, and career guidance counselors, under any condition, and this is a practical problem that most job seekers with longer resumes face.
    – Rachel
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 15:28
  • @Rachel If that was part of the question, I'd be ok with it. If it included some (notable) references I'd upvote it (and probably favourite it).
    – yannis
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 15:31

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