The resume is something you really need to cinch in the job-seeking process. No matter if you’re new to the job market or in your 30s or 40s looking for something new, the resume is an unavoidable part of the job application process.

Who will read it?

That’s a good question. If you’re applying to a small company, it’s likely the boss/owner himself will read it. As you may suspect, small companies don’t have HR departments or even HR staff for that matter. The boss or their personal assistant go through applications and manage the hiring. They organize and schedule – and conduct – the interviews.

If you’re applying at a larger company, it’s likely they get lots of applications, which are forwarded straight to HR. Sometimes, your resume will end up in a big pile, never to see the light of day again. Other times, they’ll call you about an interview and when you come, you’ll sit down at a desk across from a nerve-wracked young (usually) woman, who’ll throw you a puzzled look, point to a pile and ask, “Which one’s yours?”

So, you never know. But don’t take any risks – you’re about to find out how to write the perfect resume.

Keep it short!

The first and only rule! Keep it under 3 pages. If you’ve had lots of jobs and want to show off your experience – too bad. It’s best practice to have different resumes depending on the jobs you’re applying for. This is especially true if you have a lot of experience in different job positions. Customize the resume depending on what’s relevant. That way, you’ll keep it under three pages and make a good impression.

Why is length so important? Studies show that managers or HR staff rarely look past the third page. Nobody has that kind of time anymore. Too bad, but fact.

Keep personal details down to a minimum

The resume with photo is a thing of the 90s. Nobody expects that anymore. Don’t include your photo and put a link to your LinkedIn profile if they absolutely must see what you look like! Don’t list your address. Just a contact number, LinkedIn, and email is fine. No need to provide the date of birth – and if you’re over 35, it’ll work against you if you do.

On a final note, nobody cares that you love cycling and going for walks in the park. Go ahead and delete that personal info section entirely.