University of South Carolina :: Darla Moore School of Business   the Competitive Edge

with Ross Macpherson, President, Career Quest

Overview/What You Will Learn

Answers to the 5 most asked questions about resumes

Key Points

  • Resume FAQs are:
    1. How long should my resume be?
      • 1 to 2 pages maximum
    2. How far back should I go with experience history?
      • Go back as far as is relevant for the position you desire  The farther you go back the fewer details you should list.
    3. Can I put a “generic” resume together and customize the cover letter?
      • You don’t want to because not everyone reads a cover letter.  You should spend the time to customize both your resume and cover letter.  This way you maximize the likelihood of getting past the first found of screening.
    4. What font should I use?
      • Use standard fonts, i.e., Ariel or Times New Roman, no smaller than 9 and no larger than 11 point (1/2 point variation in this range is acceptable).
    5. Now that I have a MBA, where should I put the Education section?
      • It depends on you and where Education fits with what you are offering an organization.  If your are starting a new career or if it is the best thing you have to offer, put it up front.  If your experience is more significant, put Education on page 2, but find a place to mention your MBA (e.g., after your name, in Profile on top), wherever it sells you most effectively.

Expert BIO
with Ross Macpherson, President, Career Quest

Ross Macpherson is the President of Career Quest, a Certified Personal Branding Strategist, Certified Online Identity Strategist, Certified Interview and Job Search Coach, and is recognized as one of the best resume writers in North America. With over 15 years experience in the career industry, he specializes in advanced strategies that help senior and executive professionals throughout the US, Canada, and internationally. His work has been featured in 18 career publications.


Ross routinely speaks to MBA programs across North America, and is known for delivering powerful and entertaining sessions that teach real-world success strategies. He has also spoken at major career events, global industry conferences, professional associations, and executive networking groups across the U.S. and Canada, and his high-energy style has consistently put him at the top of the career management speaking circuit. Contact Ross at