Would listing every detail of achievement (which may take up to 6
pages) still be beneficial?
Having screened more than a few resumes, I'll try to give you some insight into the perspective of the people who have to sift through dozens (if not hundreds) of resumes and decide who's actually worth interviewing.
The things I care about are (in no particular order):
- What was the highest level of education that you completed?
- What college(s) did you attend (against each school you can list your GPA/magna cum laude status if you want, you don't really get any extra points for doing so; from where I sit, graduated is graduated)?
- How much relevant professional experience do you possess?
- Have you been consistently employed since graduating college?
- Have you held the majority of your previous jobs for at least one year (job-hopping sets off serious alarm bells in my industry)?
- Have you contributed to any high-profile and relevant open-source projects?
Anything from high school or earlier I'm not interested in (unless a high school diploma is the highest credential that you have). It doesn't matter if you joined Mensa when you were six, that's not going to get you in ahead of anybody else.
I'm looking for people who sound like they can fill a specific role. If you want to get my attention, give me things that make it clear that you understand the role and would be a good choice for it. Customizing your resume and/or cover letter for the position you're applying for will help get you ahead of the pack.
I won't reject your submission outright if you hand me a 6-page essay filled with things that I don't consider relevant. Or for being poorly organized, poorly formatted, or otherwise difficult to get across in 5 minutes or less. Some other interviewers are less forgiving, however. And the more noise you give me, the more difficult it is for me to pick up the signal.
So the 'ideal format' in almost all cases is keep your resume short and focused to the role you're applying for. You generally do not need more than 2 pages. Give me a high level overview, grouped sensibly (i.e. a brief summary of your skills and qualifications, a section for "Education", a section for "Work Experience", and so on) and against each item list a small number of achievements relevant to the position you're applying to. Avoid going into the distant past (awards won in elementary school, for instance) unless you're having trouble filling even a single page.