Resume: Is one page all employers want?

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A few months ago, we had a discussion with a Vice President of a national recruitment company in Canada. He observed that some of his clients had been requesting that his recruiters only send one page resumes.

Having been in corporate HR recruitment and selection, I had a few questions in mind regarding his observation of this growing request. Did these employers request this shortened resume from all applicants or just the ones from staffing agencies? Why would an employer suddenly institute a limit on resume length? Could this be a response to the quality of resumes submitted?

The question of an ideal resume length is an age old topic.  We have spoken to hiring professionals from all sides of the table:  hiring managers, recruiters from the corporate HR side as well as the agency side, and just for fun we included a few career counsellors.  Unfortunately each of these experts has their own opinion of what the ideal length of a resume should be.

So what does the research say?

Recently, a reputable job site released the results of their survey on the topic of resume length preference?  The results show that the one page resume is decreasing in popularity in favour of a two page or three page resume.  The preference for a longer resume appears to be especially when it comes to resumes for executives.

In keeping with research, we attended a conference held in Washington DC, where we informally polled corporate HR recruiters from companies such as Microsoft, Starbucks, Disney, and so on about the one page resume.  Their responses did not support a preference for the shortened resume.

So far according to the data we have researched, it’s unanimous, most employers prefer resumes longer than one pages.

In summary, research does suggest that most hiring managers prefer two or three page resumes to the one page resume.  From an HR perspective, these findings should come with a caveat that while there is a clear preference for resume length, of course relevant content takes precedence.  Removing relevant content to conform to a resume length or conversely “padding” your resume with irrelevant content to meet a specific page length is a sure recipe for disaster. HR professionals and hiring managers are ultimately the last gatekeepers who make the decision to bring you in for an interview based on your resume.  So when writing your resume do not restrict yourself based on a page length rule but rather use the guideline of relevant content and you will write a better resume.

Remember: One size does not fit all.

Information provided by HR Difference.

Our HR team specializes in providing small and medium sized companies with cost-efficient and customized human resources consulting solutions and learning management systems to meet your need and budget. We also provide custom resume writing and telephone job interview coaching for job seekers.

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