Resumes: Limiting Page Count Likely Limits Opportunities

Resume Writing TipsClients often ask, “How long should my resume be?” There are many different schools of thought on this but one of the more common philosophies is “no more than two pages.” While that response probably works for certain types of entry level positions, individuals with less than five years of experience or those who have only worked in one or two positions, we find that it’s practically impossible for anyone with a significant amount of professional accomplishments, work history, education and experience to detail that accurately and thoroughly in a two page resume. In fact, for those individuals, limiting your resume to two pages may, in fact, be more of a detriment than a benefit as it fails to reflect the true extent of your professional expertise and qualifications for a position.

In a recent survey released by Career Directors International, the following question was asked:

What is your preference for the length of executive resumes? (Director, VP, SVP, C-Level etc.)

The majority of respondents (37%) said that “resume length was not an issue as long as the resume provided the right data.”

Would you discount an executive candidate from consideration based on the resume length not meeting your preferences?

The majority of respondents (58%) said “no.” However maximum page length may be an issue as several respondents said that they would not read more than 5 pages.

What is your preference for page length for all non-executive resumes?

“Unpredictably, 21% indicated that they had no preference, presumably meaning they would accept resumes that were two or three pages for non-executive job seekers. With 43% of those surveyed either preferring two or three pages, and 21% having no preference, it appears a significant amount of hiring authorities are open to a longer style in 2012.”

We agree! Our philosophy at Professional Development Strategies represents content over page count. We’re looking to build client resumes which accurately and completely represent one’s education, training, accomplishments and experience…painting a true picture of qualified applicants. While no one wants to read resumes which resemble “War and Peace,” if it takes more than two pages to truly represent an applicant’s qualifications… so be it! That is far more optimal than painting half a person’s portrait which is incomplete and leaves more questions unanswered than answered. With competition being as tough as it is today…looking at a half painted picture may be just the thing which tells the recruiter to move on to the next applicant.

Dan Draz