Resume Length Research and Advice

What is the appropriate resume length? Senior executives interviewed for a survey commissioned by our company expressed a greater receptiveness to two–page resumes for staff positions. While most (52 percent) still preferred a one–page resume, a full 44 percent gave the nod to two-page documents.

This is a substantial change from the same poll conducted a decade ago. At that time, 73 percent of employers favored a single page. Executives' growing acceptance of longer resumes suggests that, although conciseness remains paramount, hiring managers also want to receive enough information to make good assessments of candidates' qualifications.

The best rule of thumb is to allow the breadth and depth of your experience to dictate resume length. On the other hand, don't make your resume longer than necessary simply to appear more experienced. Hiring managers can easily spot filler. Before putting anything on your resume, ask, "Does this add value to my candidacy?" If it doesn't, eliminate the information or recast it in more meaningful terms.