Execs Say Longer Resumes Acceptable

March 20, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Odds are you've done a lot the past ten years - and a new survey indicates it may be acceptable to expand your resume accordingly.

A new survey of executives by specialized staffing service firm Accountemps found that only about half (52%) of survey respondents believe that a single page is the ideal length for a staff-level resume, while a nearly equal 44% said they prefer two pages. A decade ago, 73% favored single-page resumes.

Moreover, when it comes to executive-level positions, the most recent survey found that nearly one-third (31%) were fine with a three-pager, compared with just 7% 10 years ago. However, roughly two-thirds thought that two pages was preferable now (61%) and 10 years ago (64%).

Both national polls include responses from 150 senior executives — including those from human resources, finance and marketing departments — with the nation’s 1,000 largest companies. They were conducted by an independent research firm.

Regardless of length, when it comes to putting it together, Accountemps offers the following suggestions:


  • Describe key contributions you made at prior roles and how they impacted the bottom line.
  • Summarize software expertise and other specialized skills.
  • Devote extra space to describing work experience that is most relevant to the job description.
  • Use terms referenced in the job description if they apply. Firms often scan resumes for key words included in the job description.
  • Reference your activities with professional civic associations, community involvement and knowledge of a second language -- if they relate to the job opportunity.


  • Use exact dates of employment. Months and years are sufficient.
  • Include irrelevant details about your personal life or list your hobbies.
  • Misrepresent your education or career experience.
  • Use professional jargon and abbreviations.
  • List references or include a lengthy objective.
  • Use complete sentences; short bulleted statements are better.