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.