Is there a preference for two page resumes over three page resumes?

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008 - Blog

Troy asks: Like many people in the workforce, I’ve accumulated many titles and accomplishments over the years. As a result, my current resume is about 2 1/2 pages. At one point it was 3 full pages but I editted it to 2 1/2 pages. I don’t know how I could get the resume to 2 pages without dramatically diluting my work history and qualifications summary. Is there strong opinion that 2 page resumes are significantly better than 3 page resumes? I’m assuming that the quality, format, and content are the not the issue here…just the length.

In Answer:
Simply – LESS IS MORE (relevant!) While I can appreciate candidates looking to keep all their skills and accomplishments, too much information allows the viewer to get distracted and lost within the resume. Keep in mind that a resume is only a quick summary of a candidates skillset, not a novel. 1-2 pages is plenty of information to offer. Rule of thumb, go back 10 years, or 3 positions ago only. If you need to delete information to make it shorter, then choose positions that aren’t as relevant to getting your next job. I guarantee that if you shorten a resume to 1-2 pages, and streamline the information, you’ll get more activity.

Presently, you are thinking about the CV/Resume representing you – so you are thinking how can I compress all that I have got down to 2pages? In actual fact, the CV/Resume sells you to the Recruiter/HR person for an interview – nothing more, nothing less, no greater. Only a call centre operative ever got a job thanks to a great CV/Resume – and even then they were telephone interviewed. No one will employ on the back of a CV/Resume – but they will interview

Now, accepting that – think about it from the Recruiter/HR person’s point of view. I got a place that needs filling, and I have a pile of CV/Resume’s – which one ‘s are you going to put in the call pile, and which in the thank you letter pile? Right, the one’s which answer the questions and needs posed in the original advert! Are you actually going to on first review go past page1, and read all about the fact the applicant likes boating and wine, and 10years ago did something inside a company in the Mid-West: ah, nope!

Here’s another thought: a 2page CV/Resume plus a cover letter is three pages – adding another page is four pages, and as they won’t read past page1 of the resume on first past, what’s the point of adding it? If you have to send in a 3page CV/Resume, write a great 1page cover letter which addresses all the skills and experience requirements in the advert, and makes you stand out – then they won’t even read your CV/Resume, they will call you – the whole purpose of sending in a response.

I know this can get confusing, and I know this can get annoying, and I know this can hurt at a very personal level. But, all the CV/Resume does is get you an interview – a career portfolio is a whole different story, and should be taken personally: but both require honesty and accuracy.

If I can help you in any way, drop me a message – and Good Luck!

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.

Recent Posts



Review on