Study: That one-page resume is hurting your chances of being hired

You’ve probably heard conflicting opinions over how long your resume should be. Many experts insist that you should get all of your information on a single page. The thinking is that employers don’t have the time or patience to read through pages of unnecessary information.

That much, at least, is true. Nobody wants to go over unrelated details. However, if you have enough relevant credentials, work experience, and accomplishments to fill multiple pages, should you still try to cram them onto one sheet? Many career advisors feel that as long as the information is interesting, employers will keep reading.

But are these just opinions? Who’s right? How long should an ideal resume be?

Well, finally, we have a definitive answer. Tired of the ongoing debate and conjecture, the team at ResumeGo set out to determine the optimal length for a successful resume.

So, from October 15 to November 2nd of this year, they conducted a study involving nearly 500 professionals, all of whom are directly involved with recruitment. Participants were either recruiters, hiring managers, HR professionals, or top-level executives.

For this research, the participants were asked to screen thousands of resumes for a variety of job vacancies from entry-level to senior management. Half of the resumes used in the simulation were one page in length, and the other half were two pages long.

The study found that, out of the 7,712 resumes that participants chose in the simulated hiring process, the vast majority (5,375 of them) were the ones that were two pages long. The results showed that recruiters were 2.3 times as likely to prefer a two-page resume over a one-page resume.

The preference shown for longer resumes held true across career levels. Hiring professionals even preferred two pages from entry-level candidates.

  • Participants were 1.4 times as likely to prefer two-page resumes for entry-level applicants.
  • They were 2.6 times as likely to prefer two-page resumes for mid-level job candidates.
  • They were most likely (2.9 times) to prefer two-page resumes over a one-page document when it came management-level applicants.

After reviewing each resume, participants were asked to rate the resume from 0-10 based on how well it was able to “summarize the candidate’s work experiences and overall credentials.” Two-page resumes scored 21 per cent higher with an average score of 8.6, compared to an average score of 7.1 for single-page resumes.

White space and layout are important. Trying to cram everything you want an employer to know onto a single sheet of paper can result in a visually unappealing document that is dense with text and difficult to read. Plus, you may end up cutting out valuable information that could help your candidacy in the interest of brevity.

So, it’s official. You can go ahead and use two pages for your resume. That one-page application can actually be hurting your career prospects. On average, hiring professionals prefer two-page resumes over single-page resumes.

Read the full details of the study from ResumeGo.

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