Long live the three-page resume!

2007

President Kennedy famously demanded his briefing papers should never be more than one page long. But the days of the single-page resume may be numbered as managers look for more clues to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Conventional wisdom may dictate that long, rambling resumes are not the way to land a job, but the best way to attract a hiring manager's eye may not be to squash your life history into a terse single page document.

A poll of 150 senior executives by temping agency Accountemps has found that while the majority of managers still like one-page resumes, the number who prefer to see two-pages landing on their desks has risen to 44 per cent, up from a quarter a decade ago.

While around half – 52 per cent – still said they preferred a one-page document, this is down from nearly three quarters just a decade ago.

For executive roles, even three pages was becoming more acceptable, with nearly a third considering this an ideal length, compared with only seven per cent 10 years ago.

The intensity of the competition in the jobs' market was one of the main factors behind this change, Accountemps argued.

"Many employers are willing to spend a little more time reviewing application materials so they can more easily determine who is most qualified and act quickly to secure interviews with these candidates," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps.

But, while employers may be willing to review longer resumes, job seekers should not go overboard, he cautioned.

"Employers want to see that applicants can prioritise information and concisely convey the depth of their experience," he advised.