10 toughest career dilemmas - solved

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Does a resume have to be one page long?
Does a resume have to be one page long?
Many job hunters are told that their experience needs to be fit onto a single page. But is that old rule still true?

Global staffing firm Accountemps (www.accountemps.com) periodically surveys hiring managers at the 1,000 biggest companies in the U.S. Ten years ago, about a quarter (28%) said one page was the ideal length for an executive resume. A minority to start with, that group dwindled even further in a recent survey, with only 7% still seeking single-page resumes. Indeed, 61% now prefer to get two-page resumes from candidates for management jobs, and almost one-third (31%) said three pages would be fine.

Even among non-management hires, longer resumes seem to be more in vogue these days: In the 1997 survey, 25% of hiring managers said they'd accept two-page resumes from applicants for staff jobs, a percentage that jumped to 44% in the latest poll.

"Many employers now are willing to spend a little more time reviewing application materials" than in past years, says Accountemps chairman Max Messmer.

Taking a few extra minutes to read a longer resume helps hiring managers get a clearer picture of who you are and how you're likely to fit into their organization.

Still, don't go overboard. "Employers still want to see that applicants can prioritize information and be concise," Messmer notes.

So, especially if you have many years of experience, it's ok to craft a longer resume that conveys all you've achieved. You'll probably be glad you did.

Last updated December 19 2007: 7:58 AM ET
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