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Submitted by twinsen on


Does anyone else get criticism from recruiting agencies about the one page format? Should I stick to my guns or do what's necessary to land the interview?

I've been searching for new opportunities and hewing to the one page resume rule per Manager Tools.  In my meeting with the recruiter, he appeared to suggest I have something to hide or I'm not including enough detail.  I'm applying for a junior executive position (director) and he believes directors need at least 2 or 3 pages.  I had to bite my tongue and basically offload more accomplishments from my master career document (some of which had nothing to do with the job) to fill out the resume so he would even consider presenting me to the client.  Specifically, he was looking for detail in roles nearly a decade ago.  I'm a hiring manager too and tend to gloss over anything that ancient.

Full disclaimer:  The one page format was passed on to me by my father earlier in my career and I've used it to find the current job I have now.  I've also helped others with the format to seek employment successfully too.


pushbuttonmax's picture

I just got feedback on this and was I wondering the same thing...

Recruiter "Your resume should not be shorter than 2 pages"

This excerpt was received with multiple example resumes that were from 3 - 5 pages long.  This was for a contributor role.


rwwh's picture
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With this kind of remark I am asking myself whether these recruiters are missing pages or missing actual content? "Not enough detail"? What kind of details would he want? Are they also complaining about too little content to people that have 2 pages including a lot of empty space in the layout an a separate mission statement in large print? Does adding white space to the page signify that you're not hiding anything?

Kevin1's picture

Change your font to 12.  BAM 2 pages.

BariTony's picture

I had one recruiter who was aghast at a one-page resume and told me "this is your LIFE!".

FYI, I worked in a pharmaceutical research environment at the time. I'm also a hiring manager who has read plenty of bad multi-page resumes in his time. My experience is that those who do not stick to the 1 page format have very little on page 1 that is interesting to me and I feel like the candidate is listing everything with the expectation that I will mine their resume for whatever skills and experience is relevant to my position.

Based on this experience, my solution was to follow the MT 1-page format for positions held, responsibilities, and accomplishments; and then to attach a listing of all of my publications, conference abstracts, book chapters, presentations, patents, etc. on pages 2-8 as a sort of appendix. It seemed to work - the recruiter was happy and I got a call from the hiring manager right away.

Oh, and by the way - the hiring manager only asked me about what was on the first page of my resume.


Gk26's picture

 I was recently told by a recruiter that mine should be 3 pages.  I don't have content for 3 if I wanted 3.

twinsen's picture
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Cheers for the reassurance. Ultimately, I followed the nugget nestled in the Interview Series about how the interview process is artificial and arcane but we just need to do it to get to the next step, which for me was getting an interview.

Another ex coworker of mine showed me a resume he was using to apply for a job at my company. He obviously had been working with various agencies because he deviated from the format I told him to follow (ironically again to get the job he has right now). He had a list of skills at the top next to a summary with checkmarks. Problem solving was listed as a skill. On any given day, as someone who hires, I skip past those.

mfculbert's picture

I had a similar issue a while back.

I give recruiters what they want by adding  all the stuff we know not to add. I have a skills section and an executive summary and simply don't remove some of the bullets I have to on a one page resume.

On the other hand, I have NEVER had an actual employer complain about my one page resume and a few remarked at how impressive it is. 

mkirk's picture
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 I have also had this issue, though it seems to make sense to me when I think  about how a recruiting agent uses a CV. 

Firstly, it's my experience that the recruiting agent will very likely convert all the resumé's on the shortlist into identical format for presenting to the client. So, one page or three pages, the original formatting doesn't matter anymore.

Then, although a large part of the quality of the recruiting agent's work is the quality of the candidate shortlist, she will also want to demonstrate the effort and due diligence she has gone into in screening the candidates. However, being busy and also being human, she doesn't really want to have to put in this effort if she can avoid it. Hence the demand for 3 page resumé's and the 'it's your LIFE' type approach - it makes it easier for the recruiter look good in front of her client. 

Hiring manager's, though, care mainly about the candidate's ability to do the job, and one page works just fine for that. Therein lies the candidate's dilemna.

For what it's worth, my approach is to try and help the recruiting agent by offering a pre-prepared background summary (essentially my career management document nicely laid out and with a few notes about homelife and hobbies) at the first verbal or face to face contact. But I stick with the 1 page CV on the basis that no recruiter is ever going to hire me directly.

teaguek122's picture

Bilingual resumes are two pages or more.
Sometimes just with the translations, sometimes not.
I think you have to craft your resume to the job, but when in doubt, 
the one page resume is best.


Molloy's picture

 Where could I find quality cv templates online? 

teaguek122's picture

I recently saw that the new 2014/2013 version of Microsoft Word has some fantastic templates.