How Long Should A Resume Be?

In her book Resume Magic, Susan Britton Whitcomb reported the results of a survey she conducted of HR managers from some of the Top 100 Companies to Work for in America, inquiring as to their preferred length of resumes.   The results were as follows:

  • 12 percent of respondents felt resumes should be “one-page, never longer;”
  • 67 percent felt resumes should be “kept to one or two pages;”
  • 21 percent responded “as long as needed to convey the applicant’s qualifications.”

Sales managers and recruiters are extremely busy people, and the task of reading resumes is a necessary evil on their road to success.  If they have to review 100 resumes at one page each, that’s 100 pages.  However that work load jumps to 400 pages if those same resumes are 4 pages.   

Most employers screen a resume for no longer than 20 seconds.  Is it any wonder that most HR professionals will admit that they make their decision about a candidate during the first page of their resume and rarely glance at a second or third?

Given this information, the length of your sales resume should not exceed two pages.  If it is longer, edit it.  The recruiter doesn’t need the annual report from every company that you worked for.  They just need to know your responsibilities, your achievements, and the skills you developed while holding this position.  Anything longer is not being read anyways, so what’s the point?

More resume writing tips are available in our free White Paper “How To Write An Effective B2B Sales Resume“. You can download it from the B2B Sales Connections Download Centre.

B2B Sales Connections can make the recruiting and job search process faster and easier than ever before.  For more information on what makes our job board services unique, visit B2B Sales Connections Career Connections.  You will also find valuable job search tips on our blog.

Click here to view our currently advertised sales jobs.

Remember, if you are not reaching your own personal goals where you are now, and more importantly you believe you will never will, it may be time to make a career change!

Aim Higher!

Susan A. Enns, B2B Sales Connections, or

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