How important is the one-page resume rule in today’s business world?

A friend of mine posed this very question on LinkedIn a few days ago. LinkedIn is a great place for this kind of question because virtually everyone there has an opinion on how hiring works (or how it should work). Before I dive into my opinion, I want to start by saying that I went through college in an era where LinkedIn was brand new and certainly not the gold standard of professional networks that it is today. Furthermore, career centers vehemently preached that you should fit your job qualifications onto a single page for resume you provided in a job application. Being the impressionable, inexperienced student that I was, I bought in hook, line, and sinker. Therefore I was conditioned to provide one-page resumes (usually with quarter inch margins) packed with as much info as I could fit at legible font size. There are some people out there who can relate!

Fast forward a few years. I’m now a hiring manager who has sifted through hundreds of resumes to fill various positions. Many of them still adhere to the one page rule, others do not. Does this make a difference? Typically it does not. I like to print off resumes and mark them up. If a resume fits on the front and back of a sheet of paper, that’s good by my standards. If it falls onto a third page, it’s hit or miss if I look at that page. That’s just personal preference though. Not every hiring manager treats resumes the same way.

To be completely honest, I think resumes are loosing their place in the business world. I now consider LinkedIn profiles to be far more up to date and insightful than resumes. Not only can you see someone’s experience, you can see their connections, the content they consume, and of course, their physical appearance. In other words, you get a richer, more human view. I’m not trying to evangelize LinkedIn either. The Internet in general, whether it’s search engine results or social media sites, often provide deeper insights into the nature of candidates for job roles. With all of this extra detail available, it’s hard for me to place much importance on the one-page resume rule any longer.

One Reply to “How important is the one-page resume rule in today’s business world?”

  1. Henry Morgan says:

    OK, I totally get where you’re coming from on this, but I still like to receive a good old fashioned CV and I think it’s a very good gauge of some essential skills that are more difficult to spot on LinkedIn – example basic spelling.
    You are also more likely to get a true handle on someone’s educational achievements from a CV.
    It’s not happened often, but I also think people – for some strange reason – find it harder to embellish the truth on paper…

Leave a Reply