Recruiters and hiring authorities have definite preferences about resumes. That is not a surprise. But, here’s an unexpected eye-opener: there is in fact a wide range of preferences, rather than one uniform sentiment shared by all. As a Master Resume Writer, the results of the Global Hiring Trends 2012 Report by Career Directors International (CDI), intrigued me and confirmed my belief that there are no absolutes when writing resumes.
Long-held notions, such as an executive resume not exceeding one page, do not hold true for every job seeker, according to the responses of the recruiters, human resources managers, business owners, and hiring managers surveyed. Only 6% of the respondents preferred a one-page executive resume, while 37% said “length is not an issue as long as the resume provides the right data to make decisions”.
Non-executive resumes also received a thumbs-up response for two-to-three page resumes with 43% preferring either of those lengths and an astounding 21% indicating they had no preference regarding length! However, many of the comments indicated that filling up two or more pages of your resume with just a laundry list of job duties would be considered wasting the recruiter’s time.
CDI’s Global Hiring Trends 2012 survey contains interesting feedback about resume summaries, video resumes, QR codes and links on resumes, cover letters, and more. The last question about emerging resume trends was particularly revealing. Recruiters and hiring authorities weighed in with strong preferences for:
- Targeted, meaningful resume content written in an easy-to-read style,
- Resume design quality AND resume content quality,
- Customized, non-generic resumes; template resumes are not viewed favorably,
- LinkedIn and other social media links on resumes, and
- Clear resume strategy and strong branding, particularly for executive resumes.
Each job seeker’s situation is unique, as is their target job, target industries, career history, education and professional development, skills, knowledge, personal brand, Brand Value Proposition, relevant accomplishments and more. This distinctiveness needs to drive the length of the resume, as well as the relevant strategy, choice of design, and targeted, compelling content.