Your resume is too long, so I threw it out…

Written by Nick Thompson, our VP of Recruiting for hi-tech industries for over 15 years. He has seen thousands of resumes. Here are his thoughts…



…said no decent recruiter or hiring manager ever!  


There are “rules of thumb” that are circulated around the world about what the appropriate length of a resume should be. After 15 years, I have heard them all.   From a one page maximum, to keeping an entire career long portfolio as a resume that could be stored in a huge binder.   It is a personal thing and people tend to have charged feelings about how their own resume should look.


There is merit in most any way you want to look at it, and obvious exceptions based on what type of role you are applying for.   When it comes down to it, a resume has one purpose:  To get the company to want to talk to you furtherTHAT’S IT!  


Sadly, it gets in people’s mind as a rule of thumb that two pages is the limit.


If you are a new grad with 5+ years of experience, one or two pages is reasonable.   If it is longer than that at that stage of your career, you either have an extraordinary amount of accomplishments or you are not concise in your writing.


I constantly see resumes for individuals with 20+ years of experience that omit important details to cut down on the length of their resume.  Which means they may be cutting content that a manager might be specifically looking for, and in turn, not considered further.


If your resume is too short and lacks the depth needed, chances are it is being discarded by a hiring manager.   One of the perks of working with a recruiter like GNR, is that we understand that sometimes all the details are not there but there is enough to spark interest and warrant a call.  We dig deeper and if that person has what we need, we coach them on how to add those missing details to their resumes in order to avoid being tossed in the trash.


On the flip side – an overly detailed resume might be unruly, but you may have a better shot of including the things a hiring manager wants and would entice them to talk to you.


My closing advice to you is to remember that we live in a digital age.  One where all resumes are emailed or submitted directly into databases, where you can’t even tell how many pages a resume is.   Why are we holding onto these outdated notions that the perfect resume is two pages, when pages themselves no longer exist??