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One Page Resume – Why Some Employers Want Less

Recently, I wrote an article about the one page resume, it’s prevalence in the job market. This topic came from an discussion I had with the Vice President of a national recruitment company in Canada. He observed that some of his clients had been requesting that his recruiters only send one page resumes.

Having been in corporate HR recruitment and selection, I had a few questions in mind regarding his observation of this growing request. Did these employers request this shortened resume from all applicants or just the ones from staffing agencies? Did they make this request for all placement agencies? Why would an employer suddenly institute a limit on resume length? Could this be a response to the quality of resumes submitted?

When I was in HR for a large provincial employer, I was in charge of looking after the entire hiring process. I worked with a list of over 150 recruitment and staffing companies. One of the biggest pet peeves when dealing with staffing companies is when they send lousy resumes or poorly prepared candidates. Some recruiters looking for short-term gain, will throw any name in the hat in an attempt to make a placement and their commission. Some headhunters will often try to submit multiple candidates even when the employer has instituted a one resume per job requisition to increase their chances. The result of this kind of practice is a poor image of your recruitment company and a perception of your staffing service as a low value transactional service. Other consequences of submitting lousy resumes to employers include limits placed on resume length, number of submissions, and being removed from the vendor list.

So as an owner or manager let’s hope you know better but how do you ensure that the junior recruiter looking for a quick buck does not practice the “toss any name into the hat” recruiting method? Well, proper training, regular feedback from the employer is a start. In addition, you may want to monitor the number of interviews per submission metric. The higher the quality of resumes submitted, then the number of interviews granted per submission should be closer to 1. By monitoring and reviewing this metric regularly with your team, you will be communicating the importance and accountability of quality to your recruitment team. In the long run, this will pay big dividends for you, your recruiter, and your client. After all, why would an employer hire a professional headhunter if the result is more work from having to review low quality resumes?

So until our next post, we wish you much luck and success in your career search.