How Long Should a Resume Be? The Answer is Surprisingly Simple.

By Natalie Winzer, iHire, LLC
two interviewers holding a long resume staring at a candidate in shock

After working with thousands of clients over the years, our resume writers have started to hear some common questions:

 

How long should my resume be?

Can a resume be more than one page?

Is a three-page resume too long?

 

The short answer to all of these questions? Your resume should be as concise as possible, but also as long as necessary to get you hired.

Sure, there are plenty of resume “rules” out there to follow, but just as no two job seekers are exactly the same, no one resume length will be right for everyone.

Read on for expert resume advice on how long your resume should be.

 

How long should a resume be?

Before deciding how long your resume should be, it’s important to understand what your resume is for in the first place: to land you interviews. It’s a marketing piece – not an autobiography – with the sole purpose of “selling” you to your next employer.

Regardless of your experience level, your resume should only be as long as it needs to be in order to get hiring managers to call you.

As you write your resume, ask yourself these questions: Does my audience care about this stuff? Will this information help me get hired?

If yes, keep it. If not, chop chop!

 

 

Can a resume be more than one page?

Yes, but as mentioned above, only if it has to be.

Most entry-level professionals will have no problem keeping their resume within a single page. But there are some that will have plenty of worthwhile information to require a two-page resume (impressive school projects, internships, community service, and awards, for example).

If you’re an experienced professional and can keep your resume to one page while also telling enough of your career story to entice hiring managers to call you, kudos! But if you can’t, don’t automatically resort to deleting valuable information, or worse, using tiny font sizes and margins to squeeze everything within a single page. 

Depending on your background and current career aspirations, a multi-page resume may be completely appropriate.

 

Is a three-page resume too long?

At the expense of sounding like a broken record, not if it’s necessary to achieve your end goal: interviews.

It’s not uncommon for an executive-level professional to use a three-page document, and their audience won’t be shocked to find extensive experience, achievements, credentials, etc. included on these folks’ resumes.

However, if your resume is three pages long because your career history includes irrelevant part-time jobs from the 80s, some cuts are absolutely in order.

 

 

We’ve all heard that hiring managers spend mere seconds initially reviewing a resume. But, this doesn’t mean your resume has to be one page; it means that everything you include on your resume must work to your advantage.

Follow this resume advice: always keep your audience in mind, and you can be confident your resume is worthy of interviews.


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