Trying to determine the appropriate length for your resume can be difficult, especially with all the conflicting information that shows up in search results. You may have heard a resume should never be more than a single page, but that doesn’t apply to everyone.
For most people, one page is all that is necessary. However, circumstances regarding years of work experience and type of work greatly impact the length of your resume. So, here’s how long your resume should be and tips to keep it concise:
- When Your Resume Should Be One Page
- When Your Resume Should Be Two Pages
- When Your Resume Should Be Longer than Two Pages
- How to Keep Your Resume Length Ideal
- General Guidelines
When Your Resume Should Be One Page
“The length of your resume should be equivalent to your experience,” says Jen Heller Meservey, owner of a resume writing company. “An entry-level resume shouldn’t be more than one page. If it is, you should review your content and trim it down.”
Therefore, if you are still in school or newly graduated, your resume should be strictly one page. At this point in your career, you do not have enough experience to constitute taking up any more than a single page.
As a general rule, if you have less than 10 years of professional experience, keep your resume to one page. Because recruiters typically do not spend a lot of time reviewing a single resume, they might miss highlights or skip over portions of a multi-page resume.
When Your Resume Should Be Two Pages
However, if you have more than 10 years of professional experience, a two-page resume may be more appropriate, especially if you are applying to a mid-range position or higher.
According to a recent study conducted by ResumeGo, “recruiters were 2.3 times as likely to prefer two-page resumes over one-page resumes.” When looking closer, the more advanced the position, the more likely recruiters preferred two-page resumes.
However, do not try to get two pages out of your resume if you genuinely only have the experience for a singular page. It could signal to the recruiter that you do not have enough experience or good communication skills.
When Your Resume Should Be Longer Than Two Pages
CareerBuilder asked hiring managers and human resources professions about the most common mistakes made on resumes. Almost 20 percent identified “resumes that are more than two pages long” as the most common mistake.
Unless specified in the job posting, your resume should never be more than two pages. If it is, you are adding unnecessary information to your resume. Struggling to keep your resume under two pages? Check out some guidelines below.
How to Keep Your Resume Length Ideal
Remember you only want to include experiences that are relevant to the job you are applying for. “Take out anything that isn’t relevant to the job for which you’re applying, but make sure you don’t leave any gaps in your work history,” says Meservey.
Meservey explained taking out filler words and making your bullet points direct will help shorten your resume. Remove any long-winded phrases and replace them with simplistic descriptions of your accomplishments.
If all else fails, you can target the physical structure of your resume. Customize your page margins, font, and text size to keep your text on one or two pages. Meservey recommends not going smaller than .25” on your margins or smaller than 10 pt with your font.
- Resumes should never have half-pages: Keep your resume to one full page or two full pages. Anything in between will appear unprofessional.
- Struggling to fill a full page: If you are struggling to fill two pages, your resume should not be that long. It is easier to cut down a resume than try to add information that may not be necessary for the hiring manager.
- Utilize your white space: When ensuring your resume is the ideal length, you want to examine how you are using white space. Adding too much to hit another full page will give off an unprofessional look, but not using enough will make everything run together. Consistency is key, make sure your white space is working in your favor.
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