How Long Should My Resume Be?

Each person's resume is unique, and determining the ideal length for your resume hinges on your individual skills, experiences, and qualifications. While a great resume doesn't have to be lengthy, it mustn't be so concise that it excludes crucial information. By employing the right approach, you can tailor your resume to the perfect length for your next application.

What is the optimal resume length?

Typically, a resume should span one or two pages.
Some job seekers wrongly assume that a resume should never surpass a single page, but this notion is outdated. In the past, when individuals held one or two long-term positions throughout their careers, maintaining a one-page resume was simple. However, contemporary professionals may change jobs numerous times, accumulating more achievements and certifications. Crafting a one-page resume becomes more demanding under these circumstances.

Nonetheless, this doesn't imply that your resume should extend to four or five pages. Recruiters are primarily interested in the most recent ten years of your professional history, and they are unlikely to peruse more than two or three pages, regardless of the quality. Studies reveal that recruiters only spend an average of six seconds scanning each resume they receive. Hence, it's crucial to ensure that vital details are prominently displayed and that employers aren't overwhelmed by excessive pages.

Around 90% of applicants have a CV that is one to two pages

In essence, your resume should be as brief as possible without omitting essential information. For most job seekers, a one or two-page resume is suitable. Avoid making your resume excessively short or excessively verbose. Nevertheless, keep in mind that the precise length of your resume will be influenced by your career trajectory and experience level.


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How many pages should my resume be?

While drafting a job application, it's vital to bear in mind that recruiters are human and possess limited attention spans. Those reviewing numerous resumes are prone to losing focus periodically. To captivate attention effectively, aim to keep your resume concise while incorporating all pertinent details. Prevent the recruiter from losing interest before reaching the conclusion.

The appropriate length of your resume is contingent on various factors, such as your background, industry, the specific job you seek, and your career stage. Additionally, your resume length may vary for each application, as customization is key. Although most job seekers present one or two-page resumes, there are situations where a three-page or longer resume is permissible.

Optimal Resume Length: One Page vs. Two Pages

One-Page Resume Guidelines:

The strict requirement for a single-page resume is not set in stone, but many job seekers find this length favorable. A one-page resume is ideal if:
You are a student or recent graduate: New to the workforce, emphasizing school projects, volunteer work, and relevant experiences.
You possess less than five years of work experience: Entry-level positions typically do not demand lengthy resumes.
You are transitioning to a different career: Shifting career paths necessitates concise and targeted details to fit on one page.


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Two-Page Resume Guidelines:

Traditionally, resumes adhered to the one-page limit, but contemporary trends have seen the rise of the two-page format. A two-page resume is suitable when:
You hold over five years of work experience: Accommodating seniority, certifications, and a more extensive work history.
You were an exceptional student: Abundant awards, honors, projects, and volunteering experiences may warrant a two-page resume.
Your content doesn't neatly fit on one page: Extending to two pages might be necessary to present all relevant information effectively.

Remember, while the content of your resume takes precedence, visual appeal and formatting also play key roles in making a strong impression on potential employers.

Three Plus Pages Resume Guidelines:

Resumes extending beyond two pages are uncommon but can prove beneficial under specific circumstances. Consider a three-page resume if:
You boast over a decade of professional experience: Showcasing numerous significant roles, promotions, certifications, and affiliations might require more space.
You are in or applying for a government position: Governmental agencies often mandate comprehensive details. Meeting all job requirements, even if it exceeds two pages, is crucial.
Your field necessitates a CV: Certain professions, such as research, medicine, or academia, typically demand a Curriculum Vitae (CV) instead of a standard resume. CVs can span multiple pages to encompass extensive credentials and experience.


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Trimming Your Resume

If your resume exceeds the desired length, consider these strategies:
Alter the template: Opt for a template with less white space or compact designs, like a two-column layout, to condense content.
Customize for relevance: Tailor your resume to each job by focusing on relevant achievements. Eliminate irrelevant details and emphasize accomplishments over duties.
Adjust formatting: Simplify your resume by adjusting font size, margin sizes, and rearranging sections using tools like VisualCV's resume builder.

Summary

Resumes extending beyond two pages are uncommon but can be necessary for experienced professionals, government positions, or fields requiring a CV. To keep your resume concise, consider template changes, customization for relevance, and formatting adjustments.

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