/ Resume Writing

How Long Should a Resume Be? The 2018 Guide to the Ideal Resume Length (Examples & Tips)

Is it not the length of your resume, but the depth, that matters?

The most happening question of the resume industry is: "How many pages should a resume be?"

Some say 1 page, others say 2 or 3 or more.

Some even say, it does not have any limit.

Dear sir, we're in a fast paced world where your ideal recruiter has to peruse more than 200 resumes on a daily basis in addition to other responsibilities.

So the professionals at Hiration are clear about it.

Ideally, the length of a resume depends on your work experience.

For freshers and people with less than ~10 years of experience, it's better to go for a 1 pager resume. In case of diverse experience, you can extend it to 2 pages, but definitely not more than that.

With experience over 10 years, your resume should ideally fit 2 pages, but definitely not more than that.

The resume needs to be crisp and expressive at the same time to make an impression on the recruiter. However, do not leave any amount of white space in your resume.

We know that adding content while keeping it simple could be difficult.

That's why we have 20+ industry-specific resume templates to fit your target job profile. You may try them now on our online resume builder.

What is the ideal Resume length?

So how many pages should a resume be?

Things are a' changing. We have moved from newspapers to Twitter. Character limits are important in order to prevent information explosion.

Here are the key points:

Work Experience Length
<= 10 years 1 page
> 10 years 2 pages

So what if you have hundreds of accomplishments that can't be boiled down?

Why does it matter?

Keep in mind when deciding on resume length:

Your resume is a career marketing tool, not an autobiography.

Strive to keep your resume concise and focused on your key selling points. Let go of past experiences that don't market you for your current goal.

Here's why resume length matters.

If you are a sales manager,

  • who has worked with key stakeholders,
  • completed several projects, and
  • achieved very impressive bottomlines,

you should be able to say all that in a single page.

Basically, more "wow," less words.

Every word in the resume should sell your credentials and value to a potential employer. This calls for details

However, at the same time, you should also leave something to talk about in the interview.

It's common for employers or recruiters to sort through hundreds, or even thousands, of resumes to fill one position.

Hiring managers often give resumes just a cursory, six-second glance before deciding if the applicant deserves to be added to the "maybe" pile.

While your resume will probably get a more thorough read if you are called for a job interview, ensure that your strongest selling points are immediately visible to make the first cut.

So, now for the main question.

How long can a resume be?

It should be as short as possible and still convey your worth. For most job seekers, that means one page. That's true for anyone with less than 7–10 years of relevant experience.

A resume should be 1 page for most, 2 for some, and more for a few. It depends who you're up against. If someone else can prove they fit the job in one page, use one. Need more to show your impressive achievements? Use 2+.

A resume can be one page or two pages. But is a 3-page resume too long? What about a 4-page resume?

Got enough unique, related achievements to fill four pages without repeating? (And is each one impressive?) Write a longer resume.

Focus on customizing your resume to the job offer and prove you fit the job by showing related accomplishments. If you can do that in one page, definitely do. If a single page makes you look too light for this particular career, add more achievements.

How far back should a resume go?

A resume should go back longer for jobs that need heaps of experience. If the job description says "3–5 years of experience required," don't list 20. Some studies suggest that overqualified candidates might have a harder time getting hired. Either way, list only relevant experience.

How long should a resume be for freshers?

How long should a resume be for a college student? If you solved Fermat's last theorem, created fusion in a lunchbox, and logicked the wings off a dragonfly, you'll need a 2 page resume or longer. The rest of us can use a single page.

Feel like there's just too much to keep in mind when writing your resume? We've got you covered. Get our free checklist and make sure you always submit a perfect resume that gets you the job: 46 Things You Need To Do Before You Send Your Resume

Pro Tip: What length of cover letter do you need? In most cases 2/3 of a page is perfect, though there are some pretty big exceptions. See our guide on cover letter length right here.

Need a one-page resume? Write a short resume fast that's tailored to the job and gets more interviews. Learn all the crucial resume rules fast.

Length for freshers

Resumes for new grads and entry-level job-seekers are most often (but not always) one page.

Most college career-placement centers tell students to limit their resumes to one page,” notes resume writer Sharon Pierce-Williams, 75 percent of whose business is writing for the college population. Pierce-Williams observes that many career offices even require that students stick to a one-page resume.

“Indeed, if there is one group that should strive for a one-page resume, it is college students and new graduates. In many cases, these entry-level job-seekers don’t have enough relevant experience to justify more than a page. Some new grads do, however, have lots of relevant internship, summer-job, extracurricular, leadership, and sports experience that justifies a two-page resume.”

Length, for a frehser depends on extra-curricular involvement and leadership. It takes a certain ‘go-getter' for a two-page resume.

Pierce-Williams designs college-student resumes in which page one “often looks like a “regular” resume, but page two is entitled Key Leadership and Project Management or simply Key Leadership. Pierce-Williams says she uses this page-two section to list three to four projects in which the student made a difference in an association or sorority/fraternity.

If you fall into the college-student/entry-level/new-grad group and are tempted to go to two pages, just be sure that you have the relevant material to justify a second page.

Length for Proffessional

A two-page resume may be the best bet for the vast majority of job-seekers.
“Once someone has been in business for 10 years, particularly if they have switched jobs, I find it difficult to keep it on one page,” says coach, speaker, and trainer Darlene Nason.

A two-page resume is a good average.

Resume have now taken the place of the initial interview, and only those with significant qualifications and strong resumes are even invited to interview.

It does take an additional minute or less for an HR professional to review the second page of a resume, but that extra minute is seen as far more helpful than scheduling a questionable candidate for a personal interview.

**Add Enclosure for additional information

Without adding to the length of the resume itself, attach addenda to your resume.

Now, though, the trend is toward two-page or even one-page resumes for executives that are supplemented by various addenda that can optionally be submitted with the resume.

A suite of addenda can be a strategic way to mention presentations, awards, published works, technical skills, extensive education, and expanded success studies.

Creating multiple supplements and addenda could help the job-seeker choose which to send along with the resume. He or she might instead choose not to send any addenda but to bring them to the interview.

No consensus on preferred resume length

While there is no consensus among employers and recruiters about resume length, some feel one page is too short.

  • Many recruiters believe that two pages is about the right length.
  • For some, three pages is the outside limit that they will read.
  • Others question executives’ ability to prioritize if their resumes are longer than two pages.

Basically, if the resume is longer than two pages, it needs to be well worth it.

Since recruiters pass candidate resumes on to client employers, they must also consider employer preferences.

Recruiter opinions about resume length have been colored in recent years by the growing practice of reading resumes on a computer screen rather than printing them.

Resumes that might seem too long in print are acceptable on screen.

Providing necessary details > Page Length

Sometimes, my immediate response is to ask for a more detailed resume."

A resume that is three pages but actually shows the qualifications and experiences necessary for a position is sometimes preferred to one that has to remove substance to meet the idea of a one/two-page resume.

Sometimes, resume length is of very little importance so long as the information is accurate, verifiable, and pertinent to the position. If a candidate has 20 years of experience directly relating to the position being applied for and that experience is verifiable, it should be listed even if the resume goes two-plus pages.

However, you should never breach the limit of 3 pages.

Capture attention in the first page

Preferably the first third of the first page, given that employers screen resumes for as few as 6 seconds, it should quickly capture the reader’s interest.

Often, as long as the resume grabs the attention of the hiring manager, it is the right length.

Whatever the length of the resume, it is important to make absolutely certain that your reader’s interest is piqued within the first half of the first page.

Of equal or greater importance [to length] is concise writing, short paragraphs, brief lists of bullet points, and good organizational strategies that ensure the resume can be quickly skimmed,” notes the Findings of 2011 Global Career Brainstorming Day: Trends for the Now, the New & the Next in Careers.

“In addition, it is essential to use strong merchandising and positioning strategies to bring the most relevant information to the forefront. Creating a strong impact “above the fold” — on the top half of the first page of the resume — has become increasingly critical for job seekers in one of the most competitive employment markets we’ve ever experienced.”

Leave no white spaces

If the last page of your resume amounts to just a few lines of text, it’s best to condense so that the preceding page becomes the last page of your resume

Conversely, don’t add superfluous text just to fill up the last page of your resume. “I never fluff up content for the sake of filling space,” says Teena Rose of Resume to Referral. “Irrelevancies can dilute the overall effectiveness of the resume.” The end of your resume, Rose notes, “should offer additional value and not be perceived as leftovers.”

Don’t sacrifice readability

It’s always pitiful when we have to whip out the magnifying class to read the tiny 8- or 9-point type on the resume of a job-seeker who has gone to absurd lengths to limit his or her resume to a certain number of pages.

Don’t forego readable type (we suggest no smaller than 10.5 point; 11 to 11.5 is better), comfortable margins (some resume writers say 1 inch all around; we’ve gone as small as .7″), space between lines, white space, and a pleasing, eye-attracting layout just to cram your resume onto X number of pages.

“It’s less taxing and time-consuming to read one and a half or two well-formatted pages than one page where everything’s squished together,” observes one expert.

“Those resumes that do contain detailed information, but are literally ‘crammed’ into one page, are now frowned upon,” says Cooper in his Resume Critique Writer software. “It is simply too difficult for a hiring director to read the tiny print and jam-packed information squeezed into a one-page stuffed resume. Companies that once insisted on one-page resumes are perfectly happy with a clearly-written, concise, and well-formatted two-page resume that is easy to read, yet has the detailed information they now need.”

Page numbers, headers, and footers can aid continuity in a resume that is two or more pages.

All resume pages beyond page one need to be numbered. Some job-seekers choose a “page 2 of 3” model.

“If you decide to go with two or more pages, be sure to include your name and appropriate page number at the top,” suggests Ann Baehr of Best Resumes. “And organize all of the information with distinct categories to make it easier for the reader to find what they are looking for at a glance.” Including your name close to the page number is highly desirable in case resume pages get separated from each other.

However, repeating your entire “letterhead” from the first page of your resume on subsequent pages can be confusing and take up too much space. Career-management coach Don Orlando takes a novel approach to a footer designed to entice the employer to keep reading the resume: “At the bottom of my multi-page resumes, there is a [customized] footer that reads something like this: ‘More indicators of performance General Motors can use now…'”

It’s okay for a resume section, such as your experience section, to straddle two pages of your resume, but avoid splitting the description of a given job over two pages.

Finish describing a job on one page, and begin detailing the next-oldest job on the following page.Great Resumes Fast

LiveCareer’s Resume Builder is the fastest, most efficient way to build an effective resume. Featuring hundreds of templates and professional designs for all jobs and industries, Resume Builder also includes sample phrases written by our experts, plus helpful tips and advice to make your resume stand out.

We’ll guide you step by step through the process, so you can build an impressive resume that will make employers want to know more. Also available via LiveCareer are resume templates and resume examples, organized by industry and job title.

Framing Sentences

So, how do you frame your sentences?

How can you make your resume the right length?

If you follow the resume length rules below, it won't matter whether you've got a 1-page resume, a 2-page resume, or longer. Why?
Because your resume length will self-regulate like it's got a job-search thermostat.

  • Keep it Moving : To paraphrase JFK: ask not, "How long should a resume be?" but "How can you keep it interesting?" Don't get bogged down with long descriptions of responsibilities. Managers skim resumes, often in six seconds. Be brief, and stick to achievements.
  • Keep it Relevant
  • Build your resume with achievements that prove you've basically already nailed the job. Doing that will keep your resume short and engaging.
  • Condense, Condense, Condense: Don't repeat the same achievement over and over. Rather than saying you trained five employees in Lean Principles, two in Agile, and 15 in Six Sigma, say you trained 20+ employees in techniques like Lean, Agile, and Six Sigma. That uses up one bullet point.
  • Use Font, Spacing, and Margins, but Don't Go Overboard:Yes, you can make resume fonts smaller, fiddle with line spacing, and tweak margins. But don't torture your resume layout so much it looks like a black sheet of paper. Some extra resume length is okay vs threatening the hiring manager with a wall of words.
  • A Few Impressive Achievements Beats a Long List of Responsibilities:Avoid listing all the many things you were responsible for. Not only will that make your resume too long, it's boring.
  • How many bullet points per job on a resume? List 3–5 bullet points per job on a resume. Make them 1–2 lines each. Do you really have enough impressive achievements to fill up 30 lines per job? If so, you need a 2-page resume. Make sure to keep them relevant to this particular offer.

Pro Tip: Are you a project manager, an engineer, or upper management? For any job where long experience makes you a better match, longer resumes work best. Just make sure to keep it relevant, and base it on achievements.

There are some rules in resume writing, but rule No. 1 is: include whatever helps you get the interview.

  1. Annexure: Project/Extra points in the extra section and the rest in the resume

Remember these key tips:

  • Resume length grows with the amount of experience required. For jobs that ask for 7+ years of experience, a 2-page resume is fine.

  • Resumes should be one page for most applicants. It all comes down to how many unique, impressive, related achievements you've got in your past.

  • How long is a resume? Write 3–5 bullets per job. Go back 10 years for all but senior-level management jobs.

  • Tailor your resume to fit the job description. If you do, the question answers itself.

  • Career marketing tool, not autobiography – Up until you are contacted by the recruiter, your resume is your largest selling point. Every word HAS to sell what you can do for the organization. Anything that doesn’t convince them of your knowledge, skills, or abilities is to be taken out. Now!

  • Content is critical – Information should be relevant to your career. Once you’ve reached a few years of work experience, take out the high school or college part time jobs. If still relevant, keep them in, but make sure they sell you to the reader. Leave in leadership positions, club memberships, education,and certifications/publications. Take out all personal information including age, martial status, number of children, health, and political/religious affiliations.

  • Keep a clean format – A neat looking, clean resume will do wonders for the recruiter/hiring managers eyes. If it flows nicely, than your selling points and critical content will be easily found, and your chances of receiving a phone call increase greatly. Close to 95% of the time, resumes are read electronically. If the resume has an overall easy to read format, the recruiter/hiring manager won’t mind scrolling and clicking through 2, 3, 4, or more pages online. However, two pages from a sloppy, poorly written resume will feel like reading Lord of the Rings, painfully long!

Use a one-page resume if:
You have fewer than 10 years of experience
You're pursuing a radical career change
Your experience isn't relevant to your new goal
You've held one or two positions with one employer
Use a two-page resume if:
You have 10 or more years of experience related to your goal
Your field requires technical or engineering skills
You need space to list and prove your technical knowledge
Put the most important information at the top of the first page
Lead your resume with a career summary
On the second page, include a page number, your name, and contact information
Consider a three-page resume or longer if:
You have a long track record of leadership accomplishments
You are in an academic or scientific field with an extensive list:
of publications, speaking engagements, professional courses, licenses, or patents
Multiple-page resumes can use addendum pages after page two
Job seekers can decide whether to send the full document