What Is the Ideal Length for a Resume?

Photo by João Ferrão on Unsplash

In the article that follows, we’ll go over some fundamental principles, frequent worries, common misunderstandings, and both excellent and terrible instances. We’ll focus on the number of pages as the resume’s length, of course.

Being Brief and Sweet

You will need to spend some time perfecting your job application and résumé, regardless of whether you’re looking for an office job or leaning toward the growing array of remote work choices. Recruiters get an average of 250 submissions for each job opportunity, so the goal is to create a CV that sticks out. However, do not allow any of this to demoralize you. 

Getting the hiring manager’s attention is the greatest method to position yourself for success in your job search. The easiest approach to achieve so is to determine the ideal length for a resume. You’ve undoubtedly heard a lot about the benefits of a one-page resume when it comes to the number of pages. Although this isn’t a hard and fast rule, you should definitely stay away from adding extraneous details and fake extensions that have nothing to do with your schooling or professional expertise.

Individual job applications are often skimmed by recruiters in less than a minute, so the information must be both pertinent and appealing. It must demonstrate your suitability for the position and properly sell your abilities. 

So how much space on a résumé is too much? The answer will vary depending on your specific situation, but for beginners, 450 to 600 words are the perfect range. Job candidates must be succinct due to this narrow range. The material has to ideally be laid up in bullet points. Here are some other helpful hints:

1. Don’t bother with positions you held more than 15 years ago and just list your more recent employment experience. Additionally, if you graduated in the 1990s, you don’t need to include your internship from college because a lot has happened since then.

But when it comes to education, this strategy is inapplicable; be sure to mention all of your degrees, regardless of when you obtained them.

2. Don’t mention EVERY job you’ve ever had on your resume, even when there isn’t a set page restriction. Pay special attention to those that are pertinent to the area of the job you are presently pursuing. You don’t need to disclose your side job as a dog sitter, for instance, if you’re looking for a career in digital marketing.

3. Unless you’re aiming to land a job as a graphic designer, get rid of graphics, logos, and creative headers. They may appear amateurish or even immature, and they might occupy too much space. Nevertheless, certain professions demand that you attach a photo to your CV. Adding images, though, might work against you if your goal isn’t to break into the acting or modeling industries. So, after removing the distracting imagery, how long should a resume be? The best resumes for the majority of recruiters highlight your accomplishments, talents, and experience in one to three pages.

4. Making formatting changes to your resume might make all the difference. Many folks employ incorrect margins. The text size should be 11 to 12 points for regular text and 14 to 16 points for headers and section headings. Acceptable margins for a cv are somewhere between 0.5, 0.75, and 1 inch.

5. To properly manage resume length, fewer bullet points should be used. Additionally, to avoid the CV looking clumsy, ensure that no one bullet point has more than two lines.

6. Remove the “references” and “hobbies” parts if nothing else works and you still need to make it shorter. The initial one ought to be contained in a different document and provided upon request. Employers that check your social media accounts can quickly locate the latter because it might be published on your Linkedin profile.

When is a one-page resume appropriate?

One of the most important aspects of the job search is having the ability to articulate your most pertinent experience. One-page resumes are useful in this situation. Many online resume templates provide a single page on which you may cram all of your qualifications. Naturally, if you’re a subject-matter specialist with years of professional expertise, this isn’t appropriate. But for many others, creating a one-page resume that combines quality and readability might increase their chances of landing a job.

For people with less than ten years of experience as well as students and recent grads, this resume size is ideal. Additionally, those who are switching careers or sectors might exclude material from their prior experience that is unrelated to the current field of employment, keeping their resume to one page.

The goal of a one-page resume is to simply get to the point fast so that prospects can skim it in a matter of seconds. Don’t be afraid to use a resume builder if you have no idea how to make one. Numerous web tools, both free and commercial, are available to assist you with this process.

Two-page and longer resumes

A well-crafted one-page resume can make you stand out, but for certain job candidates, two pages are preferable. With the additional room, you may write a compelling resume objective just beneath your name, followed by one or two phrases outlining your professional objectives and the reasons you are applying for the position. Additionally, you’ll have more room to demonstrate your relevant expertise and potentially persuade the recruiting manager to schedule an interview with you.

The length of a resume for candidates with more than 10 years of experience, therefore, depends on their experience. We advise you to use a two-page paper to emphasize your substantial experience, significant projects, or accomplishments related to the position you’re applying for. But be careful to stay away from unrelated employment, volunteer work, and hobbies as they are all major turnoffs for certain companies.

Naturally, highly qualified candidates who have been employed for more than ten years may find it challenging to condense all of their accomplishments, educational milestones, or certificates into a few brief lines.

However, if you want to catch the hiring manager’s attention, a resume should be no more than two pages. However, there are times when a resume might be longer if you’re struggling to explain why you’re the ideal candidate for the position and feel like you’re leaving out important details.

When Should You Go for Three Pages or More?

Firstly, keep in mind that you are writing a CV and not your autobiography. Multiple-page resumes appear ostentatious and are too long for busy recruiters to read. By eliminating the fluff, extraneous material, unneeded bullet points, references, and hobbies from their resumes, job seekers may keep it from growing to three pages. Just keep in mind that hiring managers prefer quality to quantity.

There are circumstances, nevertheless, in which drafting your resume beyond three or even more pages is acceptable. You must highlight your educational background, a comprehensive record of published works and studies, speaking engagements, and courses if you’re a professional seeking academic, research, and science career opportunities. The same is true for anyone looking for work in the medical area, particularly those with a lot of expertise.

For high-level or senior-level executives looking for a government job or those applying for a career in a difficult, technical sector, a resume page limit can also be increased. You must include case studies, descriptions of your technical talents, and highlights of your past projects if, for instance, you have expertise in project management. In such an instance, three pages (or more) are appropriate.

Finally, while presenting your work and achievements when applying for a job position outside of the US, you might need to follow a completely another set of guidelines. In contrast to the US and Canada, where resumes are frequently accepted, job seekers in Europe, India, Africa, and the majority of Asia typically send CVs.

In terms of a resume, the average amount of pages is between one and three. A CV, on the other hand, is two pages or more and includes information such as your marital status, volunteer activities, and references in addition to your academic and professional accomplishments, publications, and projects. Since a CV seldom exceeds one page, you should list all of your accomplishments on at least two of those pages.