Resume length is always a hot topic in our office. Can a resume be multiple pages? The overall feeling is that if a resume is too long, then it’s at risk of a hiring manager/recruiter not reading the entire document. On the other hand, if the resume is too short, it can come across like a shortage of desired experience.
Without a doubt, there’s no magic resume length that works for everyone. Every resume should be customized according to each individuals need.
Depending on where you are on the career path, a well written one-page resume can absolutely make the perfect impact. However, with expansive education histories and applicants navigating a dynamic workforce, single-page resumes oftentimes create limitations.
Absolutely, the goal is to create a document that represents skills, accomplishments, and experience. If the focus is primarily on the appropriate number of pages this can really inhibit one’s ability to effectively market themselves.
There’s just no advantage to cramming everything on one page. Especially if the end product cluttered and difficult to read.
Situations where one-page resume can be ideal:
- Fewer than 10 years’ experience
- Career changes where past experience doesn’t transfer to new goals.
- Work history of one or two positions with the same employer
But how long should a resume be if you’ve been in the workforce for a while? This is a valid question for those with extensive work histories.
Obviously, with one-page, we’re working with a small space yet aiming to offer a high impact. With a heading at the top and resume sections below including qualifications summary, experience, education, and skills, there’s not a lot of room left over for in-depth accomplishments.
Two pages allow extra space to really showcase the history while targeting your desired job postings.
Just remember, you do want page-two to see the light of day! If the resume length extends to two pages, be sure to include the most compelling information on the first page.
Three pages or longer
While three pages may seem like you’re entering novella territory, this resume length is oftentimes necessary for high-level professionals.
To keep it concise, write with the employer’s needs and wants in mind.
In addition to this, we recommend you take inventory of why you need a longer format. As well as that, we need to allow for several adjustments before going to multiple pages.
The aim is to build on quality versus quantity.
First to consider is letting go of early career experiences that don’t market to current goals. A resume should not be an obituary of one’s career. It should tell a detailed story highlighting the specifics of your job search.
The ideal resume length depends on you
Are you a student or new graduate with qualifications that don’t quite fit on one page? Try two pages. Are you a CEO with a penchant for getting to the point? Try a one-page resume. The rule is there is no rule.
Resume Goals: Craft an easy to read document that consists of relevant content with a clear and consistent theme. Aim to distinguish from the competition by portraying current and detailed information. Target keyword optimization to meet ATS approvals.
If all of these factors can be positively addressed on one page, so be it. But if it takes two pages—or more—to address each factor, that’s fine too.
Finally, don’t sweat it. If all this overwhelms you, our team of professional resume writers has just what you need. Reach out for a free resume review and consultation. We offer Resume updates, Cover Letters, LinkedIn Profile Optimization, Coaching and Recruitment services.
Connect with us here for a free 15-minute consultation. https://calendly.com/powerwritersusa-ca