How Long Should A Resume Be?

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Does My Resume Need to be One Page?

One of the most common questions our team at ResumeSpice hears from job seekers is some variation of “I heard that a resume needs to be one page. Is that true?”

The short answer is no. Somewhere along the line, a hiring manager must have expressed a strong preference for one page resumes – and all across the candidate landscape, the mythology took off. And it stuck in candidates’ heads. The reality is that we have yet to encounter a hiring manager, human resources executive, or anyone else in a hiring position who has ever rejected a candidate because their resume was more than one page.

So how long should a resume be?

Again with a short answer – as long as it needs to be to effectively, yet concisely, communicate a candidate’s background and experience. As a general rule of thumb, we recommend the following:

  • New grad: 1 page
  • Two to five years of experience: 1 to 2 pages
  • Six to ten years of experience: 2 pages
  • Over ten years of experience: 2 to 3 pages

Important caveat: the above should be used as a guide, as every candidate’s situation is different. For example, a job seeker with ten years of experience, who has a college degree and who has held one job their entire career, may be able to fit their entire work history in one page. Conversely, a job seeker with four years of experience may require two pages in order to fit their college degree, advanced degree, multiple internships while in school, and the responsibilities and accomplishments from two different work positions.

Can a resume be too long?

Yes. In very rare instances is there a need for a resume to go beyond three pages. A resume, unlike a traditional CV (curriculum vitae), is not a complete summary of one’s work history. Rather, it’s a document that highlights one’s career and education, focusing on the parts most relevant for a particular role.

Hopefully that helps clarify a very common question. If you have questions about your particular situation, call or email us. We would love to talk to you! Contact us today at 832.930.7378!