How Long Should a Resume Be?

Whenever I get into a discussion with a job search candidate, 9 times out of 10 I get asked the question, “How long should a resume be?” It is an important discussion because for some reason the length of a resume is a big deal for many hiring managers. Most of them see the resume as a visual presentation of you. If you have an extra long resume then either you are full of yourself or you do not know how to be concise and to the point.

Length of a resume is a struggle for career professionals at both ends of the spectrum. Candidates who consider themselves to be freshers and new to the marketplace struggle with filling up their resume. Mature candidates with a wide range of experience struggle with what to put in the resume format and what to leave out. While there are many different opinions about how long a resume should be, I am going to offer you 3 guidelines that can be a help to you.

1. Length of a resume is determined by years of experience. If you have just graduated college, you should not have a resume that is more than a page. If your resume is two pages, find ways that you can be more concise. You can have two pages once you have earned it. Once you have some experience under your belt.

2. Never go more than two pages. While this can be a challenge for some, you are better off leaving your resume to two pages. I know many HR professionals who toss resumes that are three pages long. You are better off sticking with two pages to avoid the appearance of having a resume that is too long.

Career Fair - how long should a resume be?

Image by jeremy.wilburn via Flickr

3. Only add the past 10-15 years of experience on your resume. This is becoming more and more common in today’s marketplace. In order to provide short, concise resumes you must make concessions somewhere. Most employers only care about what you have done in the past 10-15 years. Beyond that the experience is just about irrelevant the way that technology is growing today.

Be sure to consider these guidelines when trying to to decide how long a resume should be. This will help you to land more interviews and hopefully more offers.

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    Jonathan has been blogging since 2009 and is still in awe that the Creator of the Universe desires to have a relationship with him. His passions include spending time with his kids, reading, March Madness, surprise get-a-way trips with his wife, and watching funny YouTube videos.

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

    • Swapna

      Nice tips.Thank you.
      Even i followed the same. My Resume is not more than 2 pages. But that time i downloaded a Resume Guide from Feacher India website. That was good. Specially designed for Freshers.