Resume Tips

How Many Pages Should a Resume Be?

There are many rumors floating around on the internet and throughout the job marketplace regarding the correct length of a resume and how far back a resume should go. These are all good questions and subjects to cover since there are many different approaches you must take depending on your particular background and target industry. The truth is, there are no standard rules that should be applied to the length of a resume, although keeping the content concise and straight to the point may be a key element in the effectiveness of the document depending on your line of work. Some job seekers will have more information than others, for example – a seasoned professional with 20 years of work history and 8 different jobs held vs. an entry-level college graduate with no significant achievements or experience. Obviously there will be a distinguishable format between the two resumes. During an entry-level job search campaign may be one of the examples when the rumor about a “one-page resume” would apply. Again, this is not a standard rule that one must follow.

Every industry, recruiter, and employer requires varied amounts of information that goes on a resume. Therefore, it is important to hone in on those particular requirements to ensure you are gathering the necessary information to achieve your targeted objective. So just to recap – how long should a resume be? Well, there is simply no definite answer to this question. So when you are asking yourself the other question – is my resume too long? – remember that everyone’s situation is different, job requirements vary, and some backgrounds are more diverse or extensive than others.

Should a resume be one or two pages long?

  • Rumor #1: A resume should never exceed more than one page or it will not be read by busy recruiters and managers.
  • Rumor #2: Some believe that a longer resume (more than 2 or 3 pages) is necessary to adequately explain a candidate’s background.

Interestingly enough, these two rumors represent different viewpoints; however, like many rumors, they each contain some truth that derives from how a resume will be looked at by employers. It is important to also keep in mind that some companies may also first use an applicant tracking system (ATS) for screening and organizing applicants. Therefore, the actual page length of a resume will not matter so much in this situation.