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How long should a resume be this year?
Job seekers often ask themselves “How long should a resume be?” while writing a resume. The answer is pretty straightforward but there are some general rules to follow about resume length — and we’re here to teach you all about them so you can land that new job! Our page will provide you with:
- Tips on the best resume length for you
- Examples and tips for getting your resume to the right length
Why is resume length important?
A resume shouldn’t be too long or too short. Why?
- A resume that’s longer than two pages isn’t ideal because recruiters and hiring managers typically spend less than a minute reviewing resumes. If you give the recruiter a resume that’s too long, they might not be motivated to read it. Additionally, they may not take you seriously because of your inability to be concise with your information.
- A resume that’s shorter than one page in length may lead hiring managers to assume that you do not have the skills and experience to undertake the responsibilities listed in the job description.
Resume length is an important part of a resume’s presentation, so if you break any commonly expected conventions, there must be a good reason for it.
How long should a resume be?
A resume is typically one-page long. However, there are some cases where a two-page resume may be acceptable. Here’s how to determine what resume length to go for:
The majority of job seekers should stick to a single-page resume, especially if they are seeking entry-level positions. You can make the most of your one-page resume by using bullet points and peppy, brief phrases to ensure you can fit as much relevant information into your resume as possible.
A two-page resume format can be appropriate for job seekers who have a lot of years of relevant experience in their field because it gives you more room to provide additional details on your work experience and skills. Despite the fact that recruiters typically spend a short amount of time reading job applications, they also expect longer resumes for a senior or managerial position.
Our resume templates page is a great place to find professional layouts you can use to experiment with your resume length. You can create and save multiple versions of your resume in our Resume Builder.
Ideal resume length for each job seeker
In some situations, your resume length might be less or more than hiring managers expect.
- Two-page resumes may be submitted for any position that has high levels of authority or responsibility, or that requires many technical skills and special qualifications makes a multi-page resume acceptable, such as:
- Senior-level candidates seeking work in international banking
- Job seekers applying to senior positions in academia
- Post-grad job seekers looking for research positions
- Job seekers applying to senior-level positions in a business (CFO, CEO, etc.)
- A resume that’s shorter than one full page has fewer moments where it’s appropriate or acceptable. While a recent graduate, high school student or a job seeker undergoing a career change may have a very small work history section, they can minimize excessive white space in their resume by showcasing other certifications, hard skills and soft skills, and unpaid and extracurricular experience that show relevant skills and traits. Things like internships and volunteer work can all help a resume stand out to hiring managers and will make up for a limited professional experience section in many ways.
- A resume that’s longer than two pages is a CV. In the U.S., a curriculum vitae is typically requested for jobs in academia, sciences and law, and it’s an extensive overview of your career. CVs can extend to five or even eight pages, depending on your experience and professional information.
5 tips for the right resume length
Follow these five tips to achieve the right length for your resume:
- Be concise. Use bullet points and short phrases to compact your information in each section. Remember, recruiters and hiring managers don’t spend much time reading your resume, so get straight to the point and avoid fluff or filler words.
- Pay attention to your layout. A professional resume should have 1-inch margins across the document (but you can take them down half an inch to include more details) and the body text’s size should be between 10- and 12-points.
- Focus on what’s important. Tailor your resume to only include relevant skills and experiences that apply to the job. If you’re applying for a graphic designer position, you don’t need to include your part-time experience as a barista (unless your responsibilities relate to the graphic design job).
- Target what the job wants. Read the job description carefully and pick out important resume keywords to include in your resume. Not only will it help you customize your resume to the job but it will also aid applicant tracking systems (ATS).
- Finally, your resume is as long as you need it to be. Even with all the general rules of thumb above, if your resume goes over a page, it’s not a big deal, as long as you’re being concise and all your information is vitally important to the job.
More resume examples and tips
There’s more to writing a resume than just making sure it has the correct resume length. ResumeHelp has dozens of expert articles and resources to create a solid resume and top career advice for career experts.
- How to Write a Resume: Our guide includes examples and tells you everything you need to know about writing each section of your resume, from the contact information to the resume summary.
- Resume Design Tips: Learn the best resume design tips with our article.
- Resume Formats Explained: The first step to resume writing is choosing the right resume format.
- Resume Basics: More Tips and Guides: Find more information about resumes and job search in our library.
- Cover Letter Builder: No job application is complete without a cover letter. Use our Builder to write an eye-catching cover letter.
- Cover Letter Templates: Pair your resume with one of our cover letter templates.
- Cover Letter Examples: Find a cover letter example for hundreds of jobs and industries.
The big takeaways
Let’s wrap up by quickly summarizing the major points we talked about in our page:
- The most common resume length is one page.
- It’s OK for experienced job seekers to have a two-page resume.
- Keep your information concise and straightforward with bullet points and short sentences.
- A CV and a resume are two different things. CVs are typically longer than three pages.
- A resume template is a great way to play around with your resume length.
FAQ: Length of a resume
Q: How long is the typical resume?
Generally speaking, the typical resume length is one page. From time to time, a recruiter may see a two-page resume or even a three-page resume, but this is uncommon because the point of a resume is to provide all relevant information in the most concise form.
Q: Is a three-page resume too long?
In most cases, a resume longer than one page is too long. The main exceptions to this rule are job seekers who are extremely educated or who have extensive, prestigious work experience to list. If you are in doubt about the relevance of some of the information on your resume, it is probably too long.
Q: How much of my job history should I put on my resume?
Broadly speaking, you should not include more than 10 years of past experience on your resume. If the job you are applying to requires a certain amount of work experience, it is good practice to put a little more than this on your resume. For example, if the job description states that five or more years of experience is required, you should list at least five to six years of work experience.
Q: How long should a resume be in 2023?
A resume in 2023 should be either one-page or two-pages long, it will depend on your years of experience. Typically, a one-page resume is the most commonly submitted to a job application but it’s normal for senior-level or managerial positions to receive professional resumes that are two-pages long. Your resume length will come down to relevant skills and amount of work experience.
Q: Is a two-page resume OK?
Yes, a two-page resume is OK if you’re a job seeker with extensive work experience in your field. Supervisors, managers, senior-level professionals and other candidates in a higher-up level may need two pages to fully include their experience. Recruiters and hiring managers also usually expect to receive two-page resumes for these job applications, so they won’t be thrown off by a resume that has a second page.
If you’re an entry-level candidate or have fewer years of experience, we recommend the length of your resume to start at one page and make your information as concise as possible.
Q: Is it OK to have a three-page resume?
For a resume, no; for a U.S. CV, yes. A CV, also known as a curriculum vitae, is an extensive overview of someone’s career and can extend to eight or more pages. It’s more commonly used in academia, sciences and law, where employers want to know about a candidate’s research, publications, awards and affiliations.
Usually, a job description will let you know what type of document to send.