What To Know About the Length of Your Resume This Year

Getting the right resume length is important. How do you make sure your resume length is the right length for the job you want?

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Why Is Resume Length Important?

A one-page resume is considered ideal for many reasons, most notably because a one-page resume is easy for recruiters, hiring managers and even applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan for information. On the other hand, if your resume is too short, it is likely that a hiring manager will assume that you do not have the skills and experience to undertake the job description of the role you have applied for. If your resume is too long, by contrast, the recruiter may not take you seriously because of your inability to create a concise resume. So in other words, resume length is an important part of its presentation, so if you break any of the commonly expected conventions, there needs to be a good reason for it.


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How Long Should My Resume Be?

While it is common for a one-page resume to be the norm, there are some cases in which a two or even a three-page resume may be acceptable. Knowing when it is appropriate to exceed a single page during resume writing is important for job seekers, especially when you progress beyond entry-level positions. 

One page

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.  

Two pages

A two-page resume format can be appropriate for job seekers who have a lot of relevant skills, qualifications and work experience that will help them to land a new job. You should not use this format for an entry-level position, generally speaking, but if you are applying to a niche role and you have things like internships to list, it can be appropriate to add a second page to your resume along with a cover letter. 

Longer than two pages

There are times for which a three-page resume, or even a slightly longer one, may be appropriate. One situation in which this might be acceptable is if you are applying to a senior-level position, for example, and potential employers will have an interest in every aspect of your work history and training. In cases like these, the length of your resume becomes less important than its content. 

If you want to get an idea of what an appropriate length for your resume is, you can use a resume builder to create an effective and functional draft. ResumeHelp has an excellent resume builder that is free for job seekers to use.


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Common Situations Where Your Resume May Be Shorter or Longer

As you can see, there are some general situations in which the ideal resume length goes above one page. Mostly these are situations in which the longer resume displays an expanded work history or education section in order to show that the job seeker is qualified to do very specialized work. Some specific examples in which the resume you send in a job application may be longer include: 

  • 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.)

In short, 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. By contrast, there are far fewer situations in which a resume being significantly shorter than one full page is appropriate or acceptable. In these cases, however, it is better to try to expand the resume to a full page by focusing on other things. While a recent graduate or a job seeker undergoing a career change may have a very small professional experience section, they can minimize excessive white space in their resume by showcasing other certifications, hard 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 limited professional experience in many ways.


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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. 

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