Question: I’ve been told that a modern resume should show a sense of efficiency and brevity by clocking in at one page, but this just isn’t realistic for me. I’ve been working hard in my field for more than 10 years, and I’ve accumulated some victories and credentials that I just can’t leave out of my profile. What is the right resume length for me?
Answer: If you absolutely need to use more than a page, that’s okay. The resume police won’t come to your house and arrest you. The one-page warning isn’t an absolute rule, it’s just a guideline that helps job applicants submit resumes that managers will respect and prefer. The fact is, most managers like succinct resumes and are more likely to give your document positive attention if it fits this description.
Focus on the Present
That being said, there are a few ways you can conform to this general guideline (NOT rule) without selling your credentials short. For example, bear in mind that at your level, a majority of hiring managers will focus their attention on your two most recent positions without digging too far into your work history. They understand you wouldn’t have made it to your current impressive situation without the benefit of success at the entry level. This success is implied, so you can take the details of your first adult job off the page.
Share Your Most Recent Education
The same applies to your education. Once you’ve received your master’s degree, it’s okay to delete your high school information. And once you’ve earned five levels of advanced certifications within a given skill set, you can remove levels one through four. This should keep your resume length concise and to the point.
Don’t Be Afraid to Leave a Few Things Out
As proud as you may be of the workplace awards you won years ago (such as Employee of the Month at your old company), you can remove those as well. These victories have done their job, they got you where you are today. And where you are today speaks for itself. Be selective, tighten your language and remove excess description and your most important claims are sure to come shining through.
Most positions don’t require a resume page length above a single page, but there are exceptions to this rule. If you have enough experience and it’s useful to showcase more of your credentials to get a job in your industry, a two- or three-page resume length may be appropriate.