How Many Pages Should a Resume Be?| Best Resume Length

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The ideal resume length should give you enough room to include your most relevant information while presenting it to hiring managers in a clear way. Most people limit their resumes to one page, but experienced professionals with an extensive list of skills and achievements will need more space to market themselves as the best match for the role. In this article, you can learn tips to help you determine the length of your own resume.

Why should you choose a resume length?

Resume length should be enough to convey the best qualities that qualify you for the role. The length of your resume depends on your experience, skills and the job requirements. You can use a multiple-page resume if you need more space to list achievements and skills that might increase your chances of getting the position.

You should always try to keep your resume concise to make it easier for the hiring manager to see your main selling points. Based on your experience, work history and job requirements, your resume’s length can be one page, two pages or more.

Here are some tips to help you determine the best resume length for your current career status:

When to use a one-page resume

The one-page resume is ideal for entry-level candidates who have less than 10 years of experience. This resume length also applies if you are a recent graduate or you are changing careers and have no relevant experience. You can also use a one-page resume if you have worked with an employer before.

The work environment is changing, and many entry-level applicants boast extensive experience from freelance and contract assignments. If you are applying to an entry-level role and one page won’t be enough to convey your experience and skills, use a multiple-page resume. But keep your key qualifications at the top of the first page.

When to use a two-page resume

You can use a two-page resume if you have 10 or more years of experience in your particular career path. A two-page resume also applies if you work in engineering or other technical fields that require extensive qualifications and skills.

This resume length provides more space to showcase relevant experience, work history, skills, certifications and qualifications without reducing readability. Be sure to include your top-selling points at the beginning of the front page to capture the hiring manager’s attention.

When to use a three-page resume

A three-page resume is ideal if you are a senior-level manager or top executive with extensive experience and a long list of professional achievements. When applying for a U.S. federal government position, you may also need a multiple-page resume.

You can also use this resume length if you work in academia or the sciences. The extra space will allow you to list your publications, professional courses, licenses, patents, conference attendance or speaking engagements.

Freelancers, especially those in the tech field, can also use a multiple-page resume. If you have a long list of projects, proficiencies, apps and contracts, it’s difficult to include all of your work experience and skills in a one-page or two-page resume. However, remember to be concise and place the most relevant points at the top of the document.

What’s the ideal length for a college application resume?

Most people applying for college need a one-page resume. Be sure to include specific details so you can highlight your best and most relevant achievements. Use more pages if you need to list extracurricular activities, academic awards, leadership positions and other things that can boost your chances of getting admission.

How to write the right length resume

The following tips will show you how to make your resume fit the page length appropriate for your target role:

1. First, show relevant experience and skills

Keep the content of your resume relevant to the job description. Read through the job requirements to understand the best skills, experiences and work history that will boost your chances of getting the role. Before submitting your resume, revise it to remove any element that does not support your application.

2. Second, be concise

Keep your resume brief. Avoid long descriptions of your experience and responsibilities. Write your achievements and experience in short sentences that grab the hiring manager’s attention.

Remember that interviewers have less than 10 seconds to skim resumes. Mention only notable achievements relevant to the position.

3. Third, avoid repetition

Avoid repeating similar achievements in your resume. It’s better to combine the number of employees you hired and trained instead of mentioning them in different bullet points. You can condense similar experiences, especially if it extends beyond 15 years.

You can also skip some responsibilities in order to allow space for more impressive accomplishments. This will reduce the resume length and provide better insight to the employer. 

4. Fourth, limit entries to the last 15 years

Except for academic and research-based positions, you can limit your experience and work history to the last 15 years. Emphasize current experiences and responsibilities in your resume to show employers how your recent work relates to the position’s requirements.

Read and understand the job requirements carefully. If the application requires seven years of experience, go a little over that. Providing more years than required can make you overqualified for the role.

5. Fifth, create a separate section for early work

If you are applying for a senior-level role, you can include earlier experience and certifications in an ‘Early Work History’ or ‘Career Note’ section. This section comes after listing your professional experience and allows you to summarize earlier roles to keep your resume short.

6. Sixth, choose small fonts styles

Choosing an appropriate font style can help keep your resume length short. You can try an 11-point font instead of a 12-point font. Try font styles like Calibri, Calibri Light and Arial Narrow which require less page space than Arial and Times New Roman.

7. Seventh, reduce font size

The font size you choose can reduce your resume length. Try font size 10 or 10.5 points but keep the text readable. You can also shrink the headings to 13 or 15 points but they should still be bolder than the rest of the text.

8. Eighth, shrink the margins and space

Reducing the margins can yield more page space. But allow a minimum of 0.5 inch on all sides of the page. You can also reduce the spacing on your resume to limit the page length. Try shrinking the spaces between headings to one space but remember to keep the resume legible. Test different margins and spacing but leave enough white space to keep the document neat and readable.

9. Ninth, choose a style

You can change the style of your resume to increase space and improve legibility. Try italicizing words instead of bolding them. Organize the content in a way that is readable and neat. However, it’s better to use a multiple-page resume if that will improve the organization and readability. 

When writing a resume, the quality and clarity of the content takes precedence over the length. The ideal resume length should capture your selling points concisely without reducing readability. Where possible, use a one-page resume. But a multiple-page document is ideal if you need the space to convey the relevant skills and experiences that best qualify you for the role.