The topic of resume length is one that is at the center of many debates. Some people feel strongly that a resume should be contained to a single page, no more. Others believe that two or even three pages are acceptable. So how do you know what is the right length?
The truth is, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. For those with little experience, one page may be perfectly suited to clearly portray their strengths and abilities. On the other hand, a C-level executive would probably struggle to pare down their experience this much while still showing why they are a good fit for the job. It all depends on the individual, what they have to offer, and what their experiences are.
Deciding on Length
The length is determined by content. You want to emphasize your relevant experience and skills that align with the job you are seeking. Avoid adding excess information just to take up space and make it appear longer. This can detract from your resume’s impact because you start straying from your strongest abilities and accomplishments. A hiring manager is going to know that something is amiss if a recent college graduate is sending out a three-page resume fresh out of school.
- One Page: This is generally an acceptable length for recent college graduates, people with two years or less of experience, or those switching careers. It allows them to focus on what is most relevant and to the point. Hiring managers can quickly assess their strengths, experience, and achievements. More is not always better if it does not support your goal.
- Two Pages: Many people will find that two pages are ideal. It gives them enough room to highlight their previous work, education, professional development, and professional affiliations without feeling as though they have cut too much out. Trying to cram everything onto one page often means smaller fonts, blocky paragraphs, and a generally less appealing format.
If you have several years of work experience and have completed projects and held responsibilities directly related to the job you are applying for, you want to make sure you have room to showcase them. At the same time, try to focus on the most recent and applicable tasks rather than detailing every job you have held, especially if they have overlapping responsibilities.
- Three Pages: If you are a C-level executive with a wealth of experience, three pages is acceptable, but do not go beyond this. Professionals at this level often have significant leadership experience and have assumed more extensive responsibilities. They want to show that they are able to effectively lead or manage a company. Three pages may also apply to those in scientific or academic fields who have numerous publications, licenses, or professional courses to list.
The Bottom Line
Use your best judgment when it comes to resume length. Focus your content to what is truly necessary to show that you have what it takes to succeed in the position. If you can succinctly show that in a one page resume that is easy to read, great. If you need to go on to a second page to make the most impact, then do so.
If you are unsure about what you should be including in your resume and how long it should be, let the professionals at Chic Resumes by Grammar Chic, Inc. lend a hand. We can work with you to determine the most beneficial information to include and create a professional looking resume. Contact us today at 803-831-7444 or by visiting www.chicresumes.com to get started.