For years, job seekers have heard that their resume should be no more than one page. However, there is no hard and fast rule that one page is the max or even the ideal length. It depends on each person and their individual experience and accomplishments.
In fact, trying to cram your resume into a single page can mean eliminating relevant information that could help you get the job, or having a document that is harder to read. On the other hand, you shouldn’t add unnecessary details because you think a longer resume would look more impressive. Focus on quality over quantity.
Here are a few general rules of thumb to keep in mind when it comes to resume length at each stage of your career.
If you are in college, a recent graduate, or working your first job, a one-page resume is often enough. Employers realize that you do not have a wealth of experience and are just starting your career. Include your education, key skills you have acquired, and any internships or professional experience you have gained.
If you are a new graduate, you may also find it beneficial to highlight major projects you completed in college that are relevant to the job you are seeking. You may need a second page if you completed multiple internships, were involved in research studies, or are in a medical field where you have rotations or licenses to include.
Once you are more established in your career, a two-page resume is more appropriate. This gives you the flexibility to show how you have advanced in your career and touch on major accomplishments along the way. Additionally, you may want to include continuing education, certifications, licenses, or professional organizations.
Now that you are not a recent graduate, you can remove projects or courses you took in college as well as any internships since you have professional experience to highlight instead. Keep things concise, ideally limiting each bullet point to one or two lines. Focus on what you achieved and how you benefitted the company, not creating a laundry list of every responsibility you had. In some cases, you may go onto a third page, but make sure everything you include is relevant and serves a purpose.
At this point in your career, you likely have a wealth of experience, and that is wonderful. But once again, you don’t have to include everything you’ve ever done. Limit your resume to the past 10-15 years, as what you have done more recently is likely the most relevant. Your resume should be two to three pages, with three pages being the max.
As an executive, you’ll want to highlight the higher-level accomplishments you have achieved and showcase your leadership and management abilities. Many executives find that their resume shifts to being more strategic rather than tactical. You’re developing strategic plans and initiatives, leading teams, and driving performance.
Adjusting Resume Length
Once you have cut the fluff and zeroed in on the most pertinent and impactful information to include on your resume, you may find that it doesn’t quite fit on the page. There are several changes you can make to give yourself a little more wiggle room:
- Adjust the margins, but don’t go any smaller than 0.5”.
- Adjust the font, but keep it between 10 and 12 point depending on the font style so that it is still easy to read.
- Adjust the spacing between lines, but once again, don’t make it look too crammed.
- Arrange bullet points for key skills or software in multiple columns rather than a single list that leaves a lot of empty white space on the right-hand side of the page.
Revamping your resume can keep it fresh and appealing to hiring managers, whether that means adjusting the length, improving the content, or changing the style. Contact Grammar Chic today for a resume review and to learn more about our resume writing services.