How long should a resume be?
Should it be 1 page, 2 pages, or many pages?
A very common question among the many job seekers out there. You might hear some say 1 page is enough, some may say the longer the better, or you might even get the "it depends" answer.
The truth is that it all depends on how much experience /accomplishments you have. The one-page resume or two-page resume is just a myth and doesn’t apply to everyone. Not everyone has the same background, as someone may have 15+ years of experience and they won't be able to fit all their accomplishments in one page.
With all the many applicants online, it is harder for recruiters to check resumes one by one. So for that reason, many employers will use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). With the ATS there to scan resumes, it won't track every resume equally. If you are being repetitive and not using the right keywords, no resume length will be able to help you. This is definitely something you want to overcome or else you will get rejected all the time.
What is the ideal length?
The ideal resume all depends on your experiences.
You can have a resume with one page, but it can be a bad resume; You can have a resume with 2 pages but it can still be great.
There is no reason you should be writing long descriptions when it isn't needed. It will seem more time-consuming in the eyes of recruiters.
What you want to always aim for is to have a simple and narrowed-down resume. You don’t want to write the same things on your resume or even experiences that don’t matter to the job you are applying to.
A One-Page Resume
New graduates won't have as much experience as others; This is why it is reasonable for them to have a one-page resume. You will rarely see any recent graduate have more than 1 or 2 years of experience. The resume will mostly be filled in with internships that last a couple of months, and volunteering that the graduates did while they were in their studies.
But don't worry! Even if your resume is longer than one page, and you are a recent graduate who has a lot of achievements, there is nothing negative about that.
One-page resumes also can come from people who only worked in 1 job for over 10 years. Let's say you worked in 2 jobs during the past 15 years, then a one-page resume wouldn't be an issue.
A Two Page Resume
Job seekers who usually have 10+ years of experience are the ones who use two-page resumes, as a one-page resume wouldn't have enough space to fit all of those experiences and accomplishments.
Sometimes, it may even be candidates who have had a lot of achievements in less than 10 years.
Keep in mind that you wouldn’t want to include every single experience you had when you have many years of experience. Some short-term part-time job or even an internship you did 10 years ago will just take up unnecessary space.
A Three Plus Page Resume (long resumes)
A longer resume is usually a resume with 3+ pages. They are usually used by people who have strong academic backgrounds, those who work in government-orientated jobs, and even senior executives/directors in a particular industry.
When it comes to these levels of hierarchy, there won't be many applicants as there would be for an entry-level job. Recruiters will read these resumes more carefully, as these people are much more powerful in the hierarchy. They have many accomplishments, and usually 15+ years of experience in their field. These types of resumes are of high priority.
Why Does It Matter?
Look at it this way, you want to always write a resume that fits your current status. You can’t just write a really long resume and be a fresh graduate. If you just write about every task you did rather than what you achieved, the resume will just be repetitive. It is the quality that matters, not the quantity.
On the other hand, if you are squeezing everything together, that isn't good either. You wouldn't want to write texts that are very small and can't be read, just to make the words "fit in".
If you are not writing something unique that not many can achieve, something that really will shock the hiring manager, then most likely you have no need to make the resume longer than it should be.
I remember once when I applied to a job, where there were a few applicants, and I had a resume that was over 2 pages long, with only 1 year of experience. The hiring manager told me that if there were more applicants, he wouldn't have seen my resume, all because it was too long, based on the years of experience I had.
How To Achieve A Resume with the Perfect Length (summary)
Keep It Interesting
Avoid writing long texts of what you did at your job. You can’t just write about every single of your responsibilities all the time.
Imagine you were a recruiter and you had to read a bunch of resumes that just had long descriptions of their responsibilities at work, it would be time-consuming, wouldn't it? Not very easy when you have to read over 200 resumes...
Try to make yourself look more like an achiever rather than a doer. This will not only keep the resume shorter but also more interesting.
Always remember that the hiring managers only take a few seconds to review your resume, let them see the "wow" in it from the beginning.
Write What Matters
Avoid writing about some experience you had that doesn't relate to the job you are applying for. For example, you are applying to be a copywriter but write about a time when you worked at a restaurant. This definitely won’t increase your chances.
Include more keywords rather than just writing all the tasks you did. Almost all recruiters pay attention to keywords and don't read descriptions all the time.
Also as I mentioned before, the ATS many times will not scan your resume properly if you don't use keywords.
Write Bullet points full of achievements
If you write 10+ bullet points for every job description, it will look more like you are just telling the recruiter about every single thing you did at the company. There isn't anything wrong with that, although it is better if you write some bullet points filled with achievements. One bullet point that has an achievement in it is worth more than 10 who just have tasks in them.
Avoid listing short term internships/Jobs
Unless you are a student who just graduated or hasn't got a job yet, avoid adding too many short-term jobs or too many internships. The only thing you will do is make the resume confusing. You may even raise many questions from recruiters on why you left the job that quickly or why hasn't anybody hired you in many years.
If you are someone who has over 10+ years of experience, I would also only list the jobs that you have been the longest in. Projects would make much more sense as many times they don’t last for many years. Your resume will look much cleaner and more short when the recruiter sees jobs you did for 2+ years versus 1 year or less.
List experiences at the most well-known companies (if you have any)
If you were part of let’s say a 2-year project with Facebook, Google, or any other big company, then you definitely wouldn't want to disregard writing this on your resume.
A shorter resume filled with experiences across companies with high brand awareness is like seeing gold for a recruiter. Exactly the “wow” recruiters are looking for in your resume.
Text Size, Spacing, Margins
Try to keep your font smaller and more clear when reading. Bigger fonts will just take up more space and push words to the other page.
Spacing is also important, too much space in between words will just make your resume look very messy. You wouldn't want to put words too close to each other either, but a normal space in between.
Use A Nice Template
Try to give your resume a nice look, there are many templates out there that are specifically designed for fresh graduates, seniors, and many other candidates. They can be one page, two pages, or more. They are specifically designed for you. It will give you that unique look when hiring managers check your resume!
If you find my blogs helpful to you and think they impact your daily life, make sure to stay updated every week, only by visiting my site here.