When it comes to how long your resume should be, there is a lot of conflicting information online. While having a one-page resume is often considered the standard, this can be impossible for people who have several jobs, accomplishments, or activities to add. The problem is that it is easy to include too much information, turning your resume into a lengthy five-page document that is difficult for employers to read.

Here is a quick guide to making the perfect size resume:

One Page Resume Tips

If you have more than 15 years of experience, a one-page resume may not be for you. Usually, only entry-level candidates stick to one-page resumes. While this can apply to any level professional who doesn’t have enough information, experienced professionals are also sticking to the one-page format whenever possible.

The goal is to create a strong career narrative without any fluff. Some entry-level candidates will not be able to use a one-page format because they have contract work, freelance experience, volunteer work, group projects, and portfolios that need to be included on their resumes. Recruiters tend to prefer candidates with two page resumes that have lots of activities related to their career over those that have a one-page resume but exclude everything.

This doesn’t mean that the one-page resume is a dying trend. While you shouldn’t feel pressured to use a single-page resume, that doesn’t mean you should stretch your resume out just to make it two-pages. Including outdated or irrelevant information just to make a second page will not help you get a job.

A one-page resume can also be useful if you are changing careers and want people to quickly see your transferable skills. Irrelevant information can easily be condensed to better highlight your capabilities in the new field.

The Maximum Length of a Resume

In almost every case, the longest your resume should be is two pages. Most recruiters look at resumes for less than 10 seconds, so you need something that can catch their eye in a short amount of time. Having a longer resume does not necessarily mean that a recruiter will spend more time reading. If you are having trouble sticking to two pages, think about what the most relevant information on your resume is and cut out the rest.

Going Over Two Pages

There are very few exceptions to the two-page rule. This usually happens with technical positions, academic roles, and where a large number of crucial consulting gigs or projects need to be on the resume. Keep in mind that International CVs, Academic, and Federal resume formats will almost always be over two pages.

If you are having trouble getting your resume to the appropriate length, please contact me today. I am happy to help show you what information should and should not be included on your career documents.

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