How long should my resume be?

resumelengthI get this question a lot, usually from students and entry-level job seekers. The answer? It depends, but always strive for concision.

Regardless of your experience level, if you can keep your resume to one page while also telling enough of your career story to entice hiring managers to call you, kudos! But if you can’t, don’t automatically resort to deleting valuable information. Depending on your background and current career aspirations, a multi-page resume may be completely appropriate.

The length of your resume should be driven by the amount of content you need to relay to your next employer in order to get the interview. As you put your resume together, weigh every bit of information carefully and ask yourself, “Will this help me get hired?” Most new grads and inexperienced professionals won’t struggle to keep their documents to a single page, though some may have plenty of worthwhile information to warrant a two-page resume (impressive school projects, internships, and awards, for example). Executives might be able to fit the basics (summary paragraph, key skills, employment history, education, etc.) within two pages, but require a third to include professional and community memberships, speaking engagements, publications, or other supplemental yet potentially impactful details.

We’ve all heard that hiring managers spend mere seconds initially reviewing a resume. In my opinion, this doesn’t mean your resume has to be one page; it means that what you have in your document’s prime real estate matters the most—more on that here—regardless of how many pages your resume is.

If you’re satisfied with the content in your resume but it’s falling just barely onto a second (or third) page, check out the tips from my previous post, I need a one-page resume!

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