A lot of potential job seekers ask the question of how long should a resume be. That question isn’t aimed at knowing how many words should be fitted in the resume but rather how many pages should a resume be.
Some professionals have mentioned that the perfect resume length should be one page. However, some have said 2 or 3 pages are mandatory. Just how long should my resume be? The answer to how long resume should be depends on the requirements of the recruiter and other factors.
Here is a guide of the perfect length of a resume in 2021 created in created in collaboration with specialists from the top resume writing services.
Why does length matter?
The length of a resume is important for the job seeker and the company which the potential employer. The hiring manager would like to know the professional skills and abilities of the candidate that applied for the job. However, sometimes a long resume may take longer to process and read through, hence wasting a lot of time.
As a result, some companies may outline that they need a 1-page resume in their job vacancy posting. In some cases, though, there aren’t any clear instructions on the length of the resume. What should be done in those instances when there’s no mention of how long your resume should be or say, the length of resume.
One page resume
When writing a resume for an employer that didn’t mention the length of the resume, you have a little bit of flexibility. However, this doesn’t mean that potential job seekers should add irrelevant and outdated information. It is understandable for experienced individuals to write a resume with two or more pages because they have a lot of relevant material to cover.
On the other hand, it wouldn’t make sense for a recent college graduate to write his resume that has information that dates back to his high school career. Don’t try to achieve the goal of having many pages on your resume but rather stick to the most relevant information.
In most cases, a one-page resume is a viable option and a 1-page resume doesn’t mean that it lessens your chances of getting employment. It is not a problem if your resume has 1 page. So, don’t worry about how long should resume or how many pages for a resume are ideal.
Read more: Top Resume Review
How long should a resume be (+video with tips)?
When drafting a resume, certain factors need to be considered, the first one being that most recruiters review a resume within 10 seconds. It means there are only 10 seconds to impress the recruiter and move him to consider the job application further.
As a result, the resume should be as concise as possible and a golden rule about that has been developed. In most cases, a resume should only be two-pages full for all employed individuals.
The rule applies to all senior employees that have years of experience, so these professionals should also sum up the most recent and relevant information.
Also, this rule applies when the most important information can’t be summed within 1 page. However, there are certain exceptions on this rule and those exceptions are dependent on various factors. What are those dependencies?
Expert advice on resume length
What does the length of a resume depend on?
A resume can sometimes exceed the 1-page recommendation and even at times the 2-page golden rule. That usually occurs in these cases:
If an individual has a lot of technical skills related to the job
A lot of published work that needs to be mentioned
If you are applying for international vacancies across the borders of the U.S
The vacancy being applied for is within the U.S Federal government
If the candidate is applying for work in academia or in scientific fields of work and using an academic resume template.
Extending the resume to 3 pages is not recommended unless the situation is above your capabilities. Drafting a 3-page resume unnecessarily might be a limit the chances of you being employed.
Formatting has an impact on the length of a resume
Using larger fonts, margins, and spacing between paragraphs has an impact on the length of the resume. Some design elements or even templates can make the resume unnecessarily longer. However, don’t make the resume unreadable by decreasing the font too much or making the spacing very little.
Depending on the font style you are using the font size can be anything from 10 to 10.5. Headers can be clearly seen with the font size of 13 to 15. The margins of the resume can be 0.5 and the spacing between paragraphs can be from 0.5 to 1. The objective is not having too much white space while not having the content too cramped.
How can a resume be made to fit the least amount of pages?
To make a resume fit within the desired page length, here are a few tips to draft a simple and short resume. First of all, work on a 15-year history period, this means that everything that falls out of the last 15 years should be omitted.
All that is needed is the employment history of the last 15 years and college graduation certificates of the last 15 years. Most employers only care about the latest work and qualifications you have and how it is relative to the job you are applying for. The second thing that should be done when all outdated information has been removed is being relevant.
Being relevant includes writing qualifications and job experience that is solely relative to the job being applied for. Only the information that would help your job application should be mentioned in the resume. HR is usually not impressed with how long is a resume. It’s more about the content in there.
For example, if a job candidate was applying for a computer science job, it would be useless to add work experience about babysitting unnecessarily.
Resumes are the beginning of any career path and should be taken with great seriousness. Remember that the length of the resume doesn’t heighten or lower the chances of getting employed so don’t try to impress the recruiter with many pages. With that being said, try to minimize the length of your resume to 1 page if that is impossible, work within the 2-page golden rule when drafting it.