Short answer? Two-page resumes are the most widely accepted and widely expected. However, there are scenarios when you may need to go shorter than that. For instance: if you have had less than 5 years of career experience or if the job requirements specifically request an entry level candidate. Always consult with a Senior Professional Resume Writer, such as Expert Resume Pros, before sending out your resume.
However, a well-written resume is a must if you’re to land a job. It goes without saying that your resume is your executive envoy in the eyes of recruiters.
While it may seem like a lot to ask from just a couple of papers (or a piece of paper), failure to achieve this purpose will leave you exposed and overlooked.
Your resume should include just enough to get you a new job. However, many job seekers are left with questions about how much is enough to prove their expertise without overwhelming the hiring manager.
If you're one of them, don't worry. In this article, we will look at everything you need to know about the length of your professional resume.
Resume Length and Why it Matters
Ideally, a resume should be two pages long if you have over 5 years of work history. However, the length will always depend on your work experience and the industry you're in. The main idea is to ensure that it is short and concise to avoid boring the recruiters with unnecessary information.
Here's an overview of how many pages your resume should have and why.
1. One-Page Resume
While proving your expertise to hiring managers is necessary, the length of your resume plays an equally important role in whether or not you get the job.
For fresh high school and college graduates and job seekers with 5 years of experience or less, you should limit your resume to just one page.
This is partly because they can be scanned quickly by the human eye, making them the most suitable for in-person scenarios like a job fair or networking event.
Plus, those will less working experience have less content to include in a resume. Moreover, having a two-page resume without experience means that it's filled with filler words, which may not even be relevant to your job application and will most probably get declined.
2. Two-Page Resumes
According to the highest quality producing Resume Service in Colorado, gone are the days when resumes were strictly required to cover one page. Today, two pages are allowed for candidates with the relevant skills or those applying online.
A two-page resume shows your career progression. Professionals with over 5 years of relevant experience need at least two pages to include a professional summary and possibly, highlight their career achievements.
Getting professional resume services to help you include the right keywords and ensure that there's no filler content is essential for two-page resumes.
If you're concerned that a two-page resume might slow down a hiring manager as they go through numerous resumes, remember that this comes after it has passed the Applicant Tracking Tests(ATS).
If you're able to pass ATS with a resume that is two pages long, then time spent by the hiring manager should not be an issue.
3. Three-Page Resumes
This is a rarity. However, there are exceptions. Some industries and professions have specific set standards and requirements and therefore require more information.
They are best suited for comprehensive CVs, researchers, super high level executives who are required to include citations of their published work. They are also suitable for IT professionals and those applying for senior-level positions to highlight their experience and accomplishments.
As long as the resume contains relevant keywords and accurate information, you can have it in three pages.
4. The higher the Job Salary and Job Level, the More Comprehensive Your Resume Should Be
High-level job positions or executive posts in a very complex field tend to pay higher. This also means that job applicants applying for such positions require more detailed resumes because they need to highlight their expertise and experience to be considered.
How to Get Your Resume to the Right Length
While it may be difficult to write a fully detailed and relevant resume without compromising prior work experience, there are many ways to cut off unnecessary details to have a resume with the required length. Here are some tips to help you.
1. Focus on Your Most Recent Experience
Potential employers want to see your most recent employment experience and skills. This is because they are interested in what you can achieve now, as opposed to the general skills you learned years ago.
For example, an internship you did more than 20 years ago won't be necessary as you haven't used the skills recently.
This also applies to work experience descriptions. If you have experience in multiple jobs where you played the same roles, it's only deemed relevant if you include the experience in the most recent employment.
2. Use Bullet Points
One of the key sections that bloat your resume is the experience section. To cut down on the space that this section occupies, it is better to break down the items into three or four bullet points.
You can also combine statements and points on the same subject into one. This way, you can keep it short with only relevant experience.
3. Leave Out References
One section that you can do away with to save time and space is the references. They are always assumed and not worth mentioning in your resume.
Instead of adding references, create a different reference document if you're asked to. Most hiring managers won't even need it early on in the process.
4. Use an Active Voice
Your resume should always read in an active voice. This not only helps you avoid grammatical errors but also reduces the amount of space you use.
You want your resume to focus on presenting what you have accomplished and connecting it with the impact it made in your previous position.
To make your resume more action-oriented and concise, avoid using unnecessary words that divert attention from your achievements and the outcomes of your work. This will leave you with an effective resume using active language and quantifiable achievements.
Why You Should Never Include a Photo on a Resume.
Some content, even if more recent, doesn't qualify to be on your resume. For example, you should avoid having any photos on your resume. This is because they are irrelevant to your job application and hiring managers can mistake you for not being serious.
Moreover, ATS can't read photos, so including them in your resume will fill a lot of space unnecessarily and add no value. Instead, they turn into confusing lines of code for ATS, so better save the selfies and headshots for your online profile.
Should I Include Color on My Resume?
Color on a resume used to be unacceptable.
However, the perspective of employers has changed, and color could now be an advantage to your candidacy when applied appropriately.
To use color to your advantage, it is important to choose one that won't make it difficult for your potential employer to read your resume or make your resume look unprofessional.
However, make sure you have consulted first.
Why Choose Expert Resume Pros To Write Your Resume?
Here at Expert Resume Pros, we know the power resumes hold over job applicants. We are the largest professional resume writing service in Colorado. This seemingly simple piece of paper can make or break your career dreams. After handling more than 325,000 resumes for thousands of clients, achieving a top-rated status in google reviews, and with a 93% interview success rate, it’s clear that we’re your best bet for that next job application. We’ll help you craft an interview-winning resume and be on your way to your next job.