How Long Should Your Resume Be?

Your resume, a document that is supposed to capture all of your life experiences, summarized in bullet points to somehow show potential employers your ability to excel their organization.  So, when trying to capture your experience on one document, how long should your resume be?  There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, but the result could be that your resume is perceived to be too short, or too long.

Most people won’t hesitate to suggest that your resume should be kept to a single page, especially when you imagine a hiring manager going through a stack of 100+ resumes, you don’t want to be overlooked. So, in some cases – the shorter the better, but most importantly, the resume should fit the candidate and be relevant to the job they are seeking.

A single page may not be feasible or even the right choice for everyone. If you’ve got a lot of varied experience in multiple industries, or perhaps 30+ years of experience, limiting your resume to one page might cause you to omit critical experience.

Resumes are evaluated much more for content value than their length, however, 3-5 pages can get to be lengthy for a hiring manager who has a limited time slot to review. Here are some tips to keep your resume short and sweet, but also effective in showcasing your experience:

  • Present your career information in a chronological resume format with listing your skills for each position in bullet-points. This will help the person reviewing your resume be able to clearly read your position high lights.
  • In your summary or objective portion, take out information that isn’t relevant for the position’s responsibilities and reformat to target the specific role you are after.
  • Review your job descriptions and ensure that any experience that might pertain to the target job has been included. Put the most relevant bullets at the top. Think in terms of how easy it is to scan your resume.
  • Don’t be redundant if possible. Try to add in details of everything you learned while on the job. Things that you didn’t know how to do prior to entering the role.

In conclusion, go with the resume length you are comfortable with, or have multiple versions to pivot too should you need detail.  Remember, the whole purpose of a resume is to convert what you have done in the past to what you can do in the future. Happy Hunting!

Randy Quis

Randy assists in the growth and development of our Charlotte, North Carolina location. Are you in the Charlotte area and looking for a new opportunity? Reach out to Randy! 

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