After spending hours updating your resume, do you stop to wonder, “how many pages does a good resume have?”
Unfortunately, many job candidates include as much information as possible. They do not consider the preferences of hiring managers.
However, there is a way to discover the perfect resume length for you. Make your resume stand out by following the tips below.
- How Many Pages Does a Good Resume Have?
- When Should a Resume Be One Page?
- When Should Your Resume Be Two Pages?
- When It’s Okay To Have 2+ Resume Pages
- Do You Have To Put All of Your Jobs on a Resume?
- How To Tailor Your Resume to the Right Length
- Wrapping Up
How Many Pages Does a Good Resume Have?
Most good resumes have only one-to-two pages. The exact length will depend on relevant work experience, time spent in the workforce, the industry, and requests by the company.
How Long Should a Resume Be for a College Student?
College students and recent college graduates should have one-page resumes. Students and recent graduates have less work experience within their desired field.
Most jobs held in high school would not show relevant experience or skills. Thus, they do not need to include these positions.
How Long Should a Resume Be for a Professional?
Professionals with ten years of experience or less should write one-page resumes. Those with 10-15 years may need two pages. Some professionals with over 15 years of experience may use three pages, but this is rare.
How Many Words Should a Resume Be?
Recent research analyzed more than 600 000 resumes and determined that the median resume is 406 words in length.
When Should a Resume Be One Page?
The best reason to use a one-page resume is that you don’t need any more. You are unlikely to need more than one page after eliminating unnecessary information.
1. It’s Your First Resume
If you have never created a resume before, your first should only be one page long.
It can include education, extracurriculars, volunteer work, special skills, and leadership positions. It should not be long because of the lack of work experience to list.
2. You Have Limited Job Experience
Job experience is the longest section of a resume. Those with limited job experience can cut out a large portion of information. They often use only one page.
3. The Hiring Manager Requests One Page
Always follow the exact directions your hiring manager provides. Failing to do so will show that you do not take directions well or read instructions. Neither of these traits makes for good employees.
4. You Just Graduated From College
Those who just graduated from college have less work experience than most professionals. Adding irrelevant experience lengthens the resume. Doing this can cause hiring managers to lose interest and disregard the applicant.
5. That’s All You Need
Never add fluff to a resume. Short resumes are easier to read, and many hiring managers prefer them. If your resume includes all relevant information within one page, stop there.
6. You’re Submitting a Printed Copy
Many people bring printed resumes to in-person interviews, career fairs, or expositions. Printed resume pages can get separated, leaving the hiring manager with an incomplete picture of the candidate. Plus, readers may feel daunted when holding a resume with many pages.
When Should Your Resume Be Two Pages?
Two-page resumes are becoming more popular. Those with years of experience or who submit digital resumes may use two pages.
1. You Are Not Entry Level
Mid-level professionals often need more than one page. Many candidates with more than ten years of experience need longer resumes. They should include accomplishments, contributions, and promotion histories.
You need the extra page to make yourself stand out when competing against experienced professionals.
2. You Have Enough Relevant Jobs and Skills
Professionals in specific industries accumulate many skills and certifications. Always include any that are relevant. For example, those applying to IT positions should include all relevant certifications and tech skills.
Also, those who have held many related jobs should include their extensive experience.
3. You’re Submitting a Resume Online
Applicant tracking systems evaluate digital resumes before hiring managers look at them. They scan for industry-specific keywords and calculate how often each one is used. Thus, it is best to lengthen your resume to fit more keywords.
When It’s Okay To Have 2+ Resume Pages
Some professionals cannot seem to cut down the length of their resumes. If you feel that your resume must be over two pages long, you may fall into one of the following categories.
1. You’re a Long-Time Professional
Mid-to-late-stage professionals, or those with over 15 years of experience, may use three-page resumes. These candidates likely have several relevant jobs, promotions, certificates, and valuable skills.
2. The Hiring Manager Requested It
Again, always follow the hiring manager’s instructions. They may want a fuller picture of each candidate. Failing to include different job experiences or skills could make you less desirable than others.
Plus, hiring managers prefer candidates who can follow directions.
3. You’re a High-Level Candidate
High-level candidates must compete against experienced individuals. In these cases, it is important to list as many relevant qualifications as possible to help you stand out.
Do You Have To Put All of Your Jobs on a Resume?
You do not have to list every job on a resume, but prepare to explain any gaps to a hiring manager.
It is best to reduce the number of unexplained gaps. Hiring managers may become concerned if candidates seem unemployed for long periods. Pre-employment screenings may also show an omitted job, which may raise concerns.
Include any relevant jobs that highlight your strengths, but remove unnecessary information. For example, a mid-level professional can omit short-term jobs they held in high school.
How To Tailor Your Resume to the Right Length
What should you do if your resume is too long? Learn about some tricks to streamlining the information included in your resume.
Focus on Your Most Recent Experiences
To keep your resume short, emphasize only recent work experience. Your recent positions tell the hiring manager more about your current capabilities than jobs from 20 years ago.
For example, an entry-level position you held ten years ago is less important than the mid-level position you just left. It shows that you have more experience than many other applicants.
Focus on Your Most Relevant Experiences
By only selecting relevant experiences, you keep your reader engaged. They will not become distracted and frustrated by useless information.
For example, most hiring managers in data analytics are not impressed by your time in food services.
Make It Simple
Your resume should be easy to read. Drop run-on sentences and repeated information. The hiring manager scans for beneficial information, not extensive vocabulary.
Combine Related Sentences
Cut down your resume length by making more information fit into less space. Combine related sentences like the one below.
- Original sentences: I spent five years in my role at Friendly’s. I was a manager for 2 of those years.
- Combined sentence: I was a manager during two of the five years I worked at Friendly’s.
Employers will contact you when they are ready for your references. There is no need to include them without direct instruction from the company to do so.
Hobbies rarely add substance to your resume. Most are irrelevant and lengthen your resume.
So, how many pages does a good resume have? Some people feel the need to fit their entire histories into a resume, but hiring managers tend to prefer shorter documents.
Most applicants can fit their qualifications and experiences into one page. More experienced professionals may need two or three pages but never aim for a long resume. Instead, only include crucial and relevant information.
Please comment if you have any questions.
Remember, the number of pages to include in your resume depends on your industry, years of experience, and qualifications.