It used to be a recommended practice that one’s resume should consist of one page. Today, however, that advice is only true under certain circumstances. For example, if you are a new graduate, a one page resume is expected due to minimal or lack of industry experience. So, for everyone else, just how long should your resume be?
Before we discuss the length, let’s get into the content. A good resume will:
- Be a clear and concise representation of your professional history, credentials and skills.
- Provide enough information for a hiring manager or recruiter to determine if you meet the main qualifications of their open position.
- Showcase unique skills and specific accomplishments that help you stand out as a candidate.
If you have a lot of experience and a lot of unique skills and accomplishments, you could probably end up with a five page resume. We definitely do NOT recommend that. A two or three page resume is acceptable as long as you are not being redundant or overly verbose. Of course, if you can keep it to two pages, that would be ideal.
If you find yourself in the predicament that you have too much on your resume and you’re not sure what to cut, ask the advice of a friend or – better yet- a recruiter. Someone who is objective can spot areas in your resume that are not really necessary – which is something that is hard for the object of the resume to do at times.
A good idea for every job seeker, is to tailor your resume to the job to which you are applying.
For example, if you’re an event coordinator with strong administrative skills applying for strictly an event coordinator position, it’s a safe bet to remove the administrative experience you have unless it is considered beneficial. You can always allude to experience by writing something like “strong administrative skills and experience” in your Skills section of your resume.
Additionally, if you’re a more senior professional and don’t wish to go back 25 years, you can stop the details at the last 10 or 15 years and add a bullet item which says “Additional experience at Fortune 100 and 500 companies in Silicon Valley”.
Let the interviewer ask you about this, because it’s their job to ask the questions, which reveal all of your experience. Sometimes a resume can’t possibly do that.
Finally, if you’ve had various positions over the years which all have a similar job description, there’s no need to repeat it for every position. You can simple list the bullet items of the jobs in one section and then list the companies, titles and dates in another.
Always keep in mind that you are creating a document which best represents the applicable part of your background which suits the role and company.
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