How long should a resume be? Read up on the subject and you’ll find some conflicting answers. Some swear by resumes that are one page long. Others claim that two pages is an ideal length. For what it’s worth, statistics indicate that an ideal resume falls within 475-600 words, which puts you at about two pages.
How many pages should a resume be?
Let’s start by setting a few ground rules when it comes to resume length. Unless you’re writing a CV, which accommodates documents three pages long and beyond, the vast majority of resumes are either one or two pages long. Each option has its advantages and drawbacks.
The “one-page resume” used to be a must for job applications, but no longer, according to experts like career coach Alison Green. Still, she sees value in one-page resumes, particularly if you don’t have much experience. “It looks a little silly to see someone two years out of school with a two-page resume; it’s rarely needed, and you’ll generally come across as a little self-important or unable to edit,” she notes.
For jobs that don’t require much experience, or place more value on skills and training, one page can still be a perfectly good length for your resume. A little brevity can also help your resume get a full scan by busy recruiters who only take a few seconds to read a resume, on average. For one-page resume examples for every job and industry, visit our resume examples section.
Single-page resume: pros and cons
- Easier for employers to scan.
- Good for first-time job seekers, or for jobs that don’t require extensive experience.
- Has a more “organized” look than longer resumes.
- Not enough room to display your work history if you have lots of experience.
- Can be difficult to fit in all your key skills and qualifications.
- Can seem “thin” with content compared to two-page resumes.
A two-page resume can fit the bill if you’re an experienced employee who wants to feature numerous work accomplishments and major responsibilities. This jives with a survey that states that employers prefer to see two-page resumes from candidates who are applying to higher-level positions. A two-page resume also allows you to go into more detail about skills, training, certifications and related volunteer or extracurricular activities that match what the job is looking for.
But remember: A two-page resume isn’t a license to fill up the entire space with “fluff” just to make it look good. Feature only experiences and qualifications that align with the job’s requirements.
Our Resume Builder can help
Our Resume Builder takes most of the guesswork out of creating a resume that’s the best length for you. Our expert, job-specific suggestions can assist you in filling out each bullet point and section of your resume, and our layout tools can help you adjust your resume’s look, fonts and spacing. Go to our Resume Builder for a full rundown of its capabilities and how to use it.
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