How Long Should A Resume Be? | Resume Length 2020

So, how many pages should a resume be?

While the ideal length depends on a number of factors, the main goal is to keep it as short as possible while conveying enough information to catch the readers eye.

Below, we dive into the common question: “How long should a resume be?”. The answer may surprise you!

How Long Should a Resume Be


Questions Answered

  • How long should a resume be 2020?

  • How do I update my resume to fit the ideal length?

  • How far back should my resume go?

  • Is a three page resume too long?

  • Does a Resume Have to be One Page?


Resume length is often misunderstood (one page resume myth) and one of the most common mistakes young professionals make when writing a resume.

There was once a time when you wouldn't dare pass beyond writing a single-page resume, but those days are gone!

Today, factors including experience, job title, industry, and the number of past employers all dictate the length of your document.

Let’s say you have a recent graduate (Chris) who has a sales background and 2 years of mid-level experience.

Chris is going to use less space to properly validate his skills compared to Java developer Amanda, who's been working contract jobs for the last 13 years of her life.

Remember, one size does not fit all, so take your background and professional experience into consideration when deciding how long your resume should be.



Just tell me how many pages already!

How Long Should a Resume Be?

Always Sunny - TechnoBuffalo

Always Sunny - TechnoBuffalo

  1. Recent Graduates and Entry-Level: Resume length should be no longer than 1 page

  2. Mid-Career Business Professionals: Resume length should be within 1-2 pages

  3. Seasoned and Senior Job Seekers: Resume length should be within 1-3 pages

NOTE: Your resume should never exceed 3 pages. Remove "filler words" and focus on value-added skills if you’re pushing the length limit.

Keep it as short as possible, but make sure you are still able to portray your worth as a potential employee.

As a former recruiter for Fortune 500 companies, I can tell you with confidence that anything over 3 pages is often tossed away by the hiring managers.


How Many Pages Should a Resume Be (Infographic)

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theFacts: Recruiters only look at your resume for 6 seconds - (TheLadders.net).

I know variations of this statistic are thrown around, but it’s for good reason. Many recruiters have a step-by-step process to fill the countless orders they receive. Briefly judging a resume by how it looks is at the top of that list.

This is one of the reasons why the length of your resume is so important. You want to catch their eye but not overwhelm them.

Now that you know the required length of a resume, are there any edits that need to be made? Do you need to add additional details to fill out one page, or are you looking to narrow it down?


Here are a few quick-hitting writing techniques to help with resume length

Rule 1. Leave Out Irrelevant Work Experience

If the information doesn't serve a purpose, leave it out!

The last thing you need is a hiring manager weeding through the clutter to find the "good stuff."

Don’t hold back on sharing your accomplishments, but leaving a little something to chat about during the interview is a good idea.

  • Note: How long should your resume go back? Look at the job description. If it says "2-4 years of experience required," don't drag in unrelated gigs you worked 15 years ago.

  • If you’ve been in the workforce for a while, leave off any high school and college work experiences, unless they relate directly to the job you are applying for. Keep your resume filled with relevant experience!


The facts: There is an 88% rejection rate when you include a photo on your resume. (business2community)


Rule 2. Proper Spacing Is Important

Never clutter pages in an attempt to shorten your resume.

Review and narrow down any unnecessary sections to generate more space. If more room is needed, simply extend to an additional page by adding relevant (non-filler) skills or experiences.

  • Note: While double spacing is a bit much and single spacing begins to look fairly cluttered, I’ve found 1.5 spacing to work best.

  • You can alter the fonts and tweak the format, but don’t go overboard. It still has to catch the hiring manager’s eye.

Rule 3. Add Keywords Relevant to Your Work Industry and Experience

When potential employers search the web for qualified candidates, they do so by typing in key skills the position requires.

If you add too many of these key terms, your resume looks cluttered, but if you leave something out, they might miss you altogether.

Find a happy keyword balance with good flow!

  • Note: I tend to focus on keeping experiences and skills directly relating to the role included within the resume.

  • Do a quick search on your favorite job search engine (LinkedIn, Monster, Indeed) around the job you are targeting, and find the “Must Haves” or “Required” skills, making sure they are well established within your resume.

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Is a Three Page Resume Too Long?

In general, 3-page resumes are likely too long. The “1 Page Resume Rule” many still follow is outdated and unnecessary but 3 pages is oftentimes too long. The length of your resume should primarily be based on overall experience and the type of work you do.

Entry to mid level candidates should stick with 1 page but more senior level workers might need additional space to list their achievements.


Does a Resume Have to be One Page?

Your resume can be one page but it does not have to be. Like we mentioned before, the “1 page resume rule” many still follow is outdated and unnecessary.

Utilize enough space to convey your skills/experiences but look to keep it as short as possible.


Key Takeaways | How Long Should a Resume Be (Resume Length 2020)

Hopefully, we helped clarify any confusion around resume length!

Keep it short. Your resume should be 2 to 3 pages long unless you’re a recent graduate or early off in your career (in that case, stick to 1 page). This length provides enough information to display your skill set, but saves something to chat about during an interview.

Remember, too short and you won't be noticed, but too long and they’ll skip right over you.

Your resume length will vary with the amount of experience the role requires. Design and write your resume to fit the job you’re after, and validate your past experiences to capture the reader's attention. Soon, you will find yourself on the other end of an interview.

You got this!


Title: How Long Should a Resume Be? (2020)

Category: theDocuments

Tags: Resume Length, How Long Should a Resume be 2020, Should a resume be one page, Can a resume be two pages, Resume Writing, One Page Resume Myth, young professional resume, is a 3 page resume too long, resume length 2020, how many pages should a resume be


Author: Reid is a contributor to theJub. He's an employment and marketing enthusiast who studied business before taking on various recruiting, management, and marketing roles. More from the author.