Resume length 2023
So, how many pages should a resume really be? While the ideal resume length depends on several factors, the main goal is to keep it as short as possible while conveying enough information to catch the reader’s eye.
Below, we look at the common question: “How long should a resume be?”. The answer may surprise you!
- How long should a resume be in 2023?
- 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) with a sales background and two years of mid-level experience.
Chris will 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 consider your background and professional experience when deciding how long your resume should be.
How Long Should a Resume Be in 2023?
– for Entry Level and Recent Graduates?
Resume length should be no longer than 1 page. There shouldn’t be much to include at this stage in your career, as most of your previous roles aren’t as relevant to the job you’re applying to.
– For Mid-Career Business Professionals?
Resume length should be within 1-2 pages. You should have a few job roles under your belt at this point which might extend the space needed to include relevant work experience.
– for Senior level Job Seekers?
Resume length should be within 1-3 pages. When you have built out an extensive career and decide it’s time to move on, it’s okay to extend your resume to that third page if needed.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Your resume should never exceed three pages. Remove “filler words” and focus on value-added skills if you push the length limit. Keep it short as possible, but ensure you can still portray your worth as a potential employee. As a former recruiter for Fortune 500 companies, I can confidently tell that anything over three pages is often tossed away by hiring managers.
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How to get your resume to the right 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 something to chat about during the interview is a good idea.
- Look at the job description to see how far back you should include work experience within the resume. 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!
- Remove any graphics that might be added to the resume. These won’t pass through the ATS and can be included in a separate file.
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, extend to an additional page by adding relevant (non-filler) skills or experiences.
- 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 a good flow!
- I tend to focus on keeping experiences and skills directly related 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.
“There is an 88% rejection rate when you include a photo on your resume.”— Business2Community
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How long should a resume be?
For most applicants, your resume should be no longer than one page. This will vary depending on your work experience, skillset, and years you have been in the workforce.
How long should a CV be?
For most applicants, an ideal CV length is one to two pages but no longer. Similar to your resume, this will vary depending on various factors.
How long can my resume be?
Your resume length can be, but should never exceed three total pages. Cut where you have to to make things fit within this three-page limit.
Why does resume length matter?
As mentioned before, too long, and you lose interest, but too short, and you can’t properly portray your skillset. Your resume is important because it should be long enough to provide a complete picture of your work history and skills but not so long that it becomes cumbersome or overwhelming for the reader.
Is a Three-Page Resume Too Long?
In general, a three-page resume is too long for most applicants. The “1 Page Resume Rule” many still follow is outdated and unnecessary, but three pages are often 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. As mentioned, 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.
Wrapping Up | Resume Length in 2023
Hopefully, we helped clarify any confusion around how long a resume should be, but a good rule it remembers is “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? (2023)
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. | Author Profile