When you’re building out your resume to impress a potential employer (or a few dozen if you’re hustling), you might be tempted to write an entire novel about where your career has taken you. But is that a good idea?
The length of your resume can often make or break the potential to land a job, making it an important step in the job application process. So, how many pages does a good resume have, anyways? Let’s take a look.
Why is Resume Length Important?
Before we get into the details, you should probably know why you should care about resume length in the first place.
Well, it’s pretty simple. You want to get in all of the information the employer needs to make an educated decision about you, but you don’t want to make it so long that they become overwhelmed and go with someone else. Simple, right?!
It might sound rude, but when a hiring manager is going through hundreds of resumes, they won’t stop to look at the epic novel you’ve written about your life.
With that being said, barely providing any information will also leave them assuming that you don’t care about the position or that you don’t have the experience needed to fulfill the job.
Finding a good balance is key here.
How many pages does a good resume have?
Are One-Page Resumes Ideal?
Yes, a single-page resume has been the standard for years. This is probably the length you need to aim for. One full page is plenty of space for you to provide all of your RELEVANT qualifications and work/education history.
With one page, as long as you aren’t listing things they don’t care about, you can cover a decade’s worth of job experience in a clean, concise manner without overwhelming the hiring manager.
However, remember that this single paged resume means it is full of content. Sending over half a page or a full page with tons of gaps is worse than being a bit wordy.
Is the one-page resume dead?
No, the one-page resume is not dead. One-page resumes are used by most entry-level folks or those who have stayed with a company for an extended period.
When should your resume be two pages?
Two-page resumes have grown more popular now that they are generally submitted or turned in electronically. The same concept for a single-page resume applies to a two-page resume. If you have the experience and relevant qualifications to fill two pages, go right ahead.
Refrain from any large gaps in your two pages.
Are Three-Page Resumes Ideal?
We’ll cut this one short. If you’re going over two full pages of information, you’re probably listing way more information than you need, or you’re listing previous jobs and experiences that are completely irrelevant.
Unless an employer specifically asks for it or you are towards the back half of your career, there’s typically no need for three pages.
“The most efficient resume approaches include starting sentences with action verbs.”— Teamstage
Resume Length Writing Tips
You may find it tough to keep your resume short without compromising some relevant skills and experiences. Here are a few tips to help edit and refine your resume so it can fit the mold.
1. Keep the experience points to a minimum
One of the primary places a resume can fill up fast is in the work experience section. Make sure to limit the number of bullet points you reference, sticking to only what’s relevant to the job.
2. Focus on specific achievements
Another good way to cut down on your resume length within the work experience section is to emphasize your past achievements instead of simply listing your job duties.
Anyone can say they “Work well under tight deadlines” but touching on a previous example will go much further with them.
3. Use active language in current roles
Use active language for the current roles and skills you are referencing. If you don’t, the interviewer might think it’s an outdated skill or achievement that no longer holds much merit.
4. Keep out the irrelevant information
Certain skills and experiences matter for specific roles. Not everything you have worked on in the past is relevant to the job you are applying for.
Exclude past experiences and skills that don’t seem particularly relevant to help save space for the important details. An easy way to find out what is relevant is to check the job description.
5. Include relevant keywords
Most employers today utilize applicant tracking systems (ATS) to help filter out resumes that don’t fit their criteria. One way to “impress” this system is to include relevant keywords in your resume that it’s looking for.
If the job description requires “Front End Development Experience” it might be important to include that particular skill so the ATS sees your application as relevant.
Wrapping Up | How many pages does a good resume have
When it’s all said and done, most job seekers should keep their resume under two pages for the best results.
Use one page if you are a recent graduate or have little experience yet. If you have been working for a while or built up enough relevant skills to extend beyond that single page, use two pages.
And only in a few situations should you push your resume to three pages – that’s when you are at the tail end of your career or have had several contract roles that you need to keep in.
The content of your resume supersedes the length, but if you want that content to be seen, you need to make sure it’s not too short or too long. We hope this helps and wish you the best of luck in your job search!
Title: How many pages does a good resume have?
Tags: resume length, one page resume, job description, hiring manager, job seekers, How many pages should my resume be 2022, Is a 2 page resume OK, Is a 3 page resume too long
Author: Reid is a contributor for 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