How long should your resume be? The answer is that the length of your resume depends on a number of factors. It depends on how much experience you have and what level candidate you are. If you're an entry-level candidate, a page should be plenty.
For more experienced candidates, it's fine to have a longer resume. Read below for more detailed information on how long your resume should be, and tips for making your resume the perfect length.
How Many Pages a Resume Should Be
The length of your resume should be based on your experience and the type of job you're seeking. Andrew Challenger, senior vice president, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., says, "There is no real ideal for the number of pages in a resume. The document needs to reflect a job seeker’s accomplishments accurately."
For entry-level applicants, less is more. Aim for a one-page resume. This is the same for most employees transitioning to a new career field.
If you are a mid-level candidate (with about 5 -10 years of related experience), you might write a two-page resume.
This allows you the space to include all relevant information and work history, while still making your resume readable.
You don't need to include all the information you had on your entry-level resume. Here are some things you can cut from a mid-career resume.
You might also write a two-page resume if you are in a field that requires technical skills. This resume length will allow you the space to include your technical skills and experiences.
Senior Level and Science Candidates
Executives or senior-level managers often have a long list of accomplishments and experiences that they have to include. The same is true for people in the sciences or academia who want to include their licenses, patents, or publications. These job seekers can write a resume that is three pages long or even longer.
Tips for Writing Resume That's the Right Length
Here are tips for writing a resume at any length.
Keep It Relevant
Keep it relevant. Just because you have a three-page resume does not mean you need to include all three pages of every job application. For each job, carefully read through the requirements, adding or eliminating elements of your resume so that you have a resume tailored to the specific job listing.
Play With Size and Font
When you are trying to make a one-page resume, but your information overflows onto a second page, there are many ways to shorten your resume. First, change the font of your resume (if you are using 12-point font, try an 11-point font). If your headings are a very large size, try making them slightly smaller. However, you probably still want them to be slightly larger than the rest of the text.
Play With Spacing
You can also play with the spacing of your resume. For example, if you have two spaces between each heading, try reducing this to one space between each heading. You might also try using a different font. Some fonts are larger than others. For example, Times New Roman is smaller than Arial.
Change the Style of Words
You can change the style of the words as well. For example, bold words take up more space than italicized words. Try changing anything in bold to italics. Try changing the margins too, but only slightly. Resume margins should be about 1-inch on all sides.
Reduce the Margins
You might try reducing the margins a bit, but do not make them smaller than 1/2-inch. Again, you want to make sure you keep enough white space on your resume. Finally, consider if there is any information you have included that is irrelevant or unnecessary. As mentioned above, make sure your resume is tailored to the specific position you are applying for.
Keep It Clear and Easy to Read
Your priority should be to keep your resume clear and easy to read. Be sure to leave enough white space on each page, use a 10- or 12-point font, and use a font that is easy to read (use basic book print fonts like Arial, Verdana, Calibri, or Times New Roman).
That being said, don’t leave too much white space. The key is to fill all, or at least three-quarters, of each page with relevant and helpful information so that the recruiter's attention is not drawn to the blank space on the second page.
Sample One Page Resume
This is an example of a one page resume. Download the one page resume template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Sample One Page Resume
1234 Oakley Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73008
Seasoned and meticulous Financial Analyst offering 10 years’ expertise providing decision support to executives of global manufacturing companies. Highly skilled in clear-cut and concise storytelling through financials. Core Competencies:
- Financial Analysis and Reporting
- Quantitative Methods and Forecast Modeling
- Revenue and Expense Variance Analysis
- Data Mining and Visualization
- Process Evaluation and Improvements
- GAAP Best Accounting Practices
ABC MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, Oklahoma City, OK
Financial Analyst, 02/2013-Present
Partner across all functional business units to deliver quantitative analyses and forecasts of expenditures, sales revenues, and capital improvements.
- Implemented and trained executives in use of new management reporting system that increased timeliness and accuracy of financial reporting by 20%.
- Pinpointed and reconciled discrepancies in business unit financial reports, averting risk exposure by creating stringent new due diligence processes.
XYZ GROUP, Norman, OK
Junior Financial Analyst, 06/2008-02/2013
Skillfully researched and prepared business cases, performed cost benefit analyses, and structured quarterly forecasts to optimize business planning processes.
- Played instrumental role in creating a business case and performing due diligence key to a $4.5M merger and acquisition.
- Formulated recommendations for long-term planning that ultimately produced a 17% increase in business growth.
Education and Credentials
Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance
UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA, Norman, OK
Bachelor of Science in Finance
OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY, Stillwater, OK
Technical Proficiencies: Microsoft Office Suite (Advanced Excel, Word, Access, PowerPoint), SQL Server Management Studio, SPSS, STATA, R, SAS, Tableau
Resume vs. CV Length
Unlike a resume, a curriculum vitae (CV) can be very long regardless of the level of the position you are applying for. CVs are typically two or three pages, minimum. This is because CVs include more information than a resume, including teaching experience, research, awards, publications, presentations, and even affiliations.
CVs are commonly used in academia, as well as in the sciences. Make sure you know whether the jobs you are applying for require a CV or a resume.