How many pages should a resume be?
A resume should be one page for most applicants, especially for students and anyone with fewer than 10 years of relevant work experience.
Hiring managers are busy people, and a one-page resume gives you enough space to communicate your professional experience and skills without using up too much of their time.
However, if you have more than 10 years of experience in your industry, you can make a two-page resume to elaborate on that experience and showcase all of your job skills and qualifications.
When it comes to the length of your resume, what’s most important is that all the information you include is relevant and concise.
A two to three-page resume is only a problem when it’s full of unimportant information or old jobs that no longer represent your current skill set.
Resume Genius’s in-house resume expert, Eva Chan, sums up why a one-page resume is the ideal length for most job seekers at the 2:48 point of this video:
How to achieve the ideal resume length
So now you know how long your resume should be. But condensing all your experience and skills onto a single page can be difficult.
Don’t worry — anyone can hit the ideal resume length with these three tips (really, anyone: even Elon Musk’s resume can be trimmed to one page):
1. Tailor your resume to each application
Many job-seekers assume that their resume should list most (if not all) of the jobs they’ve held in their lives. However, this is only the case if you’re writing a job-seeker CV outside of North America.
The best way to ensure you achieve the proper resume length when writing your resume is to tailor it directly to the position you want.
For example, service industry jobs can teach highly valuable soft skills. However, if you’re writing a marketing resume, including information about your experience waiting tables is irrelevant and should be left off.
To tailor your resume, start by looking at the job description, and remove anything that isn’t directly mentioned in the listing. In particular, look out for specific skills they’re looking for, and how many years of experience they want.
Reducing your resume to only the most relevant information not only helps you fit it on one page, it also makes you look perfectly suited for the position.
2. Adjust your formatting
Have you fine-tuned the language in your resume but still can’t fill every page? Try adjusting your resume’s format.
First, try making your resume margins smaller to fit more words on the page. Then, make your resume font smaller. Just don’t go under 10 pt font, otherwise it risks becoming unreadable.
You can also try to shrink your resume header or remove unnecessary graphics to free up more space.
And if you still can’t fit everything on one page, try using tables to organize the smaller sections of your resume. For example, many job seekers format their skills section like this:
While easy to read, this isn’t an efficient use of the space on your resume.
Instead, use a table (and with the borders removed) to format your skills section like this:
Using tables helps you format your resume efficiently, and gives you more space to include valuable information.
3. Get to the point
Recruiters don’t want to read about every detail of your work history when reviewing your application. To ensure you highlight the information they do want to read, the professional experience section of your resume should be concise but informative.
Rather than try to cover everything you did at your previous jobs, narrow your bullet points down to three to five of your most impressive or relevant accomplishments.
Additionally, if you have an older position on your resume or one in which you were still an entry-level employee, provide just two to three bullet points. This way, you have more space to elaborate on your more current experience.
Then, go through your resume several times and see if you can simplify your language. Remove filler adverbs (like “very” and “extremely”) to shorten sentences and make everything easier to read.
Resume length FAQs
How long should my resume be?
Long enough to clearly illustrate why you’re the most qualified candidate for the role (so usually one page). Executive-level resumes and resumes for older workers should be longer than entry-level ones.
What’s the standard number of pages on a resume?
One page, although two-page resumes for senior-level employees and executives as well as multi-page CVs aren’t unusual.
Can a resume be 3 pages?
Yes, if you have enough relevant experience. But don’t make it three pages long unless every piece of information applies to the job you’re applying for.
How long should a CV be?
There’s no limit to how long a CV can be. Academics are expected to list every publication and academic achievement, so the standard academic CV format is quite flexible in terms of length.