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How Long Should My Resume Be

How To Write A Resume

How Long Should My Executive Resume Be?

There are many elements that you need to consider when crafting the perfect resume. Whether you are setting out in your job search to write your very first resume or youve decided to re-write an existing CV, you may have many questions such as, How to write resumes?, How long should a CV be? and What information should I include? You also have to consider how to tailor your resume and lay it out, as well as consider what format it should take, be it a digital resume or a more traditional form.

When To Use A One

If you can fit all the information about your relevant qualifications on one page, you should certainly try to do so. A one-page resume is usually sufficient for the following individuals and backgrounds:

  • Students or recent graduates

  • Less than ten years of relevant work experience

  • If you have only held one or two positions with the same employer

  • If you are considering a career change and don’t have transferable experience

Related: How To Write a Resume Employers Will Notice

Lying Or Misleading Information

Recruiters can spot information that does not stack up. For example, they are always on the lookout for inflated:

  • Qualifications
  • Job titles
  • Achievements

Employers are conducting increasingly vigorous background checks on candidates. This can range from on you to employing a specialist candidate checking service. Something that you think is just bending the truth could really trip you up.

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When To Go Back Further Than 15 Years

Including more than 15 years of experience on a resume is a rare occurrence in today’s job market. Typically, hiring managers are only interested in knowing the last 15 years of your work history. Anything that happened more than 15 years in the past has the potential to be irrelevant. For example, suppose you worked for a marketing agency for five years as a graphic designer. Then, you were offered the position of creative director at another company where you stayed for the next 12 years.

When updating your resume, it would probably be a good idea to omit your five years as a graphic designer in favor of including more information about what you accomplished as a creative director. Potential employers and clients would typically be more interested in what you have achieved in your most recent position rather than in where you worked more than 12 years in the past.

The exception to this rule would be if you held the same job for 15 years or more. In that case, your endurance, experience and commitment could make you a more appealing candidate. However, applicants with many years of experience could also be perceived as out of touch or difficult to train. Your challenge as an older professional will be to convince hiring managers that you are willing to learn and that your years of experience make you a more valuable asset to the team.

How To Decide The Length Of Your Resume

How Long Should a Resume Be? Ideal Resume Length

Because your resume is the primary document you use to market yourself during a job search, it is important to make sure it includes as much relevant information about your skills, experiences and accomplishments as possible. But it is also important to make sure you know how long your resume should be. Knowing the appropriate length for your resume can help you determine which information you should and should not include in your resume.

In this definitive guide to resume length, we discuss everything you need to know to help you decide how many pages your resume should be.

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How Many Years Of Experience To List On Your Resume

Do you have to include every job you’ve ever had on your resume? Not necessarily. When you have extensive experience, you don’t need to list your entire work history.

Your resume is a synopsis of your qualifications and experience that shows what you have accomplished that is relevant to the job. You don’t need to include everything you’ve ever done on your resume, especially if you’ve been in the workforce for many years or have shifted careers.

In fact, you may want to have several versions of your resume. One with all your experience so you can keep track of it, a targeted resume that you can customize for each job you apply to, and a shorter version for career networking and job fairs.

College Graduation Date On Resume

There is no need to include your college graduation date unless you’re a recent college graduate. Here’s an example of college listed on a resume without dates:

Bachelor of Arts in EnglishUniversity of New York

Here’s an example of a college graduation date listed on a resume:

Bachelor of Arts in English, 2020University of New York

Many people choose to drop their graduation date from their resume when the degree was earned 10 years prior. If you are worried about age discrimination, leaving off this information is a good way to shield your age.

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Resume Summaries: Key Facts

Strong resume summaries tell a story, incorporating some of the experience and skills you cover elsewhere in your resume in a narrative form. Generally, itâs a good idea to include information about your:

  • Experience: Lead with your most recent job title and summarize your years of experience.

  • Impact: Include any major accomplishments and/or achievements, especially if you can quantify them.

  • Skills: Detail any important skillsâboth workplace and technicalâthat relate to the job to which youâre applying.

Examples:

Senior project manager with eight years of experience successfully leading large teams and identifying opportunities to reduce overhead and cost.

Licensed microbiology technologist with over five years of experience working at a major hospital lab.

Successful certified financial planner with six years of experience consulting with clients, determining their long-term goals, and developing tailored plans to achieve results.

Creative social media manager with four years of experience overseeing all major channels for a fintech start-up. Trained in Hootsuite, Buffer, and Google Trends.

The Ideal Resume Length

How long should your resume be?

In the end, your resume length isnt nearly as important as the resume content. If you can concisely and intelligently sum up your experience and skills in a one-page resume, dont expand to two pages just because. And, if you need two pages, you should absolutely do that. The one-page rule is becoming a thing of the pastas long as you arent filling your resume with irrelevant fluff that an employer doesnt need to know.

And, of course, weve got career coaches that can give your resume a once over and help you figure out if you need a one- or two-page resume.

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When To Use A Two

This is the sweet spot for most resumes. Two pages allows you to dig into your accomplishments in more detail, and to include different sections that can give the resume context and depth. This is ideal for someone who has eight or more years of professional experience, or someone who is very active in their community service or volunteering endeavors.

Lets take the example of Jane from above. She now has about 10 years of professional experience, including working at an ad agency, followed by a few years as a brand manager, then leading an in-house marketing team. Now shes applying to a position as a creative director for an agency. Each of her three previous roles is relevant and going to have some weighty experiences and distinct accomplishments she can dig into. Maybe shes also served on a board or done some volunteer work in her community. When you add her academic background to this list, its clear that one page wont do her justice.

And if youre worried about creating what appears to be a gap in your work history because youre only including the most relevant roles, theres an easy solution for that. Change the name of the section heading to Selected Professional Experience or Relevant Work Experience, which will alert the reader that what youve listed is not all-inclusive, so they wont be put off by any gaps. It also shows that youve curated your resume to only highlight whats most relevant to the job youve applied for.

How Long Should A Resume Be We Asked The Experts

Conventional wisdom says you should limit the length of your resume to one page. That works if you dont have a lot of experience. But, what about after youve worked for 10 or even 20 years? Youve heard that you should only list the last 10 to 15 years of work experience on your resume. But is that because that early work history is irrelevant? Or, is it to limit the length of your resume?

Surprisingly, there is an ideal resume length that recruiters prefer. But what is that maximum length? Can a resume be more than one page? Is it OK to have a three-page resume? How long should a resume be when you dont have a lot of work history? What happens to resume length when youve been working for 30 years?

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Resume Length: How Long Should A Resume Be In 2021

Resume length is one of the great mysteries of the job application process. Because of it, you might be wondering, how long should a resume be?

Should it always be one page?

What if you have a lot of relevant experience and need more space to describe it?

If you have a work history that goes way back because youve been working for 25+ years, is three pages okay?

Well, it doesnt help that you can find arguments for just about any length online if you look hard enough.

Fortunately, weve analyzed the resumes of real users hired at competitive companies such as Spotify, Booking.com, Verizon Digital Media Services, Amazon, Intercom, and more. Instead of throwing opinions around, all your questions about resume length are answered in this guide.

Contents:

  • Why are there so many opinions about resume length?
  • How long should your resume be in 2021?
  • How far back should a resume go?
  • Should a resume be one page?
  • Whats the ideal resume length for the hiring manager?
  • How to shorten my resume?
  • Summary & Key Takeaways

Alternatively, you can skip this whole section and find a PROVEN resume example for your specific job position. From there, building your resume and seeing what works is simple and easy. Best of all, its free to use!

At any point in time, I would recommend Enhancv as a platform to prepare ones CV. It offers a lot of sample templates as well. Kudos to the entire team and thanks again for getting my dream job! Imran Khan

Never Sacrifice Resume Formatting And Readability To Fit A Certain Page Length

Long Resume: Why Resume Length Matters in Your Job Search

As a recruiter, Ive heard stories of candidates shrinking their font, changing spacing, etc., in order to fit their content onto one page.

Dont ever sacrifice the readability or the overall formatting of your resume just to fit it into a certain number of pages.

In extreme cases, Ive seen a candidate shrink their font to a tiny size because someone told them, your resume should be one page long. Thats bad career advice, and as covered above, it depends on your exact situation.

Focus on sharing valuable content, keep your formatting pleasant, well-spaced, and easy to read for hiring managers, and youll get more interviews!

That brings me to my next tip for resume page length and formatting

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Delete Anything From High School

Unless youâre currently in university or college, or under the age of 20, do not include your high school education or achievements on your resume. Focusing on your high school achievements, especially if theyâre more than a few years old can seem desperate and make it seem like you have nothing more recent to share. Even if you were an outstanding high school student who racked up all kinds of awards and achievements, it’s almost always underwhelming to discuss your high school achievements in the context of employment. Thereâs one exception: if high school is your highest level of education, you can include the name of your high school and your graduation date under your education section. However, avoid including a list of extra-curricular activities or other achievements.

looking for your next job now?

At the end of the day, your resume is a marketing document. Its purpose is to showcase why you’re the best possible candidate for the job youâve applied to. Itâs not a legally binding document that has to list the minutia of your work history down to your high school record and part-time jobs. Sometimes, making cuts is essential to create the best possible narrative!

Can I Use A One

With all this talk about longer is better, youre probably wondering what to do if you dont have a lot of work history, since you may not have enough to create a full one-page resume, let alone a two-page resume.

Most employers know that newer job seekers wont have a lot of experience, so they understand your resume may be shorter. However, there are certain sections you can add to your resume to help fill things out and tell a fuller story of you as a job candidate, without adding unnecessary fluff.

For example, if you volunteer, that can count as a type of work experience. While its not a paid experience, it is experience and demonstrates that youre a responsible individual that people count on. If you were active in any clubs or extracurricular activities at school, add those, too. Even if they werent competitive teams or you didnt hold a leadership position, you were still a part of a team, and teamwork is a much valued and sought after soft skill.

While it may be tempting to help plump up your resume with a larger font size or even wide margins, be careful with these tricks. Recruiters are used to seeing them and may eye yours with a little suspicion if they see that the entire resume is in 18-point font. As a rule, one-inch margins are fine but dont go beyond that. And, dont use anything larger than a 12-point font, the exception being your name or contact information, which can go as high as 14- or 16-point font.

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Combine Multiple Related Bullet Points Into One Bullet Point

If you have multiple lines on the same subject within your job experience, you can often combine the statements into one.

Example: Optimize your space by combining functions

  • Ensured our marketing had a positive ROI.

  • Utilized marketing tools to ensure maximum ROI.

  • Managed the marketing team to ensure smooth and efficient projects were deployed.

  • Implemented and managed a marketing campaign with extensive A/B testing to achieve a 190% ROI.

The three bullets can easily be grouped together to form a statement thatâs sure to impress an employer. If you have paragraphs, you should turn those into bullet points as well.

How To Shorten Your Resume

How Long Should Your Resume Be? – Resume Length

Cut ruthlessly isnt one-time advice. Your resume should be tailored to each new job for which you apply. That means what youre cutting should be different every time.

Write up everything into master resume

If rewriting your resume each time requires more time and energy than you have, consider maintaining a comprehensive master resume as a starting point for each tailored job application. List each and every duty, responsibility, hard skill, soft skill, and measurable result throughout your professional history.

Instead of rewriting a new resume for each job, this allows you to skip straight to the ruthless cutting for each new job.

Answer the question of the job description

Your resume is more than proof that youve been collecting a paycheck for however many years. An effective resume highlights exactly how youve been working toward the job for which youre applying. See the difference?

Study the job description and identify the most important qualifications and resume keywords. Review each line of your resume and think, Does this help prove that Im a great fit for this job? If not, its extraneous at best or distracting at worse. Cut it.

Jobscan helps you home in on whats important to the employer by instantly analyzing your resume against their job description. Try it out right here in the article:

Emphasize your most relevant experience

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How Many Pages Should A Resume Be: The Golden Rule

If you have been in the workforce for a number of years, you’re entitled to a maximum of two full pages of resume real estate. This rule applies to most senior professionals, whether you’ve been in the workforce for seven years or 27 years.

The reality is that most recruiters spend less than 10 seconds reviewing a resume before deciding whether the applicant should receive further consideration. With so little time to make the right impression, it’s important to present a succinct document that highlights the recent and more relevant parts of your professional experience, skills, and education.

How Many Years You Should Go Back On A Resume

One of the key elements of a successful resume is the work history section. Deciding which of your previous positions to include and how much information to write about each of them is an important part of the resume writing process, and should be evaluated on a case by case basis. In this article, we discuss how many years you should go back when constructing your work history for a resume, what is standard and what factors might require you to go back further.

Read more:Listing Professional Experience on Your Resume

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