How Long Should a Resume Be? A Useful Guide

Posted August 18, 2020 by in Career
woman reading resume

Resumes are a crucial component of job-hunting because it’s the first impression you make on potential employers. Since resumes are so vital, it’s important to craft one perfectly and figure out the answers to questions like “how long should a resume be?”

Luckily, we’ve created a guide that will answer this question and more:

resume writing

How Long Should a Resume Be?

If you’re early in your career, your resume length should be one page and should succinctly summarize your experience. One-page resumes give employers a short but thorough look into your work, education, and skills. 

However, some industries favor longer resumes. People who work in academia often have resumes that are a few pages long. Education, certifications, and other school-related information gets lengthy fast.

Resumes longer than two pages are also suitable for those who have been in their career long-term and have developed significant job experience.

If you’re having trouble creating a one-page resume, or you’re just looking for resume help, there are resume services online that provide resume guidance.

Why Does Resume Length Matter?

Employers don’t usually have time to look through lengthy resumes. On average, recruiters spend around six seconds looking at each resume during their hiring process. One-page resumes are easy to read quickly.

Succinct resumes also leave the employer wanting more information about you, which may lead to the next phase of their interview process. 

With resources such as LinkedIn, formal resumes are easier to hone down than ever. Anything you leave out of your one-page resume can be added to your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn profiles give employers a secondary route that leads to more information about you. Pictures, social media engagement, and references are components of your LinkedIn profile that complement a physical resume.

What Should You Add to Your Resume?

Since your resume ideally should be one page long, you need to strategize what you should and shouldn’t include in your resume. You should always include the following sections.

  • Work History
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Contact Information
  • LinkedIn Profile URL
  • Portfolio
  • Objective

If you have room, feel free to add special awards, honors, and certification information. However, summarizing your education should only involve the school’s name and your degree.

Your objective and skills section should highlight you in the most concise and flattering way possible. Use these sections to talk about career achievements and skills you’re particularly proud of.

Portfolios are tricky to include in resumes. The best way to include your portfolio is to keep it separate, but reference a way to access the portfolio somewhere on your resume.

For example, inserting a Dropbox URL somewhere near your contact information leading to your resume is a common way to share your creative work.

Knowing the answer to “how long should a resume be?” is the first step towards crafting the perfect resume. With time and patience, your resume will catch the eye of your next dream job.

If you enjoyed this article, check out the rest of our career related posts!