How many pages should a resume be?
A resume should be 1–3 pages long, depending on your years of experience and professional background.
If you’re a new graduate or have a short work history, a one-page resume is long enough to showcase your skills, achievements, and qualifications.
One-page resumes are best for:
- New graduates
- Current students
- Professionals with less than 10 years of work experience
If you have many years of professional experience to offer an employer, then your resume should be two pages or longer.
This is especially true if you’re applying for senior roles in a company. Two pages gives you the space to demonstrate your relevant accomplishments and professional history.
Two-page resumes are best for:
- Professionals with over 10 years of experience
- Applicants for management or leadership roles
Three pages (or more)
Longer resumes are acceptable for certain industries and professions. For instance, if you work in academia, you need to write a CV, which will list all of your publications.
Similarly, if the US government is your employer, a federal resume has different requirements to a regular resume.
Resumes three pages or longer are best for:
- Applicants for senior management roles
- Students applying for doctoral programs
- Federal employees
Resume length guidelines
What’s important is filling each and every page of your resume so that there’s no empty space. For example, a targeted one-page resume looks much better than a two-page resume with a half-empty second page.
Let’s summarize this advice:
|How long should my resume be?||Long enough to clearly illustrate why you’re the most qualified candidate for the role. Executive-level resumes 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.|
How to achieve the ideal resume length
So now you know how long your resume should be. Still, making your experience fill each page is challenging. 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
Tailoring your resume for each position you apply to is one of the first things you should know how to do when learning how to write a resume.
Every job you apply for has different requirements and qualifications. Whenever you apply for a new job, your resume should change to reflect these requirements.
For example, service sector jobs can teach highly valuable soft skills. However, if you’re applying for a job in the marketing field, including information about your experience waiting tables is irrelevant and weakens your resume.
Look at the job description, and remove anything that isn’t directly related to the position. If you reduce your experience to the minimum information needed to show you’re the best person for the job, your resume will attract more attention.
2. Adjust your formatting
Have you fine-tuned the language in your resume but still can’t fill every page? Try adjusting your resume design.
First, tweak your resume margins to alter the spacing. Then, make your resume font smaller (but do not go under 10 pt font), and shrink the heading. You can also remove unnecessary graphic elements from your resume.
Also note that there are three types of resume formats. You’re most likely using a chronological resume, but it’s possible that a functional resume or combination resume would help you space out your content better.
If you’re still having trouble filling each page of your resume, there are tons of free online resume templates that allow you to spread out information (or cram it in) depending on your needs.
3. Get to the point
Recruiters don’t want to see every detail about your work history on your resume. 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 and responsibilities instead.
If you’re struggling to trim your work experience to just a few bullet points, use a resume outline to help you better organize your information.
Then, go through your resume several times and see if you can simplify your language. Remove filler words to shorten sentences and make your resume easy to read.
Now you know the length for a resume, what’s next?
Now that you have the answer to how long your resume should be, you’re ready to start writing it.
But before you start sending out job applications, make sure you pair your resume with one of our expertly designed cover letter templates. Learn how long a cover letter should be to boost your application’s chances of success.
And if you need to save some time, check out our easy-to-use resume builder and create a world-class resume in mere minutes. Happy job hunting!