How Many Pages Should a Resume Be

Nov 11 2020

Writing the perfect resume is often the first step to getting your dream job. You need this document to provide your prospective employer with all the information they would need about you and your academic and professional experience. However, when you search for the length of a resume online, you’ll likely end up with multiple opinions. While some people say that a resume length should be limited to just one page no matter how much experience you have, others may say that a resume too long doesn’t exist.

How Many Pages Should My Resume Be

The first thing you need to know is that if you’re wondering how many words should a resume be, then it doesn’t really matter. What usually makes an impact is the number of pages it has. It is quite commonly believed that resumes should have only one page. This is not really true, though, as many employers prefer resumes that have two pages more than those that have only one. Why is that, you ask? Well, it really depends on the type of job you’re applying for.

If you’re a new college graduate and the job you are applying for doesn’t require you to have a lot of working experience, then writing a one-page resume is often encouraged as recruiters already know that you likely wouldn’t have too much experience to write about. But if you are applying for a more senior position that requires prior experience, then having a two-page or even a three-page resume is likely to seem more impressive to employers.

So, we come back to the question, ‘how long should my resume be’?

● A Single Page

Single-page resumes are great for new graduates who don’t have a very long history of professional work. One page, in this case, is enough to showcase all of their talents, skills, academic achievements, qualifications, and information about any jobs or internships they may have completed.

If you’re not a new graduate and are still wondering how long should your resume be, then you should stick to one page if your experience is less than 10 years. One page should be all you need to list all your major achievements and skills in a brief and yet coherent manner.

● Two Pages

Whenever you ask yourself how long is too long for a resume, then the answer you will receive from most people is three pages. So two pages are generally the gold standard for resume length if you have work experience that spans more than 10 years. Two pages are especially useful for people applying for senior roles who need to showcase that they have enough expertise to apply for such a job.

If you’re applying for a managerial position or something similar, then sending in a single-page resume may not have a very serious impact. So the resume’s page numbers do start to matter for such serious job roles. But then again, if you feel like adding that third page and start thinking, ‘is my resume too long?’, then it probably is.

● More Than Two Pages

Okay, so ‘two’ is not the absolute answer when you’re wondering how many pages a resume should be. There are times when you might have to add one or even multiple more pages to your resume simply because there is too much you need to explain. This is especially true for people applying for academic jobs who need to write about all of their various publications. Some federal jobs might also have specific requirements that would add multiple pages to your resume.

So, a resume can be more than two pages. But it is recommended to add that many pages only if you absolutely have to.

How To Shorten Your Resume

The one thing you need to focus on while trying to figure out how big should a resume be is to make the most of the space you have. If you don’t have enough experience and you still end up with two pages just because you like to explain every single thing too much, then you’re doing it wrong. It is important to keep things concise and not over-explain them.

But if you have a lot of experience and are ending up with more than how long resumes are generally, then you can follow these tips:

● Create a 15-Year Window

Write only about those achievements and jobs that you’ve completed in the last 15 years. Employers generally care only about the fairly recent work you’ve done.thought-catalog-505eectW54k-unsplash

● Add Small ‘Sections’

If you’ve held many different jobs before that 15-year period and you wish to include them in your resume without worrying about how long a resume is supposed to be, you can add small sections at the bottom of the page and mention important information like the job title, company, and time period, etc. This way, you don’t have to worry about how long a resume should be for a professional as you can keep it to two or three pages.

● Use Proper Formatting

One of the best things to do when you’re wondering how long can a resume be and want to shorten yours is to use proper formatting. This means that you should change around elements of your resume like the font, its size, the headers, etc. to ensure that everything fits on one or two pages. How many pages in resumes are made concise is by using smaller font sizes and not adding any large headers.

How Long Should A Professional Resume Be

How long should your resume be if you’re a seasoned professional with a lifetime of experience? Well, as long as you need it to! For highly senior roles, it might become vital to write about every single job you’ve held or every single project you’ve worked on. In certain jobs where a lifetime of experience will be highly regarded, you don’t have to think about how many pages should your resume be or how many years should be on a resume. Just always remember to write concisely and make it as short as possible because a more concise resume is always appreciated.

Why Does Resume Length Matter

Before you ask how long is a resume or how many pages can a resume be, perhaps you should also ask why it matters. The answer to this one is pretty simple but let’s ask a question in return to give you an idea of why it matters. Would you want to receive a four-page resume for the post of an office intern or a young sales manager? Probably not, right?

The question as to how many pages does a good resume have is not very important to ask when you understand that it really matters on the type of job you’re applying for. Employers do often care how many pages are in a resume because, in today’s’ day and age, everyone wants to get as much information as possible in as little time as possible. So if you send in a resume with multiple pages to a simple job, chances are your employer will just get bored of all the reading.


So, how many pages for resumes are enough? There’s no correct answer. There are guidelines for ‘how many pages is a resume’ generally, but none of those guidelines can hold true for every single job you’ll ever apply for. It’s best to determine how long should a resume be by carefully reading about the job and the kind of experience it requires. Tailor your resume based on each job and try to add only those things about your experience that are relevant to the particular role. Just stick to these general guidelines, and you won’t really need to know a definitive answer to how long resumes are.