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How Long Should My Resume Be?

Posted On11/25/2015

ContributorShirin Miller

The most frequently asked resume question is; “How long should my resume be?” The truth is that the answer can be complicated.

When in doubt, keep it brief. In most cases, presenting your experience in a succinct format will only help you in your job search. Showing that you have the ability to edit and present information in a clear and concise way can say just as much about your potential as a candidate as the content on your resume. You want to make sure your information (especially your experience) has enough detail to entice hiring managers to call you for an interview, but you don’t need to detail every project you’ve ever worked on, or every challenge you’ve ever faced.

Keep your resume brief by targeting it specifically to the job you’re applying for. Only include experience and achievements that are directly applicable to the position you want. If your other achievements or accomplishments could be applicable but require more explanation, save those for the interview!

Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule. It’s common (and in many cases, preferred) to use a multi-page resume format when:

  • You are in a technical field that requires more detail/proof of your skills
  • You are a senior-level manager or executive with a long track record of leadership accomplishments
  • You are in a scientific or academic field with an extensive list of publications, speaking engagements, professional courses, licenses or patents

If you do choose to use a multi-page resume, it’s important to put the most important information at the top of the first page. Lead your resume with a career summary so your key credentials appear at the forefront of the resume. On the second page, include a page number and include your name and contact information. You can also use addendum pages after page two, if appropriate for your field.