How Long Should My Resume Be?
One of the common questions, job seekers ask is “How long should a resume be?” The opinions vary.
While some say that you should present a one-page version, others want to include every job they have worked in.
Some hiring managers (or jobs) look for specific information in the resume, others want to know about your experiences in detail. That can easily extend to two pages. But it doesn’t mean you should include everything starting with kindergarten.
Although there isn’t any hard and fast rule, you can get an idea of how many pages does a resume have to be with the following resume length tips:
One-page for newbies
You don’t have to fit in your long work experience into a one-page resume. This type of resume belongs to those who are new graduates looking for work or people with little or no experience.
If you are one of those who got their degrees recently, you can do away with a one-page version. Anything more than that will be a disaster. Include the internships, relevant part-time jobs and activities you participated in but not the awards and scholarships.
If you have a few years of experience (<8-10 years), you can drop the college activities and internships altogether. List the positions you held with your employer/s and give the hiring manager an insight into your skills. You can, though, enlist your internships if the job experiences aren’t a lot relevant.
Two-page for experienced ones
The two-page rule holds true for most of the professionals, doesn’t matter if you have worked for 10 years or 20. So, if you’re wondering “What should I not include on my resume?” and “How many years should a resume go back?” read further.
The employers only like to know about your recent jobs and anything beyond the 15 years isn’t of interest. Thus, give more emphasis to the current experiences.
You, however, can use the extra page you are getting to mention the technical skills required for the job. But restrict the resume to two pages.
You can include multiple experiences with one-liners. But if the companies are popular give some details. Remember to put the vital information on the first page.
Three-page resumes are rare but not extinct. But this can only come of use in specialized fields. Add the third page only if you have a long list of publications and accomplishments to account for.
Use of Keywords
Keywords in a resume are required for the automated systems, but hiring managers also look for them when checking resumes.
Keywords are specific words and phrases which are the key requirements for the position, and you shouldn’t miss them. Always keep the job description handy to write and refine the resume according to the requirements.
These keywords can be from education, experiences, accomplishments, degrees and/or the certifications. Check for specific adjectives from the job description and match with the ones which describe you best.
Cut down the ones not required. Rephrase your copy, merge the text until you say the same things in fewer words. Rule of thumb is to cut resume to one page if the second page is less than half a page.
While trying to reduce the pages, many shrink the text size to unreadable levels. Some also decrease the page margins and spacing.
But while doing so, be sure that it’s suitable for the eyes to scan it quickly or your precious document lands on the huge pile.
Your text can go as down as 10 points before it starts frustrating the eyes. And the headers can shrink to 13 points. As far as page margins are concerned, 0.5 inch is the minimum.
You do need some white space to separate sections. Don’t try out bars and graphics there. They take up valuable space. You can set it at 0.5 – 1 point without letting the resume appear compressed.
And while you are at it pay attention to the fonts too. Needless to say but use simple ones like Arial and Times New Roman. There are some like Calibri and Arial Narrow which take up less space than Arial or Times.
Hobbies and Interests
To include or not to include them is still undecided but for most of the times, it’s better not to add them. The resume should be concise.
The hobbies do give a distinct touch but unless it actually helps, you can use that space for something more valuable.
Also, you don’t need to mention that your references are available upon request. The interviewers know that and the line is unnecessary.