Resume Length- Just the Facts

One page? Two page? Red page? Blue page?

OK, apologies to Dr. Seuss for that one, but the truth is everyone seems to be asking about resume length lately so I want to clear it up, once and for all.

The whole one-page rule comes from a time when you went to the store and bought fancy “resume paper” to type out your resume on (yes, type, not wordprocess).  And it was more or less just a list of jobs you’d had with some minor description. Times have obviously changed and so has the one-page rule.

Here are five guiding principles about resume length that should set you straight.

  1. The one-page résumé myth persists, despite significant evidence that most hiring managers have no problem with a two-page (or longer, even) résumé, if appropriate for the candidate’s qualifications. And there is the key. If your qualifications require more space, then by all means, use more pace.
  2. Don’t put too much weight in what recruiters say about résumé length. Recruiters only place about 25% of candidates in new jobs, and not all recruiters subscribe to the one-page “limit.”
  3. The one-page format is unique to the printed page, because résumés submitted online aren’t affected by page limits. Approximately 30 percent of résumés are only stored electronically (they are never printed out).
  4. Traditional college students and those with five years or less of experience should be able to fit their résumés onto one page. Most everyone else, however, can (and should) use one page OR two.
  5. And finally, what I believe is the most important guidelines of all – make sure everything you include on the résumé — regardless of length — is relevant to your job target and what the hiring manager will want to know about you! Don’t add anything that is not directly related to you landing an interview for this job.