The Rule on Resume Length

Are you concerned about resume length? Ami, one of my newsletter subscribers, recently emailed me and said that she'd been told by her brother that her 2 page resume was too long. "It can't be longer than one page," her brother stated. Wise woman that she was, instead of blindly following his advice, Ami sought a second opinion. Here's what I told her about that so-called resume "rule."



The "old rule" about resume length was to limit it to one page. The logic everyone spouted was that hiring managers (or HR folks) were just too busy to read more than that. But things have changed. Here's why:

  1. With more people applying for jobs, employers need as much information as possible to help them pick out the best candidates;

  2. People change jobs a lot more often now than they used to, so there's more to list on their professional resumes;

  3. Modern technology allows computerized resumes to be scanned quickly for keywords, so even lengthy ones can be reviewed quickly by most large companies.

Now the "rule" is to simply make your resume as long (or short) as necessary to include all the pertinent information. So someone who's only had one job and is looking for an entry-level position could certainly fit their resume onto one page, while an experienced professional who's had 6 jobs in the last 10 years may need 2 (or even 3) pages.

The key to a great resume is the CONTENT, not the length. The employer needs to know what kind of employee you are going to be and sometimes that takes up a bit of space on a page.

According to the USAJOBS.gov website, "What is the most important aspect of your work experience? The answer may be a surprise: the outcome. In fact, you'd be amazed by how many people forget to mention this critical aspect of their experience altogether. When discussing outcome, be sure to discuss the whats, the hows, and the breadth and scope of your experiences..."

The length of your resume should be exactly how long it takes to convince an employer that you are the right person for the job. Be concise, be clear, but be sure to convey the right message.

Here are some additional articles about resumes that you might also find interesting:


You Can Create Your Own Professional Resume

If you would like more information about "How to Write a Professional Resume", the following book is a great resource:

It will show you exactly how to make an exceptional resume -
professionally and quickly.

You'll also find some outstanding articles in the book which will help you with your cover letter and the interviewing process, too.

Since this book is sold as an e-book, you can print off as many copies of the worksheets and forms as you need to help you through the easy-to-follow steps.

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