How Long Should a Resume Be?

The resume, which the HR people read before the interview, allows them to quickly discover the main traits of the candidate and formulate additional questions without writing down the applicant's data. It significantly reduces time and improves the effectiveness of the job interview. Personnel issues are often supervised by HR officers, secretaries, office managers, sales reps, and even chief accountants.

Recruitment experts use a subjective method of selecting resumes, along with the picking technique based on a number of formal attributes, such as work experience, skills, professional characteristics, education, gender, and age. Undoubtedly, the subjective perception of the HR rep is of critical importance. However, a competently composed resume that emphasizes strengths and skillfully mitigates some shortcomings is essential. Based on the resume, the first and firm opinion about someone is formed, which, however, is subjective and depends on stereotypes of people's perception.

Your primary purpose of the resume, when it is handed in, is to catch the employer's attention, make a favorable impression, and induce the manager to invite you for a talk. Therefore, the main principle of writing a resume is to emphasize all the positive aspects and make your weaknesses as invisible as possible. A good resume creates a unified image of an attractive person and expert with clearly defined competencies that can be assessed.

You need to have a resume so that the future employer can easily see your biographical data and info about your professional experience. In addition, such a resume should answer the question of whether you meet the requirements established by the company for this job position. This document should also provide extra info that can be of interest to the employer. All of the summarized information enables the responsible person to decide whether to invite you for a full-fledged job interview or not.

Your resume should have enough details characterizing you as a relevant specialist. These facts must be demonstrated in a consistent, understandable, and uncontroversial manner. After examining your resume, the employer should understand the advantages of hiring you. It will also be useful if you could introduce some charisma in your resume. Therefore, it should create a unique image so that the reader's memory can keep the main points and use them during a job selection.

If an invitation to the job interview did not follow, it means that your resume had not attracted the employer's attention for some reason. The only chance to succeed with a submitted resume is when somebody reads it at once. As a rule, it takes no more than two or three minutes to read this document. That is why, when compiling it, the standard forms are offered on the Internet. According to many HR managers, the information in the resume should be as complete and concise as possible. Also, the matter of how long should a resume be is crucial.

Latest Tendencies in the Resume Length

A concise resume that is written on one A4 page is no longer in trend. So, how long should a resume be? New studies show that employers are more interested in detailed job descriptions of candidates, although it takes longer to study such applications. Two-page resumes are considered by recruiters more frequently, comparing to single-page resumes. It is even more relevant if a candidate is applying for a senior position.

Although most experts claim that a two-page resume is suitable only for applicants with many years of experience, the study results contradict this generally accepted point of view. It turned out that the additional information contained in the detailed resumes helps recruiters to know the candidate better and make a faster decision. It works for both prestigious vacancies and entry-level positions.

Therefore, describe boldly professional skills acquired earlier and demonstrate the outcomes of your work, supporting your achievements with examples and successful cases. Perhaps the following tip may seem vague to you, but the resume length should be such that the HR rep would wish to invite you for a job interview. As a rule, the resume length should be two or three pages max, but there may be exceptions.

📋 The resume has only one page in the following cases:

  • You held several positions with one employer;

  • You have less than eight years of work experience;

  • You are radically changing your career direction, and your previous experience is not crucial for a new goal.

✏️ The resume length is of two pages if:

  • You have more than eight years of work experience;

  • Your professional activity includes certain technical, engineering, or other skills, the description of which requires a lot of space.

✒️ The resume can be written on three or more pages if:

  • You have held senior management positions for a long time;

  • You have not only a solid track record but also many professional achievements;

  • You work in the field of science or education, and you have an extensive list of publications, speeches, patents, licenses, etc.

Some Tips on Building a Good Resume

The first unbreakable guideline is that the resume length most often does not exceed two A4 pages. Essential information should preferably be on the first page. If the length does not allow this, consider what data can be skipped. If you have vast experience, this can create some difficulties when structuring a resume. However, you always have an opportunity to get around this. You can change the font size, although this is not advisable, and make the whole thing easy to read.

If the resume has more than one page, indicate a footnote "Continued next page." On all sheets except the first one, the numbers are printed, and the last name is mentioned. If your resume turned out to be on one incomplete page, the writing should be arranged across the entire page. For resumes that occupy more than one page, applications can be used after the second page.

If you are in the process of searching for a job, consider several variants of your resume - for sending it by regular mail, fax, e-mail, or for personal delivery. However, the text should be similar, and the essential information has to be unchanged. The design of the resume may vary - a well-chosen picture of you will make your resume more attractive. However, non-standard and "loose" photos should not be used. By this, you will only show disrespect to the employer.

You need to use one font, preferably Times New Roman or Arial, to write a perfect resume. The use of many fonts of different sizes will make it unreadable. Also, a strict design style is a prerequisite. You should also not demonstrate special features of Adobe Photoshop filters because your resume is a formal document.

If you decide to write a non-standard resume, keep in mind that this strategy is not right for all cases. As a guide to action, it can be accepted by representatives of creative professions who are used to moving away from standards. It should be kept in mind that recruitment agencies, as a rule, use the received resumes as a source of obtaining the necessary information about the applicants. So, the data are usually taken from resumes and saved in computer files. In this way, your creative liberties will come unnoticed.

As for specialists of other non-creative professions, such as accountants, drivers, or engineers, they should remain within the framework of officially approved norms. First of all, that is explained by the fact that such specialists are expected to follow the principles of accuracy and scrupulousness, as well as strict job duties.

However, if you send a non-standard resume directly to the employer, the chances are that top managers will appreciate your creative approach. So, you should be careful with non-standard resumes because officials may find that such a candidate is too extravagant, and it can be challenging to cope with such an employee.

The standard font size for resumes is 12. All text must be of the same size. Each section of the resume should be separate from the previous one. Headings are best underlined or highlighted in bold. The option to reduce the font is acceptable only if the resume will be sent to the employer by e-mail or submitted in person. If you send a resume by fax, it is not advised to use a font size of less than 12 points. Otherwise, the resume will be hard to read.

For a resume, a white paper of good quality should be used. It has to be written in plain and concise language. Make sure that long phrases, complex and incomprehensible words are not used. Check that your resume is written in the same style. When you finish, proofread it for spelling and grammatical mistakes. Remember that a resume with errors has no chance to be selected among other applications.


The greatest secret of a resume is that you need to write it not for yourself, but for the specific employer, taking into account the features of the company's business. Follow the principle of selectivity to write a good resume and adhere to length standards. Also, people often pay more attention to the upper lines than to the lower ones. Therefore, the order of presenting information in your resume is much more significant than wording.

How long should a resume be? It depends on several points. Information for the resume should be selected based on its goals. That is, the resume should include a description of precisely those aspects of your experience that are relevant to the position for which you are applying. And therefore, you should come to each new job interview with a new resume and never without it. So, a correctly composed resume of an appropriate length is your assistant in finding a decent job. Thus, it is recommended to develop your skills in creating a perfect resume constantly.

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