Most of you who know me know that I used to be a college professor — a college writing professor to be more exact. And as you can imagine, grading papers was a big part of that job, one that took quite a bit of time. Of course, I didn’t mind grading when I was providing solid feedback that helped my students become better writers, but I wasn’t a huge fan of getting papers that were significantly longer than the requirement.
I got a lot of long papers, but nothing tops the time that a student turned in a 12 page paper when I had asked for 2!
Why am I telling you that story? Because it’s one I often tell to my clients who ask me how long their resumes should be. I remind them that just like college professor Miranda, employers and recruiters have hundreds of pages of resumes to read through — even after those resumes are paired down by ATS.
Does that mean you should stick to a one-page resume? No. In fact, most resumes these days are 2 pages.
Does this mean that there is no room for a 3-page resume? Wrong again. Most IT resumes are 3 pages, and it’s not uncommon for federal resumes and academic CVs to be upwards of 5 pages.
So, most of my clients ask, we’re back at the original question here — how long should MY resume be?
I have to give the college professor answer here — it depends.
Keeping your resume to 2 pages is generally a good idea, but the most important rule to keep in mind when you draft your resume is that it should be long enough to convey your skillset without being too long that it causes the reader to get bored.
Yes, like most other aspects of resume writing, your resume length is a strategic choice, but here are a few best practices when it comes to resume length:
- Standard resumes are typically 2 pages
- Federal resumes are often much longer than private-sector resumes and may exceed 5 pages
- Academic and medical CVs are longer documents that also often exceed 5 pages
- IT resumes tend to be around 3 pages long because IT professionals need space to list all of their technical competencies (and recruiters greatly prefer that you do this)
- Your resume should be focused — don’t include irrelevant information just because you have more space
- It’s important to take the reader’s time into consideration when you write your resume. You don’t want the reader to simply say TLDR (too long, didn’t read).
If you have questions about your resume length or you would like to chat about what to include or leave out, please book a FREE consultation with Morley Career Solutions here – https://morleycareersolutions.com/contact/