When developing and editing your resume, it’s important to provide just enough detail to demonstrate your professional strengths and accomplishments without overwhelming the reader. It can be hard to achieve the perfect balance, especially for jobseekers with an extensive or diverse career history. That being said, we’ve seen (and shortened) resumes spanning up to 12 pages! A resume this long is simply too daunting for most hiring professionals, and would most likely land an otherwise qualified candidate’s resume in the discard pile. For that reason, it’s important to cap your resumes at one or two pages, depending on the extent and context of your previous experience.
How a Long Resume Hurts Your Chances
A resume exceeding the standard 1-2 page length is by no means a deal breaker; however, it can hinder your chances of landing an interview for the following reasons:
How to Know if Your Resume Should Be One or Two Pages
While most job seekers (and resume writers) would prefer there to be a hard and fast rule about resume length, this is ultimately determined on a case-by-case basis. When deciding whether to cap your resume at one or two pages, consider the following:
If you primarily answered yes to the above questions, you’ll likely be able to contain the best parts of your professional life into a single page.
If you primarily answered yes to the above questions, a two-page resume will likely be the best way to showcase the full scope of your accomplishments without cluttering the information.
There are often special circumstances which may come into play. For example, if you didn’t graduate from college, or if your early experience was unrelated to your current field, you may want to bury information on a second page where it is less visible to recruiters.
Regardless of length, it’s important to organize your resume in a way that’s consistent and aesthetically-pleasing. In line with this, make sure that you don’t have single bullet lines or incomplete sections hanging off onto an extra page.
Still not sure what resume length you should strive for? Sign-up for our newsletter and receive a free resume review.
Andrea Gerson is a top-ranked career counselor with nearly 10 years of experience helping professionals find clarity, confidence, and a renewed sense of energy around their work. As the founder of Resume Scripter, she has provided expert guidance and support to more than 3,500 clients from organizations including Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Bloomberg, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and the United Nations. She's led workshops on interview preparation, job search methods, resume development, and career planning strategies, with a particular specialty guiding early and mid-level professionals toward career fulfillment.