One of the big debates around resume preparation is the length. For years, there has been a shift towards one-page resumes as an optimized version which recruiters prefer. However, many job seekers are challenged to achieve this “best practice” given their years of experience. How does one narrow down over +10 years of experience in different companies or positions into one page? Would you be less attractive in the eyes of a potential employer if you had two or three pages? Let’s get to the bottom of how long your resume should be.
Although there are many schools of thought, it is clear that one size does not fit all. A one-page resume was considered a more strategic and cost-effective version for employers. It allowed recruiters to learn who candidates are in a snapshot, quickly identify the best fit for roles, and even reduce the financial impact of printing resumes. The downside to this option, which many candidates loathe, is the requirement to shave off considerable experience and even qualifications to fit their key selling points into a single page.
It would be interesting to note that multiple-page resumes are also acceptable. In studies conducted by ResumeGo, it was found that Human Resource (HR) professionals are 2.3 times more likely to review and select a two-page resume over a one-page document. This is regardless of a candidate’s professional level.
The question then is, which do you strive for, one page or two or three? As you may not be privy to the preferences of HR recruitment teams when applying, aim to achieve the highest level of relevance in preparing your resume. Firstly, let’s agree that in 2023 having one version of a resume to apply to all jobs is not an option. With that out the window, each version of your resume must be drafted with the summary of the job you’re applying for in mind. From your original resume, which might cover everything you have to offer as a candidate, extract and expound on the most relevant aspects of your career history that would make you stand out to recruiters. If this can be lumped into one page then perfect, if not, then do not feel pressured as if your experience aligns well with the vacancy from page one, a recruiter most likely will keep reading onto the following page.
Stay concise in selling who you are. Regardless of your resume length, brevity is your friend! In sharing details of your experience, try using bullet points to convey information easily. There is no need for an exhaustive record of your work history and talents. Leave something to impress interviewers within the interview.
In preparing to apply for your next role, here are some quick indicators as to whether your resume is selling you well for your future job according to an article by Enhancv:
Does my resume say / highlight:
- Who you are
- What relevant experience do you have to the position you are applying
- Why you are motivated for the position
- How you will make an impact in the role
- What are your accomplishments and qualifications
Ultimately, a job seeker’s level of experience and suitability will differ between candidates. Your focus on selling relevant aspects of your career is essential to drafting a resume that can land you in the shortlisted, maybe or regrets pile.
Dimitrov, Kal, 2023, Resume Length: How Long Should a Resume Be in 2023'', Resume Advice, viewed 3rd April 2023,<https://enhancv.com/blog/how-long-should-a-resume-be/?psafe_param=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=google_performance_max_non_core_markets&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8_bfgfSN_gIV9RplCh1wIgL3EAAYASAAEgLLc_D_BwE>