How Long Should My Resume Be?
How Long is Too Long for my Resume?
The definition of an urban legend is: “A humorous or horrific story or piece of information circulated as though true.” This certainly applies to a rumor that’s been circulating in the employment market for decades; namely, “Your resume should be only one-page long.” I’m here to dispel it.
There is no such thing as a resume that‘s too long. Your resume should be as many pages as needed to properly market you to employers. For most people, that’s two pages. For executives, C-level managers and some other professionals, it may take three or four pages to provide information employers need to see.
For academicians, physicians, healthcare executives, attorneys and a few other professionals, CVs (curriculum vitas) are used instead of resumes. They can go on for many, many pages. And a federal resume won’t get much attention if it’s less than five pages long.
When writing your resume, concentrate more on what you tell potential employers than on how many pages it takes you to tell it.
Fluff in your resume creates at least two problems. First, as filler, it takes up space that could be put to better use by telling your specific accomplishments. Second, it demonstrates to the reader that you are willing to accept “fluff” in your job performance… the appearance of substance, but lacking in reality. Is that really the impression you want to make?
Avoid fluff or padding your resume. Be specific and to the point. Present your accomplishments front and center.
Consider two resumes. The first is one and a half pages long. It presents the candidate as focused, accomplished, and no-nonsense. The second is three pages long. It contains filler, fluff, and padding. Which would you consider the best presentation? Which would the company?
Bottom line – your resume is as long as it needs to be to present you and your accomplishments. Period.
Sue Montgomery is founder and president of Resume Plus (www.resumeplus.com). She is a professional resume writer and career coach who markets people for the jobs they want. Contact Sue directly at 937-254-5627 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.