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How Long Should a Resume Be? [2024 Resume Length Tips]

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How long should a resume be? Contrary to what you may think about the ideal resume length, it can sometimes be more than just 1 page. The length of a resume can reach 3 pages or more, but in most cases, 2 pages should suffice.

As you can see, a quick answer to "how many pages should a resume be" is "it depends." To determine how long should your resume be, read on and find out everything about the perfect resume length for you.

This guide gives the answers to:

  • How long should a resume be.
  • How many pages should a resume be depending on your level of experience.
  • How to keep the length of your resume in control.
  • How to balance resume length against achievements.

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Continue reading to learn how long should a resume be in 2024:

How Long Should a Resume Be?

Usually, a resume should be one to two pages long, depending on your experience level. But sometimes, long resumes are better. Three-page resumes are suitable for applicants with 25+ years of continuous work experience (such as executives) and for an academic CV or a medical resume.

To achieve the ideal resume length in your particular situation, focus on customizing your resume to the job offer and prove you fit the job by showing relevant accomplishments. If you can do that in one page, definitely do. Add more achievements and go for a 2-page resume format (or even longer) if a single page makes you look too light for this particular career.

Simply put, a good resume should be as short as possible and still convey your worth. 

Quite often, a resume can be one page or two pages. But for many job seekers, those with less than 7–10 years of relevant experience, a one-page resume is the best choice.

How long should your resume be

But how long can a resume be? Is a 3-page resume too long? What about a 4-page resume? What if you've got hundreds of accomplishments that can't be boiled down?

Let’s say you're a project manager. You've done 40 unique projects, each with its standout achievements. Nobody will fault you for a 3-page or even a 4-page resume.

A resume should go back longer for jobs that need heaps of experience. If the job description says "3–5 years of experience required," don't list 20. Some studies suggest that overqualified candidates might have a harder time getting hired. Either way, list only relevant experience.

And how long should a resume be for a college student? If you solved the Riemann Hypothesis and fulfilled Einstein’s dream of describing the whole of nature in a single theory, you'll need a 2-page resume or longer. The rest of us can use a single-page resume template.

Read more: How Far Back Should a Resume Go?

Creating a resume with our builder is incredibly simple. Follow our step-by-step guide and use content from Certified Professional Resume Writers to have a resume ready in minutes.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and our resume checker will tell you exactly how to make it better.

6 Tips for Ideal Resume Length

How many pages should a resume be to achieve the ideal resume length? If you follow the ideal resume length rules below, it won't matter whether you've got a 1-page resume, a 2-page resume, or longer. Why?

Because the length of your resume will self-regulate like it's got a job-search thermostat.

1. Keep It Brief and to the Point

To paraphrase JFK: ask not, "How long should a resume be?" but "How can you keep it interesting?" Don't get bogged down with long descriptions of responsibilities. Our HR statistics report shows managers skim resumes, often in less than 7 seconds. Be brief, and stick to achievements.

2. List Only Relevant Information

Don't put anything in your resume that wouldn’t interest the hiring manager. Build your resume with achievements that prove you've basically already nailed the job. Doing that will keep your resume short and engaging. Remember: 83% of recruiters say they’re more willing to hire a candidate who has tailored their resume to a particular job description.

3. Condense Resume Descriptions

Don't repeat the same achievement over and over. Rather than saying you trained five employees in Lean Principles, two in Agile, and 15 in Six Sigma, say you trained 20+ employees in techniques like Lean, Agile, and Six Sigma. That uses up one bullet point.

4. Adjust Font Size, Spacing, and Margins

Yes, you can make resume fonts smaller and fiddle with line spacing and margins. But don't torture your resume layout so much that it looks like a black sheet of paper. Some extra resume length is okay vs. threatening the hiring manager with a wall of words.

5. Replace Responsibilities With Achievements

Here's a good resume trick: Avoid listing all the many things you were responsible for. Not only will that make your resume too long, but it's also boring. "Cut inventory costs by 35%" beats "In charge of inventory management" any day. So, read the job description carefully, then list accomplishments that match.

6. Use Bullet Points in Your Resume 

List 3–5 bullet points per job in your resume work experience section. Make them 1–2 lines each. Do you really have enough impressive achievements to fill up 30 lines per job? If so, you need a 2-page resume. Make sure to keep them relevant to this particular offer.

Pro Tip: Are you a project manager, an engineer, or upper management? For any job where long experience makes you a better match, longer resumes work best. Just make sure to keep it relevant and base it on achievements.

There are some rules in resume writing, but rule No. 1 is: include whatever helps you get the interview.
Bart Turczynski
Bart Turczynski
Career Expert

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaways

How long should a resume be

Asking "How many pages should a resume be?" turns up a lot of answers. Remember these key tips:

  • Resume length grows with the amount of experience required. For jobs requiring 7+ years of experience, a 2-page resume is fine.
  • Resumes should be one page for most applicants. It all comes down to how many unique, impressive, related achievements you've in your past.
  • How long is a resume? Write 3–5 bullets per job. Go back 10 years for all but senior-level management jobs. Tailor your resume to fit the job description. If you do, the question answers itself.

Want to know more about how long should a resume be? Maybe you've got some great ideas for how far back a resume should go? Give me a shout in the comments! Let's start the conversation!

About Zety’s Editorial Process

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team to make sure it follows Zety's editorial guidelines. We’re committed to sharing our expertise and giving you trustworthy career advice tailored to your needs. High-quality content is what brings over 40 million readers to our site every year. But we don't stop there. Our team conducts original research to understand the job market better, and we pride ourselves on being quoted by top universities and prime media outlets from around the world.

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Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Tom Gerencer is a career expert and Certified Professional Resume Writer who has published over 200 in-depth articles on Zety. Since 2016, he has been sharing advice on all things recruitment from writing winning resumes and cover letters to getting a promotion.
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