How Long Should My Resume Be?

Resume _length

Experts disagree on the topic of resume length. According to Jobology, applicantsshould do everything possible to ensure that their resume is only one page as hiring managers will spend as little as 10 seconds reviewing it. Kim Batson, founder of CareerManagementCoaching.com, told searchCIO.com that employers will initially scan the top third of an applicant’s resume to see if it’s worth pursuing. "Many hiring authorities are reviewing resumes on mobile devices. They might be on the train. They certainly are not going to wander through four pages," she explained.

On the other side of the argument there’s the 2012 Global Hiring Trends Survey which found 54% of respondents would read a well-crafted, highly focused resume that targeted a specific position regardless of length. “I completely advise against [the one-page resume] unless it’s a college graduate or someone who’s brand-new to the marketplace,” career coach Paul Anderson told U.S. News and World Report. So who’s right?

At LiveCareer, we believe it depends on the individual’s age and experience level. If you’re an entry-level candidate, you certainly shouldn’t stretch your resume with irrelevant information. However, if you have more than five years of experience, you shouldn’t exclude your accomplishments just to try to keep your resume to the single page format. More important is to focus on quality over quantity. And if you do find yourself with a resume longer than one page, make sure to format the page break for a smooth transition between page 1 and page 2. Here are four simple rules to follow.

Resume Length Formatting Rules

Never break up one job.Listing part of a job description on one page and the rest on another can be disrupting for the reader, so avoid separating individual entries. Job title, company name, dates and job description all belong on the same page. Follow the same rule for the Education section.

Never break up bullet points.If you’re using the functional resume format and listing your experience in skill-set bullet form, don’t insert a page break in between one of the skill sets. For example, if you have “Customer Service” as a skill and four bullet points underneath, make sure the break falls after the fourth bullet point.

Include a header.Resumes often get passed around before a decision is made and you run the risk of having your pages become separated on someone’s desk. Since staples are not recommended, always include a header at the top of each page with your full name and the page number to help hiring managers stay organized.

Always fill-up more than half the page.Whatever page your resume ends on, make sure that the text fills at least a third to a half of the page. If your last page only has a few lines of text, save space by minimizing the font size, margins or spacing. Don’t ever add resume “fluff” for the purpose of making it longer because irrelevant information will just dilute the overall effectiveness of the document.

LiveCareer’s Resume Builder

No matter the length, LiveCareer’s Resume Builder can help you build a job-winning resume.

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