How Many Pages Should Your Resume Be?

How Many Pages Should A Resume Be?

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Finding it tough to decide your resume length? Read this article to know all factors that to keep in mind before deciding the length of your resume.

One size fits all is not true for resume length. There is no thumb rule for deciding the length of resume that can perfectly suit all situations. Some say that three page resumes are not read by recruiters. Well, it will be read, if it has enough reasons for it. It is up to you to make recruiters flip through your resume or completely brush it off. So, if you have information worth sharing, that can impress your employers, you can extend your resume to three pages; otherwise restrict it to one or two pages as required.

Understanding Applicant Tracking Systems

Apart from making your resume impressive, there are some other issues that need your attention.

You must be aware of various ATS (Applicant tracking System) softwares that are currently being used by companies to briefly scan resumes in search of some indispensable sections in these profile documents. The absence of those sections leads to complete rejection of resumes, even before they reach the hands of HR managers.

Any ATS software is fed with some keywords or phrases. These words and phrases are decided by companies and therefore remain unique. However, there are few very common keywords that are searched for by almost all softwares. Thus, here it is important that you need to have these keywords in your resume as well. In an effort to cut short your resume and make it precise, you cannot eliminate these phrases and keywords; that will lead to rejection of your profile. However, care needs to be taken to craft these words quite intelligently in your resume, so that they come out very naturally. If your resume appears to be stuffed with such keywords, then again, it provides a negative impression to your recruiters.

Size of resume varies according to needs

Further, every resume needs to be written in a way that is easily legible. Here, if we compare two resumes; one of a fresh graduate and another of an experienced professional, with five different job roles held in the past, definitely they will be different. The experienced professional will have many things to convey and therefore may not be able to concise everything in one single page.

On the other hand, three page will be too much for the graduate candidate. It has been seen that many candidates compromise with font style and size to squeeze necessary information on one single page; as they are afraid of getting rejected on the basis of carrying a lengthy resume. This is completely wrong. If you are going to present a resume that is not readable easily, despite of having one or two pages; your resume still gets rejected.

Resume skeletons

Now, all though it has been repeatedly said that there are no golden rules to decide the length of your resume; there still remain some pathways that can be followed to ease your decision making process.

In making the above decision, you first need to know the skeleton of all resumes. It comprises of your contact information, followed by well written summary, skills, working experience(if any), educational details for fresh graduates and people with less than 3yrs working experience. Trainings and internships if related can be included. Awards that can really add to your resume can also be added. Here are few resume examples for your reference.

The first is for new job seekers with no relevant experience. Before you start writing your resume you need to relax and just jot down those points that are necessary for you to present before your recruiter. Do not bother about the number of pages. You can go with just a single page resume, as it is quite logical, that if you are new to the field, you do not have anything extra that may demand couple of pages. If you deliberately try to extend your resume, just because someone told you that single page resumes are not impressive, then you tend to include all those cock and bull stories that are least important; thus, leading to rejection.

Second, if you are an experienced professional, you too, need to decide on similar points that are mandatory to be conveyed. However, you can extend to two pages if required. If you do not have anything important to share, single page resume is also fine for you. This will not generate any negative impression before your recruiters. So, if you are fighting the myth, that working professionals need to have two page resumes; just ignore it. Perhaps you just got your answer.

Lastly, a professional of an extensive working experience can extend his/her resume to three pages or more if required. However, care needs to be taken that only relevant information is provided. Experiences that are in no way related to the desired job profile needs to be skipped as it creates no positive impact on recruiters. Sadly, it is wasting of their precious time.


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