Resume Writing: How Long Should Your Resume Be?

Resume WritingProfessional resume writing is a critical career step that many executives, CEOs and candidates choose to invest in, simply because they understand just how competitive the market is and much a quality resume can impact their career success.

One of the most common questions I’m asked when approached about our resume writing services is, “How Long Should My Resume Be?”

Quality, Not Quantity

Two pages? Five pages? Ten pages?

Effective resume writing is all about making sure that the talents you possess are highlighted and fleshed out on paper, so that they relate directly to what the employer is looking for. It’s as if the employer is saying, “this is what we need for our company,” and your resume is responding by saying, “I can do what you need! Here’s the evidence.”

When it comes to determining how long your resume should be, it is essentially a simple matter of quality not quantity. That is, it does not matter how long or how short your resume is at all. As long as your strengths, achievements and skills are described in an effective and accurate manner, recruiters and employers won’t care if your resume is 10 pages or 2 pages.

Myths About Resume Lengths

There are many myths surrounding the idea of resume lengths. Some candidates believe that if their resume is too long, employers won’t bother to read it. So, they look for ways to cut down on important details or skills, and as a result, their resume ends up being too vague. Others feel that if their resume is too short, it makes them a weaker candidate. This prompts them to try to fill up their resumes with useless information that is not beneficial to their application.

Once again, the key to success here is to remember that it’s all about quality and about how well you portray your talents and value on the page. If your resume is 6 pages long and filled with fluff or unnecessary details, then yes, employers won’t bother reading it, but if it is 6 pages long and filled with fantastic insights about what you can do as a professional, then the reader will most likely be impressed.

As long as your resume is openly and clearly answering the employer’s request for experience and skills, you shouldn’t worry about whether your resume is too long or too short. Instead, focus on what unique talents you possess and what you can bring to the table.

General Resume Writing Rules

Knowing how long your resume should be is really about knowing what you should and shouldn’t include when resume writing.

What You Should Do:

  • Include your Value Proposition in your resume – what makes you unique and different from other candidates? Why should the employer choose you over others?
  • Link the responsibilities and duties in each of your roles directly to the employer’s job description – if an employer is looking for specific skills or talents, place these at the top of each of your jobs
  • Highlight your achievements and expand these using the ‘Action, Process, Outcome’ technique. Don’t worry about how much space this takes up in your resume, just concentrate on explaining how you brought value to the organisation

What You Shouldn’t Do:

  • Include any personal details related to your age, birthday, marital status, race or religion or salary – this information has no impact on your suitability for the role
  • Look for ways to fill up your resume just for the sake of it. Instead, make sure every word on your resume is relevant to the application
  • Include jobs you had over 8-10 years ago; only include older jobs if you feel that your accomplishments there are directly relevant to the position you are applying for. For instance, if you are going for a financial management position, the employer won’t really care about a casual retail job you had while you were studying
  • Adjust your formatting to make your resume longer or shorter; recruiters are not stupid and will immediately see through this lazy technique

Specified Lengths

In some cases, the employer may stipulate a maximum resume length or application length in their job advertisement. Since this is a direct requirement, you should aim to stick to the employer’s instructions as failure to do so can put you in a negative light.

If you are unsure about how to cut down your resume (or expand it) to suit the specified number of pages, you may want to engage the assistance of an experienced resume writer.

Not sure if your resume is cutting it? The resume writers at Resumes Australia constantly produce high calibre resumes for CEOs, senior executives, mid-level professionals and graduates. Learn more at:


kylie hammond

About Kylie Hammond
Executive Search Consultant, Head-Hunter, HR Consultant, Executive Career Coach, Expert Resume Writer & Executive Talent Agent.

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