How Long Should a Resume Be? Well it Depends...

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February 7, 2024
Edited by
Camille Trent
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min read

3 key takeaways

  • How long your resume should be in 2024
  • How long a resume should be for a professional in your career stage
  • How to use Teal's Resume Builder to create an impactful document that's the ideal length

The length of your resume is a fine line between saying too much and not enough, often leading to the question, "How long should a resume be?" 

There is no straightforward answer.

The key to striking the right balance is creating a narrative that's as engaging as it is informative. It's about weaving your experience, skills, and impact into a story that resonates with hiring professionals—with each word making them want to learn more about what you bring to the table.

That said, there are benchmarks you can use as a guide for different career stages. This article covers what they are, the rationale behind them, and actionable tips for getting your resume length where it needs to be.

Struggling to write a resume that's the right length? Get started with Teal’s Free Resume Builder today.

How long should a resume be in 2024?

The average resume is between one and two pages. But employer needs, advancements in tech, the evolving job market, and a changing career landscape mean resumes also adapt accordingly.

Trends around their length, format, style, or otherwise—are no different than any other fads. They evolve. What was relevant five years ago may not be the standard today. 

Current resume length trends and standards

There's been a lot of attention around one-page resumes. And not without reason. It's important to convey your worth succinctly.

An example of a one page resume
One-page resumes are especially fitting for entry-level job seekers.

With so many candidates applying for the same roles, a compact, well-organized resume respects a hiring manager or recruiter's time and showcases your ability to communicate effectively and prioritize information.

But with that in mind, minimizing your impact, skills, and experiences (or changing font size, margins, and white space) to adhere to a certain length can be counterproductive.

Reducing essential resume elements might lead to a professional overview that:

  • Doesn't accurately represent your qualifications
  • Lacks context
  • Isn't aligned with the roles you're applying to
  • Is hard to read

How many pages should a resume be: One-page vs. multi-page resumes

While resume length depends on several factors, resumes should typically be between one to two pages and no longer than three. Like almost every fad, resume length isn't without debate. Even with single-page resumes trending, two-page resumes and even the three-page resume are still widely used. Here are some pros and cons:

Pros of one-page resumes:

  • Quick scanning by hiring managers and recruiters
  • Highlights key skills quickly
  • Ideal for less complex career experience

Cons of one-page resumes:

  • Struggle with depth 
  • Challenges in showcasing diverse skills and quantifiable impact
  • Can feel restrictive for comprehensive experience

Pros of multi-page resumes:

  • Space for showcasing experience and depth
  • Better for diverse or technical roles
  • Room to balance white space and content 

Cons of multi-page resumes:

  • Potential for irrelevant information
  • May use unnecessary words or fillers
  • Increased risk of losing reader's interest
An example of a two page resume
Using two pages is ideal if you have over a decade of experience.

What influences your resume length?

Industry and job level play important roles in the length of a resume.

Specific fields and levels of seniority often demand the best resume format that offers a more comprehensive view of publications, detailed experience, residency, research, or case history.

For example, these might include professionals in:

  • Medicine
  • Law
  • Research
  • Academia
  • C-suite and V-level executive positions
  • Director roles

On the other hand, students, career pivoters, and entry-level professionals typically have less content, making a one-page resume more applicable.

If you're a mid-level professional, you're in a unique spot. The challenge lies in distilling years of experience into a format that's both comprehensive and concise—judiciously deciding what to highlight that reflects development and growth as professional, relevant skills, and how that ties to impact.

Regardless of industry or professional level, the heart of the matter when it comes to "How many pages should a resume be?" is relevancy.

Teal CEO and Founder Dave Fano puts it best:

"The job of your resume is to showcase the top 10% of your experience that's directly relevant to the role you're applying for.

It's about strategically aligning that 10% with the job's requirements to make a case for why you're the ideal candidate. Think of it as a sales document, not a history lesson. Details that aren't relevant or that don't align with a job's requirements probably don't belong on your resume."

5 key tips for ideal resume length

1. Tailor your resume

Customizing your resume for each application is crucial. Keeping your content 100% relevant to the role means you won't waste additional space with unnecessary filler. So, how do you tailor your resume? 

  1. Analyze the job description: Identify keywords and phrases highlighting essential skills and experiences. These will be your guide.
  2. Use the right keywords and phrases: Incorporate keywords from the job description throughout your resume—showcasing hard and soft skills alongside impact.
  3. Prioritize relevant experience over quantity: It's not about filling pages; it's about relevance. Whether your resume is one or two pages, ensure that the information you include speaks directly to the needs of the job and showcases how you're the best fit for the role.

Save time tailoring with Teal

Teal's resume creator pulls the hard skills, soft skills, and other important language from any job description. Then, use the Match Score feature to see how well your content aligns with the job—increasing your score by focusing on the correct language.

2. Communicate achievements with bullet points

Use resume bullet points instead of describing your professional experience in multiple sentences or paragraphs.

Each role should have:

  • 3-5 bullet points of achievements
  • A limit of one or two lines
  • Metrics numbers and data to highlight impact

Here's a general structure to use as a guide:

Success/Action Verb + Noun + Metric + [Strategy Optional] + Outcome = 1 bulleted achievement 

3. Focus on structure and design

Resume structure and design also influence the overall length—ensuring every word earns its place.

Here are some design and formatting elements for job seekers like you to consider: 

  1. Layout: Choose a layout—like a reverse chronological resume—that highlights strengths first
  2. Font: Select a legible 10-12 point font that's professional and easy to read at a glance
  3. Headings and sections: Use clear, concise headings to differentiate between sections
  4. Brevity and precision: Use bullet points and focus on impact and results rather than duties
  5. Visual elements: Do not use graphics or tables, especially for resumes being parsed by an ATS

4. Use concise language

Every word on your resume matters. Focusing on action verbs and using active voice can help you cut down on filler words—while coming across as confident to a hiring manager.

For example, a resume bullet point using active voice looks like this:

Managed three employees during a comprehensive social media campaign, increasing conversion rates by 7%

In comparison, the passive voice looks like this:

Three employees were managed by me during a comprehensive social media campaign, increasing conversion rates by 7%

5. Edit (and then edit again)

While you may not create resumes for a living, your editing skills need to be on par with that of a certified professional resume writer. Even minor mistakes or the presence of filler words can detract from the impact of your content—potentially costing you the opportunity to make a great first impression.

A resume that's polished and free of errors demonstrates your diligence and attention to detail.

Edit your resume for:

  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Filler words (for example, actually, just, basically, and very)
  • Jargon or clichés
  • Redundancy
  • Irrelevant information
An screenshot of Teal's Spelling and Grammar Tool
Use Teal to save time by editing your resume where you write it.

Remember, editing isn't a one-time job. Each time you tailor your content, review your resume again. This process can help catch any new errors and ensure your resume is as effective and polished as possible.

Resume length for professionals

When choosing the correct length for a resume, it's essential to consider your career stage. So how long should your resume be for a professional at an entry-level vs. someone in an executive position?

The relevant experience, skills, and accomplishments you have to share can (and likely will) significantly influence whether your resume should be concise or more detailed. 

Here's a breakdown of how long a resume should be for professionals at different stages:

Student and recent graduate resume length 

Ideal length: One-page resume

Rationale: With limited work experience, students or recent graduates should focus on educational achievements, relevant coursework, and internships. The challenge is to be concise yet impactful, making every word count to showcase potential and willingness to learn.

A screenshot of Teal's resume templates.
Teal's Resume templates are designed to be the ideal length for any career stage.

Entry-level resume length

Ideal length: One-page resume

Rationale: Similar to students and recent graduates, entry-level professionals should keep their resumes to one page when possible, emphasizing any work experience, volunteer work, skills, and accomplishments relevant to the job they're applying for. This stage focuses on potential and relevant experiences that align with the job requirements.

Mid-level professional resume length

Ideal Length: One to two-page resume

Rationale: Mid-level professionals with three to ten years of experience can opt for a two-page resume if necessary. This is especially true if you have a wealth of relevant experiences, projects, and skills that you cannot fit onto one page. The first page should capture the most critical and recent achievements, while the second page can detail earlier roles and contributions—as long as they're relevant.

Senior-level professional resume length

Ideal Length: Two-page resume

Rationale: Senior professionals often have extensive experience, publications, or impactful projects that justify a two-page resume. Here, the focus is on leadership roles, notable accomplishments, and a track record of success. If you're at the senior level, your resume should present a compelling narrative of growth, results, and leadership.

An example of a senior-level, two-page resume
A two-page resume is ideal for senior-level positions.

Executive position resume length

Ideal Length: Two to three-page resume

Rationale: Executives can extend their resumes to three pages if necessary, given the scope of things like:

  • Experience
  • Leadership positions
  • Board memberships
  • Speaking engagements
  • Publications
  • Significant achievements

An executive resume should tell a strategic story of career progression, leadership capacity, and the ability to drive results and success. (But as stated above, this isn't a hard and fast rule; every word should be relevant and applicable to the specific role you're applying to.)

Customizing your resume length with Teal

The Teal's Resume Builder has a Design Mode feature that makes customizing your resume for the ideal length even easier.

Start by selecting the resume template that best reflects your needs (and personality).

example of design mode's customization options within resume builder
Get started by choosing a template.

Next, choose the best font, color, margin size, and more to align with your ideal resume length.

A graphic of some of Teal Resume Builder's design options.
Choose font, colors, formats, and more in Teal's Design Mode.

Finally, opt to name and organize your resume sections in a way that represents your experience best (for example, in a combination resume format) to capitalize on space.

Optimize your resume length with Teal

The length of your resume isn't about the number of words but their relevance and impact.

Taking actions like tailoring each section to highlight your strongest qualifications and communicating your achievements and impact with bullet points is essential for taking advantage of resume real estate.

Luckily, the Teal's Resume Builder makes reaching the ideal length for your experience a seamless process. With tools that can help you identify the right keywords, align your content to each role, and edit and customize your design, Teal can help you strike a balance where each word earns its place.

Sign up for Teal for free today to make every word count.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it acceptable to have a two-page resume if I have less than 10 years of experience?

While the one-page resume rule is often suggested for those with less than 10 years of experience, it's not a strict guideline. If your roles and achievements are highly relevant to the job you're applying for and cannot be concisely presented on one page, a two-page resume is acceptable. Ensure every detail adds value and relates directly to the position.

For seasoned professionals, is there a maximum recommended length for a resume?

Seasoned professionals with extensive experience can sometimes justify a longer resume, but it's generally recommended to keep it at two pages. Focus on the most recent and relevant experiences, ensuring that the information is succinct and impactful. A well-curated two-page resume often has enough space to showcase your career trajectory and key accomplishments.

How can I decide which experiences or achievements to exclude from my resume to maintain an optimal length?

To maintain an optimal resume length, prioritize experiences and achievements that are most relevant to the job you're applying for. Exclude outdated roles, irrelevant information, and details that don't contribute to your candidacy. Tailor your resume to the job description, highlighting transferable skills and results that align with the employer's needs.

Kayte Grady

Kayte, Senior Copywriter at Teal and Champion of ADHD professionals, is a seasoned writer passionate about storytelling and career growth. With a data-driven approach to content marketing and a word-nerd knack for resume builder analysis, Kayte’s on a mission to empower job seekers to land a job they love. Constantly pivoting and reinventing herself, this social-worker-turned-marketer found growth and camaraderie in tech—a genuine surprise given her never-ending devotion to the paper calendar.

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