Alpha Bits

Information, insights and advice regarding today’s IT and pharmaceutical recruitment landscape. 

Resume Length – How Long Should It Be?

Figuring out how long your resume should be isn’t always easy. Many professionals believe that they have to cram everything onto a single page. Others think that the length doesn’t matter, as long as the content is relevant.  

While a one-page resume is appropriate in some cases, there are plenty of situations where a longer resume is the right choice. However, a resume can be too long, even if the shared information might relate to the target position.  

If you are trying to figure out how long your resume should be, here are some tips that can help you make the right choice.  

Don’t Limit Yourself to One Page  

Previously, experts recommended that entry-level candidates keep their resumes fairly paired down, limiting themselves to just a single page. While a one-page resume might work for a person’s first job, many professionals – including those early in their careers – may actually have quite a bit to discuss.  

Today, it isn’t uncommon for an “entry-level” job to require at least three years of experience. Plus, many professionals have college degrees, internships, freelance gigs, volunteer positions, and more relevant details to cover.  

Now, if you are genuinely starting out, then don’t try to stretch a one-page resume to make it two. But, if you have pertinent details to share that make a second page necessary, feel free to cross the line, even if it’s an entry-level role.  

The Resume Sweet Spot  

By and large, hiring managers favor two-page resumes. It allows the candidate to fully discuss their experience and address any must-haves listed in the job description. Essentially, it ensures the job seeker can define their career narrative and showcase why they are a strong candidate while reducing the odds that they’ll have to cut out something important.  

If you have more than a couple of years of experience, default to the two-page resume. That way, you can adequately describe your achievements and skills, ensuring you address the hiring manager’s critical points in the vacancy announcement.  

Going Over Two Pages  

In nearly all cases, it’s best to limit yourself to two pages. Even if your career spans decades, you typically only need to dig into your most recent few roles to demonstrate your capabilities.  

However, there can be exceptions to that role. If you need to create an international CV for a job outside of the United States, going past two pages would be the norm. Similarly, certain academic resume formats extend beyond the second page, as well as many federal job resume requirements.  

Aside from those scenarios, two pages is usually best. It ensures your content is concise and relevant to the job you want to land.  

If you still want to reference some of your older positions, you can always include an “Earlier Career History” after your recent work history. There, you can list job titles, employer names, and locations, noting that additional details are available upon request.  

Apply for Your Next Pharmaceutical Position With Alpha Consulting 

If you’d like to learn more about crafting a winning resume, the team at Alpha Consulting can help. Contact us to speak to one of our recruiters, or browse our online job portal and apply online.